Graduate students Julia Polyck-O’Neill and Jory Korobanik come from two different research and academic worlds.
Polyck-O’Neill is an interdisciplinary humanities PhD student and Korobanik is a physics PhD student.
That places them at extreme ends of research disciplines. Yet, in the big research picture, they have a strong bond as research colleagues who share a passion and excitement for what they do and why it matters.
That’s the reason they both jumped at the opportunity this year to be Brock’s student ambassadors for the Research Matters campaign. The Ontario-wide initiative is co-ordinated by the Council of Ontario Universities to raise the profile of university research.
Korobanik is president of Brock’s Graduate Students’ Association (GSA) and Polyck-O’Neill is a GSA program representative and sits on the Research and Scholarship Policy Committee. As graduate student leaders, they have been out and about talking with fellow student and with faculty to support and publicize the Research Matters speaking series, What Matters Now. The series is travelling across Ontario this year to build connections between university researchers and the broader public.
The next event in the series is being held on Tuesday, Nov. 26, in London, Ont, It will feature fascinating research topics being explored by five of Ontario’s top university researchers, including Brock Prof. Ana Sanchez of the Faculty of Applied Health Sciences.
On Tuesday, Korobanik will accompany Sanchez and other Brock representatives to London. Polyck-O’Neill will hang back here to host a livestream presentation of the event at Alphie’s Trough, beginning at 6:15 p.m. The live webcast begins at 7 p.m. The event is open to the Brock community and there is no charge to attend.
“As a humanities scholar, I find it very interesting to hold conversations with people who are in drastically different fields than my area,” said Polyck-O’Neill during a recent interview on CFBU’s Inquisitive Minds to promote Research Matters. “Transdisciplinary research is a very big concept in universities now and we don’t have formal occasions to speak to people in different fields. Research Matters is a great opportunity to experience and to listen to researchers from a variety of fields who are having an effect on our environment and culture.”
The format of the Nov. 26 event will involve researchers presenting their topic and then inviting audiences in London and online to ask questions to decide what matters now, the theme of the event.
Those gathered to watch the event at Alphie’s will be invited to share comments and ask questions via twitter using #WhatMattersNow.
“It’s exciting to bring together as many minds as you can,” added Korobanik who also participated in the CFBU interview. “It’s good to get as many researchers as you can fit, essentially, in a room where they can informally talk about their ideas. You would be really surprised as to how things can be transferred from one field to another.”
The Research Matters event is the preliminary warm-up activity for the Research on Tap (ROT) series beginning on Wednesday, Dec. 4 at 4:30 p.m. at Alphie’s Trough. The monthly gathering aims to bring graduate students and faculty together to connect with the passion behind their research, and play with and exchange creative and innovative ideas. Research on Tap is presented by the Academic + Professional Development partnership. For more details, visit gradplus.brockubeta.ca.