When Wendy Ward looks back on her graduate work, she will never forget the first time she stood up and presented her ideas to an auditorium of researchers, including leading experts from around the world.
“It was a combination of excitement and nerves – and excitement won out,” said Ward, an associate professor in the Faculty of Applied Health Sciences and Brock’s 12th Canada Research Chair. “That experience is so important to graduate students. It tells you that you have a very unique and valued role in research.”
Ward will talk about the “breadth of knowledge” she gained as a graduate researcher in her keynote address at the sixth annual Mapping the New Knowledges Graduate Student Research Conference, set for Thursday, April 14. Ward will speak at 9 a.m. in the fourth floor mezzanine area of the Plaza building.
All are welcome to attend the day-long event that showcases the range and diversity of graduate student research during panel and poster presentations. See the conference schedule of events at Graduate Studies conferences and events.
“I’m looking forward to sharing my own story and what I view as the most important qualities of a successful graduate student – the student who goes on to be a leader in his or her chosen field,” Ward said.
Brock’s graduate students couldn’t be getting better advice. Ward is recognized around the world for her work in the area of nutrition and bone health. As well, her remarks will stem from her own experience in supervising students. She currently is a graduate supervisor to two PhD students and three MSc students.
“Dr. Ward’s story will be of great interest to our graduate students,” said Marilyn Rose, Dean, Faculty of Graduate Studies. “When world-class researchers speak of their own engagement as graduate students and their subsequent path to outstanding research success, it is always inspiring to students and faculty alike. I very much look forward to her presentation on April 14.”
Ward was a tenured professor in the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Medicine before coming to Brock earlier this year. She holds a cross-appointment with the Department of Community Health Sciences and is also a member of the Centre for Muscle Metabolism and Biophysics.
Her research shows that early diet could help lead to a lifetime of healthier bones. There are no ideal treatments for osteoporosis. But prevention strategies that target the earliest stages of life may be the key to preventing poor quality of life and even death – both potential effects of osteoporosis-related fractures. She will explore this further in a laboratory in the Cairns Family Health and Bioscience Research Complex.