Grad student conference reinvents itself to encourage wider participation

Brock’s annual graduate student academic conference has this year broadened its scope and is inviting presenters from both course- and research-based programs to share their work.

Master’s and doctoral students have until Friday, March 12 to submit their intent to present their research or academic work at the Faculty of Graduate Studies event.

Formerly known as Mapping the New Knowledges (MNK), this year’s conference will operate under a new name, MNK: GRADconnect.

Ashley Haroutunian, Professional Development Co-ordinator for the Faculty of Graduate Studies and co-ordinator of MNK: GRADconnect, says the name change was proposed to reflect the fact that all Brock graduate students are welcome to participate.

“Mapping the New Knowledges has been a 15-year tradition at Brock University,” she says. “While it has historically attracted students in research-based graduate programs, we are changing the name of the event this year to signify our aim to connect all graduate students across the University, not just those in research programs.”

The conference will also adopt a new virtual format. Students will participate by submitting pre-recorded video presentations that will be showcased on the conference website, in lieu of live in-person presentations.

“In the past, the conference was structured to accept only oral and poster presentations of students’ original research. This year, we are broadening this to accept any type of presentation that is meaningful to the student,” Haroutunian says. “Student who wish to continue with the traditional formats are able to, but we are also encouraging students to submit presentations that showcase other types of learning, such as reflections on experiential projects or business pitches and plans.”

Students wishing to present must submit an intent to participate by Friday, March 12, including an overview or abstract of the presentation topic that does not exceed 25 words. Video submissions will not be required until early April.

Students hoping to attend but not present are strongly encouraged to register. MNK: GRADconnect will also offer opportunities for networking with other graduate students and daily plenary discussions with industry and campus experts.

For more information and to register as a presenter or attendee, visit the MNK: GRADconnect website.

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