What kind of events were planned by the CSA Student Concerns Subcommittee?
In 2011/2012 this subcomimttee organized a number of panels for the CSA conference in Waterloo. The sessions covered a range of topics that included publishing academic work, finding an academic job, working outside of academia, tried and true ways of engaging students in introductory sociology, and choosing to be a teaching focused scholar rather than a research focused scholar. An undergraduate student roundtable was also held to provide opportunities for our most junior colleagues to present their work, the session was well attended and saw some lively discussion between students and faculty from across Canada.
In “Publish or Perish!”, Kevin Haggerty (Canadian Journal of Sociology/University of Alberta), Douglas Hildebrand (University of Toronto Press), Dale Spencer (University of Alberta), and Terry Wotherspoon (Canadian Review of Sociology/University of Saskatchewan) provided a lively discussion and useful advice in regard to publishing sociological works. Marcius Extavour (Extavour Consulting Inc.), Prabhjote (Jyoti) Gondek (Tick/University of Calgary), James Frideres (University of Calgary) shared their insights and experience in regard to finding non-academic jobs, finding work as an independent consultant, and working for the private and public sectors. Several experienced faculty who are well reputed teachers including Dana Sawchuk (Wilfrid Laurier University), Sandra Colavecchia (McMaster University), Kim Luton (University of Western Ontario), and Bruce Ravelli (Mount Royal University) shared their best tips for connecting with students in introductory sociology courses. Another teaching focused session dealt with the choice of focusing on being a teaching scholar, rather than a research scholar and Jenny Godley (University of Calgary), Ronald McGivern (Thompson Rivers University), and Bruce Ravelli (Mount Royal University) provided an scintillating discussion politics and vagaries of this topic. The Student Subcommittee also hosted three current and former department heads to discuss issues related to the academic job market. Drs. Karen Stanbridge (Memorial U), Jim Frideres (U of Calgary) and Lori Wilkinson (U of Manitoba) provided some key insights into the academic interview process. The event was well-attended and the issues discussed were raised in a recent article in University Affairs.
An informal student social event was also held in Waterloo, there was a good mix of undergraduate, masters, and doctoral students, and everyone had an excellent time getting to know one another. Attendees expressed their interest in ensuring that informal social events continue to occur at future CSA conferences.
The committee also had a number of meetings over the year in order to revise the student travel grant selection criteria and review grant applications. There were 40 applicants this past year and 27 students were provided grants to attend the CSA Annual Conference. A new initiative to introduce a masters student thesis award and doctoral dissertation award is also in the works.
In 2010/11, this subcommittee organized a workshop for the CSA 2011 conference in Fredericton, New Brunswick. Doug Baer (University of Victoria), Katja Neves (Concordia University); and Harley Dickinson (University of Saskatchewan) were invited to share their experience and thoughts on the job search process. The workshop was extremely well attended, with each panellist providing attendees with information on the overall interview process, how best to prepare a CV, and the do’s and don’t's in applying for an academic position. The workshop was moderated by Jamie Baker (Chair, Student Concerns Subcommittee).
In 2009/2010, this committee organized a workshop for graduate students for the CSA 2010 conference in Montreal. We invited Reza Nakhaie (Editor) and Terry Wotherspoon (Managing Editor) of Canadian Review of Sociology to be panellists for a workshop to discuss ‘how to get published,’ offer strategies about the submission/review publishing process, and offer tips on how to turn dissertations into publications. Students were invited through various email networks and university distribution listservs and the event had a successful turn out of students.
Stella Park (former subcomittee Chair) also participated in CSA 2010 Plenary session on ‘Future Direction for the CSA’ on June 2, 2010 in Montreal. She discussed 3 main concerns related to students: (a) creating student section for CSA’s new website to facilitate information about job/career opportunities/student department reps, etc.; (b) improving job opportunities for Canadian sociology graduates; (c) building collegial relationship between graduate students and sociologists at the CSA Conference (e.g. mentorship lunch or session at future conferences).
In 2008/2009, this committee organized a workshop for the CSA 2009 Conference in Ottawa titled, “Navigating the Graduate School Experience” on May 26, 2009. This session was intended for graduate students of all levels and was designed to provide strategies on the most effective means to move through the dissertation process in a timely manner. Questions concerning thesis topic, academic advisors, the professionalization process, and publishing were discussed. Guest speakers included Professor Neena Chappell (University of Victoria) and Professor Karen Kobayashi (University of Victoria). Organizers: Stella Park (University of Toronto), Kristine Votova (University of Victoria, Western Student Rep) and Jennifer Henning (Memorial University, Eastern Student Rep). Graduate Delegate Social was also organized with Carleton University’s Graduate Student Union on May 27, 2010.