Sept. 3, 2021

Grad College gears up for a new year of Lunch and Learn sessions

Over the past year, the College grew their audience by pivoting to an online format
Graduate College members
Members of the Graduate College Samaneh Ashoori

Over the past year, some of the limitations imposed by COVID-19 also created new opportunities. For the Graduate College, the pivot to remote work and learning helped bring graduate research to a larger audience. 

One of the challenges faced by the College in the past year included implementing the planned in-person Lunch n’ Learn Series, scheduled to debut in April of 2020. Without halting the timeline, the College pivoted from in-person to online delivery, resulting in hundreds of attendees from within and outside of the campus community logging in to watch 24 speakers share research on diverse topics. Now, anyone can view the series on the Faculty of Graduate Studies’ YouTube channel.

A speaker series all organized by graduate students

The Lunch n’ Learn series is open to any interested participants and consists of a monthly recurring one-hour session where two Graduate College Scholars present on their research. The audience is invited to participate in a Q&A session that concludes part of each session.

All sessions are moderated by a member of the External Committee at the Graduate College, a committee for engaging Graduate College Scholars and their research with the broader public. From June 2020 onwards, a record of all sessions is available to be viewed on the Faculty of Graduate Studies YouTube channel.

Lunch n’ Learn series co-ordinator, Valeriya Volkova, speaks to the importance of sharing knowledge, building links outside of our borders, and making a difference in the community.

“We have incredible diversity in research topics among our Graduate Scholars, and we wanted to provide our Scholars with the opportunity to share their research with the greater UCalgary community,” says Volkova. “The Lunch n’ Learn series accomplishes just that and allows the College to make important connections and have a presence within our greater community.”

There is always something for everyone

In April 2021, the Graduate College marked the one-year anniversary of the Lunch n’ Learn series. Over the past year, Scholars have shared research in topics in the social sciences, exercise science, mental health, physical sciences, education, and engineering.  

The series presents research in language that is accessible, introducing a non-specialist audience to research on how to form effective feedback, what neuroimaging can teach us about the brain’s response to stress and concussions, the accessibility of affordable housing in Calgary for immigrants, and many other topics.

From lessons on the impact of presence, authentically telling your story, the healing power of movement, or catalyzing compassion for others and building community through public spaces, there is much to learn from these fascinating presentations.

"At the Graduate College, our Scholars strive to connect and enrich our communities. The Lunch and Learn series has done precisely this,” says Head of College Dr. James Wasmuth, PhD. “People join us from Alberta to Australia to hear about the amazing research being undertaken by UCalgary graduate students. I have learned so much, from how to design better chemical catalysts to how Canada fails to prosecute white-collar crime."

Connect with young researchers

The Graduate College has transitioned the Lunch n’ Learn series to in-person, with a pivot to online if necessary. The series will take place in downtown Calgary, with sessions on the first Tuesday of every month from 12-1 p.m. MST. For more information and to register, visit the Graduate College Webpage.

Don’t want to wait? Catch up on our previous presentations by subscribing to the FGS YouTube page. We hope you join us as we continue to learn and share together with our Lunch n’ Learn series.

The Graduate College is a committed group of graduate students engaged in connecting, enriching, and energizing the communities we serve. The College is a home for graduate students and postdocs to gain training and opportunities in professional development and become emerging leaders in our communities. The College encourages applications from students and postdocs from all Faculties and from all backgrounds; Learn more about how you can apply.

Valeriya Volkova, Kelsey Pennanen, Julia Daun, and Emma McLaughlin are UCalgary graduate students and current members of the Graduate College.