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My first publication as a Ph.D Candidate!

Well, it finally happened! I’m published!

Now, this isn’t the first time that I’ve been published – my Master’s thesis is available through the University of Ottawa’s research portal and I have a paper from law school buried in the depths of the Canadian Bar Association’s Military Law Section’s journal Sword & Scale. While I’m proud of those accomplishments, there’s nothing quite like the feeling of successfully navigating the peer-review academic journal process for the first time. 

My article – Defining Injustice: Determining the Collective Identity of a Faceless and Placeless Virtual Social Movement – has been published by The International Journal of Technology, Knowledge and Society, in Volume 14, Issue 4. It’s already available online and will be coming to a university library near you soon!

This article has been a work in progress – from start to finish – for about two years, which I understand is fairly standard. It began as a theoretical investigation in a first year doctoral seminar, where I used the course to develop my literature review. Then, in my second semester, I developed my methodology, tested it and presented preliminary findings at two graduate student conferences. Finally, in a doctoral writing seminar in the first semester of my second year, we were required to take an article that we had in progress, complete it, and submit it. This class was fundamental to the finalization and, ultimately, the submission of this paper.

I submitted the paper for consideration in December 2017 and received word at the end of February 2018 that my article had been accepted – with revisions – for publication. I then made the mistake of sitting on the paper. For months. It seemed daunting to begin to address the revisions, plus I was teaching for the first time, studying for the bar exam, and getting ready to move. After those were finished, I threw myself into my proposal determined to finish it by July 2018 (it’s almost done now).

Recently, I had coffee with an old friend who is nearly finished his Ph.D in another faculty. He encouraged me to bite the bullet, sit down and address the comments of the anonymous reviewers. If I missed the deadline for submitting my revisions, then the paper would be lost – and it had already been accepted (no small feat in and of itself, only 27% of submissions to The International Journal of Technology, Knowledge and Society are accepted).

Following that conversation in October, I prioritized completing the revisions and addressing the reviewers’ comments. A second round of edits was completed much more quickly than the first, and I made sure to respond to all emails pertaining to the copy edits and typeset proofs with 24-48 hours of their receipt – and well in advance of their deadline.

And voila! Less than a year after its submission, just over two years after starting the research process, a publication is born!

Stay tuned for a future blog post on the lessons learned from this experience…

My experience as a uOGlobal Facilitator

This weekend, I volunteer as a uOGlobal Facilitator. ICYMI, the uOGlobal Recognition Program is a new initiative at the University of Ottawa that strives to provide domestic and international students with an opportunity to develop the skills needed to succeed in today’s global marketplace. You can learn more about uOGlobal and its program requirement here.

I first heard of the uOGlobal program in an email from the International Office which announced that they were seeking volunteer facilitators. I’ve completed two international internships – one in Jerusalem, working with the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees in the Near East, and one in Geneva, with UNAIDS – in addition to an international study program, and firmly believe that these experiences allowed me to grow and gain new, valuable skills. I’m also very passionate about volunteering, community service and giving back to the community and knew that uOGlobal was a good fit for me!

After receiving in-depth training several weeks prior to the workshop, I felt prepared going into the workshop. I had learned several new techniques to encourage discussion and sharing between students, and even incorporated some elements of the group activity into a micro-teaching activity that I led this week. My job as a facilitator was to co-lead an experiential learning activity related to intercultural communication (I won’t share specific details about the activity here; I thought it worked exceptionally well and don’t want to spoil it for future uOGlobal participants).

What I learned as a co-facilitator is to expected the unexpected! I have teaching experience and have done countless group presentations throughout the pursuit of my academic studies, however co-facilitation is an art! I enjoyed working with my co-facilitator, but we definitely had different facilitation styles. One example was how we tried to encourage student participation: I left it more open-ended whereas my colleague took a more Socratic-like approach. As a team, we also had to adapt to the students – their level of engagement ebbed and flowed depending on the question and we needed to think on our feet, to incorporate and reformulate elements of the discussion into our questions in order to keep the conversation flowing.

I also tremendously enjoyed participating in uOGlobal following the completion of the group activity. It was wonderful to see so many students interested in intercultural skill development, willing to add to their undergraduate course load and sit in a non-required class on a Saturday morning.