2022-23 Professional Development Workshop

Formal training as a historian takes place in classes and seminars, writing a cognate paper, taking comprehensive exams, and producing a doctoral dissertations.  But there are other facets to an academic career, including public speaking, networking, effective writing, publishing, applying for grants, and teaching.  These are not always addressed directly or explicitly in formal studies.  The purpose of the PDW is to help prepare graduate students for the many "other" parts of an academic career (as well as careers outside academe).

These sessions are intended for Graduate Students in the History Department.  If you want to attend, please consult with the series coordinator, Shelley McKellar.

Unless otherwise stated, these sessions will take place in Lawson Hall room 2270C from 12:30 to 1:20pm.
All Department of History graduate students encouraged to attend!

September 6th, 2022* 
Things We Wish Someone Had Told Us: Why You Need Professional Development Workshops
 Shelley McKellar
*as part of the graduate student orientation

September 15, 2022 
Grant-writing for SSHRC, OGS, CGS-M and beyond: Demystifying the Process, Statements of Purpose & Tips for Success
Alan MacEachern, Eli Nathans, and Mary Baxter
This session focuses on the components of a strong grant application. Grant-writing can be daunting, and it takes time and effort to frame your research project for grant reviewers to understand and hopefully to award funding for your work! Learn about the process and how to present your project effectively (whether you are writing a grant or not). Note that students in both the MA and PhD streams are eligible for scholarships.

October 6, 2022
Primary Sources: Navigating the Digital Landscape
Jason Dyck (Western Libraries), Bill Turkel, and Shelley McKellar
This session will offer tips on finding digitized materials for primary source-based research and teaching. Information literacy, locating and accessing primary sources for our work will be discussed. The pandemic forced the closure of libraries and archives but also accelerated digitization projects—are you aware of the availability of digital materials for your work? Join us and meet key people knowledgeable about directing you to important research materials.

November 10, 2022
Student Writing in History: Teaching and Grading
Paul Schmidt (Writing Support Centre) and Monda Halpern
This session will offer suggestions on how to teach your students to write better and how to grade undergraduate written assignments proficiently. Learn how to provide useful, fair, and constructive writing suggestions and feedback (leading up to essay deadlines and returning student work). This session may serve as a refresher of good writing elements for everyone to apply to their work!

December 1, 2022
Reading Strategies for Grad Students in History
Najmeh Keyhani (Learning Development and Success), Francine McKenzie, and Frank Schumacher
This session will offer tips on managing a heavy load of academic reading, including prioritizing your readings, how to read actively, when and what to skim, and more. Reading at graduate school is the way in which students glean new ideas, theories, models, etc that inform their theses and research papers. Learn how to make your reading work for you.

January 26, 2023
Careers for Historians: ‘Oh, the Places You’ll Go’ 
Mike Dove, Jonathan Vance, Aldona Sendzikas, and History Alumni guests
This session explores careers for individuals wanting to do history (and get paid for it). Learn about career pathways for historians that involve working in classrooms, museums, archives, historic preservation, as consultants and more. Hear from several History Alumni guests who will share their experiences with a Western History degree!

February 16, 2023
Time Management and Productivity for Grad Students in History
Najmeh Keyhani (Learning Development and Success) and Laurel Shire
This session addresses one of the biggest issues identified by graduate students: time management. Hear what others suggest for managing your time and boosting productivity. Learn how to survive and thrive!

March 16, 2023
Navigating Social Media as a Grad Student
Jeremy Johnston (Transitions, Leadership and Enrichment) and Marta Dyczok
This session addresses the benefits and downfalls of social media for graduate students. How might History grad students use platforms (like Twitter, LinkedIn, etc) to share their research and connect with their academic communities? What are the common mistakes, career-sinkers and missed opportunities surrounding social media? Weigh in on the debate at this session.

April 6, 2023
Knock your Next Presentation Out of the Park: How to Command your Audience at Meetings, Conferences, and Elsewhere!
Patti Hone (Transatlantic Agency, Toronto) and Jonathan Vance
 This session offers practical tips on public speaking and delivering a strong oral presentation to engage audiences. There’s more to delivering a presentation than simply reading a well-written essay or text-laden PowerPoint slides—don’t anesthetize your audience! Join us!