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one On one with Christine Tsang

Dialogue went one On one with Christine Tsang in April. Christine is a member of the Canadian Language and Literacy Research Network. She is a student researcher and a graduate student at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario.

Dialogue went one On one with Christine Tsang in April. Christine is a member of the Canadian Language and Literacy Research Network. She is a student researcher and a graduate student at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. Christine is currently working on two Network research projects Acoustic Properties of Children’s Voices and Their Impact on Communication and A Longitudinal Study of the Relation Between Pre-Linguistic Temporal Processing and Language Ability. In addition she is working on her thesis – Infants’ Perception of Timbre: Spectral Slope and Nasal Resonance. Christine, along with three other students, is helping to organize a Student Network within the Canadian Language and Literacy Research Network.

on getting involved
I got into my current field of practice as a sideline after some chance meetings (networking can really take you places). I became mildly aware of the Network when it was applying to become a Network of Centre of Excellence because at that time I was collaborating with Dr. Kathleen Bloom on my thesis. Through my collaboration with Dr. Bloom and through the people I’ve met because of The Network - things have taken off. That’s how I got involved.

on starting a student network
Members of the Highly Qualified Personnel Committee selected four network students to set up the Student Network. Our small group will serve as the Student Network Core for the first year of operation. The core group consists of:

  • Nicole Conrad, a 5th year PhD student at McMaster
  • Tracy Dow, a 1st year student in Master's of Speech-Language Pathology at the University of Alberta.
  • Martha Anne Roberts, a 2nd year PhD student at the University of Waterloo.
  • Christine Tsang, a 5th year PhD student as McMaster

More students need to become involved with The Network so beginning a Student Network is a good way to meet this need. Training initiatives and student involvement are a big part of what The Network is about so getting an actual student network going will give students a more prominent place within our Network and assist in the training of Highly Qualified Personnel for future development.

on the Student Network mission
Our Mission Statement for the Student Network is - the future of language and literacy research is in the hands of today's graduate students. The student network shares the philosophy of the larger network - promoting language and literacy research. As
students, we must take an active role in advancing research in these fields.

The student network has been established to ensure the involvement of students within the network and to provide opportunities - opportunities for students to learn, opportunities for students to grow as researchers in language and literacy and opportunities for the future.

on what students want from The Network
I’ve talked with some students involved in The Network and what they would like is more information about what is currently going on in the field. As students we recognize that networking is going to be a major part of our future and our career and being a part of The Canadian Language and Literacy Research Network is going to be an advantage to all students who are involved. There is currently nothing like The Network in Canada for students. It’s a good opportunity for students to get involved in some great research that is going to have an effect on community and society.

on recruiting
The Student Network has sent an introduction letter to get the word out about joining the Student Network. We have a few events scheduled for the Annual General Meeting. We are having a student meeting (Friday May 3, 8:30pm in the Dalhousie Room) where we are going to talk about goals, who we are, our mission statement and hopefully have some Network researchers speak about how students can find networking opportunities. The Student Network is also participating in the poster session at the conference. Stop in and meet us.

on the L & L student pulse
As a student who is getting ready to graduate and thinking about career and options for the future, it is a bit frustrating because as students we only know a little piece of the bigger pie in the language and literacy field. I think the Network is going to provide us with the links in terms of knowing additional career options and pointing us in the right direction. The pulse now for students is to know everything we can but we can’t know everything. The Network will provide us with opportunities to try a little bit of everything and see where we best fit in.

on participation
I’ve found my participation has been very rewarding. I started with a minor collaboration with Dr. Kathleen Bloom and from there my participation has blossomed. So far I’ve been on a trip to Edmonton to meet other researchers within our research theme group. Great experience. It’s great to be a part of The Network and see what others are doing in their labs out west.

on student network ideas
Brainstorming ideas for the Student Network future includes:

Internal Student Web site within www.cllrnet.ca. Our main goal is to get the Web site up and running. It will be a site for students to visit and find out what is happening in the Network, what opportunities are out there and network with other students throughout Canada.

As of this week we have a discussion room site set up on The Network Web site. We encourage all students to post a message about what they want their Network to be about. All suggestions are welcome. The website is:  http://www.cllrnet.ca/en/student 

Student exchanges/internship/visits. We would like to set up some formal procedure that allows students to visit other labs within The Network. This would allow an opportunity to do research - small research projects, setting up experimental design, or collaborating on larger projects.

Travel grants. This goes with the idea of student exchanges. Establishing some sort of application process to apply for travel money for these student exchanges or conference attendance to profile Canadian Language and Literacy Research Network research projects.

on researcher feedback
Students want more feedback from Network members and partners and we hope to get this at our poster presentation session at the Annual General Meeting. We want answers to questions like what qualities are researchers looking for in researchers of tomorrow. What kind of researchers will they need in five to ten years? The students are the future and we want to be as good as we can.

on my interests
I initially got into the language side of things by accident when I met Kathleen Bloom. Dr. Bloom came to give a talk here at McMaster and at that time I was much more interested in music. Currently my primary research interest is auditory perception and development of auditory perception. Networking can definitely get you into bigger things.


Student Network Gathering at The Annual General Meeting in Ottawa

In conjunction with the Canadian Language and Literacy Research Network Annual General Meeting The Student Network will assemble for pizza and drinks on Friday at 8:30 pm. The purpose of the meeting is to bring together students and researchers from across the country, to meet, share our interests and discuss the future of the Student Network. Anyone interested in attending is invited.



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