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 ISSUE 6   November 2003  


HQPC Report: Partnerships Create Valuable Student Jobs


Network partnerships gave students summer employment in research labs, the Database Core Facility, and AutoSkill International Inc. Nine of these students won $8000 awards through the 3rd Year Undergraduate Summer Research Assistantship (UGRA) program.








The UGRA program attracts students to language and literacy research and provides training through hands-on experience in Network labs. Awards give students research experiences outside their home departments and universities. The Highly Qualified Personnel Committee (HQPC) received 33 eligible applications from across Canada (click "Programs" at for application details).

A committee of 12 Network researchers, led by Dr. Melanie Campbell, 2003 UGRA Coordinator, chose the ten winners. Regretfully, one student was unable to accept the award. "It was a difficult job for the adjudicators because all of the students submitted impressive applications," said Dr. Kathleen Bloom, HQPC Chair.

Along with transcripts and letters of reference, the applications included 500-word statements of interest in language and literacy research. Once the winners received the good news, they were paired with Network researchers who had posted offers of summer employment on the Network Web site. The employers provided $2000 of the summer salary, and the Network program provided $6000. Over the past two years, the Network has funded a total of 20 UGRAs. Watch for the 2004 application details and read the 2002 testimonials on the UGRA Webpage.

Congratulations to the following 2003 UGRA winners and their employers!

Meaghen Buckley, Linguistics (McGill) and Dr. Susan Rvachew, Communication Sciences (McGill).
Kimberley Cote, Psychology (Saskatchewan) and Dr. Megan Hodge, SLP/Audiology (Alberta).
Graham Kosakoski, Psychology (Queen's) and Dr. Linda Siegel, Education (UBC).
Charlene Kroeze, Psychology (McMaster) and Dr. Laurel Trainor, Psychology (McMaster).
Patrick Nadeau, Biology (Ottawa) and Dr. Alain Desroches, Psychology (Ottawa).
Brynne Redford, Health (McMaster) and Dr. Nancy Cohen, Psychiatry (Toronto).
Julien Saad, Science (Western) and Dr. Sunita Shankar, Optometry (Waterloo).
Nathan Saruk, Psychology (Dalhousie) and Dr. John Connolly, Neuroscience (Dalhousie).
Sophia Xu, Psychology (McMaster) and Dr. Kathleen Bloom, Psychology (Waterloo).

The Network also joined forces with a core facility and an industry partner to create and fund its first summer internships. Interns participate in language and literacy research activities that take place outside Network project laboratories. Interns experience career opportunities beyond traditional academic roles.

Stella Ng, an undergraduate student in the Scholar's Elective program at the University of Western Ontario, was hired as a Summer Intern at the National Database Core Facility under the direction of Dr. Colleen Hawkey. Many of us have communicated with Stella over the summer as she helped develop the Network's Measures Catalogue.

Matthew Brown, a Ph.D. candidate in reading research at the University of Waterloo, was hired as a Summer Intern by Dr. Elliot Loh at AutoSkill International Inc. AutoSkill is an Ottawa-based software company that develops intervention programs that help students who are struggling in reading or math. Matthew helped to analyze student training data while gaining career experience in industry.

Industry-Network partnerships are meant to foster data sharing and research collaboration, expertise and knowledge transfer, and participation in the development of tools and technology. The HQPC welcomes your suggestions for future internships with community, industry, and government partners.

Congratulations to Stella, Matthew and their employers on the launch of the new internship program. Members of the HQPC thank the Administrative Centre staff for their assistance, and thank you also to Network researchers who make summer employment possible for students within and outside the HQP programs.


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