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 Publications Corporation 105 University Centre University of Manitoba Winnipeg, MB, R3T 2N2 General inquiries and advertising Phone: (204) 474.6535 Fax: (204) 474.7651 Email:

Editor: Sheldon Birnie Copy Editor: Ryan Harby Designer: Leif Larsen Contributors: Beibei Lu, David Krause, Katy MacKinnon, Ashley Cyr, Alycia Rodrigues, Foster Lyle Cover: Beibei Lu 

The Gradzette is the official student magazine of the University of Manitoba’s graduate student community and is published on the first Monday of each month byThe Manitoban Newspaper Publications Corporation. The Gradzette is a democratic student organization, open to participation from all students. It exists to serve its readers as students and citizens. The magazine’s primary mandate is to report fairly and objectively on issues and events of importance and interest to the graduate students of the University of Manitoba, to provide an open forum for the free expression and exchange of opinions and ideas and to stimulate meaningful debate on issues that affect or would otherwise be of interest to the student body and/or society in general. The Gradzette serves as a training ground for students interested in any aspect of journalism. Students and other interested parties are invited to contribute. Please contact the Editor for submission guidelines. The Gradzette reserves the right to edit all submissions and will not publish any material deemed by its editorial board to be discriminatory, racist, sexist, homophobic or libelous. Opinions expressed in letters and articles are solely those of the authors. The Gradzette is a member of the Canadian University Press, a national student press cooperative with members from St. John’s to Victoria. All contents are ©2013 and may not be reprinted without the express written permission of the Manitoban Newspaper Publications Corporation. Yearly subscriptions to the Gradzette are available, please contact for more information.

Results of 2013-14 GSA election Uncontested candidates win via mandate David Krause


he results are in for the 2013-14 GSA Executive! 

Monika Wetzel is the new Grad Students' Association (GSA) President; Farhoud Delijani is the GSA Vice President Internal; Crystal Cook the GSA Vice

President External; and Mahdi (Mehdi) Rahimiam is the GSA Vice President Academic. GSA senate positions are now held by Emeka Okeke, Calistus Ekenna

and Gustavo Mejicanos.

For the Health Sciences’ executive Melissa Rabb is the new HSGSA President; Kamilla Kosciuczyk the HSGSA Vice President External; Jessica Forbes the

HSGSA Vice President Internal; and Amrit Boese is the HSGSA Vice President Academic. Alison Müller is the GSA Vice President for St. Boniface and Andrew Stalker as the Marketing & Events VP.




Riley McGuire Words and photos by Ashley Cyr iley McGuire is a graduate student in the department of English, film

m a l e s . ’ ”

and theatre at the University of Manitoba, working in the area of


queer studies with a focus on speculative fiction (science fiction and

for queer people are complex—they are erased, heteronormalized, or

fantasy). McGuire is examining presentation politics of queer identities, which

stereotyped in many narratives—or, alternatively, they are branded as dangerous

explores how this marginalized group is presented in literature, and the social



McGuire says that “like all resistance identities, issues of representation





o t h e r n e s s . ”

implications of that presentation.

" One of the goals of McGuire’s


The use of “queer” in the

research is to “expose the lack [of

c o n te x t o f Mc Gu i r e ’s f i e l d o f

queer identity in speculative

studies denotes all relationships

f i c t i o n ] a n d e x p l a i n w h y i t ’s a

that do not fit the heteronormative

problem.” This is particularly an

arrangement of a straight married

issue for speculative fiction, which

couple with kids. He points out

relies so heavily upon imagination,

that in the fictional worlds of

because “if we can’t even imagine

science fiction and fantasy—in

these things [positive queer

which the possibilities are limitless

identity] how will we ever live them

—there is limited “visibility” of


positive "


i d e n t i t y.


s o c i e t y ? ”

" Over the course of his undergrad

“If people talk about your

d e g r e e , Mc Gu i r e d e v e l o p e d a

v i s i b i l i t y, ” Mc Gu i r e t o l d t h e

strong interest in Victorian-era

Gradzette, “it’s because you’re

culture. He plans to incorporate

i n v i s i b l e . No o n e s a y s ‘ t h a t

t h i s i n te r e s t i n to h i s w o r k b y

community has a ver y visible

“grounding the origins” of queer

population of straight white

representation in literature in the



Victorian novel, then “trace an evolution in the literature” to present-day texts.

more open and accepting of all the different ways that people define themselves,

By tracing the evolution of attitudes towards queer identity in literature,

a n d m o r e a w a r e o f a l t e r n a t i v e s t o h o w w e r e l a t e t o o n e a n o t h e r.

McGuire will be able to evaluate the anxieties and cultural beliefs about queer








p e r i o d s .

Beyond his own research interest, McGuire’s academics have taken him

to a number of different places. Last summer he traveled to Aracaju, Brazil, with

There is a “reciprocal relationship” between literature and society,

Dr. Diana Brydon and the international research team for the “Brazil/Canada

McGuire claims. We need our literature to explore ideas about queer identity for

Knowledge Exchange: Developing Transnational Literacies” project. He is

those ideas to be acted out in society. He hopes that his work will encourage

involved in this project as a research assistant at the Centre for Globalization

authors to explore ideas about positively representing queer alternatives.

and Cultural Studies. McGuire is also a research assistant for Dr. Pam Perkins


“McGuire says that often queer scholarship is reality-based, focusing on

on her project on “Shetland and Early19th-Century Theories of Travel.”

projects like gender neutral washrooms. He feels that his work is a good middle-

McGuire says that the diversity of projects he is working on at this time is


helpful because he’s been able to experience the various directions one can take


with "





l i t e r a t u r e .

This diversity especially supports Riley’s own interests. His own research

is heading in an “increasingly interdisciplinary” direction away from strictly studying literature. He hopes to include different forms of expression such as

ground for popular culture and scholarship to operate together to better our cultural perceptions of queer identity. The reciprocity of literature and culture will serve as a way to bring these two realms of queer studies together, and into e y e .




“Literature has long been concerned with marginalization,” says McGuire.

part of literary scholarship. Queer studies are a little more recent to the field. Riley hopes to expand the field of queer scholarship and “fill in the gaps” that "



at "


Un i v e r s i t y


Ma n i t o b a .

McGuire is working with Dr. Hee-Jung Serenity Joo for his Master’s

thesis. In regards to the importance of McGuire’s research, Dr. Joo told The

For instance, feminist readings of texts have long been established as a strong


film, music, and dance in his doctoral work after he finishes his Masters degree


d i s c o u r s e .

McGuire says that his work has made him reorient himself to ideas that

are tied to the heteronormative culture of power and capitalism. He says that his work has caused him to re-evaluate what that really means, and to challenge his own notions of progress. McGuire’s research focus has helped him to be even

Gradzette that “his research interrogates, and does not assume, how more cultural representations and heightened exposure of marginalized/minority groups does not necessarily lead to social equality. In other words, the larger contribution of his project is in exploring the ethical relationship between c u l t u r a l r e p r e s e n t a t i o n s a n d c o m m i t m e n t s t o s o c i a l j u s t i c e . ”

McGuire says that Dr. Joo has been “such a delight.” He also says that he

would not be where he is today without the support of his “lovely faculty members.” In particular, Dr. Vanessa Warne has inspired and encouraged him to follow his heart and pursue a career in academia.



3MT competition announces winners Inaugural thesis competition a success at U of M By Alycia Rodrigues


arch brought the inaugural three minute thesis competition (3MT) to the University of Manitoba. The 3MT competition is expected to take place annually and next year the U of M is expected to hold a national competition. During the competition, the best and

brightest graduate students showcase a condensed version of their timeconsuming research into three minutes or less. They are expected to make the presentation of their thesis easy for the general public to understand and are limited to use only one PowerPoint slide. Those who were over three minutes, or








d i s q u a l i f i e d .

The process of elimination began with 137 students who applied for the

competition, with 30 chosen for three heats, and only three winners by the end. Nine winners each went on to the final competition with an iPad and a grand prize of $5,000 up for grabs. Second prize consisted of a $2,000 award, while third "



$ 1 , 0 0 0,

r e s p e c t i v e l y.

Christopher White, a physiology PhD candidate at the U of M, won

third place. This prize was the “People’s Choice” award and was chosen by the audience. White’s thesis presentation, titled “Heart in a Box,” told the audience his research goal of trying to find a way to improve preservation of donor h e a r t s .

White’s presentation began with the story of Jay, a 26-year-old with a

heart condition, who began to feel weak about a month ago and was unable to get dressed. Jay was taken to the hospital where he waited for a heart donor. When he received the call about a heart that was available for him in

Vancouver, he was unable to receive the heart, and the heart went to waste because it was unable to survive the time constraints. White relayed that two out of every three donor hearts are thrown out. White would like to find a way to keep hearts in a box that mimics the environment of the body by tricking into






b o d y.




Anthony Signore, a biological sciences PhD candidate at the U of M,

won second place. His research looks into how the frigid cold disrupts bodily processes. Signore studies mammals that moved from warm areas to the Arctic, and through re-creation of woolly mammoth and sea cowl gene sequences,



explores "






s u r v i v e .

The first place prize went to Leah (Wong) Guenther, a mechanical and


“It’s overwhelming, but I have to say that I’m so glad to have my life back!

The whole experience was unreal,” said Guenther.

manufacturing engineering master’s student. She began her presentation by stating that nine out of every ten individuals will have osteoarthritis when they are older. Guenther looks at testing new artificial joints before they go on the body. A large majority of the artificial implants have been failing, which costs the medical system an exorbitant amount of money. She discovered that the proteins found in the synthetic synovial fluid were unstable and susceptible to degradation. Guenther created a new synthetic fluid without the degradation.

Guenther told the Gradzette that the 3MT was more of an experience

than a competition. She had little time to prepare for her first heat presentation after coming down with the flu. The last minute preparation brought new meaning to the term “nervous wreck” for her. She recommended more time, which was given to her after winning the first heat, and made preparing for the final "



s m o o t h e r.

“My poor [husband] had to suffer through hours of me talking about the

wonders of synovial fluid over and over and over again. I felt kind of bad then, I

d o n’t , ”


Gu e n t h e r.




The key to presenting her thesis was finding the right balance to

accommodate many different learning styles. She stated that some people learn t h r o u g h s t o r i e s , w h i l e o t h e r s l e a r n b y h e a r i n g f a c t s a n d r e s u l t s .
 " in "

“The tricky part is finding that balance. My trash can is full of my efforts tr ying




‘ b a l a n c e . ’ ”

Guenther said the competition really helps you re-focus what your

research is about. It allowed her to step away from the numbers and hone into the reason behind the research. It was an overall great experience for her that brought





w o r k .

3MT finalists (above) and judges



Options available for summer travel study International, national, and provincial programs available By Foster Lyle tudents may not see starting university, or starting a graduate studies

which provides students with an opportunity to travel abroad for their degree.

program, as the most exciting moment in their lives. After slaving away

Both of these programs are aimed at both undergraduate and graduate students.

for 12 plus years of grade school, or obtaining a degree from a post-


secondary institution, students are thrust into another program where

another culture,” Guiboche told the Gradzette. “[Students] get an international

they will be forced to sit and listen to people lecture them, learn new material,

perspective in their field all while continuing to earn a University of Manitoba

and write an exam only to achieve a letter grade at the end of the term. Though


this is how a large portion of students interpret things, there are many options



“It provides students with an opportunity to travel, be immersed in



Un i v e r s i t y


Ma n i t o b a

t u i t i o n . ”

Though the ICS does offer these opportunities, there are also other

available to students to make their university career an exciting experience.
 O n e s u c h w a y i s t h r o u g h o u t- o f - c l a s s r o o m l e a r n i n g e x p e r i e n c e s .


“The University of Manitoba has quite a few experiential learning

opportunities,” said Breanne Guiboche, a coordinator at the International


Centre of Students (ICS). “ICS offers a menu of international experiential


learning, available to undergraduate and graduate students. Our programs are open "




In t e r n a t i o n a l

S t u d e n t s . ”

The ICS has two main focuses. First, the ICS helps place students from

the University of Manitoba in foreign countries for personal or educational growth through service learning or internship programs, such as Students Without Borders. These programs encourage students to use their classroom knowledge "



f i e l d .

“It’s complimentary to their in-class learning,” explained Guiboche. “It

gives students the advantage of having experience in their field which can help them "



e m p l o y m e n t . ”

The second and more popular focus is the Student Exchange Program,

offices that offer students the chance to learn abroad in another country. One such office is the Asper School of Business Student Exchange Program, which partnered with its first sister university, the University of Bielefeld in Germany, over 25 years ago. Similar to the ICS Student Exchange Program, students are offered opportunities to leave Canada and take courses at another university in another country. Unlike the ICS, though, all exchanges have a business focus meaning students not only get a chance to earn credits, but also learn about the business "


a b r o a d .

“These days, businesses need to position themselves internationally and



understand the international environments in which they will operate, in order

Communities and Environments (LRCE). The course, which is offered to both

to maintain or improve their competitive advantages” explained Rowena

undergraduate and graduate students, falls within the faculty of environment

Krentz, the exchange coordinator at the Asper school of business. “Our goal as a

and geography. The six credit hour course is offered annually in the summer

faculty is to give our graduates the tools and skills that will allow them to

semester to students who wish to further their understanding of the challenges


smaller, more rural communities face on a day-to-day basis. LRCE takes




c a r e e r. ”

In fact, students at the Asper school of business believe student

students out of Winnipeg to Clearwater, Manitoba for ten days where they

exchanges are so important that they have formed a student organization,

foster relationships with local community members and learn how their lives

appropriately named the Association of International Management Students


(AIMS), which provides students with peer guidance on international


exchanges. “It’s important to give students the opportunity to have experience

lived-experts that shape the course,” said Dr. Stephane McLachlan, associate







c i v i l i a n .

“[LRCE] is mostly hands-on and the most important instructors are the

abroad,” expressed Hayley Johnson,

professor in the faculty of

Vice-President Academic of AIMS.

environment and geography.

“When students enter the real world

“Students are not evaluated

they realize the business world is now

based on their ability to retain

over whelmingly international and


appreciate having experience in

amounts of information and


data, but rather on their ability


c o u n t r y. ”



to e n g a g e a n d to l e a r n - b y -

It i s u n d e r s t a n d a b l e t h a t

international exchange is not for all

d o i n g . ”

students though. After all, leaving the


country for months at a time is a lot

explaining that students engage

different than your avera ge day of

in an array of hands-on

university. This doesn’t mean that there

activities include holistic

aren’t opportunities for students within

farming activates, developing

Canada, Manitoba or even Winnipeg.

community programs, and


One of the notable programs

possibly most interesting

offered at the University of Manitoba is

participation in a traditional

a c o u r s e c a l l e d L i v i n g i n Ru r a l

Photo by Sheldon Birnie

McLachlan continued on



c e r e m o n y.



“It’s a wild ten days and it’s a lot of hard work, but when all is said and


McLachan believes that these opportunities can be even more profound.

done it’s an amazing experience,” expressed Patrick Marion, a former LRCE


“I have heard many times that [these opportunities] are life-

s t u d e n t .

transforming,” he said. “Students are generally amazed at how rich the learning


opportunities are, and again take these insights and experiences back into their


“It’s interesting learning about topics you’d never learn about in the city,”

continued Sinan Leyek, another former LRCE student. “I’m glad to say I have


l i v e s . ”

n o w a d d e d te r m s l i ke ‘ s h e l te r b e l t ’ a n d ‘ s a u g e r ’ to m y v o c a b u l a r y. ”



Regardless of if the learning experience is overseas or across the province,

graduate students at the University of Manitoba, many of them being the

many students agree that experiences which encourage travel or out-of-

university’s best-kept secrets. Even if the university is providing these

There are countless opportunities available to undergraduate and

opportunities one major limiting factor is their cost. Krentz and McLachan


both agreed that costs is a factor in these opportunities making programs not necessarily accessible to all university students. Guiboche commented that


“there are scholarships, awards and grants available to most students from


multiple sources” and encouraged all students to walk to an Exchange


Coordinator who will be able to help them understand and meet the criteria.

For more information on experiences like these contact the International

Centre of Students at 541 University Centre. classroom "


b e n e f i c i a l .


Photo by Sheldon Birnie

“While the goal of these programs is not fun per se,” explained Guiboche,

“students often find the experiences very personally rewarding, and develop very strong "






h o s t s . ”

Krentz pointed out that in many cases living on exchange is a student’s

first time living alone commenting that “students enjoy the independence they gain and the experience they get which is only feasible by living abroad.”

“Exchange is an amazing experience,” said Nirbir Grewal, a recent Asper

school of business graduate now perusing his master’s of science. “It’s a chance to see another part of the world while still pursing your degree. You get the best of both world; travelling abroad and staying in school, not to mention the network





c o u n t r y. ”



Next Visionary Conversation to tackle global pandemic Academic discussion open to grads, undergrads, public By Katy MacKinnon


p a n d e m i c s .

n April 17 Frederic Gaspard Theatre at the

communications office at the University of Manitoba.


Bannatyne Campus will hold the next



Visionary Conversation, entitled Global

event. Because of the large amount of diversity, the

response to pandemic H1N1 and its management was

Pa n d e m i c : A n o t h e r Y 2 K o r Fu t u r e

panelists create presentations relatable to everyone.

very good. However, there were many aspects that we

A p o c a l y p s e ?


c a n l e a r n f r o m to d o a b e t te r j o b n e x t t i m e . ”


The conversation will follow an informal,

new knowledge,” said Danakas. “They would benefit


dynamic approach. The featured panelists are Frank

and be able to contribute well to these conversations.”

university, researches life-threatening infections.

Plummer, Michelle Driedger, Anand Kumar, and


Kumar is widely published, with over 350 research

Jo a n n e

E m b r e e .

Individuals of all ages are invited to attend the

“Graduate students are at the cutting edge of

Frank Plummer is a distinguished professor

“We were ver y lucky in that the o veral l

Dr. Anand Kumar, associate professor at the

and graduate of the University of Manitoba. He has


The speakers will address the possibility of a

received various awards, including being named


future global pandemic. They will discuss how

Canada Research Chair of the Canadian Institutes of

medical microbiology, researches HIV transmission

communicable diseases are currently being dealt with,

He a l t h

and how they may be dealt with in the future.


Michelle Driedger, associate professor at the U

main interest in paediatrics, and has been a member


Each panelist will present for three to five

of M, researches the development of risk

of numerous advisory committees for infectious

minutes, using mediums such as pictures and slides.

controversies in science and public health. Notably,


T h e e x p e r i e n c e i s i n te r a c t i v e a n d f a r f r o m a

she researched the H1N1 pandemic. Driedger believes


continuing to research pandemics and their effect on

continuation of something that started off ver y



successfully [in 2011]. They have been a good way for

the remainder of the conversation. These questions


“People have become ‘tired’ of pandemics,”

often challenge the assumptions and beliefs of the


panelists, as well as other members of the audience.

understandable. But if we don’t continue to build on


Some questions are taken from Twitter, where people

what we have learned [ . . . ] we are likely to repeat

Governemnt and Community Engagement at

some a spects that did not work successful l y.” or phone




traditional "


a p p r o a c h .

The audience is invited to ask questions for



o n l i n e .




The intention of the event is “to get people

Re s e a r c h



D r i e d g e r.

2 0 0 1 .


a b s t r a c t s .

Joanne Embree, head of the department of

from infected mothers to their children. She has a

i m p o r t a n t .



Driedger believes this Visionary Conversation

thinking outside the box on relevant, timely issues,”

can emphasize the importance for our country to

said John Danaka s, director of the marketing

continue to have a good system in place for managing


p a e d i a t r i c s .

“[This year] the conversations are a

the university to bring research, scholars, and t h i n k i n g t o t h e c o m m u n i t y, ” s a i d D a n a k a s .
 Those interested in attending should RSVP to

Gradzette 10

April 2013 Gradzette