May 2016: Newsletter

SOGS Update_ May 2016

SOGS Update, the official monthly electronic newsletter from SOGS, keeps you up to date on issues and events affecting graduate students at The University of Western Ontario. If you are looking for previous issues of SOGS Update, please contact the office.

For updates on events, issues and discussion relevant to graduate students and Western between editions of the newsletter, consider the following:

Do you have a news item or announcement you would like to have included in the next SOGS Update? Email for more information.

In this month’s Update

Scholarships & bursaries

Research & workshops

In the headlines

Get involved

Grad Life at Western

At the Grad Club

Monthly giveaways: Photo contest & trivia

Scholarships & bursaries

Summer 2016 SOGS Bursaries

The deadline for summer 2016 SOGS bursaries is May 31.  Apply online:

Canadian Derivitives Exchange Scholars Program

CndnDerivitivesExchangeThe Montreal Exchange invites you to apply for their Canadian Derivatives Exchange Scholars Program for the 2016-2016 academic year. The scholarships that are on offer are:

  • two (2) graduate scholarships (M.Sc., DESS, MBA, EMBA) of $10,000
  • two (2) postgraduate scholarships (Ph.D., DBA, EDBA) of $25,000

To be eligible for the Scholarships, graduate students must:

  1. Be registered in a full-time graduate or post-graduate program in a Canadian University.
  2. Conduct a research project (essay, paper, thesis or article) on exchange-traded derivatives or any topic related to the Montreal Exchange’s business.
  3. Conduct a research project in whole or in part during the 2016-2017 academic year

Additional information is available online:

Research & workshops

Upcoming Thesis Writing Sessions at the Chu Centre

If you enjoyed working on your thesis at the Chu Centre this semester, you’ll be happy to hear that there will be writing time slots this summer. SGPS is currently finalizing the dates, so keep an eye on your email and the SOGS twitter feed.

In the headlines

Congratulations to our incoming executive members

The April Council meeting saw three of our Vice President positions acclaimed to their roles on the SOGS Executive.

  • George Ramos joins us as VP Finance
  • Lenny Guizetti returns for a second term as VP Academic
  • kirstyn seanor returns for a truncated term as the recently renamed VP Advocacy (formerly VP External Affairs and Communication); this term only lasts through September due to a recent switch in the election table for this position

As a reminder, these members join President Tamara Hinan and VP Student Services Madison Bettle.

Notice of public participation meeting and public open house for the London Plan

[The following information is from File O-7938, as crafted by J. Adema and distributed via email to our VP Advocacy]

The proposed London Plan will set out Council’s planning policies to manage and direct the physical growth and development of the City under the broad headings of: Our Challenge, Our Strategy, Our City, City Building Policies, Place Types, Environmental Policies, Secondary Plans and Our Tools. The text policies of the London Plan provide direction for the location, use, intensity and form of development, the protection and conservation of the environment, cultural heritage, agriculture and natural resources, and the provision of civic infrastructure and community facilities. The Plan contains both city-wide and site-
specific policies. The Plan also includes nine Maps that form part of the Plan and apply to all lands within the City. All public works and by-laws will conform to The London Plan. The Zoning By-law and other by-laws will be amended in the future to conform to The London Plan after it has come into force and effect.


The London Plan will be available at on May 9, 2016. The Plan will also be available, after Wednesday, May 18, 2016, at your local library, or for viewing at Kiwanis Seniors’ Community Centre and City Hall at the Service London Counter in the lobby, the Clerk’s Office, 2nd Floor, and at the Development Services Office, 6th Floor, or at the Planning Services office on 206 Dundas Street. You may purchase your own copy of the Plan at the Planning Services office, 206 Dundas Street, London, ON, Monday to Friday, 8:30 am-4:30 pm after that date. Questions may be directed to Justin Adema at 519-661-4980 or by email:


A Public Open House will be held to give the public an opportunity to review and ask staff questions about the proposed Official Plan (The London Plan) prior to the statutory public meeting for adoption of The London Plan. The Public Open House will take place on Thursday, June 2nd, 2016, 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm at the Horton Street Goodwill Centre, Third Floor, Community Hall, 255 Horton Street East, London, ON N6B 1L1. Additional information about this event will be posted on the City’s website:


The City of London Planning and Environment Committee will hold a public participation meeting on Monday, June 13th, 2016, not to be heard before 4:00 pm, in City Hall, Council Chambers. The purpose of this public participation meeting is to adopt The London Plan as the new Official Plan for the City of London. This meeting forms the statutory public participation meeting regarding the Plan held before the Planning and Environment Committee in accordance with Sections 17 and 26 of the Planning Act, R.S.O. c.P.13.


Written submissions regarding the above-noted matter to be included on the Planning and Environment Committee Agenda for the meeting should be submitted by no later than 9:00 AM on Friday, June 10, 2016 either delivered or mailed to the City Clerk’s Office, Room 308, 300 Dufferin Avenue, P.O. Box 5035, London, ON N6A 4L9. Submissions in accordance with the above-noted deadline may be e-mailed to Heather Lysynski at

HEQCO releases report on employment of Ontario PhD Graduates

The Canadian Association for Graduate Studies recently disseminated the following, and it seemed of potential interest to our wider membership:

HEQCO (Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario) released its report on employment of Ontario PhD Graduates… April 26: Ontario’s PhD Graduates from 2009: Where are they now? Toronto: Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario, Jonker, L. (2016).’s-PhD-Graduates-from-2009-ENG.pdf

The findings differ from those identified by the Conference Board of Canada in 2015 based primarily on the population studied. The Conference Board looked at anyone in Canada holding a PhD granted in any country and who work in Canada. HEQCO alternatively looked at those receiving a PhD in Ontario in 2009 who are employed anywhere in the world. Following are excerpts from the report that outline the differences in the findings.

Just under 30% of Ontario’s PhD graduates from 2009 are full-time tenure or tenure-track professors at a university. Another 21% have other jobs within academia–jobs like researchers, lecturers, college instructors and administrators. Thirty-five percent are employed outside academia in a variety of sectors. Key industries are: health care, government, professional and scientific services (engineering companies, scientific research and consulting), and manufacturing. We were unable to find employment information for the remaining 15% of graduates. They are likely employed outside academia, unemployed or are out of the labour force entirely.

(page 3)

A recent study by the Conference Board of Canada (Edge & Munro, 2015) examines where Canada’s PhDs are employed using data from the National Household Survey. The authors examine the occupations and sectors in Canada that employ individuals between the ages of 25 to 64 who hold a PhD. Nearly 40% of Canada’s PhDs are employed in the postsecondary education (PSE) sector, with 18.6% employed as a full-time university professor. The remaining 60% of Canada’s PhDs are employed in a variety of other sectors, including natural and applied sciences (17%), health (11%), “education, law, social community, government services” (11%) or another industry (21%). (page 8)

An interesting infographic can be viewed on the HEQCO site.

The link to the Globe and Mail article concerning it can be read at:

Get involved

Win $100 Grad Club certificate with the SOGS Cover Photo Contest

Orientation Cover Photo Contest

SOGS and the Orientation and Social Committee are hosting a Cover Photo Contest for the SOGS Orientation Handbook for incoming graduate students. Submissions should capture the theme “Graduate Student Experience at Western”. The contest is open to all graduate students. Participants may submit more than one entry, and entries may be photos or digital/hand-drawn illustrations. The winner will be selected by the OSC and will receive a $100 Grad Club certificate. Please submit all entries to by July 15.

All entries must include the text (in any design):

  • SOGS
  • Society of Graduate Students
  • Graduate Orientation Handbook
  • 2016-2017

Good luck to all our entrants!

SOGS Fall Orientation

SOGS and the Orientation and Social Committee (OSC) are finalizing plans for September’s Orientation for incoming graduate students. Orientation will be open to ALL graduate students!

Please be sure to mark these dates in your calendars. To those part of Graduate Student Associations: the OSC invites you to participate in our Orientation with us! If you’re interested, please contact More information regarding events will be distributed in late May.

Grad Life at Western

SOGS is proud to announce our 2016-2016 GSTA Award winners

Congratulations to our 2015-2016 Graduate Student Teaching Awards winners:

  • Kristy Townshend (Linguistics)
  • Cliff Davidson (Sociology)
  • John Caldwell (Political Science)
  • Natalie Trevino (Sociology)
  • Thomas Randall (Political Science)
  • Adam Roy (Music Theory)
  • Ana Boler (Modern Languages and Literatures)
  • Emna Fourati (French Studies)
  • Grant Dempsey (Media, Information and Technoculture)
  • Kristopher Ohlendorf (Media, Information and Technoculture)
  • Nole Hiebert (Physiology and Pharmacology)
  • Michael Hodgson (Kinesiology)
  • Samantha Aman (Health and Rehabilitation Sciences)
  • Samantha Whiteside (Microbiology and Immunology)
  • Joshua Frank (Biology)
  • Justin Szoke-Sieswerda (Electrical and Computer Engineering)
  • Robert Green (Mechanical Engineering)
  • Daniel Servos (Computer Science)
  • Sarah CoDyre (Earth Sciences)
  • Jane Wilson (Earth Sciences)

This honour is a yearly collaboration between SOGS, PSAC 610, and SGPS. Award recipients are recognized at a reception in May, and receive $500 each.

First monthly Board Game Night of the summer

The Orientation and Social Committee has purchased new Board Games. For a full list of our purchases, please check out the event page: There will be appetizers, the usual drink discount, and plenty of fun to be had. Spread the word!

If you haven’t liked the OSC’s Facebook Page yet, be sure to do so here to stay up-to-date on events.

Breathe and Relax with Dr Ajit Pyati

Feeling stressed out?  Anxious?  Need some time and space to relax and de-stress?  This class is an opportunity to find some calm and centeredness in the often hectic lives we lead.  We’ll practice a number of relaxation and centering exercises, and you will learn practical techniques to reconnect to your natural relaxation response.  But most importantly, you’ll remember to breathe and relax!

When: Mondays (May 17 – August 8), 12:15 – 12:45 pm

Where: Wellness Education Centre

Graduate Peer Support Weekly Drop-In

GPSsquareEver feel like you need some space to unwind? Or want the opportunity to talk to other grads about their experiences and studies?

The SOGS Equity Committee, along with SGPS, Student Experience, and CONNECT for Mental Health have teamed up to provide grads with a space for a mid-week break. Over the summer, stop by the Wellness Education Center Wednesdays between 10:30am and 12:30pm for coffee, tea, snacks, and company. These drop-in sessions are open to any Western graduate student, and will be hosted by trained peer support facilitators to keep everything running smoothly.

Once per month, this drop-in will be dedicated to a specific topic. These talks kicked off on May 4 with Imposter Syndrome; many thanks to those of you who came out to our inaugural session on this important topic. The schedule for the rest of our themed talks for the summer is as follows:

  • June 1 – Life After Grad School: Ready to Defend, but Not Ready for the Job Hunt
  • July 6 – Living on a Tight Budget: Beyond Ramen
  • August 3 – Unrealistic Expectations of Grad Studies: How Am I Supposed to Do All This

We hope you’ll stop by over the summer, or consider getting involved with the recently founded Graduate Peer Support (GPS) Committee. Please email the VP Advocacy ( for more information about the program, the committee, or to suggest talks you’d like to see in the future.

International Graduate Student Issues Committee is going to Wonderland

Currently, IGSIC is planning a trip to Wonderland to take place on June 18.

Please keep an eye on your email and the IGSIC Facebook page (

At the Grad ClubGradClub

Tuesday Trivia
New start time 7:30PM

Trivia will be running every Tuesday even during the summer months

The parking at Middlesex College will be going up at 7:00PM during the summer months

Summer Hours of Operation

Monday to Friday – 8:00 AM to 11:00 PM
Saturday – closed
Sunday – closed.

The Grad Club will open on weekends for events or conferences
Call 519-661-2111 ext 86386 or e-mail to set up your event.

Free parking after 7:00 PM.

Mill St Backyard Smoker BBQ

Order a Mill St product and enter to win a backyard smoker BBQ

No purchase – must be 19+ to enter
See your server for more details

Dinner & Movie
Purchase one of our dinner special and you can purchase a Western Film movie for $3.50. Voucher is good for any movie.


Trivia Tuesday: 7:30 PM – 10:30 PM
Come early to get a good seat

Every Thursday: Come and enjoy the music of Rick McGhie – 8:00 PM start

Every third Wednesday of the Month the OSC is hosting Boardgame night starting at 6:00PM. You can purchase a bottle of Bud Light, Shock Top or Goose Island IPA for $3.50.

Get Your VanHoutte Coffee Card

Buy ten coffees and get one free.

Lunch Specials

Tuesday – 11:30am – 1:30PM
Pad Thai or Buffalo Chicken Wrap – vegetarian options available

Wednesday – 11:30am – 1:30PM – $10.25 one trip
Indian Buffet (South Asian Cuisine)

Thursday – 11:30am – 1:30pm – $8.50
Create your own Pasta; gluten free pasta available

Friday – 11:30AM – 1:30PM
Themed buffet

You can find all of our lunch and dinner specials on the Grad Club website

Book the Goblet

To reserve The Goblet of Knowledge for your upcoming defense party, call Marc 519-661-2111 ext 86386.

Monthly giveaways

Winners can pick up their Grad Club certificates in the SOGS office during regular office hours, and their names will be posted in next month’s newsletter.

Photo contest

Congratulations to our April winner, Danielle Alcock. April’s theme was pets & other beloved animals. I feel like we could all use more adorable pets in our lives, so I’ve opted to include all the photo submissions from this month. From left to right, we have:

  • Our winning photo of Cooper, a 2.5 year old beagle/rottweiler mix (submitted by Danielle Alcock)
  • Charlie the dog (submitted by Carolyn Hill)
  • Pippin the cat, being intrigued with the couch (submitted by Matea Drljepan)
  • One dressed up cat (submitted by James Hughes)
IMG_9370 Charlie IMG_20160412_183948 2016-01-31 19.20.47

Please contact met at if you’d like your pet’s photo removed.

May’s theme is a bit cheesy: May Flowers. Many of you may have noticed the beautiful landscaping efforts already in bloom on campus, or maybe you have your own gardens or a favourite park of which you’d like to share a photo. Send your photo into; the winner will be randomly selected, and their photo will be featured in next month’s Update newsletter.


Each month, SOGS hosts a trivia contest featuring information from our newsletter or our website. Correct answers are entered into a draw and four students will win a certificate to the Grad Club! Please email your response to by May 31.

May Question:

Every year, SOGS, PSAC 610, and SGPS collaborate to organize the Graduate Student Teaching Awards. How are winners recognized?

April Winners:

Congratulations to our April winners:

  • Carolyn Hill
  • Chantal Lemire
  • Heidi Kellett
  • Jagriti Sharma

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