The Graduate Student Online Workshops Project is a collaborative virtual event series focused on developing and sharing graduate student skills during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.

Moving to an online model for content delivery has certain challenges over in-person seminars, but provides many opportunities including dramatically increased accessibility for cross-disciplinary knowledge sharing and networking among our fellow graduate students and between our universities.

Our technical workshops will be hosted by professors and fellow graduate students, and delivered intentionally for an interdisciplinary audience. Our Mental Health workshops will be facilitated by professional counsellors.

All workshops will be hosted via Zoom webinar. Materials for each event will be posted on this website.



past workshops

Writing Through Challenges: Strategies and Resources for Graduate Scholars

Friday, August 21, 2020 | 2-3:30PM

This workshop empowers graduate scholars to identify and overcome writing challenges. After critically reflecting on their own writing habits, participants are introduced to a wide range of strategies and resources that can help them to develop and maintain more effective writing practices.

Facilitator: Maša Torbica

Maša Torbica is a PhD Candidate in English Langauge and Literature at the University of Waterloo, working as a Graduate Fellow at the UW Writing and Communication Centre. Her dissertation research is supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, and she is a 2020 recipient of the Amit and Meena Chakma Award for Exceptional Teaching by a Student.

Twitter: @m_torbica

Strategies for Providing an Inclusive Learning Experience

Join us for another Graduate Student Online Workshop on Monday, August 24th from 10am to 11am with Ladan Mowlid.

Ladan is Western University’s Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Education Coordinator. She is also a PhD student!

Ladan will be discussing strategies to use within your virtual or in-person classroom space to best foster an inclusive learning experience for students across all backgrounds and identities. We hope to see you there!

LaTeX Writing Basics

August 11, 2020 from 3-4:30PM

This workshop will introduce you to the fundamentals of the LaTeX platform to get you comfortable with formulating documents and articles. You will learn how to initiate a document, how to import images and resize them, how to create chapters and sections, and some basic mathematical writing. Additionally, we will explore how LaTeX handles labelling and figure/table referencing.

The workshop will involve a screenshared approach to demonstrate the use of Overleaf in real-time.

Workshop Materials

To participate fully in the workshop, we will use Overleaf, an online platform for creating LaTeX documents ( You will require an account to use Overleaf, and if you prefer to use a desktop client, you may do so as well, however some examples may not be relevant.


Facilitator: Max Salman

Max Salman is concurrently working towards his second Master’s Degree and PhD, working towards developing new methods and strategies for executing geophysical surveys in a safer and more efficient fashion for both mining exploration and environmental monitoring. Mas is the former Vice President of the Graduate Student Association at the University of Waterloo and is currently serving his second term as a UWaterloo Senator and Governor. Max founded the Grad LaTeX Writing Workshop in 2017 at UWaterloo, and continues to facilitate this workshop on a yearly basis. In addition to the workshop, Max also founded the Open Pianos in University Spaces program at UWaterloo, placing indoor and outdoor pianos on Campus. In his free time, Max enjoys playing piano, and recently has taken up gardening. Max is also a commercially licensed pilot and enjoys taking friends flying.


Twitter: @TheGeophysGuy

Student-Supervisor Relationship Foundations 

July 10, 2020 from 3-4PM

In this workshop, Dr. Natalia Lapshina will cover the research findings from her doctoral student-supervisor study, discuss some real examples of student-supervisor relationships, as well as strategies for improving these relationships.


Facilitator: Dr. Natalia Lapshina

Dr. Natalia Lapshina completed her doctoral program in Psychology at Western in 2015. Her research interests cover several areas including: experiences of trauma, abuse and discrimination at work; mental health and resilience; supervisory relationships. Throughout her employment at Western, she has mentored and supervised a number of graduate students. Their stories motivated a research project on doctoral student-supervisor relationships that was conducted at Western in collaboration with SOGS. 

Exploring Graduate Student Rights: A Policy Overview

July 17, 2020 | 11AM-12PM

Join us for our second Western-hosted workshop on exploring rights and policy that apply to YOU with Larissa Bartlett, Director of Western’s Equity & Human Rights Services.
Larissa will be giving an overview of harassment and discrimination policies for graduate students to better understand their rights as a person, employee, and mentee to their supervisor. 
*Note: This event is limited to Western graduate students
Watch the RECORDING of the workshop here!

challenging the status quo: navigating racial and cultural considerations in grad school
July 24, 2020 |11AM-12PM
Join the SOGS Academic Committee and their partners at McMaster and Waterloo for the second Western-hosted online workshop with Ladan Mowlid, Western’s Equity, Diversity, Inclusion Education Coordinator. 
This workshop will focus on the various aspects of navigating supervisor/supervisee and departmental relationships. The core themes of discussion will include self-advocacy, discrimination, and community building both within and outside of home departments. We will discuss the nuances of each theme while also providing tips and resources for attendees to take away! We invite you to ask questions and engage in this free flowing dialogue!

Facilitator: Ladan Mowlid

Ladan Mowlid is a Student Affairs professional who is currently the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Education Coordinator with Western University’s Student Experience Team. Ladan holds a Master of Education in Higher Educational Leadership from Mercer University and is currently pursuing her PhD in Higher Education at the University of Toronto. She was the first Canadian Alumna of the NASPA Undergraduate Fellowship program and has presented at conferences including the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators and the Somali Studies in Canada Colloquium.

Ladan is also a co-founder of Somali Scholars which is a non-profit organization that supports first generation Somali-Canadian youth with achieving student success through mentorship and programming. She is deeply passionate about using education to empower historically marginalized students while simultaneously supporting them with navigating the institutional barriers of higher education.

She is excited to be a part of this workshop and looks forward to the fruitful discussions to come! 


Harnessing Potential: Professional Development Opportunities & Beyond

July 30, 2020 | 11AM-12PM

In partnership with Thriving Thursdays GradLife sessions with Monica Munaretto, Manager of Graduate Student Life at Western University, she will be discussing professional development opportunities with graduate students as it relates to the student-supervisor context including: how to manage expectations, take on professional development opportunities outside of the student-supervisor context, and thrive as a graduate student. 

Facilitator: Monica Munaretto

Monica Munaretto is the Manager of Graduate Student Life with Western Student Experience. Throughout her career she has held various positions in student services with graduate and undergraduate students, and through her PhD research she has developed a deep interest in graduate student success. Currently a doctoral student at the University of Toronto, she has also completed two Masters degrees – M.A. (UBC) and M.Ed (OISE/Toronto). She is exploring how doctoral students develop their career plans and the impact of the experience on their academic progress.


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