2017 Online Conference

We are pleased to provide you with highlights from the Faculty of Graduate Studies and the Athabasca University Graduate Students’ Association 2017 online graduate student conference. The theme of the conference was “Knowledge Without Boundaries”.  There were 17 presenters representing the graduate programs. The topics reflected the theme, revealing the range of research topics, methodologies, and yet the cross-disciplinary similarities.  All abstracts were peer-reviewed resulting in professional, well-written, and rigorous presentations. Awards were provided for the top ranked abstracts.

Dr. Neil Fassina, President provided opening remarks highlighting the opportunity that an online university provides for accessible education. Being able to learn from your community and apply your knowledge and skills in that community, without leaving it. Knowledge and learning crosses disciplines and is no longer limited by geography or the lack of technology.

The keynote address was by Dr. Hugh Notman “Definitely not a tourist: Conducting research in a developing country“. He spoke about the practical, cultural and ethical issues related to conducting research in the jungles of Belize. The main points learned from his presentation was the unconscious values we hold and the perceptions of the poverty-stricken individuals in the villages near the research site.  There is an enormous contrast in not only our socioeconomic status when in a poverty-stricken area, but also the dilemma that researchers encounter when their purpose is to conduct research, but they see the desperate need and sometimes pleas from local residents for help from the research team. To what extent do you help them?

The conference evaluation revealed positive comments from the presenters, some who were at the beginning of their program, while others were recent alumni. Yes, new graduates — there is an end to your studies!!

” Enjoyed listening to the presentations and gave me ideas for how best to conduct my own in the future.”

“It is a unique, accessible and non-threatening context to learn share and network with like minded professionals. “

“It was a great experience for a first-time research presenter. I felt comfortable presenting from home. “

“A great experience to gain an understanding of the types of research being performed by fellow students and to gain insight into different styles of presenting research “


The following are the recorded sessions of the conference.

Closing remarks


You can view or download the Abstracts, Biographies and PowerPoint/PDF slides from the various presenters below.


Ainsley McQueen

1.07 MB | 432 downloads

April Steele

516.11 KB | 461 downloads

Becky Azzano

1.15 MB | 421 downloads

Caylee Kreller

2.15 MB | 451 downloads

Daphne Broadhurst

1.35 MB | 428 downloads

Dr. Hugh Notman

1.92 MB | 418 downloads

Kelli Buckreus

1.34 MB | 402 downloads

Maria Manese

1.70 MB | 471 downloads

Marie Lippens

1.02 MB | 417 downloads

Miriam Perry

631.98 KB | 410 downloads

Natasha Hammond

1.80 MB | 383 downloads

Nathalie Lachance

1.31 MB | 391 downloads

Oxana Pavlenko

1.13 MB | 363 downloads

Philip Hau

351.61 KB | 368 downloads

Sarah Parfeniuk

871.98 KB | 394 downloads

Stephanie Jones

0.00 KB | 370 downloads

Stephanie Obara

275.79 KB | 377 downloads

Steve Swettenham

554.29 KB | 450 downloads