Aug 10, 2021 | News & Updates

Students to Share their Research at Inaugural CEI Student Research Symposium.

Student presenters include, top row, from left: Anika Chassé, Courtney McKay, Mia Landi, Sarah Laffin, Preet Banga. Middle row: Evan Fortin, Hannah James, Aliyah Fraser, Meagan Kettley. Bottom row: Kenzie MacNeil, Laura Cormier, Jeneva Dennis, Carrigan Martell

Rigorous, robust, important, and interesting student research will be front and centre when the inaugural CEI Student Research Symposium, a five-day digital event featuring research presentations by student interns connected to the Centre for Employment Innovation (CEI) and Coady Institute, takes place online Aug. 16-20. The event is open to all.

The symposium will include 13 unique presentations from current and recently graduated StFX students on a wide-range of timely and relevant topics, ranging from, ‘When You Can’t Stay the Blazes Home – Ethnographic Research on Black Essential Workers During COVID-19’ to ‘Education to Employment Transitions of Refugee Newcomers in Rural Nova Scotia.”

Organizers say what excites them most about the event is the research—the presentation topics are diverse and interesting, and it will be exciting to have students share their methods, findings, and learnings from this summer with a broad audience.

“The intention of the CEI Research Symposium is two-fold,” say members of the CEI Student Research Symposium planning team, which includes Joel Murphy, Brenda Gatera, and Marian Turniawan.

“The first intention is to create a space where students can present on their research. The research that these students are doing is rigorous, robust, important, and interesting. The hope is to create a space where they and their research is treated with the respect it deserves.

“The second is to create a capacity building opportunity for student researchers to experience applying to and participating in an academic conference. For some student researchers, this will be their first experience with this type of ‘academic conference,’ so we hope to increase their confidence and ability to engage in this type of context in the future. We also decided to have students moderate the panels to build those skills.”

Student presenters are looking forward to the event and the opportunities it brings.

“Having the opportunity to participate in the research symposium means a great deal to me,” says StFX student Courtney McKay who will present on “Women, the Workforce and Social Justice Advocacy.”

“It provides myself and the other interns an opportunity to bring awareness to topics we are passionate about and hopefully create beneficial impacts for others in the long term,”

She says the event also gives students a chance to build skills and confidence that will be pivotal in future endeavours. “I am grateful to our intern leadership team and the CEI as a whole for this opportunity, I am looking forward to both presenting as well as learning from my fellow presenters.”

Laura Cormier, who will present, “Supporting Student Interns: A Learning Framework,” says having the opportunity to moderate and present will give her the experience of speaking in an academic setting and help to improve her communication and research skills.

“To me, having this space to share means that my work and the work of my peers over the summer is appreciated and is being given the chance to further mobilize and reach folks who don’t immediately work with the CEI.”

She says the symposium showcases just some of the leadership that takes place among youth who are student interns or scholarship recipients in the innovation sector, which is the kind of recognition that many young people don’t receive in their work. “This is something I’m passionate about and has been a focus of my and others’ research connected to the CEI throughout the summer. I hope that my participation in this first symposium can inspire other youth to get involved with similar research opportunities and to learn more about how the CEI values youth in the workforce.”

The event is completely online and there is no cost to attend. All are welcome. Attendees can choose to register for some or all of the presentations. To learn more about the research presentations, presenters and/or to register for a session, please visit:


*This article was originally published on the StFX University website. Click here to view the originally published story.