The Poetic Sequel: The Morphing Morpheme Study

The Poetic Sequel: The Morphing Morpheme Study

3 years done, “The Study” stretches ahead of me, ready to commence? and I look back

to 3 years ago, a study defined and laid out, I thought it was good but it was not

each stone was laid out and as I moved forward, large chunks of stone would fall away

one block would crumble, unnoticed, until oh! that’s right

I did have a different plan, didn’t I, not that long ago, was it.

I would look up, look ahead, see down other paths and observe

other paths already laid before me and ones that had merged

and I realize again and again little details, small adjustments to be made

maybe embellishments that just… make more sense along this path.

I speak with others and new ideas emerge

sometimes my vision and their visions differed

and I only realize later, when new designs are drafted

red markings on the page would say, I thought you said…

so it morphs, yes it does, doesn’t it.

 

What Kind?

I planned to teach, to train, to intervene many children

but no, just a few

but no, let’s not intervene, let’s assess

so I will instead test and test and test

I will describe and explore and lay new ground for future work, and that will be good.

 

What Measure?

I will teach morphemes, I said, yes, the mean-ing-ful and the intent-ion-al

in lists and tests and the manipula-tion of morphemes

and will this help a child to learn to read, will it?

but wait, there are also phonemes, the p-a-r-t-s of w-or-d-s

and an awareness of these p-ie-c-e-s, these parts, I will measure this.

No, I will not teach, no, but instead it will be convers-ation-al

and I will write it all down and find morphemes within…

And reading, well, it will be real words and fake words

no, also speed and accuracy!

and understanding whole sentences, it will

no, no speed and accuracy, no time, not needed, scratch that.

 

Who?

oh so many different children with abilities to hear

through the ear through the cochlear machine through the what?

ok, no cochlear machine, narrow the focus

only the aid that makes sounds louder but does not recreate sound, new sound.

and how old? yes, older, like teenagers

no no no, that’s not right, younger, youth

well, child, yes fresh in school, learning to read, that is right, that is good.

 

But do you see? it’s not just me, it could be you

and you too will lay out your foundation and breathe a sigh of completion

then time will pass and plans will change, that’s ok

our thoughts will revise and reimagine and refresh, that’s even better.

Don’t hold tight to your plans, keep moving forward down that path

it’s okay if the path behind you crumbles, adjusts, is reinforced behind you

it will all make sense in the end, the path may be more narrow yet stronger

it may split into several small tracks, it may suddenly merge with another

a path will become more than just a path, it will build a journey and a destination

or lead to new paths, nay, we will build networks that link to other paths

it will all make sense, we will make sense of it all.

And so it continues, and morphs, and changes

I have a dream!, a vision, a fledgling plan

ask me tomorrow, what is my plan?

we shall see, won’t we.

 

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The Morphing Morpheme Study

The Morphing Morpheme Study

This article was originally published on Speech-Language & Audiology Canada’s blog, Communiqué, on September 29th, 2017. It has been republished here with permission.

Part 5 of the blog series Finding the PhD in Me. Read part 4 here.

 By Bonita Squires, M.Sc., S-LP(C)


It is hard to believe, but I have just begun the third year of my doctoral program! I was successful in passing the oral defence of my comprehensive exams at the end of March, so the only thing left ahead of me is: “The Study”.

In the fall of 2014, I drafted up my first vision of what “The Study” might look like for my application to the PhD in Health program at Dalhousie University. While, at the time, I felt driven to implement the study that I was proposing, a number of aspects of my proposed study have changed dramatically since then. As I look around at other research trainees, I see the same process happening over and over: an original plan is made that will inevitably change before it is finally implemented. If you are considering undertaking research training, you will need to be comfortable with a plan that gradually morphs as you read about designs of similar studies, write papers on related topics and meet for discussions with supervisors/collaborators.

How The Study has Changed Over Time

What Kind of Study?

I first planned to test the language abilities of a large group of students who are deaf or hard-of-hearing (DHH) then conduct a group intervention. The challenge with conducting a group intervention study is either I do all the intervention sessions myself (since I have no research assistants working for me) with children spread out all over the province, or the intervention would be implemented by a variety of different teachers. This design began to appear rather impossible. So a year ago I changed my plan to what is called a “single subject design” with only three or four students that I would work with directly. This would have required weekly repeated testing and teaching over several months, meaning that I would have need to do a lot of driving to reach even two students per day (if I were lucky). This past December, I decided to focus solely on a “descriptive study,” gathering more information about the abilities of children who are DHH without including an intervention at all.

What to Measure?

I started off with an interest in morphological awareness (MA), the ability to consciously manipulate meaningful parts of words called morphemes (e.g., re-build-ing). The intervention would teach MA skills to see if they would help to improve passage reading comprehension abilities. For awhile I re-aligned my focus to single word reading only but have now decided to evaluate reading abilities in three ways: single word reading, reading fluency and reading comprehension. Also, aside from MA abilities, there is a similar skill called phonological awareness (PA), the ability to consciously manipulate the smallest parts of words called phonemes (e.g., sh-i-p). PA skills are known to support early reading, so I ended up including PA skills in “The Study” along with MA skills (but no MA intervention). Finally, after doing some work with language samples in our research lab, this winter I decided that I will also collect a 10-minute language sample from which I will be able to see which morphemes children use in spontaneous conversation beyond the well-studied plural – and past tense –ed.

What is the Purpose of the Study?

Originally, my primary goal was to test the efficacy of an MA intervention. With the inclusion of PA skills, I decided to compare how MA and PA might impact each other and reading abilities. The change to a larger group study minus the intervention allows me to include a control group of hearing children and explore relationships between morpheme use, MA, PA and reading. I am particularly interested in how these relationships might differ between hearing children and children who are DHH.

Who to Include in the Study?

Initially, I wanted to include students who are DHH in grades 4 to 8 but after further reading, I determined that grades 2 to 4 would be best for the group testing but grades 2 to 3 would be ideal for the single subject intervention group. With the focus now back to a larger group, grades 1 to 3 will be comparable to other studies that investigate morphological development. I have also decided that I should include only children who wear hearing aids and have mild to severe hearing levels and exclude children who have cochlear implants. This will help to focus the study.

The Takeaway

What does this all mean and why am I telling you this? In short, research requires flexibility and adaptability. The truth is, we have grand plans when we undertake doctoral studies. We think that in some small way we just might change the world. We think that we can tackle the greatest challenges immediately and want to “do all the things” in one study. Yet, our research context, our resources, and our growing awareness of what has been done (and what still needs to be done) will guide unanticipated changes to our fledgling research plans.

For now, I will focus on what is feasible, what will perhaps contribute a small yet novel piece of the literacy puzzle to the greater body of literature, and what builds on my own developing skills and interests. The Study will indeed happen one day (I hope to begin testing in the fall!) and I look forward to finding out exactly what its final iteration will look like.

In my next blog post, I will discuss ethics and my humble thoughts on hearing privilege as I undertake research with individuals who are DHH.

For more information on research design, I suggest you take a look through the succinct descriptions provided by the University of Southern California: http://libguides.usc.edu/writingguide/researchdesigns.

Don’t forget that SAC has research grant opportunities for clinicians. If you are interested in conducting research and require funding to do so, go to: http://www.sac-oac.ca/about-sac/clinical-research-grants.

5 Tips for Employers & 4 Tips for Instructors with Noticeable Differences

5 Tips for Employers & 4 Tips for Instructors with Noticeable Differences

Have you ever taken a class where the instructor began speaking with a strong accent and you wondered if that would affect your ability to learn?

Have you ever been taught a physical skill by someone with a physical difference in relation to you? Did you wonder if you would learn as well from them as from someone with the same physical abilities as you?

As a student, we wonder these things and in turn, employers wonder if students wonder these things. Employers must consider both client and staff comfort. Their business depends on smooth service delivery, happy staff and satisfied clients. When hiring staff, they take this into account and will not hire someone that they think will not be a “good fit”, in other words, will cause them or their clients discomfort.

What does this mean for people who have a noticeable difference and who are looking for employment, especially as instructors of a topic they are passionate about?

I’m certain that we all advocate for hiring employees who have any sort of disability or difference and yet, these individual often struggle to find employment that suits their interests in Canada, the United States and beyond.

My hope is that this post addresses these concerns by giving employers some tools to feel more confident in hiring instructors with differences that could be seen to impact the learning experience of students.

In general, the employer’s responsibilities are to ensure that the instructor’s difference is accommodated for and that the instructor is comfortable setting students’ minds at ease about their ability to teach the material competently. Below are 5 things to keep in mind as you strive to accomplish this.

5 Tips for Employers & Instructors with a Difference

  1. The instructor and employer will need to accept and embrace the difference. This person will always be the same person with the same difference. For example, a person who stutters will always be a person who stutters, even on days when the stuttering is not outwardly noticeable.
  2. The instructor and employer should feel open to discuss the difference with each other. The instructor is the most knowledgeable about what works and does not work with regards to their difference. The instructor is the expert here and should be treated as such. For example, an instructor who has a hearing loss is the only person who knows what they can hear, what conditions get in the way of their ability to understand, and what supports they may need to ensure that they can communicate effectively with students.
  3. The employer must realize that for communication-related differences, the instructor’s communication may vary from day to day. Certainly, the instructor has likely learned some techniques that help to communicate more clearly that they may use when possible. Some days a person who stutters or a person with a strong accent will be able to speak more clearly or techniques will be working well. Other days will not go as smoothly. That is not their fault and is typically out of their control! Check out Megan Washington’s TED talk on being a person who stutters and a musician.
  4. The employer needs to know that the instructor will feel comfortable addressing their difference with students. If the instructor’s difference is not discussed, it may become a taboo topic that will be a distraction for students during instruction. The more comfortable that a person feels about their difference, the more comfortable the listeners will feel. This is perfectly demonstrated by Maysoon Zayid in her TED talk on being a woman with cerebral palsy.
  5. The instructor should be the one to talk to students about their difference(s), NOT the employer. If the employer tries to address the subject with students and the instructor does not, this will undermine the students’ confidence in the instructor. The instructor will be best able to set students’ minds at ease that they know what they are doing and they know best how to accommodate their difference. In the eyes of the students, the employer has already shown confidence in the instructor’s capacity to teach by hiring them.

4 Tips for Instructors on Communicating Directly with Students about their Difference(s)

  1. Start a class with a new group with business-as-usual, casually mention your difference and how you expect students to react. For example, if you are a person who stutters, allow yourself to stutter (or incorporate purposeful stuttering), then casually mention something like, “Oh, and I stutter sometimes so it’s helpful if you wait patiently for the stuttering to pass then refocus on what I’m saying. It does not help if you try to encourage me to breathe or take my time.”
  2. Directly mention that you recognize that your difference could be distracting for students at times (without being apologetic) and encourage students to focus on what you are saying. For example, a person with a strong accent may say, “I know that my accent is different than yours and you might not always understand what I’ve said. Please let me know if you missed something so that I can clarify.” Having visual supports, like a whiteboard, can help clarify as needed.
  3. Frequently ask students to summarize what has just been said. This is a common teaching technique anyway but could be used more than usual. This will keep students working to focus on the message, not the difference. For example, an instructor with a facial tic may notice that a student’s eyes have glazed over as they stare at the instructor, which may be because they are focused on the repetitive twitching. The instructor can ask the student to repeat back what was just said, encouraging the student to keep focused for the next time they are asked to summarize what the instructor has said!
  4. Address any physical limitations early on so that you can explain what kinds of accommodations you will make in your instruction. For example, if you have a prosthetic arm, you may say, “If I’m demonstrating a move, I’ll ask one of you to show me the move back to make sure it was clear and to provide a second demo.”

As a final perk, remember that your students have differences too, many of which are not visible to you. Hiring a more diverse set of instructors will lead to a more diverse and accepting student body!

Employers, go forth and hire diverse instructors who are passionate and competent! Differences do not need to be a barrier to their employment or to the students’ experiences.

Let’s Simplify Our Language, Shall We?

Let’s Simplify Our Language, Shall We?

There are these things called “policies”. This is a term that loosely means “the rules we should follow”.

If you’re a nurse, you should wash your hands after working with a patient. If you’re a teacher, you will do X-Y-Z for tests when you have a student who is dyslexic in your class. If you wish to build a bridge, you must get an environmental assessment done to measure the impact of your project on the surrounding ecosystem. These are “policies”. Sometimes they are formally written up in legal documents. Sometimes, as in “clean up your dishes when you are done with them”, they are evidenced only by a note on the fridge in the staff lounge.

There is movement in the research world to ensure that more formalized policies are not only developed, but also dynamically evaluated, leading to such models as this one, the classic policy cycle:

Screen Shot 2017-05-14 at 8.59.26 PM

I have a bit of a beef with the presentation of models like this one. I find it too dense, all nouns and academic-y jargon, which I have talked about in a previous post fittingly titled Reading Academic-y Jargon.

And I am presumably an academic yet still find this dense. I need a second to process the words and phrases, analyze their meaning, and create examples or definitions in more common language in my head as I read.

Why do we add this degree of obtrusion?

I would like to appeal to the academic masses to please label models and flow charts such as this one with more digestible language and a clear point to each stage.

I have adapted the above to something that makes more sense to me:

Screen Shot 2017-05-14 at 8.59.49 PM

Is it too unofficial? It is certainly a slight simplification but do we not need to read further into the assigned labels anyway for clarification? Does the de-abstraction cause it to lose some of its officious academic appeal?

I prefer to think not but feel free to judge for yourself.

 

Image from http://xboxaddict.com/Article/297/Tablo—A-solution-for-an-OTA-DVR-for-Xbox-One.html

The Poetic Sequel: Jobs Where You Can ‘Get Your Research On’ as a Clinician

The Poetic Sequel: Jobs Where You Can ‘Get Your Research On’ as a Clinician

Once your PhD reaches completion, sights set on employment

A place to produce, to collaborate, to earn

Is academia the sole destination for your research enjoyment?

Why no, no indeed, there’s so much you did learn!

 

As a researcher, it’s clear, study design becomes easy

Your sharp mind can envision, can ensure data’s collected

You can arrange data points in a way that is pleasing

To analyze, report, present, publish as expected

 

But there is so much more, like your ability to organize

To lead and train others, solve problems, no sweat!

Your ability to communicate, collaborate and advise

 

You can write, write, write, write!

 

So the jobs you could get:

 

Of course there’s Professor, which gives much flexibility

To break new theoretical ground with the utmost agility!

 

Be a Clinical Researcher and start your own business

See your own clients, run studies, you must be ambitious

 

Or step up and be Head Scientist in a hospital

Daily inspiration surrounds you, knowledge translation is critical

 

 

Prefer to not be the boss? Clinical Associate might suit you

Be the star clinician you are, with a flair for peer review

 

How do you feel about Clinical Research Coordinator?

Stay behind the scenes, mastermind, like a knowledge creator

 

Perhaps Clinical Services Manager is your future role

Clinicians appreciate evidence-based protocol

 

Finally, you may work in Industry with a PhD

Make your skill set work for you in a career externally

 

Wherever you choose to go with your PhD, your vocation

I hope it is worth every darn grant application!

 

Image credit: Oh, the Places You’ll Go! by Dr. Seuss

 

4 Tips for Getting Through Your Comprehensive Exams

4 Tips for Getting Through Your Comprehensive Exams

Early this week, I completed the written portion of my comprehensive exams. In the PhD in Health at Dalhousie University, this process involved taking exactly 6 weeks to write three 15-20 page essays (plus references) on three questions that are directly relevant to my proposed study. In about two weeks, I will meet with my comps committee for the oral defence of my essays.

Before starting my comps, I found pretty much zero tips to guide me in getting through it. So I fumbled around and, guess what?, I made it happen. As will you! But, in case you like to have ideas in advance, below are four tips that I figured out along the way.

Tip 1. Get a reference manager and fill it

Collect articles in a reference manager that will let you cite in-text and automatically generate a reference list. I used zotero because I really like the Chrome extension that lets me easily clip any article I find online directly to zotero. I know that other PhDers are using Mendeley and loving it. Some labs use RefWorks with Write-n-Cite.

The only downfall I’ve seen with using a reference manager to automatically generate your reference list is that you really need to make sure that your references are properly entered into the ref manager in the first place. The biggest issue that I had to keep fussing with was the title needing to be all in lower case except the very first word, the first word after the colon, and proper nouns (APA style).

Another issue was that the author’s full name needs to be consistently entered. For example, you couldn’t enter my name as Squires, B.J. and Squires, Bonita for two separate publications, or it will cite the author in text with the first name or initials to show that it thinks they are two different people.

Tip 2. Use a time tracker app

I knew that I needed something to motivate me to write every day. I also knew that I love looking at pretty data (what researcher doesn’t!). So I realized that I wanted a visual representation showing me how much time I spent on my comps every day.

I ended up using a simple, free online time tracker called Toggl. It’s designed for businesses to have employees track the time they spend on different projects but it was perfect for my purposes.

Toggl_bar graph.jpg

So motivating! I even did some of my own calculations and figured out my mean number of hours per day and the standard deviation…

It also spits out how much time I spent on different tasks if I’ve been diligent about identifying them (I was). So now I can look at how much time I spent on each essay doing the readings versus writing the paper itself and compare across all three essays! Doesn’t that sound exciting! Below you can see my breakdown for the last week of my comps:

Toggl_task breakdown.png

Maybe you don’t want to use a time tracker app? Fine, but find something that motivates you that taps into the tried-and-true motivators that game theorists have known for decades: we like to see progress. We love it. Even the littlest accomplishment can be motivating. Maybe you would prefer to stick a star on your wall for each half hour you spend working on your writing. Or perhaps you plan to report to a friend every day on what you’ve accomplished. Whatever it is, commit to it.

Tip 3. Give yourself time to think

On my first day after I received my comps questions, I hacked out a simple outline for each paper based on what I knew already. In the end, I didn’t use any of those outlines.

As I delved into readings and tried to write, I would constantly realize how certain ideas tied in to other ideas, or how the literature lent itself to a certain storyline that I hadn’t thought about.

Sometimes I would pace my apartment, thinking, “Does that argument really make sense?“. Or wake up and lie there, thinking, “How come no one’s studied that yet? How will I argue my point now?”. Or walk my dog, thinking, “Somehow I need to tie in that other idea, where should it go?”.

The important thing that I realized was that I couldn’t stress out while I was thinking. I couldn’t let anxiety build up over not being in the midst of adding words to the page. I can’t even tell you how much I wrote that I ended up erasing… it was probably equivalent to the amount of writing that I ended up submitting. Some of that could have been avoided if I had let myself think more first.

4. Own your writing time

Find the best and most productive times for you to write and stick to them. I happen to be most lucid and productive late at night. By the time 10:30pm rolls around, suddenly I get a razor-sharp focus and tappity-tap goes my keyboard. But of course, that means I’m writing until at least 2am. Clearly, I was not getting up at 7:30am to be ready to write again at 9am.

I found it really hard to try to justify to people why I wasn’t getting up early in the morning (edit: in the morning, period) to “be productive” because “that’s the best time of the day to get things done” and “by the afternoon you already have so much under your belt“… No.

I won’t be shamed. There are plenty of personal and brain-based reasons as to why I go to bed so late and would really prefer to get up late too. Early mornings are just not how my brain or my life works. I finally decided to just own it.

If you’re an early morning person then kudos to you. Own that. If that’s when you’re most productive and that means people try to shame you about why you need to go to bed so early (“but the night is young!“, “live a little!“), don’t listen. Find your sweet writing time and own it.

All in all, I managed to submit my essays on time without undue stress and I feel proud of what I pulled together. I also learned a lot. My writing improved, my writing process became more efficient, and I feel so much more comfortable with the literature in my field.

It was a dynamic and rewarding process and I can honestly say that (assuming I pass the written portion…) I truly am looking forward to the oral defence!

 

Jobs Where You Can ‘Get Your Research On’ as a Clinician

Jobs Where You Can ‘Get Your Research On’ as a Clinician

This article was originally published on Speech-Language & Audiology Canada’s blog, Communiqué, on December 5th, 2016. It has been republished here with permission.

Part 4 of the blog series Finding the PhD in Me. Read part 3 here.

By Bonita Squires, M.Sc., S-LP(C)


I have been thinking a lot about where I could work once I graduate. How can I leverage the skills I develop through my PhD into a career? Where can I combine both my skills as a researcher and my skills as a clinician? I have done some searching and I’d like to share seven types of positions I have come across where you, too, could one day ‘get your research on’ as a clinician.

PhD Skills

Before we go through the positions, let’s look at the skills you can acquire by doing a PhD. First and foremost, I think of my PhD as an opportunity to develop further training in research. This may seem straightforward, but what skills do you gain when you become better at research?

Research-Specific Skills

  • Selecting the appropriate study design
  • Controlling variables, so you are studying what you think you are studying
  • Data collection for research instead of clinical goals
  • Data organization for analysis
  • Statistical analysis with quantitative data
  • Analysis of qualitative data (e.g., interviews, survey results)
  • Sharing research results with academia (e.g., posters, abstracts, talks)
  • Writing articles for publication in peer-reviewed journals and books
  • Writing grant proposals

Transferable skills

  • Project management (this is a big one!)
  • Leadership and training
  • Giving presentations to a wide variety of audiences
  • Problem identification and analysis
  • Collaboration with other researchers and professionals
  • Self-management and positive work habits
  • Fine-tuning logical arguments

Great, but what employers out there are looking for individuals with these skills? Quite a few, in fact! If you’re someone with clinical experience who went to all the trouble of obtaining a PhD, you could be eligible for any of the positions below.

1. Professor/Researcher in Academia

The majority of PhD students enter their programs with the goal of becoming an academic. In this setting, you have the flexibility to define your own research questions, potentially redefining our current understanding of theoretical and/or applied knowledge! This is a good position for a person who is interested in breaking new ground and who enjoys collaborating with others on a variety of projects. There are fewer opportunities to flex your clinical chops, however, professors can use clinical experience to make their research and teachings more relevant.

2. Clinical Researcher in Private Clinic/Institute

Of course, you can always create the job and setting that suits you best by starting your own company! As an example, Dr. Joanne Marttila Pierson and Dr. Lauren Katz started their own institute, the Literacy, Language and Learning Institute, where they provide speech-language pathology services and conduct research studies.

3. Clinical Investigator/Head Scientist in Medical Setting

A clinician with a PhD is a good fit for hospitals and clinics where research is valued. For example, Dr. Elizabeth Fitzpatrick, Aud(C) conducts research as head scientist with the CHEO Research Institute in Ontario alongside her position as an associate professor at the University of Ottawa.

4. Clinical Research Associate

If you prefer hands on work over research design, you may be the perfect fit for a research institute looking for clinical associates. Your deep understanding of research design would make you an ideal assessment/intervention administrator who will adhere closely to the research goals of a study while your clinical background will help you to understand how best to share research results with working clinicians.

For example, a job posting for a clinical research associate position with the National Center for Evidence-Based Practice in Maryland stated, “The purpose of this position is to participate in the Association’s efforts to promote evidence-based practice among its members. This will involve development of educational initiatives as well as projects to make scientific research more accessible to clinical audiences.”

5. Clinical Research Coordinator/Research Project Manager

If you enjoy the administrative side of clinical work more than being on the front line, you may be more suited to coordinating and managing research studies. In this position, you could be coordinating research studies that fall within any area of health or education and working for a research lab within the government, industry, non-profit or health sectors.

For example, this past summer the BC Children’s Hospital Research Institute was looking for a research project manager in the area of immune regulation. The qualifications regarding educational background specified only “Undergraduate degree in a relevant discipline. PhD in a life science discipline is an asset. Minimum of three years experience or the equivalent combination of education and experience.”

6. Manager of Clinical Services

You may not work in a position directly connected to a research lab but use all of your fine-tuned transferable skills (listed above) as a programs manager. For example, the Children’s Treatment Network recently advertised an opening for a programs and services manager on the SAC website. With clinical experience, highly developed project management experience AND a clear understanding of the meaning of ‘evidence’ in ‘evidence-based practice’, you could be a shoo-in for the job. In fact, the above position required knowledge of statistical data analysis, which most clinicians don’t acquire without advanced research training.

7. Industry Work with a PhD

Finally, we cannot forget that many, many people have obtained PhDs and not used those research-specific skills in any apparent way. They have become consultants, directors, CEOs, entrepreneurs, educators, inventors, authors… and the list goes on. There is an increasing amount of information available to doctoral students regarding positions with industry, for example, popular conferences such as Beyond Academia, Twitter accounts such as @withaphd or @cheekyscience, and websites/blogs such as Next Scientist. Using all these tools, you can find plenty of advice on how to adjust your resume and sell your skills in a job interview for a non-research-related position.

I hope that I have given you some points to ponder regarding careers for communication sciences clinicians with PhDs. Perhaps one of the most important skills that you must develop as a research trainee is the ability to adapt to the constantly evolving nature of research projects, which will be the topic of my next post. As I progress through my PhD and develop my research study, this need for flexibility is something I am presented with daily…


Feature image caption: Bonita sits with other students, many of whom are also health professionals enrolled in the PhD in Health at Dalhousie University. Back row, left to right: Jeffery Zahavich (exercise physiologist and physical education teacher), Sara Limpert (health policy analyst), Peter Stilwell (chiropractor), America Cristina Fracini (physiotherapist), Logan Lawrence (studies health policy and knowledge translation). Front row, left to right: Crystal Watson (recreational therapist), Bonita Squires (speech-language pathologist), Neda Alizadeh (occupational therapist).

Photo Credit: Daniel Abriel.