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Get Schooled

Graduate student-produced radio show and podcast airs on CHMR

Student Life

By Cam Thi Hong Ho

A new monthly 30-minute radio show featuring Memorial University graduate students will see its debut episode air on CHMR this week.

The show’s host is Natalie Dignam, a master of arts student from the Department of Folklore, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences.

The two main goals of the show are to showcase the wide variety of original research conducted by graduate students at Memorial University and to help graduate students thrive as they work through their programs.

“When Hans Rollman, CHMR’s program director, and I decided to do this podcast, we wanted to find a way to bring graduate students into the studio and give them an opportunity to talk about their research,” said Ms. Dignam, who is writing her thesis on Newfoundland craft beer. “Grad students at Memorial are working on really cool projects, and being able to tell people what you’re researching is an important skill.

“The other half of the show is about resources and skills for grad students,” she continued. “A lot of times, as I’ve gone through grad school, I’ve wondered if I’m doing it right. So, it’s a great opportunity for me to learn how to be a better student and hopefully these interviews help other grad students, too.”

The graduate student experience

The show will explore the many aspects of the graduate student experience by featuring interviews and discussions on important topics such as support for mental and physical health, professional development resources, writing resources, internationalization opportunities and more.

Get Schooled’s first season will have 12 episodes. In the first episode, titled The Unknown is Opportunity, Ms. Dignam interviews Andrew Kim, director of enrolment services at Memorial’s School of Graduate Studies, about how students can find success in graduate school.

Some broad themes they will explore during their conversation are the supports offered by the school, such as professional and academic development programs, connecting with other students and community by joining graduate students groups and associations and the importance of having a plan.

In the second half of the episode, Ms. Dignam speaks with Akseli Virratvouri, a PhD student in the folklore department, about his research on ritualization in Finnish cannabis culture and his interest in researching cannabis use in Canada.

From left are Akseli Virratvouri and Natalie Dignam during Get Schooled at CHMR.
Photo: Rich Blenkinsopp

The second episode, which will air in March, will offer tips about about crafting a winning curriculum vitae and will feature an interview with a graduate student researching rape culture in the Church of Latter Day Saints (also known as the Mormon Church).

Get Schooled: Grad Student will air on CHMR 93.5 FM on Thursday, Feb. 7, at 1 p.m. Listeners can tune in at 93.5 FM or online at www.chmr.ca. After the initial broadcast, the show will be available for streaming and download online.

“This show will be of interest to everyone: Graduate and undergraduate students, faculty, staff and the community,” said Dr. Aimée Surprenant, associate vice-president (academic) and dean, School of Graduate Studies. “It will showcase our students’ research and scholarship while also giving information on surviving and thriving as a graduate student. Tune in and listen!”

If you have any comments or suggestions for the show, please contact Hans Rollmann, CHMR program director, or Natalie Grace Dignam, Get Schooled producer and host, at chmrpd@gmail.com.

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