Getting Involved as a Graduate Student During COVID-19

Author: Carly McIntyre-Wood



Beginning your graduate experience during COVID-19 may seem daunting. However by immersing yourself in the many programs and associations available through the Neuroscience Graduate Program and McMaster, you can make both lasting social connections and a difference in the community!


Below are just a few of the options available to you to help you get involved and connect with your fellow graduate students.




Out of Our MiNDS


Combining neuroscience education and community outreach, Out of Our MiNDS is an extremely rewarding way to get involved. This program includes leading workshops to facilitate exposure to neuroscience in schools, such as teaching neuroanatomy with sheep brains and introducing students to neurophysiology with a brain-computer interface-controlled claw. While in-person, in-school visits will not be possible this term, we are currently developing exciting new ways to continue with outreach and encourage everyone to get involved!


Check out https://www.somamcmaster.ca/out-of-our-minds.html to learn more and contact outofourmindsoutreach@gmail.com if you would like to be involved in the next event!




Students of MiNDS Association (SOMA)


Throughout the term, SOMA will be hosting virtual events that are an easy and fun way to get to know your fellow neuroscience students. SOMA has recently created a Discord server and purchased a Jackbox subscription to facilitate online game nights and casual hangouts. Look out for the Discord invitation in your McMaster email inbox if you haven’t joined already, and watch for notifications for upcoming virtual events. You can also follow SOMA on Instagram @soma.minds, Facebook @soma.minds, and Twitter @somaminds!




Graduate Student Association (GSA)


The GSA holds workshops and virtual events that are a great way to network and learn new skills. Keep an eye out for emails, check their website, and follow their Twitter @MacGSA to find and register for events. You can also peruse the many clubs that are affiliated with the GSA on their website at https://gsa.mcmaster.ca/get-involved/clubs/.


Current events include a Hamilton Scavenger Hunt put on by SciGSA which is running until September 28th. Find out more at: https://gsa.mcmaster.ca/2020/08/31/scigsa-virtual-scavenger-hunt/.




BrainWaves


If you enjoy writing and working with a wonderful team, BrainWaves is a great way to get involved. By joining the BrainWaves team, you can write articles that help inform your fellow students or be involved behind the scenes with website management. Check out our previous issues at https://www.mindsnews.ca/ to learn useful information on various topics, such as preparing for your committee meeting and advice from the Neuroscience faculty on how to succeed in graduate school. To join the team, contact our Editor-in-Chief, Dr. Ryan Van Lieshout, at vanlierj@mcmaster.ca or our Editor, Carly McIntyre-Wood, at mcintc10@mcmaster.ca.




If you’d like to dig a bit deeper, more information regarding campus-wide clubs, including the McMaster Women in Science & Engineering (WISE) initiative and our local chapter of NeurotechX, can be found here.


Get involved, you won’t regret it!