New College
Wednesday September 05, 2018 9:30 — 4:45

CCR Approved - large icon

Get a head start on your senior year! This event will help you prepare for fourth-year courses and assignments and for graduate or professional school applications. It will also introduce you to career options beyond academia. The conference focuses on these essential skills for senior students:

  • Critically evaluating research and communicating findings in literature reviews, grant proposals and presentations
  • Conducting effective literature searches
  • Identifying and communicating your relevant abilities in applications

Lunch and refreshments will be provided!

This event is eligible for Co-curricular Record validation.

Who can participate?

Third and fourth-year students in the Human Biology Program.  Priority is given to fourth-year students.

**Registration is now closed, but we anticipate being able to admit several students off of our wait list. If you would like to be added to our wait list, please register here!

Please note that because spaces are limited you must be available to participate in all the events and workshops


Time Event Location
09:30–09:45AM Sign in and find a seat. Refreshments will be served. D.G. Ivey Library, Wilson Hall
09:45–09:55AM Introductions (W. Ju) D.G. Ivey Library
09:45–11:00AM Reflecting on your learning: From your senior year to beyond (F. Taverna & L. Newbery)
How have you developed and matured intellectually during your degree? In this workshop, you’ll work with some self-assessment tools that can help you understand your strengths, identify your goals for fourth year, prepare to address gaps in preparation, and describe your strengths and abilities effectively as you apply for graduate schools, professional schools or jobs.
D.G. Ivey Library
11:00–11:15 Break and refreshments

Concurrent Workshops I

Whether you go on to a career in research, health care, health policy or business, you will need to make and communicate critical assessments of research. These workshops address key forms of scientific thinking and communication that you will meet in upper-year assignments and in post-graduate, health care and workplace settings.

Registration for breakout sessions will be conducted separately via a Quercus site in late August.

How to Read (and Not to Read) a Primary Research Article (M. Papaconstantinou) WE52
Designing Poster Presentations (C. Dockstader) WE54F
Writing grant proposals (R. Wilson) WE54G
Using advanced research skills (A. Kwak & J. Newman) Computer Lab (Lower Level, Ivey Library)
Designing oral presentations (F. Taverna) WE54D
12:15–01:00PM Lunch & Learn.
Meet and learn from individuals who have taken their science education into diverse disciplines beyond research and academia, including mental health advocacy and financial consulting. Featuring Andrew Manis (MBA), Bianca Pivetta (Hon. BSc) and Vanessa Bancheri (Hon. BSc.).
Lobby outside the WE54 series classrooms

Concurrent Workshops II

How to Critique Primary Research (P. Whissel) WE52
Building a Bibliography Using Zotero (J. Newman) Computer Lab (Lower Level, Ivey Library)
Writing Literature Reviews (A. Dias & L. Newbery) Ivey Library (Upper Level)
Designing poster presentations (C. Dockstader) WE54E
2:00–2:15PM Break and refreshments Lobby outside the WE54 series classrooms

Concurrent Workshops III

How to read (and not to read) a primary research article (M. Papaconstantinou) WE52
Writing literature reviews (A. Dias & L. Newbery) Ivey Library (Upper Level)
Designing oral presentations (F. Taverna) WE54G
Using advanced research skills (A. Kwak & J. Newman) Computer Lab (Lower Level, Ivey Library)
 Break and refreshments Library

Panel Discussion


Dr. Ashley Bruce


Dr. Andras Kapus

Sandy Lee 

Drawing on their own experience, our panelists will lead us in a discussion of the core critical skills an emerging scientist or health care practitioner needs. Take this opportunity to think through your own current and future professional development and goals. Refreshments will be served and there will be lots of time for questions and conversation.



Dr. Ashley Bruce came to the University of Toronto in 2004 from the US.  She is a developmental biologist who uses the zebrafish embryo as a model system to investigate how cells rearrange to generate the adult body plan.  She is a member of the Department of Cell and Systems Biology and she became the director of the Human Biology Program in July 2018.

Priscilla Chan is a 2nd Year MSc student in the Institute of Medical Science under the supervision of Dr. Michael Fehlings. Prior to starting her graduate studies, she was a research student in the lab, conducting research on spinal cord injury and stem cell therapies. Her current work builds upon her experiences as she bioengineers stem cells to optimize their efficacy.

Dr. Andras Kapus is a Professor in the Dept. of Surgery and the Dept. of Biochemistry, the Associate Vice-Chair of Research at the Dept. of Surgery, and a research scientist and head of the critical care platform at the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute/Keenan Research Centre of St. Michael’s Hospital, where he also directs the Research Training Centre. His research foci include cytoskeleton regulation, epithelial functions including cell volume control, ion transport as well as epithelial and mesenchymal plasticity as it pertains to tissue fibrosis.

Sandy Lee is a graduate student at the Institute of Medical Science at the University of Toronto. She completed her undergraduate degree at UofT, double majoring in Health and Disease and Cell and Molecular Bio. Currently, her research focuses on global characterization of the secretome in normoxia and hypoxia in head and neck cancer. Her current venture highlights contemporary issues in the biomedical research community: the waste of unusable reagents and the reproducibility crisis. Her venture, Shareome, enables scientists to rapidly share resources in real-time and increase lab efficiency through a novel mobile communication platform.


Lunch and Learn Speakers

Vanessa Bancheri graduated from the University of Toronto with a Neuroscience major. Through her own personal experiences with mental illness, she has become a mental health advocate with a passion for making positive change in the field of mental health. This passion brought her to create a nonprofit organization for youth mental health, Your Mind Matters. She hopes to make an impact on youth and help mental health get the attention it deserves through three avenues: improving scientific knowledge, removing stigma and increasing support. 

Andrew Manis completed a Honours of Bachelor of Science at the University of Toronto (2011) with a double major in Human Biology and Biology, followed by a Masters of Business Administration at Carleton University (2012). The skills gained from this education, which include problem solving, communication, analysis, and collaboration, have been pivotal to Andrew’s success in the work place. He is currently a Senior Manager in RBC Global Procurement, where he is responsible for developing bold cost management strategies for IT related spend categories.

Bianca Pivetta graduated from the University of Toronto with a major in Health and Disease and minors in Biology and Physiology. She currently works in clinical and educational research at St. Michael’s Hospital with a gastroenterologist and clinical nutritionist. During her university career, however, she found her true passion — advocating for changes in mental health support. This realization led her to co-found Your Mind Matters, a non-profit organization that aims to empower and support youth struggling with mental health.


Workshop Presenters

  • Alistair Dias, Associate Professor, Teaching Stream, Human Biology Program
  • Colleen Dockstader, Assistant Professor, Teaching Stream, Human Biology Program
  • William Ju, Associate Professor, Teaching Stream, Human Biology Program
  • Aneta Kwak, Accessibility and Public Services Librarian, Ivey Library, New College
  • Liz Newbery, Director, New College Writing Centre
  • Maria Papaconstantinou, Associate Professor, Teaching Stream, Human Biology Program
  • Jeff Newman, College Librarain, Ivey Library, New College
  • Franco Taverna, Associate Professor, Teaching Stream, Human Biology Program
  • Ron Wilson, Associate Professor, Teaching Stream, Human Biology Program
  • Paul Whissel, Sessional Lecturer, Human Biology Program

This event is sponsored by
  • New College Initiatives Fund, New College
  • D.G. Ivey Library
  • Human Biology Program
  • New College Writing Centre