Category: Graduate

GSG Merit Awards – Winners Announced

This years awardees for the Graduate Student Government Merit Awards have been decided. A total of 88 nominations were received from departments all across campus. The decision process was not an easy one as there was a very strong pool of nominations this year. We are very grateful to all of our nominees for all of the work they put in to improve and enrich the life of our graduate students.

Without further ado, here are the award winners:

  • Exceptional Staff Member – Claire Wiitanen, Administrative Aide from the Physics Department
  • Exceptional Graduate Mentor – Victoria Bergvall, Associate Professor of Linguistics, Humanities
  • Exceptional Student Leader – Jacob Blazejewski, a PhD student from Mathematical Sciences
  • Exceptional Student Scholar – Nancy Henaku, a PhD student from Humanities

Congratulations to our winners and all you have done for our graduate students!


PhD Candidates Celebrated at Advancement to Candidacy Ceremony

RTC PhD candidates were celebrated at the first annual Advancement to Candidacy Ceremony conducted by the Graduate School for all ABD students. Attending the ceremony with their advisors were the following:

Gabriel Edzordzi Agbozo (advisor Dr. Vicky Bergvall)
Nada Mohammad A. Alfeir (advisor Dr. Patty Sotirin)
Joshua Chase (advisor Dr. Abraham Romney)
Marina Choy (advisor Dr. Patty Sotirin)
Geethu Madeckal Jose (advisor Dr. Patty Sotirin)
Sara T. Potter (advisor Dr. Patty Sotirin)
Hua Wang (advisor Dr. Marika Seigel)


RTC PhD Candidate attends Europe Games Research Summer School

Over the summer of 2019, RTC PhD Candidate, Lyz Renshaw, participated in the Higher Education Video Game Alliance (HEVGA) Europe Games Research Summer School held in The University of Skövde, Sweden from August 21 to 23. The school was attended by PhD students and graduate students who are working in areas connected to digital games — Renshaw’s dissertation falls within this research area.

Lyz shared her experience:

The experience was great, working alongside other graduate students from schools such as University of California Irvine, Wisconsin-Stout, IT Copenhagen and Uppsala University. We had speakers from all over Scandinavia attend, including scholars from University of Skovde, Uppsala, and Gothenburg. I was given the opportunity to present a chapter of my dissertation and receive feedback from senior researchers and peers, including a graduate student who works directly with many of the scholars I base my work on.

Outside of the intended goals of the program, it was also enlightening to see how higher education is different internationally, how curriculum is designed, courses run, expectations of graduate students.

I also left the program with a collaboration project in the works, taking a previous paper I had present at the e-sports conference at UCI last year (and at an RTC colloquium last year) and pairing up with a graduate student from that university who had seen my earlier work.

 


RTC Best Conference Paper Award

The RTC program is excited to launch the Graduate Student Best Conference Paper Award. This award seeks to recognize and promote excellence in RTC graduate students’ research and scholarship and is made possible thanks to support from the Humanities department. All current students are eligible for the award, which comes with a $500 fund. The RTC encourages students to submit their recent papers for consideration. A student may submit only one paper per year. To apply, please follow these submission guidelines (PDF).


RTC Colloquium: The Injunction to Forget with Dr. Ramon Fonkoué

The RTC Committee will present the last of the Fall Colloquium Series this Wednesday, 12/05 at 1RTC Colloquium #3:00 pm in Walker 109. Dr Ramon Fonkoué will present a paper entitled “The Injunction to Forget: State Engineering of Collective Memory in Postcolonial Cameroon,” adapted from a chapter in his forthcoming book on nation building in Cameroon.

This paper will address the post-colonial state’s attempts to impose a sanitized version of the history of the country’s anti-colonial struggle, the resulting lack of potent symbols for the nascent nation, and the manifestations of the people’s “dissident knowledge.”

Abstract: Upon gaining independence, the leaders of Cameroon denied the status of martyrs to the nationalists who had paid the ultimate price for their opposition to the colonizer. Deprived of this symbolic capital, the state was condemned to an improbable quest for beacons of the nascent nation. Using Michel Foucault’s concept of “discursive formation,” this presentation investigates the state’s attempts to monopolize historiography in the aftermath of Cameroon’s war of independence. In independent Cameroon, the leaders’ claim to legitimacy was undercut by the people’s “dissident knowledge” about the nation’s “silent” heroes. As a result, political discourse, which is divorced from popular memory about the past, sees its performative power undermined by the impossibility to mourn the nation’s deaths. This paper concludes on artistic expressions of defiance to sanctioned discourse on history. 


Nancy Henaku Publishes in African Journal of Rhetoric

Nancy HenakuNancy Henaku, Rhetoric, Theory, and Culture PhD candidate, has published a paper in the African Journal of Rhetoric titled “Rhetoric, Power and Political Crisis: A Rhetorical Discourse Analysis of Ghana’s 2012 Election Petition”.

Henaku argues that “courtroom discourse during Ghana’s 2012 election petition was not meant to just persuade the panel of judges and that power framed and determined what was significant in the courtroom interactions.”

Discursive construction of power during cross-examinations is complicated by the fusion of ‘legal’ and ‘political’ power which impacts the production of the three modes of proof (ethos, pathos and logos) and ultimately, determines the outcome of the case itself. —Nancy Henaku, RTC PhD candidate


William De Herder Publishes Paper on Multiliteracies Center

William De HerderWilliam De Herder, Rhetoric, Theory, and Culture PhD student, has published a paper in Praxis: A Writing Center Journal in which he discusses Michigan Tech’s own Mulitliteracies Center. The paper is titled “Composing the Center: History, Networks, Design and Writing Center Work.”

I hope that other centers might learn from our experience and consider deploying similar strategies to question and reflect on how their work can accommodate new technological realities and pursue social projects. —William De Herder


Faculty and RTC Graduate Students Present at OSCLG Conference

R.T.C. group at conference. Pictured from left to right: Victoria Bergvall, Toluulope Odebunmi, Sara Potter, Patty Sotirin, Nancy Henaku, Modupe Yusuf, Nada Mohammad Alfieir, and Nancy Achiaa Frimpong.Michigan Tech Humanities graduate students and professors presented scholarly work at the annual Conference of the Organization for the Study of Communication, Language, and Gender in Lake Tahoe, Nevada October 3-6, 2018.

Masters Graduate student Nancy Achiaa Frimpong presented “Skin Colour on Sale: Advertising and Postfeminism”. Doctoral Graduate student Nada Mohammad Alfieir presented “‘I Didn’t Understand Anything!’ A Muslim Mother’s Narrative Reflections on Privacy, U.S. Sex Education, and a Daughter’s Denials”. Doctoral Graduate student Sara Potter presented “Motherhood as a Jointly Constructed Narrative”. Doctoral Graduate student Modupe Yusuf presented “African Women as Symbols of Feminist Persistence”. Ph.D. candidate Toluulope Odebunmi presented “Women and Politics in West Africa: An Analysis of Feminist Criticisms Against Liberia’s Ellen HJohnson Sirleaf”. Ph.D. candidate Nancy Henaku presented “Resistance, Discursive Activism and Gender Politics in Ghanaian Social Media: A Feminist Critical Discourse Analysis” and also served as the student representative on the OSCLG Board. Ph.D. candidates Nancy Henaku and Toluuope Odebunmi presented papers on the panel, “African Women Performing Persistence: Tales of Historical and Contemporary Contributions to Global Activism”.

Professor Victoria Bergvall presented “Missing Voices in the WEIRD Discourse of Gendered Neuroscience: Transnational Feminist Discourses of Nature and Nurture in Gender/Sex/Sexuality”. Professor Patty Sotirin presented “Militarized Mother Legacies: Talking with WWI Mothers”.

Pictured from left to right: Victoria Bergvall, Toluulope Odebunmi, Sara Potter, Patty Sotirin, Nancy Henaku, Modupe Yusuf, Nada Mohammad Alfieir, and Nancy Achiaa Frimpong.