ReCon: Inspiring Our Academic Community
ReCon is an annual graduate student REtreat and CONference run for students, by students from the Physical Education & Recreation Faculty. At ReCon, we promote and celebrate graduate student research, leadership, and professional development, in a supportive environment that encourages interaction and builds community among students, staff, and professors. We also retreat to the mountains for a number of recreational and social activities, including hiking, mountain biking, and yoga. ReCon may only be one weekend in the mountains, but the sense of community that it develops helps to support students for the entire year!
Check out our program to see what we did at ReCon IV!
“It’s a great way to start the year and get to know other people. It brings us closer together as a faculty. And the breakfasts are AWESOME and so were the mountains.” (anonymous, ReCon III evaluation)
Our Graduate Program
The Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation at the University of Alberta is an exciting community for graduate students! This renowned faculty in physical education and leisure studies comprises diverse perspectives and approaches to human movement. We have graduate students come from all over the world to specialize in a multitude of fields, including sport, recreation, adapted physical activity, sociology, psychology, dance, physiology, coaching, and more! This is highlighted at ReCon, where a truly multidisciplinary academic conference takes place over the span of three days.
Our graduate program aims to ensure all students are able to effectively communicate/present their research ideas, and to develop professional skills for success in their careers. We as graduate students have expressed the need for opportunities to develop the skills necessary to progress in academia. ReCon was developed as a unique initiative to address this need!
Our Campaign Goal
To ensure the sustainability of the event moving forward, we have embarked on this fundraising project with a goal of raising at least $10,000. In addition to the base funding provided by our faculty, this money will help subsidize the cost for students at ReCon, allow us to offer more enhanced opportunities for the next three years, and making sure that each student has the opportunity to attend the event. The funds we raise will be put directly into an account that is devoted to hotels, transportation, food, and any other costs incurred directly by graduate students attending ReCon.
ReCon has been running for four years and in that time has grown to a conference that was attended by approximately half of our student body in 2013. Each year our program expands to include new and innovative directives. Two years ago we initiated the inspirational student-nominated Rod Murray Memorial Address in collaboration with our graduate student society and Rod's family and friends. This past year we invited an alumni speaker to commemorate the 50th anniversary of our faculty, and we also expanded our scientific program to include short oral presentations. Those who have attended also indicated how much they enjoyed the conference, with 95% of last years attendees saying that they would recommend the conference to others!
ReCon is also a wonderful uninterrupted opportunity for new students to become acquainted with their program, develop professional skills, and bond with fellow students. Twenty-three of the twenty five new students in our faculty attended the conference last year.
“The best part about my first year in graduate school was ReCon” (Mathieu Wiest, 1st year PhD student).
ReCon also creates opportunities each year for graduate students to take on small and larger leadership positions on the committee. Each year we have had more and more students get involved, and last year there were six students on the committee as well as other students on sub-committees! This student-run aspect of the event is unique and integral to the success of ReCon.
In closing, we hope that you believe (as we do!) that ReCon is an event and tradition in our graduate program that should continue for years to come. Your support, may it be financial or by word of mouth, will be key to making this happen! Thanks for taking the time to learn about ReCon!
"ReCon made a huge difference for me as a new student because it was a chance to meet my colleagues and faculty members, and learn about their research in a weekend dedicated to this. Now I see friendly faces around campus that make me feel at home and connected with my faculty." - Kim Curtin.
"Moving from England ReCon gave me the opportunity to feel a sense of community when I first arrived in Edmonton. It enabled me to meet the faculty in a relaxed environment, and in a nonthreatening manner exposed me to the type of research that is conducted within our faculty. This really helped me start my PhD program feeling safe, supported and motivated!" - Laura Watson
"As a new student, ReCon was important for me to meet my fellow grad students and get acquainted with the diversity of research in the Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation. Without this conference, I wouldn't have established such a broad support network and I probably would have felt fairly isolated in my own research field for the duration of my studies. Considering mental health issues are a growing problem in university students, it is important that new students feel connected and supported by their peers. ReCon provides this opportunity to all new grad students in the Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation." - Kim McFadden
"I think for me, one of the best things about ReCon is that it's a low stress environment. I can tend to be anxious about meeting new people, so the fact that ReCon provides a variety of ways to get to know people (e.g., professional development seminars, dinners, etc.) has been really helpful for me." - Ariel Dimler
Thanks for your support thus far! We have 9 days to go in our campaign and we've reached 43% of our goal! Let's finish strong!
One great thing about ReCon is that it provides an opportunity for students to take on leadership roles. This past year we had 7 graduate students organize the event, and another handful of students support them. The focus of the graduate student organizers is to plan an event that is truly tailored to the wants and needs of their fellow graduate students. Helping organize ReCon is very meaningful to the student organizers. Check out the video testimonial below that highlights Jodie Stearns' experience with ReCon. Jodie has been the Co-Chair of the ReCon Committee for the past two years. http://youtu.be/jUcCax6lmTA
Want to help us get the word out about ReCon? Please share our campaign on social media:
Twitter: Help support graduate students at #ualberta offer enhanced educational opportunities https://ualberta.useed.net/projects/125/home
Facebook: Supportive academic communities allow students to flourish. Help Physical Education and Recreation Graduate Students at #ualberta build their supportive community and offer enhanced educational opportunities: https://ualberta.useed.net/projects/125/home
ReCon is an important event in our faculty as it represents the beginning of a culture shift among graduate students. Academic pursuits, from classwork to scholarship and job applications, are inherently competitive. It is easy to feel like your fellow colleagues are competitors and lose sight of the fact that we can all learn from each other. Attending ReCon provides an opportunity for students to create support networks. By the end of the weekend we feel more like friends and colleagues and less like competitors. This is the kind of environment that will help graduate students flourish.
If you want to help us build a strong and supportive academic community, please share check out and share our link: https://ualberta.useed.net/projects/125/home
Bud and Barb Wilkes
Mary Ann Rintoul
21 supporters have chosen not to be listed for "ReCon: Inspiring Our Academic Community".
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