Water Initiative for the Future (WatIF): Graduate Student Conference
About: The WatIF is Canada's premier graduate student conference run by students for students designed to empower graduate students to become strong, passionate leaders, and to create a community of early water professionals. This bi-annual conference is hosted at Queen's University in Kingston, ON.
4th WRC-GSS Student Organizing Committee
Background: WatIF was inspired by a local symposium held in 2013 at Queen’s University in Kingston. The Water Research Centre (WRC) at Queen’s University hosted an annual local graduate student symposiums between Queen’s University and the Royal Military College of Canada (RMC) to showcase research across the two campuses. The 4th Annual Water Research Centre Graduate Student Symposium was the first organized by graduate students, including WatIF co-founders Donya Danesh and Sarah Thompson, WatIF2014 committee member Dan Lamhonwah, and symposium volunteer Hussain Aqeel. After seeing the breadth and depth of water research simply within RMC and Queen’s, this initial team of students realized how isolated they felt to their individual research and how disconnected they were from the early water research community as a whole [across Canada]. Ms. Danesh, Ms. Thompson and Mr. Lamhonwah aspired to share the sense of community, unity, and inspiration they gained from this local symposium with other graduate students across Canada. The team also felt that an opportunity was needed for graduate students across Canada to share their water research across disciplines, so they decided to create a unique platform tailored specifically to students.
Student Organizing Committee: A committee of approximately 20 graduate students from a wide variety of disciplines at Queen’s University and RMC are recruited every two years to carry out the full organization of WatIF. This unique team is given the opportunity to learn not only the ins and outs of conference organization, but also how to lead their peers, foster collaborative relationships, and communicate across disciplines (to join the WatIF 2016 team click here).