No. 472 - September 22, 2021

  • Coming Events:

    - POSTPONED: Create/Collaborate! Virtual Coffeehouse
    - "Studying the COVID-19 Infodemic at Scale"
    - Social Media Workshop: "Computational Approaches to Studying Anti-Social Behaviour in Social Media"
    - Open Access Policy Town Hall
    - "The Right to Repair: Struggles Over Digital Tools and Consumer Rights"
    - FIMSwrites - Virtual Edition
  • Important Dates:

    - Thursday, September 30, 2021 - National Day for Truth and Reconciliation
  • News & Announcements:

    - Call for Papers - mediations: a workshop series
    - Subscribe to the Graduate Research Blog
    - Assistance for Faculty and Grad Students to upload your research to Western's Open Access Repository, Scholarship@Western
    - In Memoriam: Catherine Ross
  • Awards & Accomplishments:

    - Brooke Brassard
    - Nicole Dalmer (LIS PhD'18)
    - Amber Matthews
    - Cindy Morrison
  • Publications & Presentations:

    - Mason Brooks
    - Giada Ferrucci
    - Marni Harrington
    - Heather Hill
    - Julie Lowe
    - Danica Pawlick-Potts
    - Darryl A. Pieber
    - Richard Raycraft (MMJC'16)
    - Samantha Richard (MA'21, Media Studies)
    - Paulette Rothbauer
    - Kamran Sedig
    - Sandra Smeltzer
    - Sam Trosow
  • In the Media:

    - Yimin Chen
    - Sally Kewayosh
    - Sofia Locklear
    - Jessica Mole (MLIS'16)
    - Jessica Nahmias (MIT'07)
    - Ajit Pyati
    - Matt Stahl
    - Sam Trosow
  • Additional Activities of Note:

    - The Guardians of Sleep Podcast Available Now
  • News from the FIMS Graduate Library:

  • FIMS Undergraduate Round-Up:

    - Environmental activist Hannah Alper joins FIMS
    - Undergraduate Summer Research Internship Showcase
  • Next Issue:

Coming Events

Create/Collaborate! Virtual Coffeehouse
Friday, September 24, 2021
7:00 - 8:30 p.m.
Zoom Webinar
New date and time will be shared as soon as its available.

"Studying the COVID-19 Infodemic at Scale"
Thursday, October 28, 2021
3:30 p.m.
Zoom Link
Featuring Anatoliy Gruzd, CRC in Privacy-Preserving Digital Technologies and Director of Research at the Social Media Lab, Toronto, as part of the 2021/2022 FIMS Rogers Chair event series. Everyone is welcome.
Abstract: False narratives about COVID-19 have gone global and are spreading almost as fast as the virus itself. Since January 2020, there have been over 10,000 false and unproven COVID-19 related claims shared via social media and other channels. This presentation will discuss how researchers at Ryerson University's Social Media Lab, in partnership with the World Health Organization (WHO), are spearheading an international effort to help stem the rise and counter COVID-19 misinformation via the COVID-19 Misinformation Portal. More event information available here.

Social Media Workshop: "Computational Approaches to Studying Anti-Social Behaviour in Social Media"
Friday, October 29, 2021
10:00 a.m - 12:00 p.m.
Zoom (Register here)
Featuring Anatoliy Gruzd, CRC in Privacy-Preserving Digital Technologies and Director of Research at the Social Media Lab, Toronto, as part of the 2021/2022 FIMS Rogers Chair event series. This workshop is open to FIMS graduate students.
Description: In less than a generation, social media has moved into the center of modern life. It has altered many aspects of our daily lives, from how we form and maintain social relationships to how we discover, access and share information online. However, the same platforms have also given way to troublesome anti-social behaviours such as online trolling, cyberbullying, and expressions of hate speech. In some online communities, what is commonly referred to as 'anti-social' may be a communal norm and a way to socialize. But, that is not the case in most online communities where such behaviour may negatively affect the overall group cohesion and may have psychological and emotional consequences for individual social media users.

This workshop will demonstrate how to use automated content analysis to detect and study anti-social behaviours present in social media. The presentation will introduce and discuss advantages and disadvantages of two common approaches often used to detect instances of 'anti-social' behaviour in online discourse: lexicon-based and machine learning approaches. The presentation will conclude with the introduction of Communalytic, a new online research tool for studying online communities. More workshop information available here.

Open Access Policy Town Hall
Thursday, September 30, 2021
9:00 a.m - 10:00 a.m
Zoom Webinar (Register here)
As the Provost's Task Force on Open Access and Scholarly Communication continues with consultations for the development of a university-wide open access policy, you're now invited to respond to a draft of Western's Open Access Policy. At these one-hour Zoom sessions, you'll learn about how the draft policy came to be and will be given an opportunity to voice questions and perceptions about open access policies. You'll also be given time to share specific feedback about Open Access Policy draft. Your input will help shape the future of open access across our university community. After registering for the Town Hall at the link provided, you will be sent connection details. More event details available here.

"The Right to Repair: Struggles Over Digital Tools and Consumer Rights"
Thursday, October 7, 2021
7:00 p.m - 9:00 p.m.
Zoom (Register here)
Featuring Frank Pasquale (Brooklyn Law School), Steven J. Jackson (Cornell University) & Alissa Centivany (FIMS, Western University) as part of the Big Data at the Margins series.
Abstract: Why has it become so difficult to fix our things? What happens to our environment, economy, and culture when repairing our things becomes unappealing or impossible? What would robust and comprehensive provisions supporting repair look like, and how would such protections help our planet, our communities, our wallets, and our senses of self? The fourth event in our series examines the challenges and opportunities situated around the right to repair movement. Increasingly, technology design is guided by private interests that are incompatible with repair (continue reading).

FIMSwrites - Virtual Edition

Every Thursday
9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Via Zoom
Do you expect to have paper, story, article, report, thesis, or book deadlines coming up? Does having other people writing around you help keep you on-task? Then join FIMSWrites, an informal initiative to provide some solidarity in the sometimes-solitary writing process. All FIMS graduate students, staff and faculty are welcome to bring their favourite writing devices and join us to write and check in. If you're interested, contact Pam McKenzie at

Important Dates

- Thursday, September 30, 2021 - National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

News & Announcements

Call for Papers - mediations: a workshop series
The mediations organizing committee are welcoming proposals for the Fall 2021 term workshop series from any member of the FIMS and UWO communities - students and faculty alike - on any work that engages with the rich, diverse, and loosely defined disciplines of Media and Information Studies. Check your Western email for the Call for Papers message containing all the details. The submission deadline is Thursday, September 30, 2021.

Subscribe to the Graduate Research Blog
Graduate Students are invited to subscribe to the Graduate Student Research Blog. The blog provides research information for graduate students - scholarship, fellowship, internship and other funding announcements, tips on writing scholarship/funding applications, and other research-related tidbits.

Assistance for Faculty and Grad Students to upload your research to Western's Open Access Repository, Scholarship@Western
MLIS student Andrea Tonkovic is available to assist FIMS researchers and FIMS graduate students to upload their presentations and publications to Scholarship@western, Western's open access repository. Andrea can be reached by email at; email her if you have questions or would like assistance uploading your material to Scholarship@western.

Andrea also is available to assist FIMS researchers and FIMS graduate students to set up ORCIDs. ORCID is a 'persistent digital identifier' that distinguishes individual researchers. Researchers can link existing scholarly productions to a new ORCID, and they can link new productions (presentations, publications, etc.) to the same ID. This gathers all scholarly production into a single, internationally recognized access point, which should minimize the need to maintain active profiles on the large (and increasing) number of online platforms such as Google Scholar, ResearchGate, and

In Memoriam: Catherine Ross
The FIMS community is grief-stricken by the death of Catherine Sheldrick Ross, who passed away on September 11, 2021. Professor Ross played a pivotal role as a Dean in the formation of the Faculty of Information & Media Studies between the late 1990s and into the mid-2000s. She died peacefully with her family by her side after a battle with cancer. She was 75.

It was Professor Ross' wish that student bursaries be set up in her name to support continued education in Library and Information Sciences and Media Studies. If you would like to contribute, you can do so here.

Awards & Accomplishments

Brooke Brassard was named winner of the Spirit of Librarianship Award on August 11, 2021. The award is given to a Master of Library and Information Science student to celebrate the contributions they bring to the program.

Nicole Dalmer
(LIS PhD'18) was named the new Associate Director of the Gilbrea Centre for Studies in Aging at McMaster University.

Amber Matthews, LIS PhD student, was awarded funding support from the Ontario Library Association's Research and Education Fund for her doctoral project.

Graduate Student Services Team Leader Cindy Morrison was named winner of the Fantastic FIMS Award on August 11, 2021. The award is given to a member of the MLIS staff or faculty to acknowledge and celebrate the contributions that they bring to the program.

Publications & Presentations

Associate Professor Sandra Smeltzer and Media Studies PhD students Darryl A. Pieber and Mason Brooks published the following article:
Smeltzer, S., Pieber, D.A., & Brooks, M. (2021). Experiential learning in the Canadian communications landscape. Canadian Journal of Communication, 46(3), 461-82.

Giada Ferrucci,
Media Studies PhD candidate, published the article, "In Afghanistan, opium is as big a winner as Islamic extremism," in The Conversation on September 1, 2021. The article was also picked up by the National Post.

Associate Professor Heather Hill, Library Director Marni Harrington, Associate Professor Paulette Rothbauer, and LIS PhD candidate Danica Pawlick-Potts authored the paper, "Decolonizing & indigenizing LIS," published in the Illinois Digital Environment for Access to Learning and Scholarship on September 20, 2021.

Richard Raycraft
(MMJC'16) authored the CBC News article, "Fact check: Can the federal deficit be eliminated in 10 years without cuts?" published on September 2, 2021.

Samantha Richard (MA'21, Media Studies) published her research, "Narrative's Role in the Retelling of True Crime Cases," to Scholarship@Western's Inspiring Minds Showcase.

Professor Kamran Sedig co-authored the following article:
Rostamzadeh, N.; Abdullah, S.S.; Sedig, K.; Garg, A.X.; McArthur, E. VERONICA: Visual Analytics for Identifying Feature Groups in Disease Classification. Information 2021, 12(9), 344.

Associate Professor Sam Trosow, who holds a joint appointment with the Faculty of Law, and MLIS student Julie Lowe authored the article, "Surfing the Fourth Wave: Riding out a Charter Challenge to University and College Vaccination Mandates," in CanLII on August 22, 2021. They also co-authored the article, "Canadian colleges and universities can mandate COVID-19 vaccination without violating Charter rights," published in The Conversation on August 25, 2021 and picked up by the National Post.

In the Media

Yimin Chen, LIS PHD candidate, was quoted in the article, "Perplexed by the Certified Lover Boy cover art? The experts explain," published in CBC Arts on September 3, 2021.

Faculty member Sally Kewayosh and Assistant Professor Sofia Locklear were featured in the Western News article, "New faculty help raise Indigenous voices across campus," published on September 3, 2021.

Jessica Mole
, (MLIS'16) was featured in the article, "'Big part of my future': New Tecumseth Public Library names Jessica Mole as new CEO," published in on September 19, 2021.

Jessica Nahmias (MIT'07) was mentioned as the producer of Netflix's new series, Motel Makeover, in the Western News article, "Western grads check in for Netflix debut," published August 16, 2021.

Associate Professor Ajit Pyati's research in the area of contemplative studies was featured in a Researcher Spotlight article, "Navigating the world and ourselves through contemplation," published to the FIMS website on August 26, 2021.

Associate Professor Matt Stahl was interviewed by CBC Radio for the article, "Rapper Cadence Weapon says under a 360 record deal, he was 'not personally making any money,'" published on July 10, 2021.

Associate Professor Sam Trosow was interviewed about the legalities of vaccines on campus on August 25, 2021 for CBC London Morning with Rebecca Zandbergen. Professor Troscow was also interviewed for the article, "Supreme Court sides with York University in copyright tariff dispute," published in University Affairs on September 7, 2021, and the CTV News article, "Do vaccine mandates violate Canadians' charter rights?" published on September 1, 2021.

Additional Activities of Note

The Guardians of Sleep Podcast Available Now
The Guardians of Sleep podcast, hosted by Professor Sharon Sliwinski and edited by Media Studies MA student Erin MacIndoe Sproule, with music by Andrew Braun (MA'20, Popular Music & Culture), is now available to listen on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and Stitcher. The Guardians of Sleep is the Museum of Dreams' new podcast in partnership with Museum of London (UK) and Birkbeck, University of London.

News from the FIMS Graduate Library

Welcome to new and returning FIMS graduate students! If you have any questions about resources or services to support your learning and research, don't hesitate to email or stop by the service desk in FNB3020. We'll be happy to assist you between 8:30 am and 5:00 pm, Monday to Friday.

New Staff in the FIMS Graduate Library
Please welcome new Graduate Student Library Assistants Mandy Forbes, Paul Hickling, and Patricia Quintero Jurado. Sara Clarke, who has worked with us previously in a student role, now joins us part time. Don't hesitate to ask questions when any staff are working at the service desk - we are here to help you with your library needs!

Introduction to ELIP, and our new Managing Editor
MLIS students will soon be familiar with ELIP's 2021-22 Managing Editor, Lisa Bowker. Lisa will be communicating with you about journal submission types, timelines, and more. She will also begin weekly drop-in hours in October to engage with you about submissions. More details coming soon!

Copy/Print/Scan credits
Need to add money to your Papercut account for printing at FIMS? We accept cash (only) at our service desk, and appreciate exact change.

FIMS Undergraduate Round-Up

Environmental activist Hannah Alper joins FIMS
Hannah Alper, one of Canada's youngest, and most outspoken, environmental and social activists, is among the first-year students who entered Western this fall. She joins FIMS' Media, Information & Technoculture (MIT) program with the hopes of becoming a journalist. Read more in "Change your world to change the world, says teen activist," published in Western News on September 8, 2021.

Undergraduate Summer Research Internship Showcase
This past summer, numerous FIMS students participated in research projects on topics ranging from ethical dilemmas to pandemic mental health to artificial intelligence, undertaken through the Undergraduate Summer Research Internship (USRI) program. The USRI program allows undergraduate students to gain first-hand experience in conducting research under the direction of a faculty mentor. To see the results of the USRI internships this year, visit the Undergraduate Summer Research Internship Showcase.

Next Issue

The Grad Bulletin is your source for news, announcements, and events pertaining to FIMS graduate programs. Submissions from the FIMS community are always welcome and may be sent via e-mail to

The next issue will be published on Wednesday, October 6, 2021. The deadline for submissions is noon on Tuesday, October 5, 2021.