Graduate Students

What is a Graduate Student?

A graduate student is any part-time or full-time student registered in any graduate program at York University.  A graduate student may or may not have a funding package which includes a GAship, RAship or TAship.  Nonetheless, all of our workshops, courses and events are open and free for all graduate students, although some have prerequisites.

Workshops, Courses and Events

See this page for a complete description of all the workshops, courses and events on offer from the Teaching Commons, and to book a place.

Awards, Grants and Fellowships

There are many awards, grants and fellowships available to support teaching in Higher Education. We have listed many from within and beyond York. If you know of any that are not included, please let us know.

*If you are not receiving our Graduate Student Newsletter and would like to be added to our mailing list, please send your contact information (preferred email address) to and we would be happy to add you to our mailing list.

Graduate Student Monthly Blog:

It is Possible and It is Important
By Justeena Zaki-Azat

The “regular” school-year is nearing end… and although grad student life goes on all year round – summer is usually the more relaxing season. As I am sure many fellow grad students are, I am trying to keep it together for the home stretch. April is the month of deadlines, papers, projects, and of course lots and lots of grading. This time last year, I was contemplating quitting grad school, but I didn’t. I was determined to make Year 2 of my PhD more like a PhD 2.0 – a new and improved experience. This year was my chance to reshape my path, so let me tell you a little bit about how the past 8 months of my life turned out:

 Academic:  I decided to get a Quantitative Graduate Diploma offered by the Psychology Department which meant I had to take quite a few courses among other requirements. So, I am currently finishing 3 advanced statistical courses. Besides that, I have my minor area paper (or comprehensive) component of my degree in the works and of course, some sort of assembly of my committee for the dissertation to submit this month.

Extracurricular:  At York, I am an executive member of the Psychology Graduate Students Association, as well as a selected student leader at the LaMarsh Centre for Child and Youth Research. My responsibilities include organizing events, talks, initiatives, and representing students at department meetings, and more. These have given me an opportunity to network and build connections with many different people within my department and across other departments as well.

Work:  This year, I TA’d two combined sections of the Introduction to Psychology class with 500 students in each class. Even though I’m not teaching, as the administrative lead-TA, I have learned a lot about what it takes to run a course. Being enrolled in the Senior Teaching Assistant (STA) course with the Teaching Commons this year proved to be an invaluable experience because the workshops we ran were oriented to supporting other TAs – exactly my role this year by managing a team of 10 TAs! All this while holding weekly tutoring sessions in statistics and just waiting for those rewarding “AHA!” moments in my students’ eyes.

Community Service: Being an involved member of my Orthodox Church, I volunteer a couple of hours a week to several activities. I teach an adult Coptic Language class, for those who want to learn how to read this old Egyptian language. I teach high school youth how to prepare and deliver Sunday School lessons to younger children. As a long-time choir kid, I pay it forward by conducting a children’s choir. Finally, I organize an inter-church graduate dinner every couple of months to help engage young adults with their community.

Mental & Physical Health: Being in psychology, I know how important is to take care of my mind and body, and I do it through sports. I joined weekly competitive leagues to help me stay committed. I play Basketball on Wednesdays, Co-ed Volleyball on Thursdays, and Soccer on Sundays. And you can bet I meet a lot of people, I have a lot of fun, and most importantly, I am staying active.

So, why have I disclosed all this personal information, and how is this at all related to teaching you ask? Well, the purpose is two-fold: first to tell you that it IS possible, and second to tell you that it’s important. It is possible for us to be allocating our time to the things that are important to us, whether it be developing our career, learning something new, giving back to the community. The key to doing that is setting our priorities straight. When we have priorities, we can discern where we invest our time. Now, it is important to be involved in other activities that are not necessarily academic. I am the first to admit the worries of post-graduate life are constantly looming at my door; however, we tend to forget that there is more to life than that. Graduate school is about growing holistically and in a balanced way. This is the time to develop many different facets of our character, skills, and our interests – research or otherwise. In doing so, I truly believe we become better educators – but more importantly better humans.

March 2017: Richard Jarrell Teaching Assistant Award

January_February 2017: Incorporating Online Environments into Tutorials by Melanie Wilmink

November_December 2016: Designing my First Lecture by Diane Sepa-Kishi

October 2016: Dealing with Conflict by Jessica Whitehead

September 2016: Teaching a New Course by Mariela Giuliano



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