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Graduate Studies

Join us in congratulating our November graduates!

Once again this fall, the Registrar’s Office is working to make November’s virtual convocation something special for graduating students. How you can help Instructors and faculty members are invited to submit a brief message of congratulations to their students. The message should be 10 to 20 seconds in length filmed horizontally uploaded to MacDrive submitted […]

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Homeless with COVID-19: How a global health grad is helping

Eilish Scallan, who is currently on a break from her medical school clinical duties due to the COVID-19 pandemic, has been involved with a number of local organizations and initiatives aimed at supporting frontline workers and vulnerable communities during this crisis. Specifically, the MSc Global Health graduate has been helping to recruit student volunteers for […]

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Tackling infectious diseases requires a global co-ordinated effort: global health grad

Global Health alum Himani Bhatnagar stands on a train bridge with tree tops lining each side.

Global Health graduate Himani Bhatnagar is working as a policy analyst with the Infection Prevention and Control team at the BC Ministry of Health, as part of the province’s emergency response to COVID-19. This work has enabled her to see firsthand the government’s response to infectious disease outbreaks, and contribute to efforts to prepare and […]

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Grad student recognized for work on groundwater remediation

A man wearing glasses and a dark striped shirt smiles at the camera.

Kevin Mumford, a PhD candidate in civil engineering, was recently recognized for his work in groundwater remediation. Photo courtesy of engineering.
It seems so bountiful that many take it for granted. Not Kevin Mumford. He understands that water is a precious resource that needs to be nurtured in order to sustain life and the societies we’ve developed around it.
Mumford, who will graduate this spring with a PhD in civil engineering, was recently recognized by his peers and colleagues with a series of awards for his work in groundwater remediation.
It began with a win at the 2008 southern Ontario graduate student presentation competition organized by the Canadian Geotechnical Society. Mumford then moved on to the national competition, which he won. Capping it off, Mumford was invited to present his doctoral research to the hydrology section of the American Geophysical Union fall meeting in San Francisco, where he was presented with an outstanding student paper award.
“It’s nice to have engineers winning communications awards,” said Mumford. “It’s important that engineers are able to communicate highly technical work.”
Mumford’s research is focused on identifying contaminants polluting groundwater and finding ways to address problems encountered. Specifically, he studies remediation of non-aqueous phase liquids, such as gasoline, PCBs, creosote, and chlorinated solvents such as degreasers and dry cleaning fluid.
“It’s about understanding the chemistry and physics of how contaminants behave,” said Mumford. “You can’t see the problem since the water is underground so you’re trying to find out what is there, how it moves and how to address it.”
Mumford credits several people at McMaster for assisting him with his research, in particular his PhD co-advisors Sarah Dickson, assistant professor of civil engineering, and Jim Smith, associate professor in the School of Geography and Earth Sciences.
“Sarah and Jim are internationally known, I was familiar with their work, and they came highly recommended,” explained Mumford on his decision to pursue PhD studies at McMaster.
Prior to enrolling for the PhD program, Mumford was working for an environmental engineering consulting firm on projects throughout North America. He earned his B.A.Sc. in Environmental Engineering-Chemical Branch and Master’s of Civil Engineering from the University of Waterloo. He is currently working on an NSERC post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Western Ontario, commuting from Hamilton.
“Kevin is exceptionally talented in his communication, academic and interpersonal skills,” said Dickson. “This is a very rare combination, and both Jim and I feel very lucky to have had the opportunity to supervise him.”
Mumford has his sights set on an academic career in order to combine teaching and research. While studying at McMaster, he was awarded the Graduate Student Association Teaching Assistant Excellence Award in 2005 in recognition of his contributions to undergraduate education. […]

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McMaster alumna named emerging explorer

Beverly Goodman is in full scuba gear under water.

McMaster alumna Beverly Goodman has been named an Emerging Explorer by National Geographic.
What does it take to be recognized by one of today’s best-known geographic magazines? Being at the forefront of your research career, being adventurous with your research and studying uncharted territory are all required – and receiving your PhD from McMaster University certainly helps.
Beverly Goodman, who earned her PhD from the School of Geography and Earth Sciences, has been named an Emerging Explorer byNational Geographicmagazine. The program recognizes and supports uniquely gifted and inspiring adventurers, scientists, photographers and storytellers who are making a significant contribution to world knowledge through exploration, while still early in their careers. Each Emerging Explorer receives an award of $10,000 to assist with their research and to aid further exploration.
Goodman was recognized for her work exploring the complex ways nature and humans interact on coastlines, more specifically, the causes and frequency of tsunami events. Her fieldwork centred in Caesarea, Israel where her team discovered evidence that proves a tsunami struck the ancient harbour sometime in the first or second century A.D., which may have caused its destruction. Up until this point, the lack of physical evidence contradicted what was written in historical texts – showing that relying on texts alone can be unreliable.
Goodman studied at McMaster from 2001 to 2006 under the primary supervision of professors Eduard Reinhardt and Henry Schwarcz in the School of Geography and Earth Sciences. She credits her supervisors with being the biggest part of her experience at McMaster.
“Overall, it was a great place to do my PhD because of the equipment and support available there,” stated Goodman. “Also, the quality of life for graduate students was much better than what I have seen and experienced at many American universities.”
At the moment, Goodman is in the middle of the Red Sea as a researcher for the Interuniversity for Marine Sciences. For the future, Goodman is considering different options for tenure track academic positions, and plans to continue to work on coastal environment questions that are relevant in both archaeological and modern contexts.
“Working with Beverly, I knew she would go on to great things,” says Reinhardt. “Everyone in the School is proud of the research she is doing and excited to see where it will take her next.” […]

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