Bounce at McMaster is a podcast series funded by the Okanagan Special Project Fund. In Bounce, we hear stories told by McMaster’s faculty and alumni about their experiences as students. Typically, when we talk about faculty or alumni in a university, it’s focused on the successes. We rarely hear about the failures or challenges. To better understand the full and real journeys they have been on as students, Bounce asks questions such as - what was difficult about your experiences as a student? Did you fail? Did you struggle? What did you learn? In asking these questions, we begin to hear stories of loss, grief, relationship difficulties, challenging transitions, mental health problems, and other difficulties they faced. We also hear how individuals found their way through these challenges, what helped, and what they learned.  

We envision that Bounce at McMaster can help us to build resilience, individually and collectively, by increasing mutual understanding, creating connections, tackling stigma, and offering hope through the sharing of stories. The Bounce team also hopes that the podcast series will spark discussion about environmental and social factors, such as school culture or equity and inclusion practices, which can create or contribute to challenges students face, and can help us to think more creatively about how to address them and to support students to bounce back from them. 

One of our guests is Dr. Deborah Sloboda. Dr. Sloboda is currently a well-known researcher in fetal and maternal physiology, and a professor in McMaster University's Department of Biochemistry and Biomedical Sciences. If you don’t find the advice, “don’t be a superwoman” helpful, Dr. Sloboda would agree with you. Dr. Sloboda defended her PhD thesis (while heavily pregnant) at the University of Toronto, and moved to Australia for a Postdoctoral Fellowship (PDF). Having her baby in a different country was a challenge in itself, but the bigger ongoing challenge was being seen as a whole person, who has a life outside of the lab. At the time of her PDF, Dr. Sloboda was the only female PhD scientist in her department. Despite the overall outward appearance of equity, subtle but profound differences in how Dr. Sloboda was treated impacted her daily work life. Her support network helped her navigate these difficult times, and continue to do so today. To listen to Dr. Sloboda's podcast, click here.

For more information about Bounce, please check out their website or follow them on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter! They would also love to hear from you in response to this series and encourage you to send them a message on any of their social media platforms or through an email to bounce@mcmaster.ca 

 



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