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Travel Bursary Winner Shannon Ward Presents Findings at SSEA Conference

Any change I get to share my findings and see what research is currently being done, I take—and I would recommend the same to anyone else.

Shannon Ward, 4th-year Psychology student

CURL Travel Bursary winner Shannon Ward smiles next to her poster at the SSEA conference in Toronto, Ontario. Her poster is entitled "Challenge Accepted: Exploring Predictors of Risky Online Behaviours in Emerging Adults." Shannon has long, blonde hair and wears a tan sweater and black leggings.What can you do with a CURL Travel Bursary?

Shannon Ward attended the Society for the Study of Emerging Adulthood (SSEA) Conference in Toronto, where she presented findings from her thesis, “Challenge Accepted: Exploring Predictors of Risky Online Behaviour in Emerging Adults.”

Networking with other researchers and attending the conference’s many talks (including some by Huron’s own professors), Shannon discussed known challenges affecting young adults’ online behaviours, learned about new ones, and brainstormed ways to reduce risky behaviours—especially with regards to social media and dating.

Although networking and presenting are valuable benefits, conferences offer more opportunities for skill-building than just these. “I picked up some really interesting tricks to making posters when wandering around the poster session,” Shannon recounts. “One really great idea that a researcher used was keeping the poster really simple, but including a QR code to offer the viewer more information. I’m always trying to put as much information on my posters as I can!”

The rigorous, thorough research at conferences also allows attendees to unearth complex insights about deceptively simple topics. For Shannon, presentations about “ghosting” and “sliding into DMs” were of particular interest. Who says there’s nothing academic about Instagram?

“I truly enjoyed this entire experience and what it gave me,” shares Shannon. “I learned so much about things I’d never heard of before and added to my knowledge of things I knew a bit about. I met some really great people who were interested in what I was doing and gave me some ideas for where to go next… although I still don’t really know where that is yet!”

Her advice for other students: “Any chance I get to share my findings and see what research is currently being done, I take—and I would recommend the same to anyone else.”

Interested in some skill-building of your own? CURL’s Travel Bursaries offer up to $500 in support of all sorts of research-based and skill-building travel—no conference necessary. Learn more at the Travel Bursaries page!