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Agora Student Conference and Journal

The Agora Undergraduate Conference showcases student work completed in Humanities and Social Sciences, Social Work, and Justice Studies classes, bringing together Red Deer Polytechnic's diverse community in celebration of student excellence. Students have the opportunity to share the results of their coursework with a public audience.



Now in its 18th year, the Agora Undergraduate Conference showcases student work from Humanities, Social Sciences, and Social Work classes, bringing together students from across campus. We are stoked to unite RDP’s community in celebration of student ideas, innovations, and art. Join us as we learn from each other in ways sure to enlighten and inspire!

Agora Conference Opening Reception 2022
Friday, March 25 from 5:00 – 6:00 pm
Conference programme and links, please contact agora [at] rdpolytech [dot] ca (subject: Links%20for%20Conference%20%2F%20Tech%20Troubles)
Please join us as we celebrate Agora conference presenters and artists at our reception!

Agora Art Exhibition 2022
In-Person Art Exhibition: Friday, March 25 from 6:30 – 8:30 pm and Saturday, March 26 from 10:00 am – 5:00 pm in the Knock Knock Gallery, Rm 2925
To view incredible student art, please visit: RDP Arts and Culture


Please log in to your panel in a timely fashion. Blackboard Collaborate rooms will open at the times listed below. We invite open, considerate, and engaged conversations. The last 15 minutes of each panel are reserved for a Q&A. We encourage audience members and panelists to ask questions and to do so in a supportive fashion. We are all here to learn and grow!
When you join the Blackboard Collaborate room, please turn off your mic until you plan to speak.
Presenters: Please turn on your mic and camera* while you are presenting and/or answering questions. You are welcome to turn these features off when you are not speaking.
Audience members: to ask a question, you can either turn on your mic and camera* or type it in the chat section.
*Panels will be attended by students, faculty, family, and other members of the general public. Your privacy is important. If you do not wish to turn on your camera or if there are minors present in the room with you, please use only your mic and/or the chat section. Turning on your camera is not mandatory.

Some topics addressed during the conference may cause distress or raise feelings connected to trauma. If you are struggling, please connect with RDP Counselling Services:
• Room 1402, Main Campus
• Phone: 403.343.4064 || Email: counselling [at] rdpolytech [dot] ca

The Agora Conference will take place on Blackboard Collaborate. To join the Blackboard Room as a presenter, audience member, or faculty moderator, please do the following:
1) Click on the link to join the Blackboard Collaborate Room.
2) Enter your name and preferred pronouns (if needed)
3) Please arrive at the scheduled time so that the session can begin punctually with minimal distraction.
4) You are welcome to turn on your camera when you enter the room, but please only turn on the mic when you plan to speak. Turn your mic off at all other times.
5) Take note of the Tech Troubleshooters’ name and email. They are here to help you resolve technical issues.
Blackboard Collaborate Tutorials
Please see this video for instructions on joining the Blackboard room, entering a name and sharing content:
There will be a Tech Troubleshooter in each session. You can email them for more help if you are experiencing technical difficulties.
We know that technology can fail at the most inopportune times. Please be patient with panelists, moderators, audience members, and yourself should you experience technological difficulties.



SESSION 1: 10:00 am – 11:00 am
Sexuality in Fiction and Real Life
Moderator: Shannah Dutrisac, PhD
Tech Troubleshooter: Terry Anderton — agora [at] rdpolytech [dot] ca

• Randy Makkinga, “In Service of Love: The Merchant of Venice and Same-sex Relationships”
• Azriel Handa, “Asexuality, Sexual Attraction and Intimate Relationships”
• Danielle Ceccato, “Pop Culture Relationships”

LUNCH BREAK 11:00 am – 11:45 am

AGORA FACULTY ROUNDTABLE: 12:00 pm – 1:15 pm
Topic: Privacy in a Digital World: Is the Future Phygital?
Moderators: Adam Adrian and Kimberley Jordan
Tech Troubleshooter: Irina Sheridan — agora [at] rdpolytech [dot] ca

• Bradon De Jong, JD (Philosophy)
• Rosemary Ignacio, MSW, RSW (Social Work)
• Heather Marcovitch, PhD (English)
• Reiko Yeap, PhD (Psychology)

SESSION 2: 1:30 pm – 2:30 pm
Darkness on Earth and on the Moon (Creative Writing Panel)
Moderator: Carlen Lavigne, PhD
Tech Troubleshooter: Irina Sheridan — agora [at] rdpolytech [dot] ca

• Terry Anderton, “’So Long’: an apocalyptic tale of empathy and sacrifice”
• Brianne Campbell, “The Dark Within These Halls”
• Danielle Ceccato, “My Family Isolation on the Moon”

SESSION 3: 2:45 pm – 3:45 pm
Justice and Allyship
Moderator: Choon-Lee Chai, PhD
Tech Troubleshooter: Irina Sheridan— agora [at] rdpolytech [dot] ca

• Andrea Grise, “Public Perception and the Canadian Criminal Justice System”
• Angela Moar, “Colonization, Ally, Decolonizing”
• Haley Nelson, “The Misleading Mask of White Heroism”

SESSION 4: 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Psychology and Wellbeing
Moderator: Jeff Wigelsworth, PhD
Tech Troubleshooter: Terry Anderton — agora [at] rdpolytech [dot] ca

• Graham James Holloway, “Depression In Adolescence: Theory, Risk, and Treatment”
• Caitlin Lanthier, “Working Memory Capacity as a Predictor of Attitudes Towards COVID-19 Vaccination”
• Mckenna Causey, “Perceptions of the Therapeutic Relationship Held by Parents of Children with Complex Needs”


Thank you for joining us for the Agora Conference and Art Exhibition 2022!

Yessenia Delgado, “Don’t Touch Me” (2021)
Ayden Fox, “Embrigital” (2022)
Azriel S. Handa, “The Duality of Struggle” (2022)
Danika Koester, “Eye of the Beholder” (2021)
Lailey Newton, “Blue Screen of Death” (2022)
Tinita Scott, “Evocative Rock” (2022)
Theresa Towers, “Augmented Reality” 2022
Emily Tworek, “Hybrid Animal Potrait” (2021)
Jaleesa Zaparniuk, “Bee” (2021)

Student Members:
Adam W. Adrian
Terry Anderton
Kimberley Jordan
Levis M. Kabahizi
Irina Sheridan
Tech Troubleshooters:
Terry Anderton
Irina Sheridan

Faculty and Staff Members:
Marnie Blair, MFA (Creative Arts)
Tara-Leigh Blankenstein, MSW, RSW, MALM (Social Work)
Stephen Brown, PhD (Psychology)
Jacqueline Cowan, PhD (English)
Sarah Hunt (Program Assistant)
Jessica Legacy, PhD (English)
Jan Olesen, PhD (English)
Reiko Yeap, PhD (Psychology)

The AGORA Conference would not be possible without the generous support of the Red Deer Polytechnic School of Arts and Culture and, especially, the Cultural Activities Trust Fund. We are grateful for their support.


Agora Journal

The Agora Journal, inaugurated over a decade ago by Heather Marcovitch, PhD (English), publishes outstanding work presented at the Agora Conference.

Through the journal, student editors, under faculty supervision, receive applied instruction and experience in building professional relationships with authors, fact-checking, and copyediting.

During the course of spring and summer months, editors work diligently alongside their conference authors to prepare student papers for publication.

The Agora Journal also publishes a sister journal that showcases the work of students who are recipients of Red Deer Polytechnic's Student Writer Awards. This includes awards for Research Papers, Analytical Papers, and Creative Work, all of which have been adjudicated by a team of Red Deer Polytechnic faculty. Both of these journals are traditionally printed in beautiful hard copies with original cover art designed by Red Deer Polytechnic student artists. 

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Agora Journal committee has opted to move these publications online. You can find both the Agora Conference Proceedings and the Student Writer Awards papers in Red Deer Polytechnic's digital repository.


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