Blog Review: CHIMe 2012
GRAND Ph.D Candidate Claude Fortin reviews the 2012 Computer Human Interaction Mentoring (CHIMe) Workshop, a discipline-specific workshop for mentoring underrepresented students in HCI.
Posted by GRAND NCE, June 27, 2012

Five GRAND students from across Canada attended the 2012 Computer Human Interaction Mentoring (CHIMe) Workshop, a discipline-specific workshop for mentoring underrepresented students in HCI. The workshop, which took place in Austin, Texas, was co-located with CHI 2012, held May 5-10, 2012. 

Participating GRAND students included Halimat Alabi (Ph.D. Candidate, University of Victoria), Claude Fortin (Ph.D. Candidate, Simon Fraser University), Hamilton Hernandez (Ph.D. Candidate, Queen's University), Juliette Link (M.Sc, University of British Columbia) and Tamara Peyton (P.h.D. Candidate, York University). 

Claude Fortin prepared the following summary of her experience. 

As an interdisciplinary Canadian doctoral student new to the HCI community, participating in the 2012 Computer Human Interaction Mentoring(CHIMe) Workshop was a rich and rewarding experience. GRAND’s initiative allowed me to meet many American graduate researchers that I would not have met through networking events intended exclusively for Canadian scholars, and I learned a great deal from hearing both Canadian and American participants speak of their personal experience as graduate students and fledgling researchers. CHIMe 2012 provided me with insights on the potential and possibilities of forming future collaborations with my American peers. 

The workshop organizers, as well as academic and industry speakers, introduced us to the inner workings of the HCI graduate academic world, and helped me understand how to navigate my way into a career in academia and/or industry. This knowledge is invaluable to a mature student like myself. I have reached a point in my life where I feel ready to be a researcher, but as is often the case for women, I have lacked the confidence to think of myself as such. Being invited in this HCI mentoring workshop made me feel validated as a new member of this community.

In addition to the CHIMe workshop, I was also able to participate in the CHI conference for four days and attend five CHI courses. One of them was “Interaction Design for Social Development”, an excellent course focusing on design ethnography and participatory design approaches applied to the development of mobile computing in developing countries. I also attended several talks, panels and visited the exhibition booths in the conference commons on numerous occasions. Being exposed to current HCI research in this way was an excellent way to be introduced to the field.

The CHIMe 2012 committee organizers, Dr. Manuel Pérez-Quiñones and Dr. Ronald Metoyer were very generous with their time. I am very grateful and feel indebted to them for their kindness, altruism and dedication throughout this weekend-long mentorship workshop.

CHIMe 2012 is the kind of workshop that is instrumental in bringing together scholars across North America for future research. In my view, it is an experiment that should be repeated. The next CHIMe event will be in 2014. 

Read more real-time updates from GRAND attendees: 

Halimat Alabi | @game411 
Hamilton Hernandez | @hamilan
Tamara Peyton | @pstamara