We are pleased to announce that the School of Education has established a student conference fund. As a school, we strive to provide experiences that will better prepare our students in the fields of education and counseling. Networking and professional affiliations are vital to socially conscious initiatives. We believe that investing in our students will not only increase competencies, but will increase the collective knowledge of education. Sara DeMoss and Sophie Vogel, two of last year's award recipients, share their experience attending professional conferences.
Attending conferences, as a student and practitioner in higher education, has benefited me professionally and academically. Last year I attended NACADA and AERA. I was intentional about the conferences I chose to attend. NACADA is an academic advising conference while AERA is scholarly. By pairing the two I am able to collaborate with other professionals in my field AND have direct access to scholarship and educational research. I believe in being familiar with the research along with common practices in my field in order to inform the work I do with students.
Beginning doctoral study was a decision I made out of convenience, without significant reflection about my feelings towards research, publication, professing and The Academy. One of my first-term professors connected me with a like-minded scholar who responded to my enthusiasm for his work by inviting me to contribute to a research project. I was thrilled by the prospect of gaining first-hand experience in scholarship and even more excited when he suggested we submit a presentation proposal for the ASHE National Conference in November, 2016. Our proposal was accepted and I was invited to contribute to the in-person presentation. I applied for funding from the ASHE Grad Travel Scholarship and the University of Redlands Student Conference Scholarship and was awarded both, which covered all my expenses. Attending presentations by colleagues and experts in my area of interest as well as struggling with my anxiety about my first academic presentation at ASHE was a valuable experience. I encourage all students to experiment and gain academic experience by joining professional organizations and attending and presenting at conferences to increase their awareness of how they wish to contribute knowledge.