So friends, I am afraid this may turn into a daily blog due to my negligence this semester. Yay!! As you know, one of our projects this semester is to attend and report on an event, and I have attended many an event this semester. Perhaps the most exciting and fruitful event for myself this semester has been the Eighth International Research Conference, hosted by Texas State. I suspect that this is the obvious answer, but my desire to obtain my PhD and continue researching was definitely solidified in response to this conference. I can finally say, with confidence that I am on the right track as far as my education and career goals are concerned. For your viewing pleasure, there are pictures of the grad students that participated and one of my group below.
The Eighth Annual International Research Conference at Texas State offered some valuable insight to academia and research- both of which I am interested in pursuing as I further my education and seek my PhD. First off, the conference commenced with a distinguished research panel, which I found to be very informative. Our fellow-graduate colleague, Andrea Alvarez, did an amazing job prompting the esteemed Texas State faculty members with some thought-provoking questions, such as “how do you secure a grant and how does your research differ when grant funding is used?” and “how do you appropriately manage your time between work, teaching and research?” Unfortunately, my anxiety regarding time management was not resolved…it seems time only becomes more scarce after a PhD is secured. Perhaps the anecdote “with great power comes great responsibility” applies here??
The next day was the big event- presenting our own research. We spent the week prior and a few hours the night before working on our presentation and studying our results for potential questions during the following Q&A panel. Annabel and I presented the research questions and findings in a well-versed manner and it went better than we ever anticipated! It was very interesting to listen to the other presenters, Dylan and Brandon, present afterwards. The Q&A was very conversational and somewhat low-key, which took a lot of the pressure off and prompted very engaging discussion. Overall, I was very happy with the success of my first presentation and was excited to see additional panels. I left each of the sessions with a more diverse understanding of academic research and various presentation styles, each of which will promote growth within my own research endeavors and presentation habits.
I attended a few more presentations and the following luncheon, with keynote speaker, Dr. Aacken, who opened my eyes to the struggles of a veteran transitioning to academia, calling for compassion and promotion of local veteran assistance programs. I was also able to meet Texas Tech graduates and professors, all of whom were forthcoming in regards to campus life and their PhD program. I would call this conference a success and am looking to presenting at many more in the future.