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Conference Connections
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Over the past two years, members of the Graduate Student Council and the Executive Committee have been gathering information about the professional development needs and interests of graduate student members of AAAL. Based on input from individuals and focus groups, in addition to academic professional development, we learned that some student members would like to have opportunities to make social connections with more senior members of AAAL. As a result, AAAL will trial a small-scale project of social opportunities at the 2018 AAAL Conference. These opportunities could be referred to as Conference Connections.

The pilot project will consist of options for pairing graduate student members of AAAL with more senior members at the conference for one of three purposes:

  1. Presentation feedback: If the graduate student is giving a presentation at the conference, the senior partner would attend the graduate student’s talk, round-table, or poster presentation and meet with him/her afterwards to provide feedback on the presentation.
  2. Introductions: The senior partner would spend two coffee breaks in the Publishers Exhibit Hall getting to know the graduate student and introducing him/her to other conference goers there.
  3. Proposal ideas: The senior partner would meet with the graduate student for 30 minutes and give him/her feedback on his/her preliminary ideas for developing a proposal for the coming year’s AAAL Conference.

Conference Connections is not meant to take the place of research mentoring or to interfere with anyone’s attendance at conference sessions. Instead, this idea is meant to provide structured opportunities for graduate student members to meet more senior members of AAAL through a simple system of pairing interested individuals.

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