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News & Press: AAALetter

From the Past President--New “Conference Connections”

Thursday, September 7, 2017   (2 Comments)
Posted by: Kathi Bailey
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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 three 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 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.

Offering “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.

 People who register for the AAAL 2018 Conference will be given an opportunity to indicate their interest in participating. Space will be limited by the number of non-student members of AAAL who agree to participate. People who would like to participate, either as students or as senior partners, should fill out the simple form that can be found on AAAL’s website by clicking here or by pasting this URL into their browsers:


Kendall King says...
Posted Tuesday, September 12, 2017
I think this sounds like a great way for both jr and sr scholars to expand their professional networks. I hope many participate.
Jodi Crandall, University of Maryland, Baltimore County says...
Posted Monday, September 11, 2017
This sounds like a very promising activity. In some cases, a graduate student will have the support of the mentor, if that mentor is attending AAAL, but that is not always the case. The proposed AAAL pilot will provide support and facilitate professional introductions for students when the mentor is not available to do so.

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