Students speak to the benefits of presenting at conferences

Attending conferences has a number of benefits for graduate students, from networking opportunities, to experience presenting research, to being inspired by new ideas. These testimonials from current graduate students illustrate what they gained from attending conferences in their fields this semester.

These students were supported by a Student Research Grants Competition Conference Presentation Fund award to travel travel and present at a conference. Applications are open year-round. For details, visit the Conference Presentation Funds webpage.

Naomi Salmon
Naomi Salmon

Naomi Salmon, English
Attended the Open Education Conference, Niagara Falls, NY

This conference made a significant difference to my professional development during a time when I was applying for jobs and seeking dissertation guidance on a sub-topic that the members of my committee have limited experience with. My presentation discussed the work with Open Educational Resources that I had been doing as a TA at Learning Support Services, a topic that is also a major part of my dissertation project. My presentation focused on supporting faculty members who are interested in creating openly-accessible active learning resources for their students, and I not only received excellent feedback that advanced my dissertation project and my OER work on campus but also connected with scholars who are major players in the field. Thanks to this experience, I also presented on a panel with two of these scholars at a conference in March at which they were the keynote speakers.

Not long after my conference presentation, I was offered and accepted a faculty development position at UW–Madison. The accessibility and inclusion practices I learned by attending panels at the Open Education conference continue to inform the resources I share with UW faculty members through this position. I continue to be in regular contact with some of the colleagues I met at this conference and look forward to collaborating with them on future projects.

Michael Feinberg, Art History
Attended the South Central Society for Eighteenth Century Studies, Dallas, TX 

This conference was important for several reasons. In addition to giving me an  opportunity to practice my presentation and communication skills, I received invaluable feedback on how to transform my presentation into a publishable article.  Having met with a few editors (who seemed especially excited about the project) makes me feel confident and excited that I will have an important publication under my belt that will serve me well on the tenure track job market searches. Moreover, I met another graduate student with similar research interests. Since the conference, we submitted a proposal for the College Art Association conference in 2020. We recently learned that it has been accepted as the official HECAA sponsored panel.