The Life of a Wannabe Academic

Detail of the life a new academic. The progress from graduate training to professor. Includes reflections on the job hunting process, research in technology and education, and what it is like to be a new college professor.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Student Conference Travel

Tonight I write this post from a hotel room in Kearney. Sitting comfortably in my Rodeway Inn bed I have been reflecting on what a great experience it is for the students to come to these conferences that are student-focused. I can see the dedication of the students, their nerves, and their pride in their research and in sharing their research. Morningside Psychology department has a great tradition in traveling to these conferences. Today people were asking me if our college would be returning next year. I had to say "of course"! It is getting to the point in our department that it is expected that we travel to Great Plains Undergraduate Research Conference (a traveling conference mostly in MO, NE, OK, and KS).

I know the students also really look forward to this every year. Talk of past trip is often tinted with reminiscence and the idea that this is the last GP conference often seen as a somewhat sad experience.

I wish I had taken more advantage of the conference travel as an Undergraduate. However, our department really only supported one conference, whereas we travel to 3 and sometimes 4 here at Morningside. I am also appreciative of the support given to our students by our department, student government, and administration. This could not be possible without that much needed support.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Conference Travel Season

Today I booked the last of the three different conferences that our department will be traveling to this year. Our department has a good history of supporting and encouraging student travel to both regional and some national conferences. This is a great opportunity for our students and we typically have a pretty good contingent that travels. This year we will be taking about 6 students to Great Plains undergraduate Psychology Conference, 9 to the Midwestern Psychological Association, and 4 student to the national conference APS in San Francisco. Several of these students are simply attending these conferences, but we do have quite a few that will be presenting their own work as well.

I enjoy traveling with students to these conferences, however, the planning that must come beforehand is a killer. Applying for funding from various sources and then attempting to discover just how just out-of-pocket cost there is for each student is a headache. The biggest reason for the headache is that some money can only be used for certain things (like just for housing and registration). Other funding can be used for other costs, but then each student received a different amount of funding from some places. I wanted to poke my eye out with my pen after a while, and honestly just quit after a bit. But I will need to figure out this weekend's expenses very soon.

I am glad however, that our student government and dean are so supportive of student travel. Most cost is minimal for the student especially for the types of larger conferences we go to.

I myself am very excited to go to APS this year with the students. we have 2 students presenting, one on the normal professional program! It is in San Francisco and I am excited to be able to spend some more time in that city than I did last time I visited. I will definately be visiting Alcatraz this year! And even more exciting is that I get to present some of my own research at both MPA and APS! YaY!