For the next installment of our ongoing feature about the most memorable and rewarding features of the annual NYCEA conference, board member Scott O'Neil shares a few thoughts about one of newest and most distinctive events: the graduate student round-table events. In Scott's words:
NYCEA has always had a wide range in panels, covering both literature and pedagogy, and stretching across the entire canon chronologically, with papers ranging from Anglo-Saxon to Buffy the Vampire Slayer. There is one recurring panel that, as a graduate student, stands out to me. For the last three years, NYCEA has featured a grad student professionalization panel. This concept really began at the 2012 conference, when NYCEA ran a panel on “Teaching at a small college.” I think even then that they were surprised at the turnout. The panel was VERY early in the morning, and the panelists had a full house of graduate students eager to ask questions. The panels returned as a regular feature three years ago, and since then, NYCEA has had grad student roundtables on structuring the C.V. for teaching-centered schools (2014), understanding university service (2015), and preparing for the job talk/teaching demo (2016). These panels started out as a one-off concept to address a perceived need (giving grad students a better sense of the needs and realities of the teaching centered job market), and they have now become a regular feature designed to help grad student members of the organization professionalize. This attitude reflects NYCEA’s approach to viewing graduate student members as equal members—and as a grad student board member, I can personally attest to how welcoming that has been. The grad student round table at NYCEA 2017 is going to focus on preparing the C.V. for Alt Ac job prospects.
Happy Monday! To continue our "NYCEA Memories" series of posts, NYCEA board member Scott O'Neil offers a few remarks about the Friday night entertainments that have long been one of the conference's most popular features. In Scott's words:
One of the things I most look forward to at NYCEA every October is the Friday night entertainment. After the conference dinner, the host puts on some sort of entertainment. What makes this so great is the fact that you literally never know what you might see. My first NYCEA (2010 at St. John Fisher), the entertainment was an interactive performance workshop on medical humanities run by Stephanie Brown-Clark. We’ve also had readings from authors like Eric Gansworth, and our most recent conference featured a brilliant performance-based “Blues musical” that engaged in the history of music and race in America. While there have been a wide array of entertainments, I think my favorite was the one in 2014. That year, everyone who indicated that they would be attending the conference dinner was asked to bring along a poem. After dinner, in a fun, whimsical move, we became the entertainment, putting on an impromptu poetry reading featuring works that touched on school and education in some way. There were amusing pieces, serious pieces, historical/archival poems, and the occasional original work. That’s one of the thing I most love about NYCEA. It’s not “stodgy” or stereotypical. It’s more like a group of friends getting together every year.
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