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.
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