One of the biggest challenges students encounter when they attend college or universities is getting involved. While getting involved socially is always advertised in student involvement fairs and the like, we often struggle with encouraging academic involvement to the same degree. Most of us really don’t even know what that looks like or means. While there are ways to get involved academically, throughout this mini-series I will specifically discuss conferences, and—if time permits—publishing.
Conferences are a dreaded word by many—not necessarily because they are difficult, but rather because we fear the unknown. Most who will be featured or cited in this mini-series will be students and professional academics who have been in the same ambiguous place you find yourself now. To conference or not to conference—that seems the existential question for all academics.
Whose Voice Counts?
First things first, I must clarify that you are, in fact, already an academic. You have been since the moment you started to expand the reach of your library of knowledge. Whether you decided to take a class out of your comfort zone or simply take something that you felt truly passionate about, YOU ARE AN ACADEMIC. If no one has taken the time to invite you or inform you consider this your overwhelming welcome to the community of meaning-makers, trend-setters, and trailblazers of the knowledge seeking community. We are all so lucky and blessed to be in your company. However, until you tell us the wealth of perspective and experiential knowledge you bring to the table we cannot know what a great addition you are. If you take nothing else from this mini-series, I hope you take this: you are welcome, you are important, and you belong here. Do what you came to do and do it well. We are all here to help you along the way.
Now that we have gotten the fun part out of the way, let’s talk about what to expect from this mini-series. Throughout, you will find a few posts with either myself, Nat G., or our blogger extraordinaire, Emily P., as the main writers. However, it goes without saying that collaboration has been key to the development of these posts and it is without a doubt only completely awesome because of those who were willing to share their experiences, words of wisdom, and the sheer kindness of fellow students, writers, and professional academics. We thank you all for your contributions to this mini-series and I hope you find this to be a great way to help all of our collective fields advance by adding more voices to the ever-changing conversation.
Post Two: Getting Involved in Academic Discourse: To Conference or Not to Conference? Here is the answer you’ve been waiting for.
Post Three: Getting Involved in Academic Discourse: Finding Academic Conferences
Post Four: Getting Involved in Academic Discourse: The Proposal
Post Five: Getting Involved in Academic Discourse: Got Accepted! Yay! What now?