Experiencing the Fall Research Conference for the First Time
My name is Senovia Guevara and I attended my first Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management Fall Research Conference in November. I attended the event as a student conference volunteer and got the chance to review and write summaries for sessions that I attended. Although I was only at the conference for a few days, I was grateful for the opportunity as I learned so much from those whose presentations I attended. Attending events on Wednesday and Thursday, I heard from a variety of experts on topics that ranged from journal publication to issues in health care access for children. The ability to learn from policy experts get a bird’s eye view of the field from dozens of professionals was especially valuable to me as a student.
As one of the attendees of the Professional Development Workshop held on Wednesday, I learned more about journal publication, applying for fellowships and finding grant funding. The information presented by speakers from each panel was valuable as it answered a lot of questions for those pursuing their Ph.D. Personally, I received many answers to the questions I had about pursuing this path. Of special interest was the information shared about the publishing experience and expectations for those whose goal was to pursue faculty positions. I got to learn about the submission process from the journal editor’s point of view, the importance of writing for a journal’s scope and why developing a publication pipeline is necessary. The experiences detailed by one panelist about the rejection process were very eye-opening to say the least. In addition, there was a panel that focused on the National Poverty Fellows Program. The information presented here was of interest because it detailed excellent opportunities that existed for those interested in conducting research at the Federal level.
Assigned to review several different sessions on Thursday, I shuttled between the Westin and the Ritz hotels to attend conference events. The research presented ranged from ethnic community participation levels to possible connections between TANF and SSI applicants. I enjoyed listening to presenters answer questions from the audience about big data and publication bias in the field. The opportunity to listen to experts that ranged from Columbia University to Northwestern was valuable, as it added to what I was learning about policy and administration in the classroom.
In conclusion, I was impressed with my experience at the APPAM research conference. Having become a student member at the suggestion of another student, I was excited to attend an event that would let me learn more about my field from experts. I gained so much from my time in Washington, D.C. that I readily discussed my experience with several other students in class later that week. Since students in my program are required to join and become active in a professional association, I spoke about APPAM. I described the excellent opportunity I had as a student conference volunteer and how receiving this opportunity assisted me in conference attendance. I look forward to getting an opportunity to attend the next APPAM research conference.