Ready for AERA 2013?

AERA 2013 is quickly approaching, and the MERG will be there in full force, presenting in 10 sessions, chairing fireside chats, and organizing graduate student activities. In case you are a bit daunted by the conference experience, Ariana Crowther has written a newsletter entry on how to make the most of your time at AERA 2013:

Graduate Students Exploring the AERA Annual Meeting
By Ariana Crowther, The University of Texas at Austin

The AERA Annual Meeting can feel overwhelming for graduate student attendants, with so many speakers, paper presentations, and events. However, the Graduate Student Council has organized some events specifically tailored to the needs and interests of graduate students. The first event takes place before the conference on Friday, April 26th and allows graduate students a chance to give back to the area through a service project with COMPASS. COMPASS is a non-profit organization working with low income and homeless families in the San Francisco community for ninety years. Today, COMPASS provides families the tools they need to achieve long-lasting stability and self-sufficiency. We will be working with this organization to help them to continue to serve the San Francisco community by helping them with a beautification project of their facilities.

Kick off the conference right by attending the Graduate Student Orientation to the Annual Meeting and Networking Session, Saturday, April 27th from 12:00 – 1:30 pm in Parc 55, Third Level – Market Street. Graduate students are invited to join the Graduate Student Council as they highlight sessions from this year’s annual meeting that may be of special interest to graduate students. In addition, basic networking skills and opportunities for graduate students to become involved in various aspects of AERA will be discussed. Throughout the conference join the Graduate Student Council and other graduate students in the Graduate Student Council Resource Center, Parc 55, Third Level – Market Street, for Food For Thought Sessions hosting local community groups and artists that focus on local issues and education. Local groups presenting include the San Francisco Mime Troupe, San Francisco LGBTQ Speakers Bureau, and the Mural Music & Arts Project ( These Food For Thought Sessions will take place, Sunday, April 28th from 12:25 – 1:55 pm; Monday, April 29th from 2:45 – 4:15 pm; and Tuesday, April 30th from 12:10 – 1:40 pm.

Be sure to search the online schedule for Fireside Chats that may be of interest to you! The Graduate Student Council and Division Graduate Student Committees have been hard at work creating sessions that speak to the Annual Meeting theme, Education and Poverty, Theory, Research, Policy, and Praxis. Fireside Chats topics range from Division K’s: From the Ivory Tower to the Schoolyard: Conducting Research in Contexts with Underserved Populations Living in Poverty to Division C’s: Why Education is so Difficult to Improve when Income Inequalities are so Great. There are many opportunities for graduate students to become involved on the Division level of AERA as well. See if your Division has any special events geared toward graduate students. Also, seek out Business Meetings of SIG’s and Divisions you are interested in joining. The Motivation in Education SIG Business Meeting is Tuesday, April 30th 7:15 – 8:45 pm, in Hilton Union Square, Continental 2; we hope to see you there!