Last Thursday four LTS students presented at the Grad Student Research Forum, sharing their MA projects with the U of O community.
“I presented a poster on my capstone project teaching portfolio. Not only did preparing for the poster help me organize my thoughts and clarify my overall project, but the poster presentation session also contributed to the development of my project. I received a lot of positive feedback and interesting inquiries, and the criticism I received and doubts that some people had were helpful too, as they will inform how I ultimately present the project in its final stage. While preparing this poster while still in the midst of research was nerve-wracking, I think my overall project will be better for it, since I am treating the research forum as a feedback session. The experience itself of preparing and presenting a poster was eye-opening as well, and I believe I will be glad for it when I present in the future in higher stakes environments. I would recommend that anyone with ongoing or finished research try out a research forum; it’s definitely worth it.”–Kathryn
“Grad forum helped me achieve three strategic objectives that were essential for me at this stage in the game. It forced me to 1) bring my capstone ideas together into a coherent (enough) set of ideas to 2) have the chance to share my project with others, and 3) reevaluate, in light of my interactions with others the aspects of the project that seemed sticky and the parts that seemed flat. For me, when doing this kind of work it’s really important to air the idea out. Talking to people about what I’m working on is a super productive way to process my own ideas, as if from another person’s perspective, and reach the next level of clarity.”–Christopher
“Grad Forum takes place during the early stages of working on our final projects. I’ve been thinking about my topic since about last August, but I still have a lot of work to do in the next two terms, so it was challenging to create a full poster presentation. However, it was really valuable to do this while I still have time to adjust certain parts of my project. My project focuses on ESL university students at the U of O, so I was able to talk to a lot of people who aren’t in the field but have experience working with international students, or who have studied abroad, and I got a lot of interesting feedback. It was also a positive challenge to have to explain my whole project in brief conversations, and to explain it in a way that was accessible to people not in the field.” –Annelise
“Presenting at the Grad Forum was scary, stressful, intimidating, and one of the most fun experiences I’ve had! It was great to be able to represent LTS, showcase the awesome stuff I get to do in the program, and get recognized for my hard work. Summing up an entire year of effort into five short minutes and three PowerPoint slides was a really intense experience. However, it was really great practice for me, as a language teacher, to be able to talk about a topic unfamiliar to the audience as concisely and articulately as possible, while keeping them engaged and staying within the set time frame of five minutes. It was also great to have a day set aside to connect with other graduate students and learn about their work, get feedback from faculty in other departments, and be a part of the larger culture of graduate school. I’m doing the program in two years, so I’ll get another chance next year… and honestly, I’m already looking forward to it!”–Becky