Annual Interdisciplinary Conference, California State University Sacramento.
Professor Alzate and Paola Marin (SPAN Graduate Adviser) are back from Sac State Sacramento where we accompanied a group of eight SPAN MA students presenting at the 3rd Interdisciplinary Conference in the Humanities. Thank you for the financial support the Dean’s Office provided. This is the second time we accompany a group of our graduate students to this conference. It was a wonderful experience (see report below).
1) Graduate Spanish Students at the 2nd Annual Interdisciplinary Conference, Oct 2016. 2) Prof. G. Alzate, Kino speaker at the 1st Annual Interdisciplinary Conference, Oct 2015.
*At the end, you will find students' testimonials.
The participation of eight Spanish M.A. students in the 3rd Interdisciplinary Conference in the Humanities taking place at Sac State on October 28, 2017, is proof of our students’ academic potential. It is also a testament to the support CSULA Arts and Letters professors provide to graduate students.
Spanish M.A. students presented research papers developed while taking two graduate seminars with Professor Gaston Alzate. Students Claudia Landeros, Lisette Flores, Yerania Estrada, and Yeraldin Estrada took SPAN 5000 (Academic Writing) last Spring semester, and continued working and polishing their class papers with the professor in Fall 2017. Students Cliff Maksushimat, Laura Flores, and Diana Trujillo are taking SPAN 5450 (Spanish American Poetry) this Fall. At the beginning of the semester Prof. Alzate announced to students they would have the option to present their papers at this conference and worked closely with all of them. Finally, student Pedro Lopez presented a paper he wrote for another class with Professor Alzate (SPAN 4830- Spanish American Novel). Last year Mr. Lopez also attended the conference to present another paper he wrote under the guidance of Prof. Alzate. Professor Marin attended to support the students, and also served as moderator to a panel.
Prof. Marin interviewed some of students regarding their experience at the conference. Here are some testimonials they provided.
“The preparation I had was key. The process of revising and correcting my paper with the professor was very important. I felt prepared. Presenting at the conference has been very gratifying, it opens up your vision. It is different from presenting in class because it is kind of a protected environment, but a conference is more like real life. This experience really helps in professionalizing students. Listening to different papers and viewpoints is also interesting. I also noticed that CSULA students were very well prepared as compared to graduate students from other schools.”
At first, I was not confident that I would be able to do a good job, but the professor guided me, and I think I did well because I put a lot of effort into it. It was also important for me to realize that a paper is not a summary of existing bibliography, but that I really had to come up with an original thesis, and be able to support it with meaningful arguments. I was very nervous at first, but then realized “yes, you can.” Now I will not be as nervous when answering questions on my research.
“While challenging at the beginning, it was an enriching experience. I used to think that only doctoral students present at conferences.”
“I want thank the professors because they encourage us to keep researching, studying, and reviewing. These aspects are key in order to move forward. I will be applying to PhD programs and the experience of knowing how to develop a thesis is very helpful. I thank Professors Alzate and Marin, as well as the conference organizers. It was a really good experience.
“Conferences are important at the academic level. The professor made us rehearse, and at this conference I realized that CSULA prepares you on how to present. Now I am not afraid to make presentations in public. This experience will be helpful for any future career. I learned a lot.”