During my time at AERA I had the opportunity to learn a few things.  While I learned a great deal from the presentations I attended, a major part of my learning had to do about my decision to attend Chapman.

Three years ago I began my PhD journey.  I chose Chapman for a few reasons, but mostly I felt that I would need the support of an intimate school.  (Obtaining my Masters was a solo journey, and I did not want that experience again.)  The time at AERA confirmed that I had made the right decision.

At the Chapman reception, the room was filled with students, faculty, and renowned scholars.  I had a conversation with Dean Cardinal, hugged Shirley Steinberg, chatted with Peter McLaren, and continued a developing conversation with our friends from New Zealand.  Of course, this is all in addition to the hellos and discussions with our own faculty; they graciously took the time to engage in follow-up discussions- always expressing interest and concern about the status of our work.

After the reception, a group of us chatted well into the evening.  The hotel staff sent subtle hints that they wanted to clean the room, so we left and spread laughter in the halls.  The following evening, a group of us students had dinner with a Lilia Monzo and her family.  After the meal her family went back to the hotel, and she continued our conversation over coffee.  We talked about our research, among other things.

Upon our return, we ran into Suzi SooHoo.  She sat with us in the hotel lobby.  After a long day and with the pressures of a busy morning to come, she still took the time to check in with us­ asking about our time at the conference and our research.

AERA offers many opportunities.  Among them, I most hold dear the opportunity to connect with other like-minded individuals- especially those in our own backyard!

For more about CES at AERA 2012, click here.

To read about Doctoral Alumni, Dr. Dina Eletreby’s experience at AERA 2012, click here.