Thinking Outside The Classroom: IEDI Encourages Student Leaders To Serve on Conference Panel

This week’s focus for the Institutional Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (IEDI) Update is the upcoming event “Think Outside the Classroom,” a panel discussion about the value of attending conferences.  Organizer Catherine Stevens is a student worker at the IEDI. She and other student workers staff the main desk in the IEDI in Forum 220 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday.  The students organize or help with events which highlight the department’s themes of equity, diversity and inclusion.

“Think Outside the Classroom” will be on Wednesday March 4 from 12 to 1 pm in Forum 220.  Panelists from the LBCC Space Exploration Team, Theater Department, Math Department, Writing Center, and Student Leadership Council will share about conferences they have attended or will be attending.  Stevens is welcoming new panelists any time up to February 28. 

Attending conferences, Stevens has found, gives you an extra boost in college.  “It kind of gives you superpowers,” said Stevens, explaining that college students come to college as newbies, but it is the choices students make once they’re in college that separate them from the crowd.

“If you think of being in college, and you think of disregarding financial status everyone starts out at the same level,” said Stevens. “Then you do research, and you go to office hours, and that boosts you up a little bit.  One thing I’ve found recently is that when I go to a conference, that gives me an extra boost of learning about another company or a subfield in my major that I wouldn’t have thought of pursuing. So I just want to show other students that there might be possibilities like that in their major, because I only know about computer science.  That’s why I’m trying to get panelists from a wide swathe of majors.”

“I hope that students find it useful,” said Stevens.  She is compiling a list of conferences that are inexpensive conferences or offer scholarships to hand out to students at the event.  Emily Dray from the Advising Center will open the event with a short presentation. “There will definitely be food at the event,” said Stevens.Students and staff who are interested in being one of the panelists should email Stevens at Catherine.stevens.1021@mail.linnbenton.edu or talk to staff in the IEDI, Forum 220, by February 28, and everyone is welcome and encouraged to attend the presentation and panel on March 4.

Story by Karen Canan

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