Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Technical AERA Tips for the 2013 Annual Meeting

The 2013 AERA Annual Meeting is almost here! To prepare, here are some more tips for attending the conference. These tips complement those general conference attendance tips we posted roughly 3 weeks ago. If you have any questions about topics specific to the AERA annual meeting and its structure, then these tips are for you!

These tips are a modification of an earlier blog post written by Yin Wah Kreher (2012, Feb. 24),  with questions compiled by Janice Hansen while they worked at the 2011 New Orleans Annual Meeting Graduate Student Council (GSC) Registration Booth. Both were GSC Division C Reps. These were the most frequently asked questions by graduate students who stopped by the GSC Reg Booth. 

The original post on which this is based can be retrieved from:
10 Most Frequently Asked Questions at NOLA Annual Meeting 2011 Reg Booth.]

Will I get into trouble if I walk in late for a session?

Definitely! There's an AERA latecomers patrol! Just kidding. You won't get into trouble because we understand travel plans can change, and sometimes it’s a bit of a walk to get from one venue to another. However, when you are late, please be as minimally disruptive as possible. Also, if you need to leave early try to wait for a break or transition between speakers.

What is a Division Session?

There are 12 divisions within AERA. Each division focuses on broad research or professional interests, ranging from administration and curriculum to teacher education to education policy and politics. You can find out more about the divisions at: http://www.aera.net/AboutAERA/MemberConstituents/Divisions/tabid/10178/Default.aspx

A "division session" is one that is planned by a specific division and thus is aligned with their research and professional interests.

What is a SIG?

“SIG” stands for Special Interest Group. SIGs are more specialized than divisions, and are a forum of involvement and collaboration for individuals interested in a specific field of study, teaching, or research. You can search for events hosted by particular SIGs in the online program.

More information on SIGs and a SIGs directory can be found here: http://www.aera.net/AboutAERA/MemberConstituents/SIGs/tabid/10179/Default.aspx

What is an Invited Session? Does that mean I have to be invited to attend?

No, you don’t have to be invited to attend an invited session. “Invited” just means that the speaker was invited to give the presentation, or that the division was invited to submit a session. Typically this indicates that the speaker is well-known in that area.

What is a Paper Session?

In paper sessions, authors present abbreviated versions of their papers, followed by comments/critiques by a discussant and then a general audience discussion. In general, program chairs should plan on featuring four to five papers in a Paper Session.  A typical structure for a session with four or five papers is approximately 5 minutes for the chair to introduce the session, 12 minutes per author presentation, 12 minutes of critique by discussant(s), and 15 minutes of discussion with panel and audience.

More details about paper sessions can be found here: http://www.aera.net/EventsMeetings/AnnualMeeting/2013AnnualMeetingDetails/PresenterParticipantInformation/tabid/14778/Default.aspx#session

What is a Roundtable Session?

This session format is like an informal paper session. Each table will have 3-5 researchers presenting their accepted papers on topics of similar interest. There will be a Chair who is knowledgeable about the research area facilitating interactions and participation. Interaction is emphasized with these sessions, so attendees can engage in dialogue with the researchers. Roundtables are scheduled for 90-minute timeslots, and the tables start with 10 chairs. Some additional chairs will be available to add to popular tables, but get there early if you really want a seat!

More details about round table sessions can be found here: http://www.aera.net/EventsMeetings/AnnualMeeting/2013AnnualMeetingDetails/PresenterParticipantInformation/tabid/14778/Default.aspx#session

Can I attend a Business Meeting?

Yes, if it is an open meeting. There are open business meetings run by every Division and SIG.

Are there parties or social events where I can meet other graduate students?

Yes! There are GSC networking sessions, and Division and SIG business meetings, receptions, and socials. In fact, we are hosting a graduate student social (along with the Motivation in Education SIG) on Monday, April 29th. We’ll meet at 8:30PM (after the Division C business meeting) for some good food and drinks at Lefty O'Doul's. Come join us there!

Here’s the blog-post about the social:


How can I meet [insert academic idol’s name here]?

You can search the online program now or check the phone program app/paper program at the conference for “People” who are attending and presenting. If they are presenting, attend their session and stay afterwards to introduce yourself and to talk about their research and your interests. Be mindful of their time though, because they are busy people!

What should I do if two sessions I want to attend are scheduled at the same time?

You can go to one session early to see if you can get handouts or business cards from the presenters (this is better suited for roundtable and poster sessions), and then attend the other session. Or you could attend the first presentation of one session, then quietly excuse yourself and head to the other session to catch the later presentations (better suited for events with distinct presentation formats like paper sessions). Research papers are also uploaded to the online repository, so you can access any presenter’s paper there.

How do I access the online paper repository?

If you want to find an accepted paper presented at the conferences, you can search the online repository. If you are an AERA member, on your login page you will find “Online Paper Repository” under Member Benefits.

Here are more specific details for accessing the repository: http://www.aera.net/Publications/OnlinePaperRepository/tabid/10250/Default.aspx

For more general tips about attending conferences, see our General Conference Tips blog post and all related older posts:


Division Happenings in San Francisco - a letter from our Vice President

Dear Div C Members:

AERA is set to begin in just a few days. As you make final preparations, please be sure to pencil the following Division C happenings in your calendar. Of particular note this year are several special events on the opening day of the conference including two sessions open to all Division C graduate students and new faculty on the job search and getting published. Also, new this year is the VP’s Conference Klatch, which is meant to be a way for Division C graduate students and new faculty to meet-and-greet Division C scholars.  If you are in San Francisco on Saturday, please make plans to attend!!

Safe Travels,
P. Karen Murphy
Div C Vice President

An American Educational Research Association List If you need assistance with this list, please send an email to listadmin@aera.net.


We are very excited about the Annual Meeting in San Francisco and wanted to share some Division C highlights! As we planned the annual meeting our goal was to build on the successful formats of previous years, while adding a few new sessions to keep the meeting interesting. Please take note of the following as you create your personal calendars.

Open Professional Development Pre-Conference Sessions for Division C Graduate Students and New Faculty
(Saturday, April 27, see times below, Parc 55, Second Level, Divisadero)
As you are aware, Division C is extremely dedicated to providing mentoring for its graduate students and new faculty. One of our goals this year was to find a way to provide professional development sessions that would be open to all Division C students and new faculty. These sessions will take place in conjunction with the New Faculty Mentoring Seminar and the Graduate Student Research Seminar.  While many of the activities for these groups are by invitation, this year’s seminar will include an open session on the Job Search for all interested Division C graduate students from 8:45-9:45am. This session will be followed by an Editor Panel for interested Division C graduate students and new faculty from 10-11am
Vice-President’s Conference Klatch: Coffee and Conversation Among Division C Scholars and Graduate Students
(Saturday, April 27, 11:00am-12:00pm, Parc 55, Second Level, Divisadero)
Please make plans to attend the first annual Vice-President’s Conference Klatch. The idea is to provide an opportunity for Division C graduate students to have coffee and conversation with scholars from our Division. The session will be informal and we will provide nametags to facilitate meeting-and-greeting new folks. All Division C members are encouraged to attend!!

Division C Business Meeting (#191941)
(Monday, April 29, 6:30-8:00pm, Westin St. Francis, Second Level, California East)
The Division C Business Meeting will be held midway through the conference. In addition to briefing the membership on the work of the Division during the past year, we have a few new events in store. Following the updates from the various committees, the Division will host a reception with refreshments and local music.

“Soaps-for-Suds” Exchange: Starting this year, we would like to find at least one way that our Division can give back to the community where the annual meeting is taking place. This year we will be working in collaboration with the Glide Memorial Church in San Francisco. Our goal will be to collect and donate as many “unopened hotel soaps” as possible at the Business meeting, and the individuals at Glide Memorial Church will make sure that they are distributed to individuals in poverty. As a way of encouraging members to bring their “unopened hotel soaps” we are going to exchange “suds (a drink ticket) for soaps” during the Division reception. Be sure to bring your soaps!!
Highlighted Division Posters: As a way of highlighting the scientific research being conducted by Division members in poster sessions, Section Chairs/Co-Chairs selected outstanding posters. The selected posters will be displayed at the Division reception by their authors. We encourage members to take the time to view the highlighted posters.

Session Highlights
Vice-Presidential Session (# 185034)
(Monday, April 29, 10:35am-12:05pm, Hilton Union Square/Yosemite B)
Many scholars of the Division lead the country in ground-breaking intervention research.  Such research, while rewarding and critical to the education of our Nation’s students, is challenging.  The Vice President’s Session this year, Examining Innovations-Navigating the Dynamic Complexities of School-Based Intervention Research, brings together scholars who have demonstrated success in such intervention research. These scholars will share their interventions and experiences including the many rewards and challenges of conducting such research. P. Karen Murphy will serve as chair for this dynamic session, which will include Clark Chinn, Jennifer Cromley, Dorothy Espelage, Susan Goldman, Krista Muis, Linda Mason, Margaret McKeown, and John Star as participants with P. David Pearson as Reactant. This not-to-be missed session is designed with an innovative format such that each participant and the reactant will have exactly 10 minutes to address a series of questions, with the slides advancing automatically.

Conference-Themed Session (# 185035)
(Sunday, April 28, 4:05-6:05pm, Westin St. Francis, Second level, California East)
Building on the conference theme, Tim Urdan and Avi Kaplan have prepared an innovative session scheduled for Sunday evening titled, Harnessing Educational Research to Address the Main Concerns of Educators of Students in Poverty: Setting a User-Inspired Research Agenda Through Educators-Researchers Collaboration. In this highlighted session, educators working in poverty will come together with Division C members to identify and discuss critical areas of research that Division members can tackle in direct response to the many challenges faced in schools with children in poverty.

Award Sessions
Peter Smagorinsky, of the University of Georgia, will give the Sylvia Scribner Award Address (# 185037) on Tuesday, April 30, at 2:00-3:30pm in the Westin St. Francis, Second Level, California East. His thought provoking talk is titled Constructing Positive Social Updrafts for Extranormative Personalities.

This year’s Jan Hawkins Award Address (# 185038) will be presented by Tobin White, from the University of California-Davis. His session titled, Tensions and Dilemmas in Design-Based Research, will be held on Sunday April 28 from 12:25-1:55pm in the Westin St. Francis, California East.

Graduate Student Committee Session (# 185036)
(Monday, April 29, 2:45-4:15pm, Westin St. Francis, Second Level, California East)
The Division C Graduate Student Committee is hosting a compelling session featuring eminent scholars.  Dr. Andrew Martin from the University of Sydney will present Academic Buoyancy, Academic Resilience, and Adaptability: Exploring Young People’s Responses to Adversity and Uncertainty and Dr. Jelena Obradović from Stanford University will present, The Importance of Biological Sensitivity and Executive Functioning in the Context of Risk and Resilience.

Co-sponsored Presidential Sessions
Enhancing Well-Being of Children and Youth Living in Poverty, Sun, Apr 28 - 10:35am - 12:05pm in the Hilton Union Square, Ballroom Level - Continental 6
Inspired! Neuroscientific, Psychological, and Educational Research Perspectives on Promoting Optimal Learning States in Urban Schools, Tuesday, April 30 - 8:00am - 9:30am in the Hilton Union Square, Ballroom Level - Continental 6 

Be sure to look for more Division C papers, roundtables, and posters in the searchable online program (aera.net) and download the program app, which will be available in mid-April. See everyone in San Francisco.

P. Karen Murphy, Division C Vice President
Rayne Sperling, Division C Program Chair

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Campus Liaison Spotlight: Meet Musheera Anis!

Hi everyone!

It’s time to meet our next liaison in our campus liaison spotlight series. Meet Musheera Anis from the University of South Dakota!

Name: Musheera Anis
Hometown: Mansoura, Egypt
Current University: University of South Dakota       
Program: PhD in Human Development and Educational Psychology
Advisor: Professor Harry Freeman

Q. How did you decide to go to graduate school?
A. I have been working as a child psychiatrist in Egypt for over 9 years when I realized that I want more out of my career. In addition to my duties as a clinician, I also enjoyed teaching and tutoring younger Psychiatrists and Psychologists.  I felt the need to gain more experience in teaching as well as improve my research skills. I was also aware of the need of serious educational reform within the Egyptian school systems because of my work with families and children. I wanted to gain knowledge that will help me be part of that change. Looking into the different programs I chose the PhD program in Human Development and Educational Psychology because it would provide me with a strong research background and also help develop my teaching skills. I also liked that the program was flexible enough that I can focus on my individual interests and research.

Q. What did you do before going to graduate school?
A. I worked as a child psychiatrist in Egypt. I was in charge of the only center for children with disabilities in an area of a population of over 6 million people. I treated kids with ADHD and Autism as well as provided support to their families. In addition, I was an advocate for the rights of people with disabilities. I was also involved in several projects that aimed at improving parenting skills within families and introducing the latest research on parenting to the general public.
Q. What do you like best about your program/school?
A. The department is characterized by a relatively small niche where faculty and students can form close academic and personal relationships. It was my experience that professors are genuinely invested in my growth as a teacher and as a scholar. My close working relationship with my advisor and my collaboration with other professors is of exceptional quality. Joining the program and coming to the US as an international student with two kids, posed certain unique challenges on both the academic and personal levels. For example, I had to live on my own for the first time in my life. Back home, like most Egyptians I lived with my family until I got married and then after marriage I relied on my husband in so many things, little things that I did not really think about at the time, like transportation or grocery shopping. I also had a nice lady who helped me 3 times a week doing all the house chores and a driver who took to work. I had to learn how drive, how to take care of a house and 2 kids on my own, How to balance a checkbook, and so much more. I was helped by the amazing faculty and graduate students in the department of Educational Psychology. They helped me maneuver a very different educational system as well as giving me the much needed moral support. I was also encouraged to share my experiences and skills within the university as well as the community. I believe that my experience here will impact my life beyond the years of graduate school and that this quality training will lead me to take steps forward to academic and professional success.

Q. What are your current research interests?
A. Attachment Theory, PDD, Trisomy 21, and educational reform.

Q. What career do you want upon graduation (Faculty or other)?
A. I would like to continue in academia as a university professor. In addition, I will continue to be involved in promoting and improving the lives of people with special needs and their families.

Q. If you could change anything about education, what would it be?
A. I would put less emphasis on standardized testing and more energy and focus on projects that impact lives and relate to the students environments.

Q. What is your favorite research article and why?
A. I do not have a particular article that I like but I enjoy reading about Attachment Theory and I find it very fascinating. Reading some of the original work by Bowlby and Ainsworth is always interesting.

Q. What was your proudest moment or greatest accomplishment?
A. Several of the educational psychologists that I trained in Egypt have opened up more good rehabilitation and special needs centers. Knowing that I inspired these people to continue within this field and that I contributed many children and their families receiving the care that they very much need, keeps me inspired in everything that I do.

Thank you for participating Musheera :-)

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Division C Graduate Student Social Announcement

If you'll be in San Fransisco on Monday, April 29th, please join us at Lefty O'Doul's for our Division C & Motivation in Education SIG student social! We'll meet up after the Division C business meeting for some yummy food, good drinks, and great company. :-)

We hope to see you there!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

General Conference Tips for AERA 2013

As most of you are probably aware, the annual AERA meeting in San Francisco is quickly approaching. Just 24 more days! In light of this, we want to share some of our suggestions with you about how to make this a successful and fun conference experience. Feel free to add your own advice as a comment below!

  • Pack snacks and a refillable water bottle. You’ll probably get hungry or thirsty between your meals, so it’s nice to have something quick handy for between sessions.
  • Bring a small notepad and pen. In sessions and conversations, you’ll probably hear information relevant to your work and may think of some interesting ideas, so it’s good to jot those down as they come to you.
  • Wear business professional or business casual dress when attending conference events.
  • Wear COMFORTABLE shoes. Sometimes sessions are far apart and require a decent walk. Plus, you’ll do a lot of standing at poster sessions and crowded round tables.
  • Take breaks! You don’t need to see everything, and taking the time to explore or to reflect is a good way to give your brain a rest.
  • Look at the program BEFORE you attend the conference. This conference is huge (and the program is like a book), so you may feel overwhelmed if you wait until the day of to look. Plus, planning ahead keeps you from missing something you really want to see.
  • Take some time to check out San Francisco. It’s a beautiful city, and sight-seeing is a good way to break up a long day of sessions. You’ll already be there, so why not??