Story by Cassie Wandersee, (master’s student)
When I accepted a position as a graduate teaching and research assistant nearly two years ago, I did not fully understand what communications research in the agricultural industry would look like. After being assigned my first literature review for a research project it seemed I was in over my head.
After a fair amount of coaching and several revision stages, I completed my first literature review. However, it wasn’t until I attended the SAAS 2015 conference in Atlanta that I realized the application of my literature reviews and research.
Research conferences provide an opportunity to share research and make connections with our colleges. As a graduate student, the various research conferences I attended were a source of inspiration for my own research and career goals. The networking opportunities and friendships I formed at conferences have been even more valuable to me.
Knowing the SAAS 2016 conference in San Antonio would be my last was a very bittersweet event. While I am very excited to complete my thesis research and continue on in my career, I will miss the friendships I have developed with my fellow students and colleagues at research conferences.
I would encourage all of our alumni and friends to attend a research conference if you are able. The application of research to our field and the relationships we form with our colleagues will only strengthen our discipline.