Student Research Conference Observations

Last Wednesday we attended the Graduate Student Research Conference at Marymount University. This is actually the first ever research conference that I attended, so it was an entirely new experience for me and I did not know what to expect. Luckily the portion of the conference of which I had attended was related to a topic that has been the theme of our EN 571 course. It was very interesting to see the many different perspectives on Mary Shelley’s Franktenstein. Even though the perspectives presented were different from each other, they were all still similar in a way. They all had a portion discussing the negative nouns associated with the creature in Frankenstein. Each presentation spoke about these negative terms in a different perspective.

What I most enjoyed from those presentations informing the audience about the names in which the creature is referred to, was when my colleague Amy, was presenting her research and created a slide in her powerpoint dedicated entirely to the names associated with the creature. I wished I had taken a picture of that slide. I think that slide is beneficial in serving an introduction to people that are not familiar with Frankenstein since those names in the slide portray the theme and what to expect from the novel. My friend that came with me never encountered this novel before, but from how each presenter spoke about it, I think they each did a great job in introducing what Frankenstein is about. They all touched base on the storyline, the theme, the negativity in it, they were each able to cover the important parts of the novel and made those that are unfamiliar with it, still understand the research, so I applaud all of the presenters.

My favorite presentation by far and the one that I most looked forward to in terms of how it progressed, was Vincent’s creative school assignment on the novel. I think his project progressed positively in a vast way from how it first started, and it is a research project he should be very proud of. It was a presentation that was exciting to hear about, it was not something that you would lose focus in easily because of how engaging his ideas were. The audience was very intrigued to see how these characters would be on social media. I genuinely wish that more high schools would create assignments like this because, in high school, it is difficult to get the students to be engaged or even like a subject that they might be weak in, but when it comes to having them associate this subject with something they use in their daily lives, such as social media, they will have a different outlook on this subject and not dislike it as much. A lot of high school students either have a strong dislike for math or a strong dislike for their English classes. If English classes were to use this interesting spin with one of the assignments, the students will not see English as that bad of a class, since it is no longer boring, they can relate it to their everyday life.

I applaud all my peers that presented at the conference, they all did a great job, especially navigating their ideas to make it fit with the tight time frame. This is an extremely big assignment and they managed to get their ideas out and explain them clearly. All of their projects have transformed into really good outcome and it was fun to just see the final or almost the final outcome of their work. (568)

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