SEARCH KENT STATE
From April 6 to April 9, Regional Academic Center CCP student Mary Elliott and undergraduate student Nicolette Napier attended the Conference on College Composition and Communication in Houston, Texas. This semester, Mary and Nicolette are enrolled in ENG 41198 as Professor Mahli Mechenbier’s research assistants. As part of their experiential learning experience, they have been working on (1) a National Council of Teachers of English survey regarding student perceptions of online courses, (2) a collection of annotations which will be published by Bedford/St. Martin’s in late 2016, and (3) a joint IRB—shared by Professor Mechenbier and Dr. Lisa Meloncon from the University of Cincinnati—which researches the working conditions of contingent faculty in Technical Writing.
At the conference, Mary and Nicolette had the chance to connect with other student research assistants from Colorado State University, Drexel University, Texas Tech University, and the University of Cincinnati. They met and networked with publishers and editors in the book exhibitors’ area, and they observed an executive meeting concerning a new journal for online literacy educators. The students attended five panel sessions on topics such as teaching strategies with students, technology trends and legislative politics in education, and plagiarism and cheating.
Mary reflects, “It was a good experience to be able to see how everything connects at the national level. What I noticed the most was how organized and dedicated the publishers were in their willingness to market their textbooks to professors.” Nicolette adds, “Even though I am a physical therapy major and am interested in the sciences more than in English, Professor Mechenbier showed us how to network, make connections, and exchange cards with students and faculty from other universities—and those skills will be useful at any conference in any profession.”
Professor Mechenbier summarizes the conference as being an incredible opportunity for her students: “I was both surprised and pleased at how quickly Mary and Nicolette took to the environment of a national convention. At CCCC, there are over 3,000 attendees and over 400 concurrent panel sessions in a four-day period. Watching my students represent Kent State: Geauga so professionally was the ideal way to conclude their experiential learning course, especially because they were in Houston to observe some of their research being presented to an audience of 68 professors. I am proud of what Mary and Nicolette have achieved as undergraduate research assistants this semester.”