Guam NSF EPSCoR along with the NSF INCLUDES: SEAS Islands Alliance Guam Hub held a near peer session on Thursday, October 12, at the University of Guam to prepare their program participants for the upcoming 2023 SACNAS NDISTEM Conference, which took place in Portland, Oregon from October 26 – 28.
This year, five undergraduate student researchers, four graduate research assistants, and two current summer math research program participants along with one alum from Guam NSF EPSCoR will be a part of a cohort of 34 students from the University of Guam who will attend the conference.
During the session, undergraduate and graduate student researchers talked about their experiences at past SACNAS conferences and gave advice to those who will attend the event for the first time.
“Students got into their individualized groups and learned how to better design their posters so that they’re not overwhelming but also still eye-catching,” said Emily Wendte, the Guam NSF EPSCoR Education and Workforce Development program associate. “When it comes to these sessions, we like to incorporate our own culture and identity while also relaying this scientific research in a very credible way.”
With guidance from Guam NSF EPSCOR and NSF INCLUDES staff, students discussed strategies on how to network at conference, entice attendees to visit their poster presentations, and bring their most authentic selves to the event.
“I really love the community that these near peer sessions have created,” said Wendte. “Students who have been to SACNAs or who have been a world traveler are able to relay tips and information on what to expect and what things will be like. We have some students who have never flown before and they’ve never gone that far. It’s really exciting to take them all the way to Oregon, but also be at a conference that supports who they are and the work that they do.”