May 29, 2019
My childhood dream finally came true: I got paid to travel somewhere.
After eight months of revisions, deadlines, paperwork, and prayer, I boarded a plane destined for Rhode Island with my professor and one of my classmates. We were traveling to the Eastern Communication Association’s annual conference, a four-day event filled with panels, sessions, networking luncheons, and sightseeing wherever we could squeeze it in.
As Liberty continues to build its research programs, more and more students are getting involved in conducting research and presenting their findings at various conferences around the country. For my department though, this was the first time we sent students to present somewhere, and everyone was THRILLED. I had a research paper accepted to a panel symposium, and I was also part of a group project that was accepted to a poster session. In fact, our group project was accepted to two conferences; half of us went to ECA and the other two members of our team attended the 2019 NCUR conference in Georgia. It was a huge deal, and I honestly can’t believe we got to represent our school through our academic achievements AND get to travel.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t really have the money lying around to buy plane tickets, hotel rooms, and food for a six-day trip to New England. However, Liberty University is so supportive of student research that they developed the Center for Research and Scholarship, a team of faculty dedicated to helping students conduct research and have opportunities to present their findings. After completing a rigorous application, my team was awarded a generous grant to cover our travel costs. Truly, we wouldn’t have been able to go if it wasn’t for the support from our university!
Providence, Rhode Island was an absolute whirlwind experience; I learned SO MUCH at the conference and had a BLAST exploring the city. My favorite part of the whole trip was a conversation I had partway through the week with a fellow researcher, and I loved meeting so many students from other universities! My classes at Liberty prepared me so well to participate confidently in this conference, and I firmly believe any of my peers could go share research too. If you enjoy research and are willing to put in a little extra work, talk to your professors about conference opportunities!