him: “Wait…how many of you are here?”

me: “There are 12 of us here at the SAA annual meeting. 9 undergrads, 2 recent graduates, and Professor Dodd.”

him: “You’re crazy…why would you invite your undergrads to a conference? Conferences are our chance to get away from them!”

Dinner with Professor Dodd at the 2009 SAA annual meeting in Atlanta

Dinner with Professor Dodd at the 2009 SAA annual meeting in Atlanta

My colleaugue’s response kind of took me off guard. Is one of the reasons why students rarely attend conferences because the professors get so sick of them that they need a vacation? If that is the case, then Lynn Dodd and USC are a very different breed.  Professor Dodd encourages her undergraduate students to perform mentored research projects, write journal articles AND attend and present papers at international conferences. I feel so lucky to be in a program where I am not treated as an annoyance. Instead, I am treated as a colleague.

–Ashley Sands

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