This is a banner year for NERA—our 50th
Anniversary Conference! We are counting on you to celebrate it with us. Much has changed since 1969, so it is appropriate that this year’s theme is “Transformation by Design,”
and we are planning the conference as purposefully as the theme indicates.
Mark your calendars and join us at the Marriott Hotel in Trumbull, CT on October 16-18, 2019. Membership and conference registration forms will be available on the NERA website
this summer. If you haven’t yet, please submit a proposal and share the call for proposals
with friends and colleagues. The deadline for submissions is June 2, 2019.
Many exciting things are in store for the conference participants this year, beginning with a stellar group of speakers and panelists: Keynote Speakers:
Three great keynote speakers are confirmed for Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday:
- Dr. Monika Williams Shealey – Senior Vice President of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Division at Rowan University;
- Dr. Alina von Davier – Senior Vice President at ACTNext; and
- Dr. Ezekiel Dixon-Román – Associate Professor and Chair of the Data Analytics for Social Policy Certificate at UPenn’s Social Policy and Practice program.
In addition to the speakers, we will have a panel discussion featuring Kristen Huff – Vice President of Assessment and Research at Curriculum Associates, Alina von Davier – Senior Vice President at ACTNext, and Rebecca Zwick – Distinguished Presidential Appointee at the Educational Testing Service. The panel will be moderated by Ellen Forte – CEO and Chief Scientist of edCount LLC and will focus on the experiences these thoughtful leaders have had transforming themselves, their organizations, and the education field.
In addition, we are planning a variety of engaging professional development opportunities: 3MT Competition:
Inspired by the University of Queensland’s Three-Minute Thesis Competition (3MT), this year NERA will hold its own 3MT event. Conference participants can volunteer for one of the limited spots in the competition, in which they will have three minutes to efficiently explain the breadth and significance of their research in a presentation aimed at a non-technical audience. We will have two competition groups: graduate students and professionals. Winners in each category will receive prizes! If you were not able to attend the informational webinar about the 3MT on May 1, you can view the recording of the session available on the NERA website. An email seeking contestants for each competition group will be sent in late summer. Webinars:
We will be hosting three webinars tied directly to the conference. The first webinar, which explained the 3-Minute Thesis (3MT) Competition, was held on May 1. (The recording is available on the NERA website.) The next two upcoming webinars in the conference series are “Key Advice for Different NERA Research Formats” and “Getting the Most Out of the NERA Annual Meeting”—these will be held in the next few months. Be on the lookout for more details! Professional Development Workshops
: For the third time, we are soliciting proposals for workshops. The voting system initiated last year was well received and will be continued this year to ensure that the workshop selections are membership driven. Once the workshop deadline passes (May 17, 2019), we will compile the workshop descriptions and distribute them to members for a vote. Stay tuned!
Our committees are also working hard to offer the best experience to our conference participants: GSIC Sessions
: This year, GSIC will be offering two different sessions. The first one, titled “Getting Through It: Managing the Dissertation Process,”
is a panel discussion that includes doctoral students who recently finished their dissertations, sharing their stories and offering tips and guidance. The second one, titled “The Business of Our Business,”
is a small workshop/panel that will explain how to incorporate yourself into a separate legal entity for business purposes, legal issues you may face when working on a grant or contracting, and how to plan for and limit your potential tax liability. Mentoring:
The mentoring program will provide graduate students with the opportunity to meet with professionals in the field. Mentors can provide individualized feedback on research projects and/or dissertations, as well as provide guidance during the conference. Conference App
: We will continue to use the conference app to provide conference information, facilitate interactions among NERA members at the conference, and allow researchers to share their slides and papers with colleagues easily. However, don’t worry, we will also have a PDF version of the program available!
We are also planning some fun activities to celebrate the 50th
anniversary of NERA. Make sure to pack your 1969 outfit for the party!
Finally, a sincere thank you to the 2018 NERA conference co-chairs, Jade Caines Lee and Tabitha McKinley, and Past President Javarro Russell for a successful conference and for their innovative ideas—like the Parent Room for expectant and/or nursing moms, which will also be available this year. Thank you also to those who responded to the conference evaluation survey. Your feedback has been invaluable for our planning!
If you have any questions or comments about the conference, please feel free to reach out to the 2019 co-chairs at NERA.CoChairs@gmail.com
. We are eager to connect with current (and soon-to-be) members.
We are looking forward to seeing you all in October at the 50th
Anniversary NERA Conference!
Alejandra Garcia, Paola Heincke, and Bridget Thomas
2019 NERA Conference Co-Chairs