2019 NERA Conference – 50 Years

October 16-18, 2019
Trumbull, Connecticut

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. See preliminary program.
Join us for the 2019 NERA Conference at the Trumbull Marriott Shelton in Trumbull, CT on October 16-18, 2019. Membership and conference registration forms are available on the NERA website[1]. Don't forget to book your hotel[2] too.
Many exciting things are in store for the conference participants this year:
Keynote Speakers: Two great keynote speakers are confirmed for Wednesday and Thursday:
  • Dr. Ezekiel Dixon-Román – Associate Professor and Chair of the Data Analytics for Social Policy Certificate at UPenn’s Social Policy and Practice program; and
  • Dr. Alina von Davier – Senior Vice President at ACTNext.
Panelists: 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.
Pre-Conference and in-conference Workshops: The membership-driven conference workshops begun last year. Given the positive feedback, we continued that process this year. We will have five pre-conference workshops beginning Wednesday morning, and additional in-conference workshop options on Thursday and Friday. These workshops were all chosen by the members votes. Some of the workship topics include:
  • Using R to Automatically Generate Reports and Presentations with Officer
  • Using Stan for Bayesian Estimation of Item Response Theory Models
  • Supporting Social Justice in STEM for Culturally-Diverse Learners
  • An Introduction to Multilevel Structural Equation Modeling with R
  • Pursue Smarter Pathways to Success: Transform Education through Predictive Analytics
There are also different and interesting opportunities for professional development:
3MT Competition: Inspired by the University of Queensland’s Three-Minute Thesis Competition (3MT), this year NERA will hold its own 3MT event. The 3MT is an academic competition that focuses on fostering effective presentation and communication skills. Participants have three minutes to 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! We need 5 contestants for each group. If you would like to compete in this fun and exciting event, please email Bridget Thomas at
Webinars: We are hosting three webinars tied directly to the conference:  
  • Getting the Most Out of the NERA Meeting - Tuesday, October 8 at 12:30 pm EDT. Join here.
  • 3-Minute Thesis (3MT) Competition - held on May 1. The recording is available on the NERA website.
  • Presenting at NERA: Key Suggestions for Different Presentation Types - held on September 18. The recording is available on the NERA website.
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:
Oral history project: To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the NERA conference, we will be video recording NERA members’ stories and anecdotes about how participating in NERA has impacted them. Have a story you want to share? Be on the lookout during the conference for scheduled times and locations to record your story. A compilation video of the best stories will be shared after the conference and posted on the website.
1969 celebration: Dress in your best groovy outfit and join us for an evening of peace, love, and fun; as we celebrate 50 years since the first NERA Conference in 1969. Best outfit wins a prize!
Photo Booth: Grab a prop, strike a pose, take some shots and share them using the hashtag #NERA50th.

If you have any questions or comments about the conference, please feel free to reach out to the 2019 co-chairs at
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
[1] The system will not accept your registration until membership is complete; make sure you get a new membership or renew your membership for the current year before you register. 
[2] This is a NERA-specific link that will ensure you get the discounted rate: You may also call the hotel at 1.800.682.4095 and tell them you are attending the NERA conference. 

Find out more about the 2019 NERA conference by clicking on the links below:

Become a Member
Register for the 2019 NERA Conference

Book your hotel
Preliminary Schedule


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