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Scholarship Recipient Applies Experience to the Classroom

January 26, 2018 11:53 AM | ACHE Home Office (Administrator)

Laura Parker
University of Oklahoma

2017 ACHE Graduate Student Conference Grant Recipient

Ms. Parker's recognition at the 79th Annual ACHE Conference and Meeting by 2017 ACHE President Clare Roby

ACHE's Graduate Student Conference Grant
The purpose of the ACHE Graduate Student Conference Grant is to provide financial support to graduate students interested in attending the annual ACHE meeting. The Association members believe that their interest and future contributions to the field of continuing higher education will help maintain the vitality of the organization. The ACHE Graduate Student Conference Grant covers the awardee's conference registration fee, travel and lodging up to a maximum of $1500.

The 2017 recipient was Laura Parker, an instructor at the University of Oklahoma Center for English as a Second Language (CESL).  Here is her story!

My name is Laura Parker, and I am an instructor at the University of Oklahoma Center for English as a Second Language (CESL). I have my master’s in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) through Emporia State University, Emporia, Kansas, and am currently working on my Doctorate of Education in Adult Education at Capella University. I heard of the ACHE Annual Conference in Portland, OR and was excited to apply for the ACHE Graduate Student Conference Grant for the opportunity to attend. I have never participated in the conference before, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. I was pleasantly surprised, made connections I wouldn’t have made and learned more in-depth what ACHE was all about.

Ms. Parker with Dr. Belinda Biscoe, ACHE Executive Vice President and Vice President for University Outreach, University of Oklahoma

A First Timer’s Perspective
As a first-timer, the annual ACHE conference was fantastic! Everyone was welcoming and friendly, and I felt like I was among friends that I have known for a long time. The ACHE annual conference gave me an opportunity to network with other professionals in the field of adult education and provided me with the tools and strategies to further develop my skills in teaching university-level English as a Second Language (ESL). It also allowed me to gain insight into leadership within the continuing higher education arena and helped with research ideas for the ESL classroom and with my doctorate studies in Adult Education. The atmosphere was laid back and comfortable, and the number of attendees was perfect.

Key Learnings and Applying New Knowledge
The breakout sessions were engaging and informative. I was able to immediately make networking connections through Dr. Covelli and Ms. Hearn’s LinkedIn workshop. 

As an instructor at the University of Oklahoma Center for English as a Second Language (CESL), I was able to take what I learned from Natasha Teetsov’s session on “Creating a Student Ambassador Community” and develop an ambassador program at CESL. I successfully piloted the ambassador program Fall 2017 session with three students and will have a total of eight students to start Spring 2018 session.

Ms. Parker with the Student Ambassadors at the CESL Graduation

As an instructor of international students, plagiarism is a big issue with some students, and teaching how not to can be a challenge. The workshop “Plagiarism: Helping the Adult Learner to Avoid it,” by Dr. Bonhomme, helped me to identify solutions and approaches to help students avoid plagiarism. Since the conference, I have been able to share the valuable information with my colleagues at CESL.

Finally, I recently presented at the annual Oklahoma TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) conference this past November, and the information gained from the workshop “Convert a Presentation to a Publication” by Royce Ann Collins, gave a step-by-step process on how I may be able to convert a presentation into a publication. 

My Professional Next Steps
My future professional plans are to present at the 80th Annual ACHE conference, continue to grow the CESL Student Ambassador Program, and continue my research on instructor professional development through my doctorate program in Adult Education.

Make an Impact in 2018
You can make an impact on the life of a current graduate student's career trajectory by giving to the 2018 ACHE Graduate Student Conference Grant. 
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