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Pamela L. Eddy
 
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Pamela L. Eddy
Professor, Higher Education
College of William & Mary
Member of Division J - Postsecondary Education

I think of the way AERA provides a hub for connecting when I think of what AERA has done for my career and for my research agenda. Like several members, I first started attending AERA as a graduate student, though perhaps not all new graduate students are 40 years old! 

At the time, I had the good fortune of being the graduate assistant to Ann Austin, who was serving as the program chair for Division J for the conference. The year marked the transition from paper submissions to an all-new online system. As with any change, the move to online submissions presented challenges and opportunities. For me, it was an amazing opportunity as I dealt with all of the proposals behind the scenes and when arriving at the conference felt like old friends with all those on the conference program.

This sense of connection and networking has continued over time, and across generations of scholars. I have cooked up research projects during conversations over breakfast or in hallway conversations, have had the chance to mentor emerging scholars, and have been able to connect my lines of inquiry in an interdisciplinary fashion across the many divisions and SIGs of AERA. AERA provides an opportunity seldom available in other conference forums given its size, breadth, and its international presence. 


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