13th Annual WAESO Conference: A Student’s Perspective

Picture of seven UBRP students at WAESO Conference

UBRP students present at the 13th Annual WAESO Conference

The Western Alliance to Expand Student Opportunity (WAESO) held a student workshop and a conference for all students who receive funding from them. The workshop was all about context learning and how subjects can be approached in a different manner while still giving the same message. The example they talked about was an orchestra playing a song. In one video, they show that the conductor was the “main person” out of this whole group of people. The next video showed the same orchestra but now with a ballerina dancer. Now the focus shifted from the conductor to the dancer. The last video showed the entire orchestra playing the song while performing a routine, putting the focus on every individual equally. The point that was made after watching these three videos is that while the goal was to play this song, the way it can be performed may not be same. The WAESO staff then challenged us to see how we can take context learning and apply it to our research and interactions with others.

Picture of Ricky Lira presenting his poster

Ricardo Lira Jr. presents his research

The conference was very similar to that of the UBRP conference last January. There was a mixture of undergraduate and graduate students present their research. One aspect of the poster presentations that was

different was that every poster was judged for a competition. After the presentations, there was a panel of staff from ASU and graduate students that spoke to us about what it means to be a professor or a graduate student and why it is so important to pursue higher education. They went on to address common concerns students have about graduate school as in if it is worth it and how to afford it.

Not only was this event very informational, it was also very enjoyable. I got to meet with researchers like every here in UBRP and learn about the research they are doing. I also got to interact with friends from my program EHS-TRUE and enjoy the free time we had. To top it all off, lodging and travel expenses were covered, and a stipend will be mailed to us for attending. I hope to have the opportunity to attend again next year.