Cascading opportunities

Shared by Avery Scherer - 10/18/2016

For students, conferences are where you learn to network and establish connections that allow you to create diverse and impactful research. They are where you learn to communicate and to speak confidently to peers in your field. And they are where you bond with your adviser and your labmates outside the lab. But student travel funding is often limited and, in many cases, advisers have to be selective about who they chose to take.

My experience with the travel funding available through the Title V grant known as ELITE at TAMUCC eliminated many of these concerns for the years the program was active. When preparing for the biggest meeting we attend each year, the Benthic Ecology Meeting, at least one or two students would receive travel awards through ELITE. These often went to newer students who might have been left behind otherwise and this was the case my first year when I was able to not only attend Benthics but also to present a poster despite having started my graduate work only six months beforehand.

And the additional funding often allowed my adviser to send undergraduate in our lab to the meeting, which is rare and valuable experience at that level. So the results of this funding often trickled down, making it possible for students of all levels to attend meeting they would not have otherwise and building a sense of team amongst my labmates.