The Importance of Graduate Student Travel Funds

By Zane Wubbena
Doctoral Candidate in School Improvement

wubbena, zane

Front to back: Zane Wubbena, Angie Wang and Peter McLaren at the Vault Kitchen and Market in Savannah, GA

On February 25, 2017, I presented a paper titled “Visually Framing a Pedagogy for Space during the 2011 Chilean Student Movement” (forthcoming in Policy Futures in Education) at the 5th Annual Critical Media Literacy Conference held in Savannah, GA.  Without the financial assistance of the Graduate Student Travel Funds, my attendance at this conference would not have been possible.

Academic conferences provide invaluable opportunities for encounters that enrich academic experiences beyond the university.  For example, I was able to speak at great length with Peter McLaren, a world-renowned critical scholar and one of the founders of critical pedagogy (along with Paulo Freire and Henri Giroux).  Dr. McLaren is currently a Professor of Critical Studies at Chapman University and Co-Director of The Paulo Freire Democratic Project.  He is also Emeritus Professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, and Miami University of Ohio.  The dinner, lasting for over three hours, was filled with scholarly debate and collaboration.

Experiences like this one not only provide opportunities for academic socialization, they also open possibilities for intellectual encounters that could not have been otherwise planned or expected.  I am deeply thankful for the financial assistance provided by the Graduate Student Travel Funds at Texas State University.

 

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