Featured (List) Features

Monmouth students attending conferences: the benefits and more!

Students are given endless opportunities to grow and build connections during their college careers. Many students are involved in organizations like “The Outlook,” Student Government Association (SGA), and honors societies and attend annual conferences to engage with students and professionals from around the country. These enhance their skills and network, which make conferences worthwhile and can add to a personal resume of connections.

Six of “The Outlook’s” editors attended Associated Collegiate Press (ACP) National College Media Conference from Mar. 7 to Mar. 9. During this conference, editors were able to attend breakout sessions from professionals in the field of journalism and media.

Bailey Fredericks, Opinions Editor of “The Outlook” and junior communication student, mentioned, “The conference helped me understand that there are so many different and niche paths in the journalism industry. It broadened my horizons about what I can achieve and made me motivated to do so!”

The ACP National Conference not only helped understand the field, but was able to change students perspectives on paths within journalism and media.

Taylor Memoli, Entertainment Editor of “The Outlook” and junior English student, agreed, “This conference taught me skills that I had never considered in journalism. Some sessions taught me about color, fonts, font sizes, photographs, all aspects I overlooked. The conference also taught me important skills when leading a newsroom, and how to create a welcoming environment people feel comfortable and proud working in.”

SGA developed a new concept for student leaders and faculty. On Mar. 22, Hawk Flight Plan: Conference of University Stakeholders, comprised of student leaders from Fraternity & Sorority Life, Monmouth Student-Athlete Advisory Council, Student Intercultural Coalition, and the Student Activities Board. Along with 20 faculty members, students were put into nine breakout groups ranging from Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI), Campus Technology, and Dining Experience.

Tanner Purdy, SGA President and a junior finance student, said, “This conference was our first attempt at bringing together the campus community to develop student-oriented solutions to the challenges that our community faces. Our campus administration benefits because this presents the opportunity to have in-depth conversations with students on issues beyond a passing comment. It can give them a greater perspective on the underlying causes to the issues that students are facing and aid in the development of solutions that prioritize the students. For my peers, this was an excellent opportunity to develop communication skills in a managerial setting.”

This conference was specifically tailored to Monmouth students and faculty, which will help directly benefit the rest of the student body and faculty not in attendance..

Purdy continued, “We are expecting action from all departments that took part in discussions and are in the process of following up with each of our campus partners to ensure implementation by the start of the next academic year. As we look to Hawk Flight Plan 2025, we hope to expand the number of topics where students can give their input and expand the invitation base to include more student leaders. We are still collecting feedback from everyone involved and are committed to curating even more impactful discussions for the second Hawk Flight Plan in Spring 2025.”

Phi Eta Sigma is one of the leading honors societies on campus. Every year, there is a national conference where students of the organization can meet each other and build strong connections.

Golam Mathbor, MSW, Ph.D, is an Advisor to Phi Eta Sigma. He said, “The society organizes leadership convention every year focusing on a special theme followed by sub-themes. Student leaders from other universities across the country attend this conventions. I led many MU students to these annual conventions that gave an opportunity for them to learn from other student delegates nationally and enriched their resume.”

Mathbor praised his former and current students for remaining professional during the conference, “I must say MU student delegates I led during the years always made me proud in demonstrating their high sense of professionalism, civility, punctuality and good etiquette.”

As students attend conferences for varies reasons, representing Monmouth in a professional light is one of the main goals.

Fredericks emphasized, “I believe attending these conferences can benefit any student in whatever career they are interested in. however, the student has to want to be there, otherwise all the knowledge and information given will be put to waste.”

Besides representing Monmouth, students can gain skills they may need for their future careers. Most time at conferences is spent meeting people you wouldn’t have otherwise crossed paths with. This can help students build their confidence and improve their self-esteem, all while also expanding their professional skillset and network.