At the end of the Spring 2014 semester, a fellow graduate student and I talked about how we thought there was a lack of cross-talk among graduate students at my university. It was a bit of a bitch fest, but during that conversation we distantly thought of hosting a seminar series. After that we let things drop.
We picked up the conversation again in July in France. By then, the Fall semester was quickly approaching. He was remaining behind in Europe to attend a conference in the Netherlands. When I went home, I started sending e-mails to gauge interest and collect data to determine if anyone was interested in this seminar, and if so, when we should have it, how often, etc…
We had our first seminar in September. Three graduate students from three different departments (Integrative Biology, Civil Engineering, and Library Studies) presented their research on incredibly different topics. These topics ranged from salt marsh plant epigenetics (my talk), renewable resources in third world countries (my collaborator’s talk), and the use of assistive technologies in association with hearing and visual disabilities. All-told we had 15 people in attendance. Not bad for an inaugural event!
We had another seminar with four more speakers in October. The departments represented were: History, Communications (x2), and Anthropology/Public Health. Today we had our last seminar of the semester, and we had talks from: Humanities/Film Studies and Mechanical Engineering.
The content of the talks throughout the semester has been really interesting and thought-provoking. I love seeing the diversity of the research my peers are working on across campus. It has been truly inspiring.
It is also inspiring to realize that my collaborator and I created something. A seminar series now exists where nothing existed before. We didn’t ask for permission, we didn’t create an entire organization to do this. We just did it.
Even better, it’s successful. We are getting a lot of good feedback about the series, and people are lining up to present during the Spring 2015 semester.
I think my collaborator’s and my effort in creating this seminar is an excellent example of this quote.
Yay for creating things!!