Taking off work for a few days may sound unproductive to some, but faculty members are encouraging others to bring more knowledge and connections back to UF by taking trips and attending conferences.
Faculty member Gwynne Rife, Ph.D., professor of biology and education, recently attended an American Geophysical Union (AGU) Conference in San Francisco. AGU gathers scientists from around the globe to advance science.
Attending the AGU conference with Yevgeniy Kontar, adjunct faculty, Rife was able to learn more in areas of her expertise and came back with new lessons to share in the classroom as well as valuable connections.
“I got professional development, brought back connections for science students and could make classes better with what I learned by the teaching,” said Rife. “You get access to the most recent things that people are saying and putting out in education, lesson plans, products and more.”
At the conference, Rife made valuable connections by co-convening a session. This gave her the opportunity to invite researchers to submit a presentation to the conference and then pick who would get to present.
“If a student wants to work in Japan with the tsunami, I can suggest people to contact,” said Rife.
Rife also had the opportunity to fill in for a faculty member, Jeanette Drake, Ph.D., associate professor of communication, by co-convening a session in communications.
As a result of the conference, Rife is now helping Kontar and Drake publish a book including the research presented because there was much interest in the presentations convened by UF’s faculty.
“It was the best example of what these conferences can do for you and then students benefit because faculty stays active,” said Rife. “It connects you with other institutions and other disciplines.”
Faculty can easily learn new things on the Web, however, Rife stressed the importance of meeting new people and the amount of opportunity AGU’s conference provided her.
“It connects you with other institutions and other disciplines,” said Rife. “It’s all about how to get our students out there to make their own connections.”
Written by Sarah Foltz