Yu Rong (Joy) Conference Summary

Yu Rong (Joy)
Ph.D. Candidate
Arid Lands Resource Sciences GIDP

Conference Summary
2016 Society for Applied Anthropology Annual Meeting
Vancouver, CA 25
March 29-April 2, 2016

The 2016 Society For Applied Anthropology (SFAA) Annual Meeting held in Vancouver, B.C. Canada was an enriching and inspiring experience for me. More than 25 undergraduates, graduate students and faculty from University of Arizona attended the five days’ event that attracted more than 2350 participants around the world, including the U.S., Sweden, Germany, China, Brazil, and Japan. I was able to attend more than 3 panels each day for the four days I was there and participated in the discussion following each panel. The schedule of panels, roundtables, poster sessions, ceremonies and social events ran from 8am to 9pm. From the discussions I had and being able to be exposed to diverse research regime and topics at the SFAA, I came understand the value of being part of a welcoming community that encourages dialogue between different disciplines from medical anthropology, business anthropology, development anthropology, environmental anthropology to education and practitioners around the world. The people I encountered at the conference have a great deal of collegiality, are fun and open-minded. I had the opportunity to engage in professional conversations with both students that have similar research background as me and faculty and practitioner that are leading applied and research efforts in the field.

Here are several highlights for me at the 2016 SFAA:

  • Observing organized panels and presentations delivered by graduate students and faculty from Oregon State University, Arizona State University, and engaged in research-oriented discussions with them.
  • Learned about the range of research and cutting-edge development of applied anthropology academic programs in the U.S and Canada.
  • Participated in panel discussions organized by University of Arizona graduate students.
  • Engaged in meaningful conversations and exchanged experiences about research and the conference with researchers from U.S., Sweden, China and Japan.
  • Being exposed to different research methods from large and long term projects sponsored National Science Foundation and individual-led projects.
  • Participated in poster sessions and gained confidence and meaningful feedback from researchers in addition to learning about how other students present their research in poster format.
  • Volunteered at the registration table at the last day of the conference and interacted with different people attending the conference in that capacity.

This conference was very rewarding for me and helped me get a glimpse into an important part of the academic world outside of University of Arizona. The experience broadened my vision and knowledge about my future career development and provided valuable opportunities to network with students and faculty that are relevant to my research. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to participate in the conference, I truly appreciated.