Student conferences (like any conference!) are always a bit of a marathon. But this year’s Conference of the Contemporary was extra special because a partnership between current Contemporary Studies Program (CSP) students and CSP alumni celebrated the program’s 25-year existence.
On Friday, March 29, the 25th Anniversary Summit started with an evening alumni panel and Meet and Greet. Eleven CSP alumni discussed their time in the program and how it nurtured their wide-ranging professional interests and careers post-CSP. Panelists came from Arkansas, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York and Toronto, as well as from Dartmouth and from just around the corner, representing a medley of careers, including theater director, journalist, social worker, professor and cyber security expert.
On Saturday, March 30, the student conference got underway. Here, current students and members of the extended King’s family enjoyed conversations moving from questions of motherhood to thoughts on the nature of print, poetry and the novel. Student presentations took place in the afternoon with topics ranging from popular culture and media studies to city planning and memorial making.
As a current CSP student, attending the 25th Anniversary Summit was extremely beneficial. It provided the opportunity for me and my peers to practice sharing and presenting their work in a supportive atmosphere outside of the classroom. Having both alumni and the extended King’s community at the event was thought-provoking as they were able to share opinions and knowledge from both the CSP and non-CSP point of view. Having these two groups attend led to exciting conversations and learning opportunities and provided perspective on what it means to be a student in the CSP program, and the kinds of places this degree can go.
We are very fortunate at King’s to have so many people, like the Contemporary Studies Student society, dedicated to making these conferences happen. These kinds of campus events are truly about the love of learning. Although they require a lot of coordination and effort, the rewards are far greater than the tribulations. At the end, there’s a sense of relief that curiosity and compassion are the ruling emotions in the conference space.