At a Glance: Student-focused Activities at the SHA 2014 Conference

SHA student members will participate actively in this year’s annual conference. In addition to the familiar, the APTC Student Subcommittee (SSC) is hosting new events. Students in Quebec City will find focused events occurring every day of the conference. Here is a brief guide and links for more details.

A SHA tradition, the Past Presidents’ Student Reception will be held this year on January 9th starting at 4:30. The SHA likes to support its students and this is how the past presidents’ show it. Senior members of the organization, including SHA past and current Presidents, join in the mix. This mixer is an opportunity to chat with them as well as to meet other students.

Earlier on January 9th the SSC will host, in collaboration with the SHA’s Ethics Committee, its first ever Ethics Bowl. Come support competing teams engaged in ethical debates of import to all practicing archaeologists. If you missed out on this year’s competition don’t worry the SSC will be signing up teams for next year.

Don’t know what a Pecha Kucha is? Join us on Friday for this fast paced fun new session format. Suggested by our new friends from University of Laval, each presentation will show twenty slides for twenty seconds and be followed by a brief discussion.

Next up is the SSC RAP Session. This informal session encourages dialogue directed by students. Panelists join students in small groups or talk one-on-one about career goals, research issues or simply negotiating coarse work. Pop in and meet some SHA members who have made themselves available directly to students for this unique session.

The Conference Committee has been incredibly generous to the SSC this year. Most committee meetings take place very, very, very, early in the morning. This year, however, the SSC meeting has the most favorable slot- lunchtime on January 11th. So grab a sandwich and come join the Student Subcommittee. It is the best way to make new connections, participate in the SHA and gain leadership experience.

Traditionally the SSC and ACUA co-sponsor a special forum for students. This year’s topic, “Reaching Out: Public Archaeology for Students and New Graduates,” will address issues ranging from the practical to the ethical. This dynamic group of panelists should not be missed.

If you’re in the bookroom, stop by and say hello! SSC members will periodically be available at the SHA table. If we’re not there, please snag a flyer, which includes information about how you can participate in the SHA’s only student-run committee.

Finally, if you want to contribute to discussion or follow student-related goings on at SHA, you can search and follow social media tagged with #SHA2014, #SSC, and/or #students.

Here is a quick summary of sessions. Double check event rooms as they may change.

Schedule at a glance:

Jan 9
PAN3-8 Ethics Bowl 301B 1:30-3

Jan 10
PAN-92 Powered by Pecha Kucha Session 207 1:30-3
PAN-106 RAP session 207 3:30-5
Student Awards 200C 5-6

Jan 11
MTG-24 Student Subcommittee Meeting See Prog. 12-1:30 ALL WELCOME
PAN-149 Forum 207 1:30-5

If You’re a Student in Leicester!

Every SHA annual conference has programming of interest to and specifically geared towards students. Leicester will be no different. Here are some of the coming conference offerings students might want to highlight.

Globalisation, Immigration, Transformation: the 2013 Plenary Session
(Wednesday January 9th 6-8pm)

Students arriving in Leicester for the opening day of the conference will find the Plenary Session a place where SHA membership comes together across research interests and affiliations. The session panel will focus on case studies and moderators will facilitate a broad exploration of the conference themes.

Navigating the Field: Education and Employment in a Changing Job Market
(Thursday January 10th 8:30-10:30)

Cosponsored by the APTC Student Subcommittee and ACUA, this session is Part I of II and will focus specifically on student concerns. Panelists from both underwater and terrestrial backgrounds will address what is arguably the most pressing issue on many students’ minds—jobs.  Whether you seek a job in the United States, Europe or elsewhere, panelists will offer their perspective on how education matches up with the changing job market.

Past Presidents’ Student Reception
(Thursday, January 10th, 4:30pm- 6:00pm)

Students are invited to join SHA past presidents for an informal reception. This is a great opportunity to connect with leaders in the organization. A free drink and snacks will be provided.

Equity (Issues) for All, Historical Archaeology as a Profession in the 21st Century
(Friday January 11th 9-12:30)

Part II of these sessions on professional issues, this symposium will address concerns of gumptious academic and cultural resource management archaeologists. Senior managers and tenured professors from across the US and UK comprise the panel.  This will be an opportunity to engage upper management and tenured faculty in discussions of how to address current equity issues in the workplace, the barriers they faced rising in the ranks, and how they got to where they are today.

SHA Business Meeting
(Friday January 11th 5-6pm)

The SHA Business Meeting will be open to all members, students included. The organization welcomes and encourages student participation.

Academic and Professional Training Committee (APTC) Student Subcommittee (SSC) Meeting
(Saturday January 12th 12:30-1:30)

The Academic and Professional Training Committee’s Student Subcommittee is run by and focused on SHA student members. As a formal platform for the interests and voices of students, it is a great way for them to contribute, develop professional skills and increase visibility. The SSC provides opportunities for students to participate in the organization at a variety of commitment levels.  Committee members organize sessions, are student liaisons to other committees, and contribute to the blog and newsletter. During the meeting, students will learn about ongoing  activities and have the chance to get involved.  Students participating in the SSC drive activities for the upcoming year and develop new projects. (Please note the midday time slot.)

Rap Session for Student Members
(Saturday January 12 1:30-5pm)

Sponsored by the Student Subcommittee, the informal format of the RAP session will allow students to hang out and discuss issues of import to them. Panelists are archaeologists at all stages in their career, both underwater and terrestrial. The popularity of this session grows each year and will be a great way to sum up any conference experience.

If you are a student attending the annual meeting in Leicester, please email the SSC chair, Jenna Coplin. If you cannot attend the committee meeting, but are interested in learning more about the SSC or keeping up with SSC goings-on throughout the year, email Jenna to be added to the student list serv. Also, be sure to follow the hashtag #SSC on Twitter throughout the conference (along with the #SHA2013 tag!) for student-specific tweets and messages!

In addition to these sessions, check out Emma Dwyer’s blog post about trips and tours of Leicester offered through the SHA.

How to Communicate about Your Work

Students at all levels are looking to develop skills that will serve them as they make that next step. The SSC Social Media Liaison, Mary Pertich-Guy, proposed an occasional blog that would discuss professional development issues for students and encourage contributions of ideas and experiences through their comments. Oral communication skills seem to be on everyone’s short list. Whether it is reading a conference paper on someone’s behalf or introducing yourself to classmates at the beginning of a semester, archaeology students are asked to talk about work often. There are many opportunities to improve oral communication skills.

Call Your Mom

Or call an uncle or an old friend; it doesn’t matter. Just make sure it’s someone who knows nothing about your work (likely easy to find), and is willing to listen (possibly a bit harder). The questions they ask can help you hone in on things you might make clearer.

Elevator

The elevator doors shut and you have until they open again to describe your project or research interests in a compelling way. This exercise helps you to eliminate unnecessary details and focus on the interesting parts.

Teach…. anyone

Many teach as adjuncts in anthropology departments. Few things will improve your communication skills quicker. However, not everyone is in the position to teach courses. Speak to your local schoolteachers, they often welcome presentations, and students can ask challenging questions. Adult education programs may also welcome a guest speaker. These opportunities force you to organize materials, think about your audience and do not require a semester of your time.

Go to the Library (or local historical society)

Libraries and historical societies commonly have programs that invite guest speakers. These presentations can be great opportunities to present preliminary work. Those in attendance can encourage you to think on your feet.

Grab a Cup of Coffee

Make plans to meet with classmates and take turns presenting problems you are encountering. This is practice both for asking productive questions and fielding them.

Department Get-Togethers

Many departments offer students the opportunity to present work. This is a great way to get feedback on a work in progress at any stage. If your department does not do this, it is easy enough to organize. All you need is the approval from the Chair and a student listserv.

Talk to Yourself

Many people are hesitant to throw themselves in front of a crowd. With today’s technology a bit of self-critique is easy to do. Record yourself and watch it later. Audio is good but video might be better; you never know what odd gestures you might make unconsciously.