On March 13, 2009 the First Annual Georgia State University Graduate Student Conference, “Political Institutions & Change in Contemporary Politics” was held. The inaugural conference brought together graduate students from multiple universities and diverse fields of study. The initial idea behind sponsoring a student focused conference was to provide an opportunity for students to present their research in an environment that, while rigorous, was more comfortable than the typical academic conference. In this regard it appears that the conference was by most accounts a success.
We are especially pleased with the response for our first conference with participants from six universities, four states, and two countries. There were five excellent panels, and audience members included political science undergrads, graduate students, and faculty. Charles Hankla gave an inspiring keynote address. Ben Taylor, Brian Webb, Ryan Yonk, Ian Smith, Alex Wishart, Aries Aruguay, Gregory Hodgin, Shannon Jones, Lindsey Herbel, and Mike Thurston gave papers, and Deborah Cotton, Monica Malbrough, Daniel Kuthy, Alla Manukyan and Shauna Reilly served as chairs and discussants. Panel presenters also came from Emory, the University of Denver, Old Dominion and Leicester University.
A note of thanks to all those whose assistance has made this conference possible is in order. We look forward to next year’s conference, and growing participation in years to come.