Three hundred and fifty CSUN students gathered in the University Student Union Grand Salon for the Seventh Annual Advancement to Graduate Education Conference Saturday.
The conference theme this year was “Promoting Diversity in an E-Changing World.”
According to Cedric Hackett, academic adviser for the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences and coordinator for the Advancement to Graduate Education Conference, the theme showed how the world has changed due to the growth of technology.
“The Palm Pilots we used to collect feedback on the event was in the spirit of changing technology,” said Hackett. “We wanted to get as much information, electronically by using this new innovative way in data collection.”
Hackett said the goal of the conference was to provide CSUN students with information about how to apply to graduate school and how to be successful once they are admitted.
“Students ask what is next with graduate school,” said Hackett. “When we give students this information they will be able to move on to the next step.”
The conference featured keynote speaker Dr. Frank Meza from Kaiser Permanente, who spoke about his past experiences as a student, and how he dealt with what he called “un-safe environments.”
According to Meza, he grew up in Los Angeles in the 1940s, and was not exposed to much diversity. When he attended UC Berkeley as an undergraduate student, he found himself unable to succeed due to how he felt in that environment.
Meza advised students to continue their educations at a campuses where they feel safe and comfortable, and to choose a field of study they love.
“Find something that you are passionate about,” Meza said. “If you don’t, you will be miserable your whole life.”
The conference also featured three 40-minute workshops, from a myriad of subjects, including graduate test preparation information, how to write a personal statement, and financing an education.
The event ended with a graduate school fair, which gave students the opportunity to meet with representatives from different graduate programs at CSUN, as well as from other institutions.
Sol Porras, a CSUN Alumni, found the conference to be helpful for graduating seniors who might be confused about the direction they want to take.
“It is important for students who are juniors to come to this conference,” said Sol Porras, CSUN alumna.
I didn’t know what I wanted to do after my B.A. I wish I had gotten this earlier.”