Student symposium a College of Education-wide day of professional development

January 24, 2020

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The Inaugural Penn State College of Education Student Symposium will be held from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Feb. 29 in Chambers Building on the University Park campus. University Park students can access the schedule of events and register at online. Commonwealth Campus students can attend through Zoom by accessing the schedule of events and registering at online.

The symposium is an event that allows the entire College of Education community to come together in one location, physically and virtually, to discuss professional development, research and networking. It was conceived and developed by the College of Education Graduate Student Council (CoEGSC) and Undergraduate Education Student Council (ESC).

"This event is a remarkable opportunity to increase interaction and mentorship between undergraduate and graduate students and alumni," said Leila Farzam, president of CoEGSC. "In addition, another dream of ours is to connect College of Education students across the Commonwealth Campuses with one another. As a result, our councils have decided to open the event virtually to all undergraduate and graduate students across the Penn State College of Education network."

The CoEGSC and ESC developed the idea for this symposium through continuous student evaluation and feedback regarding what students need to flourish personally and professionally.

"Coincidentally, both of our student organizations had the desire to create an event surrounding professional development," said Farzam. "As we both started planning the event, we decided to join forces to create the first major event that connected our councils together. It has been such a magnificent journey to work with some of the most intelligent and involved undergraduates I have met in the Penn State community."

The sessions within the symposium focus on professional development and research skills that are imperative for students to possess and practice during their time in the college and upon graduation.

"As student leaders, our personal mission is to cultivate and enrich our student organizations, student body and college. At times, we migrate into our own silos within the college. This symposium is aimed to bridge all College of Education students, staff, faculty and alumni throughout the commonwealth, as well as to fulfill the college's mission to 'deepen and extend knowledge about the formation and utilization of human capabilities,'" said Farzam.

Planned sessions include panels for teacher preparation and for students whose majors do not include teaching; interview practice; guidance on resumes, CVs, and cover letters; teaching philosophy statements; presentation skills; public speaking; and a poster session. The symposium includes a complimentary lunch with alumni.

"I think the beauty of this symposium is that every student will take away something different," Young said. "While a group of students might be engaging in a session about interviewing, for example, some students might walk away with a stronger understanding of how to present themselves, while others might walk away with more confidence about the process."

Young continued, "As an undergraduate student, my personal hope is that every student will walk away with at least one idea about how they see themselves professionally in the future. As we're going to have excellent models and experienced staff, faculty, alumni and graduate students leading the sessions, I hope that undergraduates attending the symposium will take away new ideas, ones they apply to their own lives as future professionals. Finally, my last hope is that undergraduate and graduate students will build relationships at this symposium and maintain them thereafter."

Support for the symposium has come from several sources within the College of Education.

"We are beyond grateful for the support of our mentors, Dean Rayne Sperling, Dean María Schmidt, Christi McClellan and Stefanie Tomlinson; and the College of Education students, staff, faculty and alumni," said Farzam and Young.

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated February 05, 2020