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Name: Riley Sandel
Degree Program: PHD IN PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION
Conference Host Organization/Institution: American Sociological Association
Conference/Competition Name: 2021 ASA Annual Meeting
Conference Term: Summer Conference Start Date: 2021-08-06 Conference End Date: 2021-08-10
What were your takeaways from this conference/case competition?
My main takeaways from the ASA Annual Conference are threefold. First, the field of sociology is expanding rapidly into arenas of equity and folx seem very excited (me too!). Second, the epistemological and methodological assumptions in a lot of work lean quantitative; but, a large amount of ethnographic and interview work was exhibited (not a lot of content analysis though). Lastly, I think a vast majority of the panels related to policy and government and would be pertinent to students in the Wagner School.
How will your participation in this conference/case competition support your professional development?
Not only is conference attendance on the surface a necessary socialization for doctoral students, but attending a conference directed at an adjacent field that has a lot of cross-over with public policy allows me to slowly dismantle the silo of the institutions and pedagogies we are each indoctrinated/educated in. I was able to listen to – and chat with (virtually) – a handful of scholars and students that I will plan to keep in touch with over the years. Attending ASA 2021 virtually also gives me a bit of experience before attending my first ASA in person.
What are some next steps or action items this conference/case competition inspired?
Attending the ASA conference definitely inspired me to set up a next step of connecting with a handful of scholars that I was able to listen in on during different panels. My network largely consists of scholars in public policy and urban planning; this conference has given me several directions to take my network in terms of folx researching similar areas but in the field of sociology. Outside of outright connections, I was exposed to sub-streams of sociology that I was previously unfamiliar with and can now actively dig into.
What are some tips or best practices that you would like to share with other Wagner students who attend a conference/case competition?
When you are attending conferences – in person or virtually – it is absolutely encouraged that you (as a student) chime in with questions or comments. As an individual – you bring a unique perspective; as a current student – you bring a unique perspective; and as a Wagnerd – you bring a unique perspective. So, go and learn and listen; but, feel free to participate in the Q&A and chats that occur in-between panels. A lot of graduate students attend and don’t take advantage of the level of access granted via conferences and connecting with presenters is always supported.
Wagner Areas of Impact: Cities, Housing, Inequality, Race, and Poverty, Nonprofits