Reflections on Participating in the CPGE Online Student Conference
A Student Researcher's Journey


Published: May 13th, 2024 by Irene Miller

[Irene was an active participant in CPGE Online Student Conference, the annual college-wide conference that aims to showcase student work and provide a space for students to network. She presented at both the 2023 and 2024 conference and her work drew much attention from the CPGE student community. CIRI had the pleasure of interviewing her about her reflections on the conference experience.]

Can you please tell us a bit about yourself?

My name is Irene and I live in Washington State. After completing a seemingly arbitrary collection of courses including several foreign languages, biological sciences, and history, I received a BA in Anthropology from the University of Colorado in Boulder. After graduation, I dedicated several years to working as a Domestic Engineer with extensive experience as a Tantrum and Meltdown Negotiator. My varied interests and experiences led me to SJSU’s MLIS program. This is my third (and final!) year at the iSchool. I graduate this month (May) and am excited to start a career with my newly minted master’s. I have focused the much of last 3 years and 43 credit hours on health literacy, instructional design, UX, digital literacy, and emerging technologies.

When I am not deeply involved creating presentations or taking quizzes for  my courses, I am outside exploring Washington State, rain or shine! I enjoy backpacking, hiking, and taking pictures of my adventures. Not surprisingly, I also love to read. I have a pile of “need to read” books next to my bed, but have found myself gravitating towards YA fiction during the semesters to counterbalance all the journal articles I read for my classes.

What motivated you to participate in the CPGE Online Student Conference?

Because the program is 100% remote, I decided early on to be very deliberate in searching out opportunities to participate in organizations at the iSchool to help me make connections with other students and staff, develop leadership skills, and benefit as much as possible from what SJSU has to offer. I worked as one of the events coordinators for the ALASC, treasurer for the UX Student Group, and as a copy editor for the Student Research Journal. Additionally, I jumped at the chance to present at the CPGE Online Student Conference.

The CPGE Online Student Conference has been one of my favorite opportunities at the iSchool. As an introvert with stage fright, presenting asynchronously has been an easy and accessible way to learn how to present and become part of scholarly conversation. While my courses have all involved assignments in a variety of formats, creating a presentation for CPGE allowed me to reexamine the topics and research I have done. This process allowed me to explore my work from a different perspective. Additionally, it has pushed me to not only understand the material, but to also be able to explain clearly what I have learned.

I have also found watching other students’ presentations to be motivational. iSchool students are involved in an extensive assortment of projects through their jobs and their MLIS courses. I learn something new every time I watch a CPGE Online Student Conference presentation. Sometimes it is about their topic, but other times I learn from how they have designed and organized their presentation.

What were the projects you presented at the conference?

I presented at the CPGE conference in 2023 and 2024. In 2023 my presentation was titled History of Feminist Literature: A Bitmoji Virtual Library. This presentation described the guide to feminist literature I designed using Google Slides and a Bitmoji of myself introducing the four waves of feminism through links to biographies of, texts by, and podcasts about feminist authors.

For the 2024 CPGE Online Student Conference I submitted two presentations. The first was titled The Research Lifecyle and the Librarian. This presentation showcased a website I created in WordPress as a blog to explore and describe the relationship between librarians and medical scientists conducting research. The blog describes the roles that medical librarians play in supporting the research lifecycle and researchers in the health and medical sciences, including descriptions of different areas of librarian expertise and links to resources for researchers.

The second presentation was a collaborative effort with Marc Hoffeditz titled AI is not an author: Developing an AI Policy for the Student Research Journal. Marc is the Managing Editor of the Student Research Journal (SRJ) and spearheaded a working group to develop at AI policy for the SRJ. As a copy editor for the journal and member of the working group, I teamed up with him to create a presentation that included an introduction to the journal and AI, followed by a description of the process and highlights of creating the policy.

What were your major take-aways from the conference?

Presenting at conferences and creating posters is an important aspect of many LIS positions. The iSchool provides several different opportunities for students to begin to learn how to create presentation materials and present. While creating a presentation does require time and effort, venues like the CPGE Online Student Conference are low-risk and friendly environments for presenting. Participating in this conference is both good for a resume or CV as well as a confidence building experience.

Can you provide some suggestions for students who might be interested in participating in the conference in the future?

My first suggestion for other students who may be interested in participating in the conference is to JUST DO IT! Some more discrete tips include:

  • Watch past conference videos to get an idea of what the CPGE folks are looking for.
  • Ask questions – the folks running this conference are incredibly helpful!
  • Pace yourself – take a look at the timeline for turning in an abstract and the final presentation and plan accordingly. There is a bit of time between them which makes it more manageable.


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