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TAMIU Students Present Research, Lead Panel at History Conference Posted: 4/06/17

TAMIU Students Present Research, Lead Panel at History Conference

 

Jessica Villalón
Jessica Villalón presented “Gilded Postwar Posterity: The Media and the Effects of the Postwar Climate on the Socioeconomic Chasm Between American Workers."  

Two Texas A&M International University (TAMIU) undergraduate students and a TAMIU alumna were one of two groups of students to give presentations on their individual research at their own panel at the Texas Center for Working-Class Studies Conference in Plano, Texas, recently.

The annual Conference was organized by the Texas Center for Working-Class Studies.

Lidia Pérez, (TAMIU, ’16 BA), presented “Mexican and Mexican American Repatriation in South Texas.” Jessica A. Villalón, senior, interdisciplinary studies, presented “Gilded Postwar Prosperity: The Media and the Effects of the Postwar Climate on the Socioeconomic Chasm Between American Workers.” José Magaña, senior, history, presented “The Laredo Onion Strike and the Asociación de Jornaleros.”

“Academic conferences are important because they present valuable opportunities for students to share the results of their research projects. Undergraduate research enhances student learning through close mentoring relationships with faculty members, helps prepare students for their careers and develops intellectual independence,” said Dr. Andrew Hazelton, TAMIU assistant professor of History.

Although Dr. Hazelton requires students in his upper-division history courses to plan, develop and execute a substantial research paper, conference presentations force researchers to refine their work to the “essential bits” and convey that information to an audience of scholarly peers.

Presenting at a conference is the next step beyond their coursework. Presentations require careful planning, use of visual aids and public speaking skills. Speakers must explain why their research findings matter.

“I am so proud of Lidia, Jessica and John for rising to this challenge. They did very well in my courses and when I’ve helped with projects for other classes in the past. I was happy to see them accept my suggestion to apply for this conference,” said Hazelton.

“I’m also proud that we represented TAMIU on an entire panel dedicated to ourselves. Aside from the host institution, we were the only school to have an exclusive panel, and the only one composed entirely of students,” Hazelton added.

Hazelton live streamed the students’ panel on Facebook, increasing their audience reach beyond the conference room.

Pérez said she became interested in the topic while taking Hazelton’s “History of the Mexican American in the Southwest” class.

“Growing up, I was not aware that repatriation had occurred, so I was surprised when I first read about it,” said Pérez.

Coincidentally, another professor assigned Pérez a research paper which let her explore repatriation, which she had first heard about in Hazelton’s class.

“This particular research paper was for an assignment in another history class—choose a year in the 1930s and a topic of focus in the Laredo area, economic or social, and detail how it unfolded throughout the year,” Pérez said.

She consulted with Hazelton for her paper and he encouraged her to apply to present it at the Conference.

“My goal is to become a professor and the experience I gained while presenting at the conference will be extremely valuable in helping me achieve this goal,” Pérez added. 

Villalón first presented her research last fall at the National Association of Hispanic and Latino/a Studies Conference in South Padre Island.

“I have always been interested in the way historical circumstances are manifested on film and what this reveals about society. Additionally, I am interested in the way television and movies portray the underrepresented working class,” Villalón said.

Villalón added that she was interested to learn about research conducted by distinguished academics and scholars.

The students had the chance to hear from Conference keynote speaker, David Roediger, one of the most prominent figures in working–class studies and history and author of more than 25 books.

“Conferences also present opportunities for students to network with other people working in their fields. They can make professional contacts and exchange ideas with more established researchers, all of which helps them see where their work fits in their broader areas of expertise,” explained Hazelton.

Pérez and Villalón recommend students take the opportunity to present at conferences.

“Do not be intimidated or worried about presenting your work. When you dedicate time, passion and effort on the paper, other people can learn from it,” said Pérez.

“Seize an opportunity. Not only does presenting at conferences make you more comfortable with public speaking, which is crucial for aspiring scholars, it’s also a great achievement to add in your resume for graduate school, professional school and job applications,” said Villalon.

For more information, contact Hazelton at andrewj.hazelton@tamiu.edu.

Additional information is also available on TAMIU College of Arts and Sciences Department of Humanities History Program is available at www.facebook.com/tamiuhistory

Jessica Villalon, Andrew Hazelton, Lidia Perez

TAMIU Student Present Original Research

Texas A&M International University (TAMIU) students and an alumna gave presentations and led a panel discussion at the Texas Center for Working-Class Studies Conference in Plano, Texas. Dr. Andrew Hazelton, TAMIU assistant professor of history, worked with the students to polish their presentations. Lidia Pérez, presented “Mexican and Mexican American Repatriation in South Texas.” Not pictured, José Magaña, who presented “The Laredo Onion Strike and the Asociación de Jornaleros." 

Jessica Villalon

Jessica Villalón presented “Gilded Postwar Posterity: The Media and the Effects of the Postwar Climate on the Socioeconomic Chasm Between American Workers."