Publishing and Professional Development Opportunities for Graduate Students

Written by Lillian Jones, Managing Editor for SPR

Earlier this month I attended the 103rd annual conference of the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese (AATSP) in Atlanta, Georgia. This 3 ½ day event offered an abundant array of sessions, networking opportunities, and insight into the current trends and topics among language educators. It was especially advantageous for me as a graduate student, particularly in the realm of academic publishing while in graduate school. There were a number of opportunities designed for graduate students to learn about the publishing process, ask questions, connect with editors and peer reviewers, as well as a chance to publish in the AATSP’s graduate student journal, Spanish and Portuguese Review.

On Thursday, I attended a session hosted by SPR titled “Professional Opportunities for Graduate Students”. The session presented useful information in the realm of professional development and academic publishing available to graduate students. The panelists covered topics such as ways to access mentorship, identify appropriate journals for publication, and CV development. Following was an engaging and insightful Q&A session. Attendees had the chance to hear directly from SPR Editor, Stacey M. Johnson, Megan Myers, AATSP board member and previous SPR Managing Editor, and John Maddox, coordinator of the inaugural Graduate Student Day Competition and previous AATSP board member.

On Saturday, Hispania, AATSP’s flagship journal, hosted a session titled “Hispania for Authors: Submission, Peer Review, and Publication”. The material presented and the Q&A discussion provided helpful information for graduate students around the submission, peer review and publishing process specific to Hispania, and various types of publishing opportunities, such as research articles, short-form articles, and book reviews. The conversation also facilitated discussion around protocol for publishing research articles involving human subjects. 

Also on Saturday, I participated in the inaugural Graduate Student Day Competition! Graduate students submitted an essay and presented their work in front of judges. The winner of the competition will have the opportunity to publish their presented work in the Spanish and Portuguese Review. The process of writing the essay, preparing for and executing the presentation in front of judges, fellow grad students, and conference attendees was extremely beneficial in developing writing and presentation skills. The process as a whole helped me polish my skills in speaking about my research in an efficient and accessible manner.

 Parabéns and enhorabuena to Marcela Lemos for winning the 2021 Graduate Student Day Competition!

The AATSP Annual Conference is an exciting and informative professional development event for learners and educators at all stages, especially graduate students! This year the conference created ample opportunities for grad students to learn more about the publishing process, network, and meet members on various editorial boards and fellow grad student authors (many of which have published with SPR).

I am very much looking forward to the AATSP Conference next year. I hope to see our readers and authors, our editorial and peer review team, fellow grad students, and all of the amazing AATSP community in Puerto Rico in 2022!

Lillian Jones is a PhD student at the University of California, Davis. Her research interests include Spanish Linguistics, Second Language Acquisition, and computer-assisted language learning, specifically mobile-assisted language learning and text messaging for second language learning.

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