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CSDE Highlights from PAA 2017

Posted: 5/22/2017 (CSDE Research)

CSDE is pleased to provide travel scholarships for a number of its Certificate Trainees and training grant Fellows in order for them to present their research to the national community. One of the key meetings for our students is the Population Association of America meeting, held this year in Chicago on April 27 – 29, 2017. Here are some stories from several of our students who attended. If you would like to help CSDE support travel to upcoming conferences, you may make a donation to the travel fund here.

Mike Esposito

  • Co-Author: Beholding Inequality: Race, Gender, Physical Attractiveness, and Socioeconomic Status in the United States
  • Co-Author: Is Race in the Eye of the Beholder?: Using Interviewer-Recorded Race to Assess the Relationship Between Self-Identified Race, Observed Race, and Health
  • Co-Author: Interracial Couples and the Association Among Marriage and Health

PAA 2017 was, as it always has been, a rewarding, productive conference. This year, I was part of three projects—one session presentation, and two posters. The session presentation went well: my co-authors and I received great feedback which we’ve already incorporated into our project. The poster sessions were also productive and—I’ll admit it—fun. During these presentations, I met a number of well-regard population-health scholars, as well as promising graduate students. It was nice to chat with like-minded individuals about research, and to build interpersonal connections over everything else.

Victoria Sass

  • First Author: The Effects of Air Pollution on Individual Psychological Distress

This year I was fortunate enough to be able to present my first, first-authored work at a poster session on Health and Mortality at the Population Association of America Annual Meeting in Chicago, Illinois. This work comes out of an ongoing collaboration with several current and former CSDE affiliates including Nicole Kravitz-Wirtz, Kyle Crowder, Anjum Hajat, and David Takeuchi. I received a good deal of interest from fellow scholars looking at the potential negative health implications of exposure to high levels of air pollutants. From this feedback I have already begun working to incorporate their suggestions to improve the current paper as well as other papers in the earlier stages of development. It was an invaluable experience to be able to share my work, present it to a receptive and highly knowledgeable audience, and receive opportunities to further develop my research ideas. Additionally, it was extremely fulfilling to engage with fellow researchers in paper sessions as well as the formal CSDE reception. Catching up with new and returning affiliates in an atmosphere where everyone was still buzzing about the research they presented or had the opportunity to discover was a highlight of the week.

Jessica Godwin

PAA is my favorite conference I have attended. It is always a good mix of socializing and research. The quality of research is much better than some other conferences (including the main conference in my own discipline). The social events also make it easy to meet people (students and faculty alike). Going to PAA is the one time in the year I meet new people who work in areas that interest me. It is also invaluable experience to speak at PAA with discussants (something that also rarely exists in my discipline).

Chris Hess

  • Author: Neighborhood Change After Light-Rail Transit Investment

This was my first year attending the Population Association of America meetings, and the funding from CSDE gave me an opportunity to present my Master’s thesis work in a panel on Urbanization and Urban Growth. I gave my first conference presentation, so I was a little nervous about the whole thing. Thankfully, the session went well and I even received some great feedback regarding the work I presented. Beyond that, my trip to Chicago for the PAA meetings gave me a chance to talk about work and discuss professional goals with colleagues in the Center and in my department (sociology). The whole experience was valuable to me since I gained insights on how to improve my research, I met CSDE affiliates old and new, and we were even fortunate to get a respite from all the rainy weather we were having in Seattle!

Angela Bruns

  • Author: The Third Shift: Multiple Job Holding and the Incarceration of Women’s Romantic Partners

“I attended the 2017 Annual Meeting of the Population Association of America to present a paper from my dissertation titled, “The Third Shift: Multiple Job Holding and the Incarceration of Women’s Romantic Partners.” I presented in the session on Incarceration and Family Life, and several scholars whose work I had read and cited were in attendance. Thus, in addition to receiving feedback on the paper, this session also provided an opportunity to meet scholars in my area and expand my professional network. I attended several sessions on gender, employment, and social inequality, where I learned about the latest research, met new people, and ran into several researchers I had met at previous meetings. I also attended a meeting I had scheduled in advance with an established researcher whose work on low-wage employment aligns with my own. We talked about our shared research interests, and he helped me think through the framing for a paper I am currently writing. Overall, PAA was a wonderful opportunity to share my work and connect with scholars with similar research interests.”

Maria Vignau Loria

  • Author: The Health of Returned Migrants in Mexico
  • Co-Author: Determinants of Modern Contraceptive Use: A Systematic Literature Review
  • Co-Author: A New Approach to Measuring and Explaining Trends in Contraceptive Prevalence Rates: The Case of India, 1992–2005

“My experience at PAA was great in many ways. I had the chance to meet lots of new scholars and form new professional connections. I also had the chance to present my research at a bigger forum for the first time, both in poster and presentation formats. I felt particularly prepared for the poster presentation thanks to CSDE’s own poster session in December 2016. That first opportunity allowed me to feel confident in my research and to understand what a good poster should look like. I was fortunate to receive an award for that poster presentation.”

Michelle O’Brien

“At this PAA, I acted as the discussant at the panel called Forced Migration, which was chaired by one of my CSDE faculty mentors, Nathalie Williams. I also presented one chapter of my dissertation (“The Long-Term Consequences of Armed Conflict on International Migration”) as a poster. I had a great experience as discussant, and really enjoyed the opportunity to discuss four great papers that were so close to my own research interests. At the poster session, I was able to talk to a wide range of demographers about my dissertation project and received a great deal of feedback. As I intend to apply for postdocs in the fall, this was an important PAA for me, and I felt like I got the exposure and comments I need to continue progressing on my dissertation.”


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