Gina Mancini received a VURF travel grant to present at the American Education Research Association annual conference in Chicago.
On her conference experience:
"Last week I presented at the American Education Research Association annual conference in Chicago, Illinois; it was the culmination of months of hard work and anticipation. The research that I presented, alongside of my Villanova professors, focused on the experimental effects of service learning on both college students (service enactors) and high school students (service receivers). Since the study was phenomenological, there was no hypothesis. At the end of coding focus groups and journal entries, we found 6 common themes: two among the enactors, two among the recipients, and two concurrent themes. The two enactor themes are clarity and consistency and service experience as practical application of coursework. The two recipient themes are desire for non-hierarchical relationship and intrigue about the college experience. The two concurrent themes are relationship building engenders growth and recognizing commonalities in difference.
Presenting at the conference was an unbelievable experience. I had the opportunity to answer questions from fellow researchers, seek out advice from others for my own future research endeavors, and engage with educators and researchers from various countries. Attending the conference was important to me since it allowed me to explore the an aspect of research that is not taught in a classroom; while I have read many research articles in my classes over my past four years at Villanova, I recently had the opportunity to not only witness, but take part in the practical application of how those articles research students' classrooms' desks."