Emily and Danielle’s hard work and attention to detail drew the recognition of AISNE Executive Director Steve Clem, who said, “In the 12 years I have been running this, I have never felt so relaxed and prepared going into the actual conference.”
Danny said, “Although both Emily and I have participated in a lot of activities at Beaver, we wanted to get involved in a project that would challenge us. We knew that this experience would allow us to draw from each other, and I believed that this opportunity would allow both of us to refine our leadership skills. For me particularly, it was allow a great chance for me to learn about other cultures. Emily and I are still hearing positive feedback about the conference. Some people have even claimed it’s the best AISNE SOCC they’ve been too. I’m thrilled to see that our hard work paid off.”
The pair had help, of course. Most of the three dozen other Beaver students who attended had also been involved in the planning process, and 14 Beaver teachers stepped up to assist with logistics and to lead workshops and chaperone the Saturday night dance and sleepover on campus.
The biggest challenge was learning to delegate, Emily said. “Both Danny and I are really self-sufficient,” she observed, but they had to learn to be more inclusive themselves in opening up the planning process to other students.
Listening and learning from others was ultimately what the conference experience was all about: “I loved talking to students as they walked past us in the lunch room!” Emily said. “We sat right by the doorway and whoever walked in or out we asked them to rate specific things about the conference. The feedback was so gratifying! And it sparked some pretty cool discussions between people!”
Students attending could choose among 27 workshops on topics ranging from “The Power of Language” and “Black Beauty in the Media” to “Social Change: Time to Take Action” and “Youth Organizing: Leadership Today and Tomorrow.” Beaver students led affinity group discussions for African-Americans, Latino/a Americans, Asian-American/Pacific Islanders, white European-Americans, Middle Eastern Americans, Native American, multi-racial and international students.
Keynote speakers and performers were Patricia Smith (spoken word poet), Taiko Masala (Japanese drumming group), Dr. Marc Graham (hip hop poet and engineering instructor) and Iconic Movement (step dancing troupe).
Members of the Beaver community who led workshops were:
Ros Everdell ’71 (Youth Organizing: Leadership Today & Tomorrow)
Nancy Marshall P’10 (Media Images of Beauty)
Kit Beaudouin ’72 (Social Change: Time to Take Action)
Rodney Yeoh (Guns, Bombs & Religion: Why do people kill in the name of religion?)
Oris Bryant (Poetry, Spoken Word and the Power of Voice)
Debi Ellman (Launching Personal Narratives: A Jumpstart on the College Essay)
Joe Christy, Debi Elman & Christian Arroyo ’07, Mariella DeLeon ’10, Murray Hershkowitz ’10, David Thomas ’10, Maeve Williams ’10, and Mariah Shore ’10 (Panel on College Process)
Elisha Cho (Women of Color and Hip Hop Music)
David Thomas ’10, Murray Hershkowitz ’10, Jon Huang ’10 (Interracial Relationships)
Sheyda Bautista-Saeyan ’10 (The Middle East from Western Perspectives)