Students and faculty participate in MMLA Conference

The 2018 Midwest Modern Language Association (MMLA) conference was a conference for mainly English majors who were presenting their papers for the undergraduate research symposium. It was Thursday Nov. 15 through Sunday Nov. 18 at the Marriot Downtown in Kansas City, Missouri. There were six students presenting, each with a faculty mentor. Each presenter had papers that were created for coursework at Washburn and represented dedication to scholarships and were presenting their work to other active scholars in their fields. These were the culminations of their work and efforts. 

Along with them, five English faculty members and one alumna presented their own research during the conference, along with three other Washburn faculty members from other departments at the university. The English students that presented were Whitney Clum with her mentor Kara Kendall-Morwick, Andrew Foster and his mentor Kara Kendall-Morwick, Bailey Harris-Krueger and her mentor Geoff Way, James Henry and his mentor Geoff Way, Annie Spencer and her mentor Liz Derrington, and John Williams and his mentor Kara Kendall-Morwick. The alumna that participated was Tamara Mitchell, who received her Bachelor of Arts in 2007. The English faculty that presented were Ande Davis, Dennis Etzel, Jr., Mary Sheldon, Vanessa Steinroetter and Geoff Way. Each presented their own research and made compelling papers interesting to those around them. The three other faculty members who presented were Miguel Gonzalez-Abellas,  Spanish professor, Jericho Hockett, Psychology professor, and Courtney Sullivan, French professor. Each presented a paper that had to do with different forms of their subjects that coincided with a topic for English.

Rebecca Lewis, sophomore mass media major, enjoyed the conference. She said she enjoyed the topics that were talked about.

“I went to this conference with some of my English major friends, and I honestly didn’t think that I would be as interested in it as I was. The topics of these papers were incredibly interesting, and they made me think about things in English that I didn’t truly consider before this,” Lewis said. “There was a lot of information that I was getting that kind of made me confused, but overall it was a great event, and I encourage others, even if they aren’t English majors, to attend this conference next year. It can open your eyes to different things.”

Antonia De La Rosa, freshman business major had this to say after attending the conference, “I was surprised at how many people attended this conference. It was something that I had heard about and I was interested in the topics of the papers that the students were presenting. It was well thought out and well researched, making it obvious that a lot of time and effort was put into each paper,” De La Rosa said. “The fact that these students, English majors or not, put so much effort into this makes me feel like I have a lot to work up to, and they inspired me to do better in my classes, as well as to take a few more English classes in order to discover what they found so interesting to make a paper about.”