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2017 ASIS&T Annual Travel Award Recipients Recount Their Experiences — Sylmari Burgos Ramirez

Last year we sent four New Englanders to the ASIS&T Annual Conference in Washington, DC (October 27 - November 1) with travel awards paid for out of the proceeds from our regional winter conference. We had awards for one practitioner, one student, and two awards for services to the local chapter awarded to the program committee co-chairs from last year. In this four-part series, they share their experiences at the conference with us.

This week, Sylmari Burgos Ramirez, recipient of the 2017 NEASIS&T Student Travel Award recounts her experience. If you are interested in traveling to Vancouver this fall to attend ASIS&T Annual 2018, check out our blog post explaining how to apply!

Hello all! I attended the ASIS&T 2017 Annual Meeting: Diversity of Engagement: Connecting People and Information in the Physical and Virtual World as part of the Northeast Chapter Student Travel Award. As a doctoral student at Simmons College, it was my first time attending the conference and visiting wonderful Washington, DC. The conference was extremely meaningful for me. Not only did I have the chance to attend various presentations around my topic of interests but I had the opportunity to meet and get to know different leaders in the field.  It was very exciting to meet in person the people who have shaped my knowledge in LIS and people I read in library school, like Marie L. Radford, Lisa M. Given, Nicole Cooke, among others.

Some of my favorite presentations were: "Engaging at the Margins: Theoretical and Philosophical Approaches to Social Justice", "Addressing Barriers to Engaging with Marginalized Communities: Advancing Research on Information, Communication, and Technologies for Development", and "Information Seeking Among Latinos in the Midwestern United States". I had the opportunity to address questions to the panelists and gain more insights on these topics which I believe are the future of the LIS field.

Moreover, attending the meeting made me realized the variety of topics that are being discussed currently in the Information Science field which is my area of research in the Ph.D. program. I was delighted to meet so many people who are actively presenting and advancing research in diversity. Furthermore, I had the opportunity of meeting Denice Adkins and Nicole Cooke who have been my inspiration in pursuing my research area of serving marginalized and underserved communities.

I extend an invitation to all students to attend this wonderful conference; it is so much more than learning about emerging technologies in the field but learning about how to address broader and sensitive factors that might affect the way we do research and provide information services to the communities we serve. Also, my advice is don't be shy, have fun and network all you can!