For most students, a trip to Barcelona would come as part of an exchange program or maybe some summer travelling.
But Stephanie Tukonic, a master of education student, headed to the Spanish city to attend the Conference on Interdisciplinary Social Sciences last month, thanks to a graduate scholar award she recently received.
There, she chaired parallel paper presentation sessions, facilitated a themed talking circle and co-presented a paper presentation – all firsts for Tukonic.
“Although it was a new experience for me, I embraced the role fairly quickly and openly, and I received a lot of positive and supportive feedback from the presenters and audience,” Tukonic said.
At home, Tukonic has been working as a research assistant on a study that focuses on early childhood education research since last fall. She said her experience at the conference will help with her work and research prospects in the future.
Tukonic was encouraged by professors Debra Harwood and Mary-Louise Vanderlee in the Department of Undergraduate and Graduate Studies in Education to apply for the award that sent her overseas. It wasn’t until after the conference that she realized the magnitude of being named a recipient, however.
“Initially, I was pleased and satisfied to have received the award, given the context of the conference and the responsibilities that were attached to the award,” Tukonic said. “Yet, the true merit of receiving this award was not recognized and understood until the conclusion of the conference when I had the opportunity to reflect on this experience, and on the overwhelming amount of support and motivation I received from the academic and conference community.”