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2016 OD Network Annual Conference Student Papers

Are you a current student or recent graduate of an OD focused graduate program? If so, OD Network has an exciting opportunity for you to participate in our annual conference. We are currently accepting student proposals to be considered for inclusion in our dedicated student showcase sessions. Students have the opportunity to prepare a full length interactive session, a short TED talk style presentation, or a proposal for a poster. We know that preparing a proposal can be intimidating (not to mention time consuming!), but as Corrie Voss, a doctoral candidate at Bowling Green State University, can tell you, the benefits make it a rewarding experience. Applications are due June 1st. Contact for more information!

Why it was worth my time to write a proposal for ODN

Corrie Voss, MOD


As a graduate student your time is precious. Time is your most valuable commodity, and it is one of the few things in life that we cannot make more of – or make it stop so we can catch up with all that is on our plates. Last year when I received the call for OD Network proposals, I was writing my dissertation proposal, teaching a masters class, working as a part-time graduate assistant, and consulting; all of this with young children. Needless to say, my time was stretched very thin.


However, since I was going to attend the OD Network Annual Conference for the first time, I decided to Lean In to the full conference experience and submit two poster proposals. As a concept, “Leaning In,” breaks down to being in control of your own destiny and not letting your fears hold you back. So I set about drafting and perfecting my proposals – one on my research, and one on a side project – then I leaned in and hit submit for the traditional conference track.


So many thoughts went through my head. What if I get accepted? What if they both get accepted? What will the experience be like? Will others like my research? Ok, maybe I was a bit enthusiastic, but just a short while later I got the responses. Rejection; I got the dreaded form letter for both proposals. “Thank you for your time, but you did not make the cut.”

Despite neither of my proposals getting accepted, let me share a few reasons with you why it was still worth my precious time, and why I believe that it will be worthy of yours.

  1. At the time, I was struggling with putting limits and boundaries around my dissertation topic. Crafting the proposal helped me break down my topic into a few meaningful sentences, and this two minute overview then served as a great conversation starter. This was very helpful for my writing and topic development.
  2. Like many doctoral students, I picked a dissertation topic that was of interest to me, but that was overly complicated. I thought that it was too obscure, and that no one else would be talking about it. However, when I got to the conference I found two other presenters who were working on something similar. Not only did I have a chance to connect and share with those presenters, I also found a community of people who were interested in this research. Ultimately, meeting these other researchers expanded my network of academic connections.
  3. The final lesson that I will share is that by crafting a proposal and then attending the conference, it gave me a baseline for comparing my work to others. This was an eye-opening experience. Many of the presenters knocked my socks off, but others left me wondering what it was about their proposal that sparked the reviewer’s interest. This chance to compare helped me to keep all of those doctoral student anxieties in check (we all have them).

These lessons are why it was worth my time to write a proposal for OD Network. This year is your opportunity for you to share your research and findings with others of like mind. One of the hardest things to do is to put your work out there, because we always expect criticism. But what you may find is a very receptive audience who is ready to discuss your passions and ideas. I know that I did. Graduate students are an important piece of OD’s future and the future of our professional association. By leaning in and sharing your work, you are joining the conversation in a meaningful way.

What are you working on? Other OD Network members are excited to hear.

See you in Atlanta!

Corrie Voss, MOD

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