‘Graduate at the Podium’ lets students present research

There are places in the world that would rather see a woman dead than educated. Thankfully for Zeinab Moughnia, Eastern Michigan University is not one of those places.

“I am proud I am on their [Islamic extremists] hit list,” Moughnia said. “It proves them wrong.”

Moughnia was referring to how some Islamic extremists would react to her, an educated Islamic woman that can read and write, as a threat. Moughnia’s presentation was entitled Islamism versus Islamic Feminism in the Middle East. According to Moughnia her research centered on narratives that allow Muslims to develop such differing interpretations of the same faith.

Moughnia was one of many graduate student presenters that participated in the inaugural event, Graduate at the Podium: A Plenary for Graduating Graduate Students.

“I think we will get more visibility,” said Professor Jeffrey D. Kentor, Associate Provost and Vice President for Graduate Studies and Research at EMU. “Most students need a year of course work before they are ready to do research. This gives them a year to get prepared.”

Graduate students across EMU’s disciplines relished the opportunity to participate in the inaugural event.

“This has been very helpful,” said Paulo-Juarez Pereira. “I have had to, from early on, compact and condense my thoughts. For that purpose [the plenary] has been very helpful.”

The Graduate at the Podium event was held on the third floor of the EMU’s Student Center. It opened with breakfast and an introduction to the day’s presentations. After breakfast was concluded breakout sessions were held in rooms on the third floor where audience members could listen to graduate student’s research and ask them questions regarding their research when their presentations were concluded.

Presenting graduate students were:

• Marcus Adams
• Sabreen Alsini
• Mansor Altmimi
• Krisitn Bahleda
• Chelsea Bromley
• Kerri Burchill
• Shavonne Coleman
• Elizabeth Dieterich
• Linda Foran
• Bethany Fort
• Nicole Garcia
• Megan Gilbert
• Sarah Hamilton
• Caitlin Hayes
• Margaret Helmuth
• Lacey Hoffman
• Jesse James
• Rachel Kaltner
• Tabatha Keller
• Kenneth Lingaur
• Chelsea Lonsdale
• Lisa Mitchell
• Zeinab Moughnia
• Joshua Parcha
• Paulo-Juarez Pereira
• Laura Puchalski
• Rachel Rickard
• Erica Rouleau
• Ginny Schomisch
• Sarah Schrader
• M. Kathryn Staton
• Steven Stuckey
• Hiroki Tanabe
• Gail Weber
• Darshani Weerakoon
• Amanda Wetzel
• Michael Zielinski

Josh Parcha, a graduate student in EMU’s Communication, Media and Theatre Arts Department also enjoyed the chance to present at the spring event.

“I think it’s a good opportunity to practice your presentation for real conferences,” Parcha said. “This is more selective [than the graduate research fair]. People are graduating so they are in the terminal process … most people here are presenting papers that they are proud of that they have accumulated over their graduate studies.”

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