Georgia Gwinnett College hosts academic conference

LAWRENCEVILLE -- Georgia Gwinnett College played host to its first ever academic conference on Saturday, welcoming students and faculty members from concentrations in English, Psychology, Biology, History and Religion to share their knowledge on gender and sexuality through different perspectives. The one-day conference entitled "Intersections" also had participants from Emory and Georgia College and State University.

Almost 80 attendees had the opportunity to give out and soak up knowledge from a vast variety of topics that showcased the common themes of how gender and sexuality play a role in history, literature, science, social constructs, and other aspects of everyday life.

Assistant professors of English, Dr. Rebecca Flynn and Dr. Rachel Bowser, organized the event, starting preparations months in advance to make sure that all participants had an adequate amount of time to start their research and construct their presentations.

"Intersections is a great title because it reflects ideas that cross over personal, academic and community related topics." Bowser said of the name of the conference.

"I've organized several other conferences in the past, and I was speaking with Rachel about organizing an event that would benefit both students and faculty in hopes of growing a sense of community, facilitating scholarly interaction and having an exchange of ideas through academic relationships." Flynn said of how the conference originated.

Casey Geyer, a sophomore at GGC and keynote speaker for the event, summed up the importance of having an academic conference on campus, saying, "Intersections can serve as a starting point for the development of a program that is better able to equip its students with the correct tools, and it is my sincere hope that this one-day conference, pieced together by a few brilliant faculty members and use and support of GGC's finest student organizations, will serve as a spring board for the expansion of our course catalog in a direction that is better able to serve our growing student population in our development as thinkers and as citizens."

Brandon Hopkins, a sophomore English major was excited about "having the opportunity to learn perspectives and gain insights about which I may have been ignorant about before in the academic sphere."

Darlene Vincent, a senior English major, said after presenting her paper, "It's a relief to finish presenting at my first ever conference, but I'm excited for the possibility of presenting at another one."

Intersections is slated to become an annual event that will expand to offer more colleges the opportunity to attend and participate. The conference also plans to expand to new and different topics that will cover more concentrations of study.

Sponsors for Intersections included GGC student organizations POLIS, Pride Alliance, History Club, Science History Club and Bedford St. Martin's publishing company.