Anita Gilbert

  • PHD Student
    Attended SIGCHI
    2014, Toronto, Canada

The CHI ’15 conference was a liberating experience… I have read many conference papers, heard several university talks referencing the conference in addition to first-hand stories of attendees… these do not adequately present or do justice to the active academic engagement during the conference. The quality bar for research is incredibly high, the field is populated by brilliant thoughtful and accomplished researchers publishing books which change our understanding and cultural practices. It’s a bit terrifying as an undergrad, to imagine myself at a point where my contributions could move the field forward. Maybe these are pieces of the barriers to women in many fields. For me, attending the conference, and actively participating in a dynamic workshop where I was challenging ideas presented by these same people whom I admire was – empowering.

While applying for PhD programs this Fall is still intimidating, I’m much more confident for having participated in the conference and interacting with the researchers I hope to work with in the future.