July 14, 2011
Christine Fernandez ’11 presented her paper at the 11th International F. Scott Fitzgerald Conference in Lyon, France, in July.
F. Scott Fitzgerald said that action is character. For Christine Fernandez ’11, this rings true.
While finishing an assignment on Fitzgerald for her Major Authors class, an Honors tutorial, Fernandez was inspired by her teacher, Assistant Professor Ray Vince, who had recently returned from presenting some of his work at a conference.
Curious as to if this is was something an undergraduate like herself could do, Fernandez researched online for a potential opportunity and found one in Lyon, France, at the 11th International F. Scott Fitzgerald Conference.
“I was surprised I was accepted,” said Fernandez, who presented her paper, The Development of Masculinity and Femininity in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Works, at the July 4-9 conference. “Once I was accepted though, my concern was funding.”
With the help of scholarships from the College of Arts and Letters as well as the Honors Program, Fernandez was able to cover her costs and for the first time had to get a passport.
“It was exciting but scary and intimidating, as there were a lot of scholars and professors there presenting their ideas,” said Fernandez, an English and sociology double major. “I’ve gained the experience of presenting something I’ve worked on, representing the University and networking. This was also a new culture and new language, so it was interesting from a sociological perspective.”
Fernandez, who calls the Bronx, NY, home but currently lives in Orlando, said she’d like to do grant writing or research when she graduates, combining her skills from both majors. She said this opportunity in France will only help her when she applies for jobs.
“This experience was inspiring,” she said. “The conference provided me with the opportunity for international travel and to discover a new voice in academic discourse.”
Aside from the conference, Fernandez has been working with sociology Professor Norma Winston on an additional research project. Fernandez is helping Winston analyze reflection letters from third graders who have seen the Child Abuse Council’s Kids on the Block educational puppet show about bullying and child abuse to see if the students are absorbing the message. Their results will be used by the organization for grant applications.
“The more experience you have as an undergraduate the better,” said Fernandez.
Jamie Pilarczyk, Web Writer
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