Graduate Studies

Theatre Education Graduate Students Alyssa Mulligan and Lindsay Weitkamp Awarded GSA Professional Development Grants

Eric Matthews

December 14, 2011

Theatre Education graduate students Lindsay Weitkamp and Alyssa Mulligan were awarded Professional Development Grants by the Graduate Student Association (GSA) to attend the American Alliance for Theatre and Education (AATE) conference in Chicago this past summer.

The AATE describes itself as a "networking organization for theatre artists and educators [who] aim to provide opportunities for idea exchange, leadership, creativity, artistry, mentorship, recognition, advocacy and more to those with a vested interest in the field of theatre and education." Both Lindsay and Alyssa were able to answer some questions about their experiences:

Why was the AATE event important to you?

Lindsay: “This event was important to me because it provided the opportunity to connect with fellow theatre educators and learn from their program models and ideas. This was also my first time presenting at a conference, and the experience was invaluable.”

Alyssa: “This annual event provides an opportunity for theatre artists and educators from across the nation to collaborate and share exciting, new ideas in the realm of theatre education.  Being a Theatre Education graduate student at Emerson, this particular conference perfectly aligned with my professional and academic goals.”

What did you learn from the event? How will you use what you learned in this conference, either professionally, personally, and/or academically, as in your program?

Lindsay: “I attended engaging and inspiring workshops, networked with future colleagues and collaborators from around the country, and yet also enjoyed time working with and learning from faculty members and classmates within the Emerson community. Attending this conference helped me connect with the larger community of individuals working in Theatre Education and I look forward to future collaborations either at upcoming conferences and/or in academic or community settings. I am also excited to use the activities learned in the workshops in future work with students. Attending the conference truly was a great experience!”

Alyssa: “At the conference, I was able to garner new theatre educator skills, network with other theatre education professionals, and discover other events and organizations pertaining to my interests.  I even had the opportunity to present on the Debut Panel for the AATE Playwriting Network.”

How did the GSA Professional Development Grant help you in attending this event?

Lindsay: “The Professional Development Grant helped cover conference fees and hotel & transportation costs. Without this financial assistance, I would not have been able to attend.”

Alyssa: “All of this would not have been possible without the assistance of the GSA Professional Development Grant.  I was able to put the grant money toward the conference fee, airfare, and hotel accommodations: all of which I could not afford on my own as a graduate student.”

If there is anything else you wish to add, feel free to do so. If you have any questions, feel free to ask!

Lindsay: “Thank you to the GSA for the PDG that enabled me to attend! The conference was an absolutely wonderful adventure.”

Alyssa: “Many of my peers were also able to attend the AATE conference due to the generous PDGs awarded by the GSA. . . . This helped Emerson College to create a strong presence at the AATE conference; many other organizations and institutions commented on Emerson's excellent attendance and contribution to this year's conference.  I would like to thank the GSA for their continuous support of the Theatre Education students' goals, and attribute my ability to attend the AATE conference to the GSA Professional Development Grant.”

To find out more about Professional Development Grants, please visit the corresponding page or e-mail the GSA at