Graduate Studies

Theatre Education Graduate Student Joan Aniano Attends AATE Conference Using a GSA Professional Development Grant

by Eric Matthews

September 23, 2011

Theatre Education graduate student Joan Aniano
Theatre Education graduate student Joan Aniano

Theatre Education graduate student Joan Aniano applied for and received a Professional Development Grant (PDG) from the Graduate Student Association (GSA) in order to attend a professional conference in her discipline this summer. Joan attended a conference hosted by the American Alliance for Theatre and Education (AATE). "As a first year grad student in theatre education, it was important for me to attend so I could network as much as possible, make connections, and learn as much as I could from educators across the country," says Joan. In attending the conference, Joan says she hoped that she would "learn tips, tricks and receive advice from the other people there."

After attending the conference, Joan reflects on what she took from it: "The biggest thing I learned from the event is how many forms theatre education takes on. It can be used as therapy or to teach a language. Also, it really is for all ages! I plan to take a lot of the sessions I saw and use the structure of them to plan lessons and even future conference sessions of my own." She adds that "it was really helpful to be able to talk about how different programs are run, and swap stories and suggestions."

Joan attributes the GSA grant as a big part of being able to attend her professional conference. "The GSA Professional Development Grant was extremely helpful in helping me to attend the event," she says. "Without their help, I wouldn't have been able to pay for the conference at all."

More information on the GSA Professional Development Grants can be found on the corresponding page or by contacting the GSA at