The Workshop | Blog Post 2

When I was interviewed for my internship, I was asked if I was available for the weekend of June 15th to June 17th for the SSDAN’s annual educator workshop, “Introducing ACS Data Analysis into Undergraduate Courses.” So I knew from the very beginning that this workshop would be a significant portion of my job. After receiving my job offer, tasks for planning, executing, and wrapping up the workshop did indeed become my primary source of work. My first real assignment on the job was emailing the workshop participants of past years to ask them to send in their modules, which are assignments that they developed for their own classes to teach students how to understand and analyze U.S. Census data. I spent a lot of time cataloging and uploading these modules on Google Drives and our website. After that was done, my next tasks were centered around this year’s participants. I helped create a spreadsheet containing all the participants’ information to make sure we knew exactly who was coming. I also helped write and stylize two different guides for WebChip, which is a statistics application on the SSDAN website that makes demographic data accessible and usable. My supervisor and co-workers told me that they looked very nice visually after I completed them and I have never made documents from scratch like that before, so I am proud of how they came out.

During the workshop itself, there were a lot of things that needed to be done in order to make everything run smoothly. On the first day we immediately ran into a problem because we were short on some breakfast items, so I offered to run out to Panera to get extra bagels. Unfortunately we severely overestimated the amount of bagels we needed so we ended up with a lot of leftovers. I think I still, a month later, have bagels from the workshop in my freezer. After that, everything did go as planned. The workshop was an especially exciting event for me because it gave me a chance to use my candid photography skills, which were something I was not expecting to utilize during my internship. I took pictures of the presenters and participants throughout the first two days of the workshop, and I think they came out well. Overall the workshop has been my favorite project of my internship so far because many of my assignments centered around organization, which is something I greatly enjoy doing, and I was given the surprise opportunity to use my creative skills for the WebChip guides and the workshop photos. I am also glad that I was able to help teach educators about how to use demographic data in the classroom because ultimately the skills these educators gained from the workshop will benefit their students, who are other college kids just like me.


I'm currently a Research Assistant for the Social Science Data Analysis Network, an office within the Population Studies Center, which is a division of the Institute for Social Research here at the University of Michigan.

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