Jessica Pepe is a graduate student at Mercyhurst University. She is associate counselor of Alpha Beta Pi Chapter.
On November 8, Mercyhurst University in Erie, Pennsylvania welcomed back 20 alums who have been in the field of education from 1-5 years to present at the 8th annual Teaching and Learning Expo. The Expo brings more than 100 people together who all have something in common; the desire to educate and create bright futures for students.
The Teaching and Learning Expo, hosted by Kappa Delta Pi, allows students to attend a keynote speaker session and then move to three other presentations of their choice. The keynote speakers this year were three Mercyhurst alumnae from the graduating class of 2013.
These women presented, “Challenge Accepted: Teaching in China,” which highlighted a teaching experience of a lifetime. After graduation, the three moved to Ningbo, China, where they not only had the opportunity to teach young children English, but they were also given the unexpected task of writing and designing curriculum. Their presentation truly underscored this year’s Expo theme: “Empower.”
After feeling empowered from the keynote session, Mercyhurst undergraduates and graduates were able to craft the rest of their time at the Expo from 16 diverse presentations. The chapter’s goal was to have a variety of perspectives by selecting alums with many different backgrounds in education. Presentations on how to be empowered upon entering the field of education came from early childhood teachers, middle childhood teachers, high school teachers, art teachers, special education teachers, gifted education teachers, and behavior analysts. Presentations gave advice to students on how to survive the first year, interact with parents, build relationships with students, make education fun, and so much more.
The purpose of this Expo is not only for education majors to experience what it is like to attend a conference, but for future educators to be inspired and empowered after graduating. Having presenters that have been in the field for such a short time made this Expo a truly relatable experience for future educators. Students were granted the special opportunity to hear and see how far a Mercyhurst education will go.
After much feedback from attendees, it was evident that alums are living out the Mercyhurst University tagline, “Teach. Anyone. Anywhere.”