On June 9, PhD candidate Cheryl Hendry presented a poster titled “Reimagining the Hackensack Meadowlands, 1968-1972” at the New Jersey History & Historic Preservation Conference held at Seton Hall University. The New Jersey Council for the Humanities awarded her the prize for best poster presentation at the conference.
You presented your research at a poster session. What is a poster session and why did you decide on that format?
The idea behind poster sessions is that one’s major research questions, methodology, and arguments are clearly communicated in a highly visual manner to viewers. Often, participants remain with their poster to answer questions and engage in conversation about the research presented. Many conference organizers are starting to hold these sessions as a way to broaden the options for participation in the conference and this particular poster session was specifically geared toward students and emerging professionals. I felt that this was a perfect way to engage in conversations with other scholars and professionals working in and around the Meadowlands.
How did the process of creating the poster help with your dissertation research overall?
My poster presented some of the main conclusions from what will be chapter two of my dissertation. A poster is a really unique way in which to present historical research. Because it forces you to condense a large piece of your dissertation into a single poster, you have to hone in on the most important points and pieces of evidence. Doing this really helped me to figure out the truly important and interesting parts of the chapter, the “so what?” if you will, and in the process I learned how to clearly and concisely communicate these points to viewers.
Was this a valuable experience for you?
This was a great experience. In addition to catching up with historic preservation professionals with whom I used to work, it also resulted in a publication. A new journal, New Jersey Studies, published an image of the poster with text explaining its argument and how it fits into my broader work. So, through participation in this conference I was able to make an important connection with the journal’s editor and hope to publish with the journal again in the future.