Southern Plains Conference: Blog #1, Introduction
November 2, 2017

Hello! My name is Erin Martin. I am a first-year graduate student in the English M.A. program at West Texas A&M University in Canyon, Texas. I spent the last summer with Ogallala Commons helping OC interns by presenting a program about the writing process at our Orientation in June, by meeting with several groups of students in Texas and Colorado to follow up, by serving as an online editor for student blogs, and by participating in the creation of goal-setting materials.

Now, my internship with OC has taken an exciting turn: I am working with Ogallala Commons, the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum, and WT’s Center for the Study of the American West (CSAW) to put on the Southern Plains Conference in February 2018. I will be in the thick of planning, designing, and administering the event, which is a tradition of Ogallala Commons.

This year’s conference has a theme close to the heart of Ogallala Commons: Sense of Place in the Southern Plains. As “Sense of Place” is one of the Twelve Key Commonwealth Assets, having an entire conference devoted to this concept is a wonderful opportunity to really dig into the many facets that come together to fashion a person’s sense of place within a community and a community’s sense of place within a larger scope. Looking forward, I am excited to see this event come together, not only for the diverse discussion material, but also for the practice in professionalism, design, communication, and time management that the internship will provide.