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YOUNG HARRIS, Ga. — Young Harris College students Taylor Anderson and McKenna Maulden were the only two undergraduate students to attend a conference hosted by the American Educational Studies Association (AESA) in Greenville, S.C. this past November. Both students are interdisciplinary majors with a focus on education. The theme of the conference was “Dare We Build a New Global Order?” According to Maulden, the conference covered many topics ranging from art and literature to refugees, with attendance from professors and graduate students from around the country.

YHC Director of Interdisciplinary Studies Dr. Claudie Massicotte said of the students, “They did not receive any funding, they were not accompanied by professors and they did not receive class credits. They simply wanted to learn, so they attended this national conference. I think their initiative testifies to the model of the liberal arts we all embrace.”

“We were exposed to a number of perspectives we would have never known had we not gone,” said Anderson. “I learned that in order for a new global order to emerge, we must be willing to establish a critical open dialogue.”

Maulden said, “I realized that engaging in tough conversations is much more of an action than we may realize. When we open ourselves up to examine our own biases toward people and groups different from ourselves and let our thoughts be molded for the better, then that is incredibly transformational … Although it might be a slow process and not really look like change is happening, people living their lives differently and using their influence for good can and does change people and communities for the better. I didn’t really believe that conversations can change generations before attending the AESA conference, and I would consider that to be my greatest takeaway.”

About AESA

The American Educational Studies Association (AESA) was established in 1968 as an international learned society for students, teachers, research scholars and administrators who are interested in the foundations of education. AESA is a society primarily comprised of college and university professors who teach and research in the field of education utilizing one or more of the liberal arts disciplines of philosophy, history, politics, sociology, anthropology or economics, as well as comparative/international and cultural studies. The purpose of social foundations study is to bring intellectual resources derived from these areas to bear in developing interpretive, normative and critical perspectives on education, both inside of and outside of schools.

About Young Harris College

Young Harris College is a private baccalaureate and master’s degree-granting institution located in the beautiful mountains of North Georgia. Founded in 1886 and historically affiliated with The United Methodist Church, Young Harris College educates, inspires and empowers students through an education that purposefully integrates the liberal arts and professional studies. The College has three academic divisions: Arts and Humanities, Professional Studies, and Mathematics, Science and Technology, with more than 1,400 students enrolled in its residential and Early College programs. The historic campus in Young Harris, Ga. has completed major campus improvements to accommodate the College’s growth. LEED-certified campus improvements include the 121,000-square-foot Rollins Campus Center, residence facilities and a 57,000-square-foot recreation and fitness center. The College is an active member of the NCAA Division II and remains a fierce competitor in the prestigious Peach Belt Conference. For more information, visit