Graduate Conference Staff

The Western History Association is seeking volunteers to work as Graduate Staff Members for its 61st Annual Conference in Portland, Oregon. Graduate Staff Members should be motivated, hard working graduate students. Current students or recent graduates who finished their degrees in 2021 are eligible to apply.

Graduate Staff Member Benefits

Graduate Staff Members will have the invaluable opportunity of networking with many experienced scholars in the field of western history. They will begin to form their own generational network of connections with their peer graduate student colleagues. Working as a Graduate Staff Member gives you access to dozens of conference sessions as well. Graduate Staff Members are a vital part of the conference's functionality and through this work experience they will improve on management and leadership skills.

Benefits are measured on a scale. The more hours you work, the more benefits you will receive. 

4 hours = Free Registration
6 hours = Free Registration and Graduate Student Reception
8 hours = Free Registration, Graduate Student Reception, Opening Reception
10 hours = Free Registration, Graduate Student Reception, Opening Reception, 1 meal
12 hours = Free Registration, Graduate Student Reception, Opening Reception, 3 meals
20 hours = Free Registration, Graduate Student Reception, Opening Reception, 5 meals, Awards Reception, Shared Hotel Room
35 hours = Free Registration, Graduate Student Reception, Opening Reception, 5 meals, Awards Reception, Shared Hotel Room, 1 year student membership. 

Work Requirements

All Graduate Staff Members will use the app When I Work to view their schedules and to communicate with the Executive Assistant during the conference. 

Graduate Staff Members who meet the work requirements will receive a shared hotel room. 

The Graduate Staff Member dress code is at a minimum business casual.


Graduate Staff Members can work shifts from October 27, 2021 - October 30, 2021. Graduate Staff Members who are located near the WHA Office in Lawrence, Kansas, may have the opportunity to work shifts before the conference. 

More details will be announced upon program completion.

Shift Types

A/V Supervision
Registration Desk
Registration Desk Set-Up
Registration Desk Tear-Down
Ticket Taking
Session Counting
Tour Attendance


Please submit a CV, three references, and a one-page cover letter which includes your answers to the below questions to the WHA Office. Please combine all of your submission materials into one PDF file. Applications will be reviewed in the order they are submitted, please do not postpone applying as volunteer positions may fill up. Please note that anyone who has graduated in 2021 will still be eligible to volunteer!

  • Explain how your work experiences translate into being a Graduate Staff Member.
  • Write about a time when you had to work under pressure. How were you able to maintain a positive attitude?
  • What are two of your academic, professional, or personal goals for attending the 2018 conference?
  • Clearly indicate the number of hours you are interested in working at the conference. 
  • Please share any additional information that you feel may strengthen your application.

Deadline for submissions is 11:59 p.m. August 31, 2021.

Submit applications and questions to Paige Mitchell at

The WHA will notify selected applicants before September 15, 2021. We thank you in advance for your patience.

The WHA is located in the Department of History at the University of Kansas.

The WHA is grateful to KU's History Department and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences for their generous support!

Western History Association

University of Kansas | History Department

1445 Jayhawk Blvd. | 3650 Wescoe Hall

Lawrence, KS 66045 | 785-864-0860