The IAFA Student Caucus

SCIAFA is the official student group within the IAFA. It is open to graduate and undergraduate students. SCIAFA sponsors and mentorship program, panels, and other social activities at the ICFA. The SCIFA representative also is the voice for students on the IAFA board, advocating for student interests.

IAFA/ICFA’s commitment to including and supporting graduate and undergraduate students is something that puts IAFA/ICFA apart from many other conferences. SCIAFA has been around for over 20 years now and has worked to lower student registration fees, including students in board discussions and votes, guarantee space for conversation that are relevant to students, and to provide dedicated programs for support and mentoring for students. This work can only be done by active participation from membership in making their voices heard to the representatives. So please consider attending the body meeting and reaching out to the SCIAFA leadership to voice your concerns.

Membership: When you register as a student for the upcoming ICFA conference you are automatically added to the SCIAFA mailing list. If you would like to stay updated with SCIAFA without registering for the conference, you can join our Facebook group. For more information about SCIAFA please review our constitution and bylaws: SCIAFA Constitution and Bylaws 2021.pdf

SCIAFA ICFA Panel: Each ICFA during the annual SCIAFA meeting, IAFA student attendees are asked for input on a pragmatic panel they would like to see for students at the next ICFA. Past panels have included such topics as “How to Publish a Paper,” “Applying for Graduate Schools,” and “Getting a Job.” If you have suggestions for next year’s panel please contact the current SCIAFA representative at

Contact: For questions, comments, or suggestion place contact one of the caucus board members: or

Mentor Program: The Mentoring Program is aimed at helping student scholars to find their way around the ICFA, discover the natural friendliness of the conference as quickly as possible, use the ICFA as an entrance into existing scholarly communities concerned with the fantastic, and leave with fond memories of the supporting organization and plans to return. Information about volunteering as a mentor or requesting a mentor will be announced in your acceptance packet and in listserv announcements.

Social Events: As part of the mentor program, SCIAFA hosts meet-and-greet events (look on your conference program for days and times!). Other formal and informal social events are also sometimes hosted depending on membership interest.

SCIAFA Panels: At each ICFA, SCIAFA hosts panels, roundtables, and workshops that deal with issues relevant to graduate and undergraduate students regarding professionalization (conferences, job market), research (writing, publication), pedagogy, and alt/non-ac career paths. These panels are based on membership interest as gathered at the annual body meeting.

Body Meeting: At ICFA every year (check the program for day/time) SCIAFA has a body meeting which is open to members. This body meeting reports on what SCIAFA has been doing and asks for feedback and suggestions from the membership. This is also when we will take informal votes regarding possible initiatives and programs membership would like to see in anticipation of our formal voting season at the end of spring/early summer.

IAFA David G. Hartwell Emerging Scholar Award: (formally the Graduate Student Award) One award is presented to the student who has submitted the best paper to the IAFA Emerging Scholar Award Judges. The paper selected will be published in the Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts. Please note that acceptance of a paper for the Conference does not guarantee an award. You can find more information about the David G. Hartwell Emerging Scholar Award here.

Dell Magazines Award for Undergraduate Excellence in Science Fiction and Fantasy Writing: (formerly the Isaac Asimov Award) The $500 award will go to the best unpublished and unsold science fiction or fantasy short story submitted by a full-time undergraduate college student. The winner will be invited to the IAFA annual Conference on the Fantastic in mid-March in Orlando, FL, and the winning story will be considered for publication in Asimov’s science fiction magazine.

SCIAFA on Facebook

Student Caucus Representative

Andrew Erickson

Europa-Universität Flensburg, Flensburg, Germany

Andrew Erickson is doctoral researcher and instructor in American Studies at Europa-Universität Flensburg and Editorial Assistant for Amerikastudien / American Studies. Recent publications focus on anti-intellectualism and counterfactual history, and on the critical posthumanism of Black American disaster fiction. His current dissertation project understands speculative fiction by Black makers through the lens of the postapocalypses of American enslavement and settler colonialism. Research interests include postcolonialism, science and speculative fiction, posthumanism, and digital humanities.

Student Caucus Vice-Representative

Amélie Hurkens

Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden

Amélie Hurkens is a Ph.D. candidate in American Literature at Uppsala University, Sweden. Her research is centered around the representation of diversity in popular culture and genre fiction, including superhero comics, YA literature, and science fiction and fantasy. She combines literary studies with data inquiries into the industries, institutions and corporate culture encompassing the works she is studying. This ranges from the Walt Disney Company and its subsidiary Marvel Comics to the Hugo Awards. She has published before on world literature and its industries and institutions.

Undergraduate Representative

Anna Maria Grzybowska

University of Warsaw, Warsaw, Poland 

Anna Maria Grzybowska has recently graduated with an MA degree in American Studies from the University of Warsaw, and is further pursuing a degree in Psychology. With her dedication to understanding various (not-only-)human ways of experiencing the world, her research focuses on representations of human psyche—her recent thesis exploring the confluence of psychological violence and SF film—as well as its formation in collision with complexity of nonhuman beings within the realms of speculative fiction. Her current research project investigates how animals figure within cultural speculations of the worlds to come, with a particular focus on narrative transformations (or consolidations) of the animal-industrial complex.

Immediate Past Representative

Samantha Baugus

Springfield, MO, USA

Samantha Baugus is an English Editor for MDPI and holds a Ph.D. in English from the University of Florida. Her research focuses on nonhuman beings of all kinds and their positionality in American culture as seen in contemporary science fiction and fantasy literature and other media.

The representative is a two-fold position: first as the acting chair of the student caucus and second as the student representative on the IAFA board.

Leading the Student Caucus entails calling SCIAFA board meetings, setting agendas for those board meetings, organizing the panels hosted by SCIAFA at ICFA each year, and serving as the main point of contact for student membership.

As a member of the IAFA executive board, the representative attends all board meetings, casts votes, puts forth and seconds motions, and generally participates in all conversations pertaining to the direction of the organization and conference.

Vice Representative
The vice representative is primarily responsible for the mentorship program and social events/programs (such as the newcomers’ meet-up, reading groups, special interest groups, etc.).

The mentorship program entails ensuring the mentorship information and questionnaire packet are submitted to the representative on time, publicizing and promoting the mentorship program, organizing the newcomers’ meet-up, matching and introducing mentors and mentees in advance of the conference, and being the point person for questions regarding the mentorship program.

Social events currently include the newcomer’s meet-up and the meet-and-greet at ICFA. Future social events could include movie or game events at ICFA, virtual events, working or reading groups, or more.

Undergraduate Representative
The undergraduate representative specifically works with and for undergraduate students and graduate students less than two years through the program. They work with the vice representative to organize and moderate the undergraduate mentorship program.

Public Information Officer
This is an appointed, not elected position

The primary responsibilities is the maintenance of all social media accounts of SCIAFA, ensuring that the Google Drive documents are up-to-date, keeping an updated email list of registered student members, and maintaining the minutes of SCIAFA meetings.

Immediate Past Representative
The immediate past representative serves to foster continuity between boards and provide guidance and mentorship for new board members. They will also provide additional support and labor as needed by the other board members.

Some Useful Links

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