My very first trip to Arizona was to present at the Desert Skies Symposium at Arizona State University, and it was an incredible experience, to say the least! This conference approaches research in a truly unique way: rather than offering one large presentation while standing in front of an audience, we presented brief lightning talks about our papers, followed by three twenty-five minute presentations of the paper in a roundtable format. This format is much more intimate, allowing for dialogue and camaraderie amongst researchers. I presented my recent study, “Music program alumni’s perceptions of professional skills, abilities, and job satisfaction: A secondary analysis of the 2011, 2012, and 2013 Strategic National Arts Alumni Project.” I was able to hear a number of engaging presentations, had the privilege to meet many notable music education researchers, and to connect with some old friends. After the conference, I also had the opportunity to take a brief road trip to the Grand Canyon with my dear colleague and friend, Mallory Alekna (here’s a great photo, but it really doesn’t do it justice!).