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How to Organize an Undergraduate Research Conference and Why it Matters Western Deans of Arts & Sciences Conference Banff, Alberta Oct. 1 st, 2010 Dr.

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Presentation on theme: "How to Organize an Undergraduate Research Conference and Why it Matters Western Deans of Arts & Sciences Conference Banff, Alberta Oct. 1 st, 2010 Dr."— Presentation transcript:

1 How to Organize an Undergraduate Research Conference and Why it Matters Western Deans of Arts & Sciences Conference Banff, Alberta Oct. 1 st, 2010 Dr. Farhad Dastur Associate Dean of Social Sciences 1

2 2 Richmond Cloverdale Langley Surrey

3 3

4 Two Simple Ideas IDEA 1 Imagine a forum for undergraduate research: a place where students can present their research, share ideas, criticize the work of their peers, and network… 4 IDEA 2 Imagine empowering students to organize such a forum themselves.

5 Objectives A Case Study Approach: Connecting Minds National Undergraduate Research Conference in Psychology Overview; History; Scalability; Geographical and Institutional Representation Financial Considerations What the Student Organizing Team Learns What the Student Presenters Learn Opportunities for Service & Experiential Learning 7 Reasons Why Undergraduate Research Conferences Matter How Deans / Assoc. Deans Can Help Resources & Upcoming Events 5

6 One Generally-Accepted Definition of Undergraduate Research Undergraduate research is an inquiry or investigation conducted by an undergraduate that makes an original intellectual or creative contribution to the discipline. Wenzel, T. J. (1997). What is Undergraduate Research? Council on Undergraduate Research Quarterly, 17,

7 Overview Theme: National Undergraduate Research in Psychology Size:186 student attendees 50 faculty + administrators Program:24 oral presentations; 75 posters SSHRC grant panel; Graduate School Panel Criteria:Open to any student enrolled in an undergraduate program No faculty or graduate student presenters Date:Typically first week of June Place:Kwantlen Polytechnic University, Richmond Campus chosen for proximity to Airport, Hotels, Restaurants, and Skytrain 7

8 History 2006: Kwantlen Undergraduate Research Conference in Psychology (local) Barry Beyerstein, Simon Fraser University 2007: Kwantlen Undergraduate Research Conference in Psychology (local) Daniel Bernstein, Kwantlen Polytechnic University 2008: 1st Connecting Minds Conference (Canada-wide) Elliot Aronson, University of California, Santa Cruz 2009: 2 nd Connecting Minds Conference (Canada-wide) (co-organized with UFV) Sam Gosling, University of Texas at Austin 2010: 3rd Connecting Minds Conference (North America-wide) Albert Bandura, Stanford University 2011: 4 th Connecting Minds Conference (Tri-national) Michael Shermer, Claremont Graduate University 2012: 5 th Connecting Minds Conference (International) Elizabeth Loftus, University of California, Irvine 8

9 Scalability 9 In-House 2006 & 2007 Vancouver > BC > Canada 2008 Canada 2009 North America 2010 North America & Australia, 2011

10 PROGRAM Registration Welcome Address / Closing Address Paper Presentations & Poster Sessions Info Sessions: Graduate School Panel; SSHRC Grants Keynote Lecture Social Events: Reception with live music Meals: Appetizers, Pub Gathering, Breakfast, Lunch 10

11 Geographic & Institutional Representation (numerical data from 2010; representation data from ) BRITISH COLUMBIA (121) Kwantlen Polytechnic University Camosun College Douglas College Capilano University Langara College Simon Fraser University Thompson Rivers University University of British Columbia UBC Okanagan University of the Fraser Valley University of Northern British Columbia University of Victoria Vancouver Island University Adler School of Professional Psychology Trinity Western University Quest University ALBERTA (8) Ambrose University College Grant McEwan College University of Calgary Lethbridge College Kings University College 11 MANITOBA University of Manitoba SASKATCHEWAN (13) University of Saskatchewan

12 Geographic & Institutional Representation (numerical data from 2010; representation data from ) Ontario (11) Brock University Huron University College at the University of Western Ontario Kings University College at the University of Western Ontario Queens University University of Ottawa McMaster University University of Toronto University of Western Ontario University of Guelph Quebec (2) McGill University Concordia University 12

13 Geographic & Institutional Representation (numerical data from 2010; representation data from ) New Brunswick University of New Brunswick Nova Scotia (3) Saint Marys University Dalhousie University Newfoundland Memorial University Prince Edward Island (2) University of Prince Edward Island 13

14 Geographic & Institutional Representation (cumulative ) The United States (26) Western Washington University University of Oregon University of California at Los Angeles Germany University of Mannheim Australia Edith Cowan University (potential for 2011) 14

15 A Few Sample Titles To Be Or Not To Be: Origins of Gender Identity and their Effects on Behaviour The Timing of Reward Signals in Medial-Frontal Cortex Change with Learning Sexual Guilt and Acculturation: Potential Barriers to Cervical Cancer Screening Practices Among Chinese Canadian Women Tell Me a Story: The Art and Alzheimer's Project The Effects of Pre-Release Publicity of Criminal Offenders on Public Opinion The Role of Memory in Math Skills in University Students Why Risk It? A Study on the Link between Risky Behavior and Developmental Instability. Revisiting Gate Control Theory: Opposing a Monopoly on Pain Discourse 15

16 The Faculty / Administration Organizing Team Faculty 2 dedicated Faculty Advisors and multiple faculty volunteers Administration 1 Dean, 1 Associate Dean Staff 1 Dept. Assistant 16

17 Student Organizing Teams Structure 1 Student Head; 1 Faculty Head; 1-3 student volunteers 17 Abstract Selection EventsRegistrationMarketingBudgetsWebsiteFacebook

18 2008 Student / Faculty Organizing Team L to R: Thomas Kerslake, Dr. Catherine Rawn, Dr. Jocelyn Lymburner, Oscar Astete, Levente Orban, Dr. Farhad Dastur, Dr. Ashiq Ali Shah, Nicole Pernat 18

19 The Student Organizing Team (CM 2008) 19

20 No Ruby Red Slippers… 20

21 Financial Considerations: Expenses Budget $30,000 per conference Expenses Catering Marketing Speaker Fees (airfare, hotel, ground transport, honorarium) Videorecording Musicians Travel Grants Best Presentation Awards Website Costs 21

22 Financial Considerations: Income Revenue Generation Approximately $6000 based on a $40 registration fee Sponsorships (Financial and In-kind) Office of the Dean of Social Sciences Office of the Vice-President Academic Kwantlen Student Life and Development Kwantlen Student Association Office of the Chief Information Officer Other institutional partners (e.g., UFV) Publishers: Pearson Education, Worth Publishers, Nelson Education 22

23 What the Student Organizing Team Learns Lesson 1: Faculty Student Mentorship The CM organizing team works closely with faculty advisors and learn skills related to organization, department priorities, management of expectations, and institutional processes. Richard Light identifies this as one of the most important influences of the undergrad experience Making the Most of College: Students Speak Their Minds Making the Most of College: Students Speak Their Minds Richard J. Light, Harvard University Press, Lesson 2: Project Management Must work on complex differentiated tasks in a deadline-driven and dynamically changing environment Lesson 3: Budgeting, Fundraising, Sponsorship Financial transparency, accountability, and conflicts of interest 23

24 What the Student Organizing Team Learns Lesson 4: Team building Learn to manage emotions and work in an integrated way with challenging personalities Lesson 5: Conflict Resolution Learn methods for resolving interpersonal conflicts Lesson 6: Communication skills Refine oral and written competencies; learn how to pitch message to different audiences (sponsors, students, faculty) 24

25 What the Student Organizing Team Learns Lesson 7: Marketing The Connecting Minds brand Poster design, social networking Lesson 8: Technology Skills Project management applications; facebook, website interface design 25

26 What the Student Presenters Learn Presentation & Organizational Skills How to organize thoughts in a clear, concise, and persuasive way Communication Skills How to deliver a succinct 20-minute oral presentation or poster summary Enculturation How knowledge is shared in scholarly communities Learn and manifest disciplinary and inter-disciplinary language and methodologies 26

27 What the Student Presenters Learn Critical Thinking Skills Opportunity to engage in critical discussions Broadening of Perspective Learn about the range of psychological research occurring across Canada and globally Engagement, Student Identity, and Fellowship Recognize that there is a community of students, educators, and scholars interested in the discipline Enhances student identification with a discipline Im a student Im a Mt. Royal student Im a Psyc major 27

28 7 Reasons Why Undergraduate Research Conferences Matter 1.Developing evidence-based conclusions and defending their data, methods, theories, and conclusions 2.They complete the research cycle and reinforce the public, transparent, and free nature of scholarship 3.They educate students into the cultural standards of scholarly communities 4.They are good opportunities for students to network with other student and faculty researchers 28

29 7 Reasons Why Undergraduate Research Conferences Matter 5.They foster engagement by giving a forum for students to demonstrate independent learning 6.They encourage students to consider graduate or professional schools 7.The circle of experiential learning is completed when the student reflects on what they have learned and shares that reflection. 29

30 Undergraduate Research Conferences are not nice to have they are important to have 30

31 What Can A Dean / Associate Dean Do? Leadership: Use your power, influence, and charm to help create the conditions that motivate and enable Departments and Student Clubs to want to organize an undergraduate research conference FacilitationUse your power, influence, and charm to facilitate intra- and inter-institutional partnerships Cut through red-tape and bureaucratic obstacles Start-up Provide Seed-Funding FundingOur goal is to make the conference self-supporting through registration fees, volunteers, and sponsorships. 31

32 Opportunities for Interdisciplinary, Service, & Experiential Learning A student from the Graphical Design for Marketing (GDMA) program was commissioned to design the Conference Logo A student from the Bachelor in Journalism degree was commissioned to do the video-recording and editing of the keynote lecture A quartet from the Music Program provided musical entertainment I am proposing a new Institutional Service Learning course that will give formal (and flexible) credit for students who provide significant services or assistance to the organization or enhancement of the conference e.g., website development, marketing, etc. 32

33 Future Directions for Connecting Minds Internationalize the conference by offering Virtual Presentation Sessions Pilot with undergrads from Edith Cowan University in Perth, Australia 33

34 Future Directions Increase cross-disciplinary involvement Web-based Registration system (PayPal) Increase recruitment by inviting Grade 11 and 12 students 34

35 Some Photos and Comments 35

36 36

37 37 Elliot Aronson and 4 future scholars from The University of Calgary

38 Nineteen Undergrad Presenters from Western Washington University 38

39 Student Feedback INCREDIBLE event. Thanks all for putting together such a first-rate conference. We've already started recommending it to all our faculty and students for upcoming years. --Charmaine Loved the conference so much! Thanks for such a great event! You made us feel so welcomed and all of the research everyone presented was really interesting and impressive! You can count on WWU students for next year! --Alicia (Source: Connecting Minds Facebook site) 39

40 Resources Council on Undergraduate Research Mission Statement: To support and promote high-quality undergraduate student-faculty collaborative research and scholarship. Lymburner, J., & Dastur, F. (2010). Handbook on How to Organize and Undergraduate Conference: Lessons Learned. Unpublished manuscript. 40

41 Upcoming Events Rising Stars of Research Cross-Disciplinary Undergraduate Research Conference Co-organized by UBC and UNBC Creating a Culture of Research on Campus: A Seminar for Deans, Faculty, IT Specialists, Librarians, and Research Officers October 15-16, 2010 Williamsburg, Virginia International Perspectives on Undergraduate Research and Inquiry: A Scholarly Discussion October 19, 2010 Liverpool, UK Creativity, Inquiry, and Discovery: Undergraduate Research In and Across the Disciplines November 11-13, 2010 Durham, NC


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