Guide to Organizing the Graduate Student Symposium

From EEBedia
Revision as of 23:02, 21 September 2015 by Nora Mitchell (Talk | contribs) (Fall before Symposium or Very Beginning of Spring Semester)

Jump to: navigation, search

This page is meant to serve as a guide/checklist to use when organizing the Graduate Student Symposium.

Spring of year before Symposium

  • Submit funding request to Graduate Student Senate (IS THIS A FIXED DATE? WHEN IS IT?)
 In 2008, we requested  XX dollars 
 Tables / chairs

Fall before Symposium or Very Beginning of Spring Semester

  • Symposium Committee is selected
  • Choose date
    • for the 2008 symposium we used to conduct an online survey to choose the best date from several choices, this worked well. Include a question about suggestions for an EEB graduate student alumni for the keynote speaker.
  • Reserve room -- usually BPB 130 via registrar at x6-3329 (we also usually reserve the room the evening before so we can load talks, though not many people actually show up), reserve the BPB lobby with Lisa DeJesse of MCB
  • Contact potential people to give the welcome address, such as the dean of CLAS or other important folks. Part of the reason for this is to show them how great EEB is.
    • Example Letter
Dear Dean XX,
The graduate students in the department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology are preparing to hold our 17th annual Graduate Student Symposium on Saturday March 1, 2008. As Dean you know how important graduate research is and how important gaining experience in presenting that research can be to graduate students. The EEB Graduate Student Symposium is an all day event where graduate students can present their research to other graduate students and faculty in the department. New graduate students present research ideas or preliminary data while those more seasoned graduates can present their most recent results, often as preparation for an upcoming meeting. Regardless of the research level of the student, this Symposium provides an opportunity for everyone to present their work in a low stress atmosphere, obtain valuable feedback from other graduates and faculty, and experience presenting material in a symposium setting. You can read about last year's Symposium at
The graduate students of the EEB department would like to invite you to give opening remarks at this event, welcoming participants and setting the tone for the day. The head of our department, Dr. Kentwood Wells, recommended you to us and we feel that this would be a good opportunity for us to get to know you and understand your role in academic and for you to see the exciting work being done by graduate students in EEB.
Please let us know if you are available to accept this invitation. We hope to hear from you soon. Thank you very much.
2008 Graduate Student Symposium Planning Committee
  • Contact an alumni of the EEB grad program to give a 25 minute keynote address. Preferably someone within driving distance.

Example Letter Dr. EEB Grad Alumni,

  I am writing on behalf of the EEB Graduate Student Symposium's
organizing committee at UConn. For the ## year we are including a
keynote talk by an alumnus speaker who has graduated from EEB. I am
writing to see if you might be interested in filling this role.
  The spring symposium will be held this year on ###  ##, 2010. Your
keynote address could be scheduled either before (11:30-12noon) or after
(1:30-2pm) lunch. It would be a 25 min talk with 5 min for questions.
The talk does not have to be exclusively about your current research but
could include more informal topics like memories of UConn, your
experiences finding a job position, teaching tales at your university,
field work adventures. We are really open to you sharing your
experiences since graduating from UConn. We can offer $250 as a travel
reimbursement and honorarium.
  If you have any questions please feel free to email me. We are
attempting to schedule our speaker as soon as possible. If you could let
me know whether you are interested in giving this keynote address at the
grad student symposium by ####, it would be greatly
              Thank you and best regards,
          2008 Graduate Student Symposium Planning Committee

Two months before Symposium

  • Organize menu and schedule with Catering
 2015 order
 Coffee & tea Only
 Morning break:
 Coffee, tea, juice/lemonade
 Fill out Catering request form from GSS
 Lunch: Baja Cafe catering
 Taco bar: 2 meats plus extra beans
Union Reservations Office at 6-3422
 2015 order:
 12 tables ($8 per table)
 60 chairs ($01 per chair; 60-65 chairs is appropriate)
 note: there is a $35 delivery/pickup fee; Central Stores deliver/pick up Mon-Fri 8:30am - 4pm
  • Start new eebedia page for the symposium schedule and abstracts
  • Issue call for presentations too EEB list serve
    • Example announcement
By popular vote this years EEB Graduate Student Symposium will be held Saturday March 1st 2008. Please mark your calendars!
The EEB Graduate Student Symposium is an all day event where graduate students present their research to other graduate students and faculty. Any EEB graduate student can present: BSMS, Masters, PhD, old and new students. New graduate students usually present research ideas or preliminary data while those more 'seasoned' students present their most recent results, often in preparation for upcoming spring and summer meetings.
This year we are trying out a new phenomenon, Speed Talks, in addition to our regular 15min presentations. There will be an almost unlimited number of 15min talks, and a limited number of speed talks. We would like to invite ALL EEB graduate students to give a 15min talk. Talk titles should be submitted to XXX at by Feb 18th. Abstract will be self submitted on EEBedia after the schedule is posted.
Speed Talks have been seen at several large meetings over the last year (playing off the speed dating idea). These talks will be 3min presentations, PowerPoint optional. They are ideal for sharing side projects, amazing images or videos, great opportunities that others should take advantage of, or any other interesting things that you would like to share. Since this is new we are going to have one small section of them in the afternoon. We envision these being given in addition to a regular 15min talk. If you are interested in participating in this section, please let Molly know; the actual number of these talks is still flexible, but we will take these on a first come basis.
Check out our EEBedia page for continuing updates and schedule.
Thank you,
The Symposium Committee
    • You may also want to remind professors that the Symposium is a great event for prospective graduate students if they are visiting
  • Enter event at

Two weeks preceding Symposium

  • Print announcement fliers and post around TLS, Biopharm, BPB, Geosciences, NRME, etc. (Jessica Budke has a digital copy of the 2010 flier to modify for upcoming years.)
  • Send out general email announcement to non-EEB departments (Geosciences, NRME, CESE, etc.) and to EEB undergrads through Katie Upson and Kthy Tebo
  • Also send out announcement to the campus-wide listserve for grad students to meet the criteria of being open to and inclusive advertising to all grad students across campus.
  • Consider who might host the post-symposium party

In the week preceding the Symposium

  • Check the weather and make any necessary changes
    • For example, in 2008 we had a snowstorm and decided on Friday to delay the start by 2 hours and changed the catering schedule - it was a good decision
  • Print out a few copies of the schedule to have around
  • Decide who will moderate which sections
  • Send out reminder email to department
  • Prepare welcome packets for prospective students that will be visiting for the symposium
  • Prepare EEB paraphernalia to be sold at the symposium. In 2008 we had EEB t-shirts, EEB canvas tote-bags, and ECO-Husky travel mugs

The day before the Symposium

  • Load talks if desired (be sure to save them on the scratch disk and not the desktop, where they will be deleted when you restart, or recommended bring external drive and save them all on one)
    • When they load the talks, flip through everyone's slides to confirm that there are no problems (missing images, etc.)
  • Designate someone to meet the tables and chairs when they are dropped off. Move them into the presentation room for the overnight to keep them safe.
  • Pick up EEB tablecloths from Grad/Staff lounge in TLS.

Day of Symposium

  • Set up tables and chairs
  • Set up area to sell EEB paraphernalia
  • Load talks - confirm that all talks are loaded and track down any missing people/presentations
  • If dirty take tablecloths home and wash. Return to Grad/Staff lounge

Week after Symposium

  • Send GSS honorarium form and W-9 paperwork to Keynote speaker
  • Fill out Reimbursement form from GSS to pay catering (Will need copies of the final invoices from catering.
  • Send info about modifications to the budget request for the following year to the EEB GSS representative.