Guide to Organizing the Graduate Student Symposium

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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  (ADD SUMMARY OF BUDGET)

Fall before Symposium

  • Choose date (for the 2008 symposium we used to conduct an online survey to choose the best date from several choices, this worked well)
  • Reserve room -- usually BPB 130 (we also usually reserve the room the evening before so we can load talks, though not many people actually show up)
  • 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

Two months before Symposium

  • Organize menu and schedule with Catering
  • Order the tables and chairs
 2008 order:
 XX tables
 XX chairs
  • Start new eebedia page for the symposium
  • Issue call for presentations

In the week preceding the Symposium

  • Check the weather and make any necessary changes (in 2008 we had a snowstorm and decided to delay the start by 2 hours)
  • Print out a few copies of the schedule to have around
  • Decide who will moderate which sections

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)