Symposium Prep

Ford Scholars Symposium Monday, September 14, 2020

Monday, September 14

Class of ’51 Reading Room, Main Library 5-7 pm

(Scholars should arrive by 4:45 sharp)

Preparing for the Symposium

The Ford Scholars Symposium is a celebration of the summer Ford projects. It is an academic event that honors the collaboration between faculty and students, but it is also a little bit like a cocktail party, in that the room is quite noisy and there are a lot of people milling about, eating and drinking. Your slides should tell the story of the work you did over the summer. You should have approximately 10 slides representing your summer, each slide featuring key highlights of your involvement with the research project.

We recommend that the slides be set to loop continuously and serve as a visual cue for content or talking points.

  • The room gets noisy with all of the talking, so the slides should not include sound.
  • It’s a summary, not a report or a full-on presentation.
  • Key highlights (2-3) – tell the story of your involvement with this research

You will be talking informally with guests as they engage you on your work this summer. To prepare for a conversation with many people at different times, you should plan to tell a story about your involvement with the project. You might weave in 2-3 key highlights. You do not need to address every slide you prepare. Consider keeping your story/talking points to 3 minutes. This will leave space for guests to ask questions, where you can add additional information not included in your talking points.

The room in set up with computers in a circular pattern and guests visit stations at their will. They are trying to see multiple projects, so they will likely not spend more than five minutes at each station. On average, there will be 1-3 people at any given time listening and talking with you, and often guests will arrive during the middle of your talking points. Some people will just stand to the side to get a sense of your research. Some people will engage you in conversation. Your talking points should be designed to give viewers the general sense of your research as well as provide fuel for conversation.

Half of the Ford students are featured in thirty-minute session, while the other half featured in a second sessions with the symposium speaker in between. If you have a class conflict and need to choose the first or second session, please let Alix know ASAP.  The Ford Symposium will be held Monday, September 14, 2020 from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Slides are due by the last day of your project. Please share them with Baynard Bailey (babailey@vassar.edu) via the google apps for education domain.