Westminster College's Undergraduate Conference gives you the opportunity to share your research with the campus community. The conference completes your liberal education program, WCore, recognizing the academic achievement of engaging in high-level research projects with the guidance of program faculty. Students from all programs, majors, and schools may participate with the approval of a faculty sponsor. Projects do not have to be complete—you can present your work at whatever stage it is in at the time of the conference.
Students present their work in a variety of formats:
- Paper presentation
- Panel presentation
- Poster presentation
- Video presentation
The conference committee will group the submissions by topic in order to create presentation sessions. The audience is made up of fellow students, faculty members, staff, administration, friends, and family members. Presentations can be based on substantive in-class papers, scientific research, thesis work, independent study projects, community service activities, and more.
For more information about each presentation format, please see below. Students are advised to contact their faculty mentors or Erin Merrill at 801.832.2258 for more information about presentations.
Each paper presenter will have 10 to 12 minutes for his or her presentation and three minutes for a question/answer period. This presentation format will be given orally and is often accompanied by a slide show. Students can do a paper presentation as a group or as individuals. The Chronicle of Higher Education has some helpful advice for preparing to present a paper at a conference.
Students may get together as a panel and submit a series of papers (3 is the ideal number) on a common topic. For example, 3 students might have 3 different approaches to Shakespeare, so a panel titled "Interdisciplinary Approaches to Shakespeare" might be appropriate. Each panelist will have 10 to 12 minutes to present with questions for the panel to follow.
A poster is usually a collection of a brief narrative paper supplemented with tables, graphs, pictures, and other media or data. As a presenter, you will stand beside your poster during the poster session and be prepared to give a precise presentation that intellectually communicates your research and helps synthesize your main ideas.
The Giovale Library will cover the cost for posters printed in the new Makerspace/Art Lab on campus. The library will also provide easels and mounting materials for your poster.
There are many websites with specific advice on preparing a poster for presentation at a research fair. Penn State has a helpful site.
Designing and Printing Posters
The Giovale Library will provide free poster printing for those who are interested. They will only print posters that are 36 x 48 inches. You may choose to print your poster yourself, but if you do so, the library will not cover the cost.
Poster Design Tips
You may use any poster template. There are free PowerPoint templates available online and in PowerPoint.
Just make sure to select a template that is the appropriate size. If you would like to design a poster that uses Westminster College branding, you can find information about the college colors, fonts, and logo in the branding guide.
Once your abstract is accepted, you will receive an email about how to submit the poster file for printing. You will have approximately 2 weeks to submit your poster after hearing from us.
Your poster must be the appropriate size (36 x 48 inches) for us to print it. Once we have printed your poster, we will contact you so that you can pick it up before the Undergraduate Conference. The library will not be responsible for transporting posters to and from the conference.
A video presentation can be no longer than 10 minutes. The video must be a work created by the presenter and can be either an entire work or a sample of your work. Students will also be given a minimum of 2 minutes to discuss their work with time for questions following the video presentation.
Do you have an idea that doesn’t fit under the above presentation formats? Submit your idea and we’ll see if we can make it work. This conference is all about highlighting student work and we want to help you do that in whatever format you find most appropriate.