Information for Faculty

On April 25, 2019, no classes will meet at Truman between 7:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Furthermore, some time before March 21, 2019 — which is the deadline for submitting abstracts—students may ask if you will be their faculty mentor for presentations at the Student Research Conference. Below you will find some information that may be helpful in making the decision to be a mentor, or in making use of the Conference in your teaching.

Being a Mentor

Each presentation must have a faculty mentor. If students are presenting work done off campus, for example during an internship, they must identify a Truman faculty member as co-sponsor. Abstracts that lack faculty sponsorship will not be accepted. Your involvement in work to be presented at the Conference is therefore essential; without you, there can be no Conference. You should know about the responsibilities of mentoring as well as the significant benefits it can confer.

Responsibilities are laid out in the Call for Abstracts, available on this website. You should familiarize yourself with the Presentation Types and Submission Guidelines listed in the Call for Abstracts. There is no central review process for this Conference—virtually all submissions that have faculty mentors will be accepted. This means that, before you agree to be a mentor, you should make sure the proposed work is eligible (see Submission Guidelines); and, after agreeing, you should work with the students involved in preparing the abstract and getting ready for the presentation.

At the minimum, faculty should proofread the abstract before submission, give appropriate feedback and editing, and formally approve the submission. You will receive notification by e-mail when a presentation for which you are listed as mentor has been accepted. Stay in touch with students you are mentoring so you can preview presentations, giving appropriate feedback to enhance their quality.

Benefits to you for shouldering these responsibilities are significant.

Roundtable discussions oriented to faculty concerns can also be beneficial. Roundtable sessions on timely, controversial or perennial topics will be scheduled for brown-bag meetings over the lunch hour. If there's a topic you would like to hear discussed, you can make a proposal to the Office of Student Research ( or 785-4597).

The Research Conference as Teaching Resource

Since all classes will be cancelled on the day of the Student Research Conference, you may want to consider ways of using it as a teaching resource. Some professors require students to attend one or more presentations, including both those from the class discipline and those from outside the discipline, and to turn in reports on them. Reports may include brief summaries of each presentation, as well as reflection. Do not suppose this kind of assignment is useful only for courses in Fundamentals of Speech or those that focus on aesthetic criticism. Students from a wide variety of disciplines will be presenting their best work. In every discipline, students who attend can learn from their peers how to frame a question, choose a research method, discuss results and respond to an audience. Different presentation methods also will be on view. All who attend the Conference can meet and question students who present posters, technology displays, or studio or performing art. It's a great way to catch up on what's happening all around the University.

All faculty are encouraged to engage in discussion about the nature of scholarship within their discipline. A School or Department meeting could be an occasion for gathering ideas about using the Conference as a teaching resource or reviewing trends in research by students. For background, you may want to take a look at one or both of the following books, which are available at Pickler Memorial Library:

Boyer, E.L.
Scholarship Reconsidered: Priorities of the Professoriate. Princeton, NJ: Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, 1990.
Glassick, C.E., M.T. Huber and G.I. Maeroff.
Scholarship Assessed: Evaluation of the Professoriate. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1997.

Serving as a Moderator

We will need the help of many session moderators on April 25 to keep the Conference running smoothly. Your School representative will be looking for volunteers as soon as the schedule of presentations is set. Please save the date on your calendar, and please be ready to contribute to the success of the occasion by serving as a moderator.

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