General Education Student Conference
Friday, October 2, 2015
Why a student conference?
First and foremost, this event is designed to recognize the exceptional academic learning experiences our undergraduates have in their general education courses. To participate, a student must be nominated by his or her professor and must have produced outstanding work, whether in the form of an oral presentation, a written essay, a research project, or similar assignment. Those who accept their nominations are then grouped into panels just as if they were presenting at a professional conference. In this way, the conference also allows undergraduates to practice valuable public speaking skills.
Anyone in the campus community can attend the conference sessions. The conference is always held in October on the Friday afternoon of Family Weekend. All students who present, their families, and their faculty mentors are invited to be our guests at a celebratory banquet in the Festival ballroom immediately following the proceedings.
Check out last year’s program: 2014 Conference Program
What do participants think about the conference?
“It taught me how to branch out of my comfort zone to better myself.”
“The Gen Ed conference was an opportunity to really see the benefits and importance of the Gen Ed courses students take here at JMU.”
“This showed me how I could use writing as a powerful tool to connect with people.”
“From here on out, I plan to achieve that level of excellence in my future work.”
“I won’t be afraid to explore myself a bit deeper to find a truly compelling essay topic.”
“All of the presenters wrote about topics they were passionate about.”
“It showed us that college is the time to find out who we are and to grasp every opportunity that we have here.”
I teach a GenEd course. How do I nominate students?
- Calls for nominations are issued in November for student work produced in the fall semester and again in April for the spring semester.
Faculty may nominate as many students-either individuals or as a panel- as they wish, provided they have produced excellent, inventive work in general education classes. Faculty should be willing to mentor students selected to present at the conference during the preparation of their conference abstracts. Nominate students here: Nomination Survey
- Only general education teaching faculty may nominate students for the conference. However, students are welcome to solicit a nomination from their professors.
- Only student work produced during the academic year immediately preceding the annual conference is eligible.
- Be creative: past examples of nominated work include posters, speeches, debate presentations, academic papers, digital video, group presentations, visual presentations, and musical performance.
- Once we receive your nomination forms, the General Education office will contact your students and ask them to submit an abstract or summary/description (up to 250-words) of the work that they would like to present at the conference.
Still have questions?
Contact the General Education Office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Your JMU student will receive an invitation via email later in the summer to the banquet on October 2nd. Each student may bring up to four guests total.
- Bring the camera!
- Arrive in ample time before your student's presentation. Once a room reaches capacity the doors are closed.
- Attend other panel sessions of your choice.
- Observe and appreciate the excellent academic work your student has exhibited in class.
- Join us for an elegant banquet in honor of your student's academic success.
- Your student will pick-up the banquet tickets when he or she checks-in on the day of the conference.
- Meet the faculty member who nominated your student.
For Student Presenters
- Invite your roommates and classmates to your presentation.
- Take advantage of the opportunity to practice your presentation and any technology you may use. Practice sessions are held before the conference in Rose Library.
- Professional attire is required.
- Come prepared.
- Join us at the beginning of the conference to observe your peers present their papers.
- Join your parents, your nominator and other General Education faculty at the banquet.