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Academic Excellence Conference - FAQ for Project Mentors

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What is the Academic Excellence Conference (AEC)?

The annual AEC showcases the research, scholarship, and creative work completed by KSC undergraduate and graduate students. It gives students an opportunity to present their best academic work to a broad audience of their peers, faculty, and the public.

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Who Sponsors the AEC?

The AEC is sponsored by the Academic Enrichment Program, the Keene State College Student Assembly, the Vice President for Student Affairs Office, and the President's Office.

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Why should faculty and staff encourage students to present at the AEC?

The AEC motivates students to further perfect projects they have done for a class or to work on entirely new projects that are not formally linked to any specific course. It encourages students to think about how to make their scholarly work accessible to an audience of non-specialists and gives them an opportunity to take part in an intellectual conversation on a topic of their interest.

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Who can present at the AEC?

Any registered undergraduate or graduate student is eligible to present at the AEC. Presentations can be done individually or in small groups. There are three types of presenters:

  • Presenter: A student who is physically present at the conference and an active participant in the presentation.

  • Performer: A student who is/was not active in the research/scholarship portion of the presentation, but is asked by the presenter to perform (e.g., sing, dance, play instrument, etc.) at the conference.

  • Collaborative Researcher: A student who is/was active in the research/scholarship of the presentation, but will not be physically present at the conference.

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Who attends the AEC?

KSC students, faculty, parents and other family, friends, alumni, the general public, and visitors from local and regional business communities and government offices.

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When and where does the conference take place?

The AEC takes place on the KSC campus in the L.P. Young Student Center, the David F. Putnam Science Center, and the Zorn Dining Commons. This year's conference is on Saturday, April 11, 2015 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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What is my role as a project mentor?

As a project mentor, you are expected to work with your mentee to ensure the best possible quality of both the scholarly work and its presentation at the AEC. This may include fine-tuning an argument, reading drafts, conducting oral rehearsals, and practicing the Q&A part of the presentation. Please note that the expectation is for project mentors to be present at the conference to introduce his/her student(s).

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How does my mentee submit his/her proposal?

Students should review the abstract guidelines and use the online submission form to submit their proposals.

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My students have conducted a group project. Can they present as a group?

Yes. The AEC has a group presentation format. There is no formal limit on the number of students that may comprise a presenting group; however, each student is expected to actively participate in the presentation and discussion of the project.

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Can a student give a poster presentation and an oral presentation?

Yes. The student must submit two abstracts for the two different projects.

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How soon can I and my mentee expect to hear from the AEC Selection Committee?

You and your mentee will hear from the Selection Committee the week of December 12, 2014.

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What happens after the AEC Selection Committee reviews student proposals?

After the AEC Selection Committee reviews all proposals, you and your mentee will receive an e-mail notifying you of one of the three possible outcomes.

  1. Your mentee's proposal was accepted and will be published in the program in its present form.
  2. Your mentee's proposal requires further work or revisions. In this case, the Selection Committee will indicate specific issues that will need to be addressed in the final draft of your mentee's abstract.
  3. Your mentee's proposal was not accepted. The committee will offer a brief explanation of its decision.
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I have received a letter from the AEC Selection Committee that my mentee's abstract needs further work. When is the revised abstract due?

Revised abstracts are due Wednesday, January 28, 2015 at 5 p.m. You and your mentee will be notified by Friday, February 6, 2015 as to whether the revised proposal has been accepted.