Top Story

Paper symposium prepares students for future careers


By Ye Ming

CSU-Pueblo’s College of Humanities and Social Science will be hosting its annual paper symposium from 2 to 5 p.m., Thursday, March 31 in the Chemistry building, Room 103.

The symposium will give students from all departments of CHASS an opportunity to showcase an oral paper or a poster that they are pound of in front of their peers and faculty. All projects must have a topic and a title.

“The symposium is designed to provide a professional atmosphere for presentations,” said Marc Pratarelli, a professor of psychology at CSU-Pueblo.

Photo courtesy of

The symposium was created to help students develop their skills of giving public presentations since many majors in CHASS do a lot of research and presentations in their future careers, Pratarelli said.

Although most entries are works that have been done in upper division courses, students in lower levels are encouraged to also attend the event. Students who present in the symposium are usually the best and are usually going to graduate school, he said.

“We value the opportunity for students to see a model of what they can aspire to be in two or three years themselves,” he said.

The symposium will have three sessions, including two oral paper sessions and one poster session in the middle. Each session takes about an hour. Oral presentations will be about minutes, eight of which are presentation, and two minutes for questions and answers.

The first CHASS Paper Symposium was held in 1995 and it was open for all students in CHASS. In 2003, the symposium ended. However, the psychology department found it too valuable for the students, so the department started it again, Pratarelli said. In recent years, it expanded to all departments in the CHASS again.

“We are trying to make it larger. The dean is pushing on that,” Pratarelli said. “It’s a good opportunity for our college to showcase and demonstrate to everyone, students especially, standards of excellence.”

The symposium has received 12 entries so far but is expected to have 20 to 30 entries, possibly more, he said.

No award will be given because the CHASS doesn’t want to promote the symposium as a competition, but rather an experience, Pratarelli said.

“The environment is supposed to be warm and supportive,” he said.

“A lot of students are combating a fear of standing up in front of people,” Pratarelli said. “Maybe they don’t think their projects are good enough.”

Pratarelli encourages students who want to participate but are not confident enough to bring their work to him so he can give them suggestions. Students can also have their own advisors review their work before they submit.

To enter projects, students must fill out an application form and turn them in to Pratarelli or Amanda Sanchez at, by March 24, at 5 p.m.

Forms are available outside Pratarelli’s office in the Psychology Building, Room 158. To learn more call Pratarelli at 719-549-2526 or Sanchez at 719-529-9036.