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Paper symposium sharpens presentation skills


Ye Ming

CSU-Pueblo’s College of Humanities and Social Science held its annual paper symposium recently to afford students the opportunity to practice their presentation skills and prepare for their future careers.

“The symposium is designed to provide a professional atmosphere for presentations,” said Marc Pratarelli, a professor with the Psychology department and this year’s faculty organizer for the symposium.

No award was given because the CHASS didn’t want it to be a competition but an experience, Pratarelli said. Five students who presented their projects at the symposium plan to present again in larger upcoming conferences,  Pratarelli said.

The audience listens to Brett Ford, a senior in psycology, presents his research on "Is religious a roadblock to sustainability?" Photo by Ye Ming.

Brett Ford, a senior majoring in psychology, will present his project, “Is religion a roadblock to sustainability?” again during an international conference hosted by the Society of Human Ecology in April in Lake Las Vegas, Nev.

Ford researched on the probability of people with religious beliefs to practice non-environmental behavior and hold anti-environmental beliefs in his project, he said. Ford shortened his presentations for the symposium because of the time limit, but will present the complete research in the SHE conference.

“It (the symposium) is a good practice,” Ford said.

Four other students will present their projects a second time at the Rocky Mountain Psychological Association’s annual convention, which will take place in Salt Lake City, Utah, from April 14 to 16.

“For them it’s wonderful practice,” Pratarelli said.

The symposium featured 14 presentations that were research students did for courses in the previous semester, Pratarelli said. The symposium was divided into three sessions, which included two oral paper sessions and one poster session, he said, and students had eight minutes for presentation and two minutes to answer questions.

Posters were hung for the viewing public.

Last year the entries were restricted to projects that were done in upper level courses in order to ensure the quality, but this year it was expanded to welcome all levels and the quality didn’t go down, said Amanda Sanchez, the student organizer for the symposium.

“I’m definitely pleased with the quality of the presentations, especially since we lowered it to all levels,” Sanchez said. “We figured that the more experiences they get, the better they are going to be in the end,” she said.

It’s also the first year the symposium re-opened its door to all departments of CHASS, Pratarelli said. Although the symposium is still unfamiliar to some students from other majors and the fact that entries were mainly from the psychology department, there were a few projects on sociology, he said.

Pratarelli hopes the symposium will continue each year, he said, and have students, from a variety of different majors in CHASS, submit a presentation next year to help give the symposium more diversity.