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The Whalen FAQ will be updated for the 2021 Symposium.

Please check back for updates and to see if your question has been answered. 11/17/2020

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Whalen Symposium?

The James J. Whalen Symposium is an annual Ithaca College tradition which allows students to present their research and other creative works in a professional setting. Whalen offers students the opportunity to collaborate on research with their professors and one another, as well as giving them a conference-like atmosphere to present their work to their peers on campus. Each year’s symposium provides a rich sample of the wide range of undergraduate research and creativity.

When is the Whalen Symposium?

The 2021 Whalen Symposium will be held virtually during the Spring 2021 semester. The dates of the symposium are forthcoming. Keep an eye on Intercom and this website for updates.

What kinds of work can i submit to whalen?

The majority of submissions to Whalen are oral presentations and posters of student research on campus. However, Whalen also accepts and welcomes students to submit creative work as well. Creative works can include live performances (dance, theatre, music, etc.) as well as works of visual and media art such as film, photography, paintings, sculptures, and costume and set design.

How do I submit my abstract?

Please submit your abstract through our online submission form. Make sure all required fields are filled out. Only one abstract should be submitted per project.

Who should submit my abstract?

Both faculty and students are able to submit abstracts on behalf of the project team. Please only submit once per project, so if you have multiple research partners, only one of you should submit the project. If you want to update your submission, please contact whalen@ithaca.edu, do not submit a second form.

What should my abstract look like if I want to present my research?

Sample abstracts and judging rubrics are provided to guide the development of the abstract and presentation. You can look at abstract examples here: https://www.ithaca.edu/whalen-symposium/abstract-submissions/abstract-examples.

Abstracts should be characterized by an objective, scholarly tone.

In order to present your research, your abstract should be formatted as follows:

Your abstract should state the title of your presentation, your name, and your faculty sponsor's name at the top of the page. The body of your abstract must summarize your research in 250- 500 words. Sample abstracts have been provided on the website. Only one abstract per presentation is necessary. If you wish to present your research and be considered for an award, your abstract must be 500-700 words. If you plan to present creative work (visual, media, and performing arts), you must submit the Abstract for Visual, Media, and Performing Arts (use the same abstract just to present or to be considered for an award).

What should my abstract look like if I want to present my research for an award?

If students wish to submit their abstract for an award, they will be required to submit an extended abstract of 500 to 700 words. Sample abstracts and judging rubrics are provided on the website to assist in creating a successful abstract and presentation. Your extended abstract should address the following five elements. Guiding questions have been provided to focus your writing:

1. Background: Why You Created Your Work. Describe the context of your work: What have others already done in this area and where does your work fit into this existing body of work? In particular, what is the potential for your work to add something new? Describe the research question or argument driving your work. For students submitting an original creative work or performance, how does your performance relate to society/campus community? What do you want listeners to understand/experience/know before, during, or after your performance? What will your performance mean to your audience? What artists are you responding to or in conversation with for your creative work?

2. Methods: How Your Work Came to Be. How did you create your work? In what theory or theories is it grounded? What materials did you use, who else was involved, and when did you carry out your work? For students submitting an original creative work or performance, why is your performance considered “research?” What is new, unusual, interesting, or noteworthy about it? Which techniques/concepts/meanings will your performance explore? What methods were used in creating your work?

3. Results: How Your Work Turned Out. How would you describe your work clearly and concisely, in a way that makes it easy for people from multiple disciplines to understand your work and its real or potential outcomes? For students submitting an original creative work or performance, how do you explain the impact of your scholarly and creative output?

4. Discussion and Conclusions: What Your Work Means. How do you move from describing your work itself to explaining the broader ideas that it addresses? What do you think your work contributes to your area and why do you think your work makes this contribution?

5. Bibliography/Works Cited. A bibliography/list of references and works cited (If you cited any sources of information—articles, books, book chapters, websites, and personal communications) MUST be included. These items are not included in the 500-700 word limit. It may be helpful for students to consider this a shorter version of their final presentation. Supporting materials including charts, graphs, images, choreography documentation or musical scores are encouraged, but not necessary. These items are not included in the 500-700 word limit.

What should my abstract look like if I want to present my visual, media, or performing arts project?

Only one abstract per presentation is necessary. A basic abstract of 250-500 words is required to participate. Your abstract should address the five elements described below.

In order for your abstract to be considered for an award, you must submit an extended abstract of 500-700 words. Sample abstracts and judging rubrics are provided on the website to assist in creating a successful abstract and presentation. Your extended abstract should address the following five elements.

The creation and production of live performance (dance, theatre, music, etc.) and works of visual and media art (musical compositions, film, photography, paintings, sculptures, costume and set designs, etc.) are valid scholarly contributions. Creative work falls under a category of research known as the “scholarship of discovery,” which is central to the education of students in the visual and performing arts. A successful abstract for a creative work proposed for inclusion in the Whalen Symposium will include:

1. The artist’s initial questions of investigation – (Why did you create the piece?)

2. Brief articulation of artists, forms, theories, methods or movements inspiring or informing the creative work (Research – techniques – how those techniques are manifested within the work and research that was done (regarding various composers, representing various cultures, etc.)

3. How the work will be presented to the audience (If performing or presenting a piece of visual art in conjunction with your presentation, indicate the necessary space requirements)

4. Proposed significance to the field (What is new or revelatory about your creative work?)

5. A bibliography/list of references and works cited (If you cited any sources of information— articles, books, book chapters, websites, and personal communications) MUST be included. These items are not included in the 500-700 word limit. It may be helpful for students to consider this a shorter version of their final presentation. Supporting materials including charts, graphs, images, choreography documentation or musical scores are encouraged, but not necessary. These items are not included in the 500-700 word limit.

How does judging for awards work?

Abstracts that have been submitted for awards will be approved by two separate faculty or staff abstract reviewers who have experience in a related field. The reviewers follow a rubric to rate each abstract, which can be downloaded here. Abstracts which score an average of 12 or higher will be considered for award.

Students who are still being considered for award will be evaluated by judges when they present their research during Whalen. The judge’s rubric can be found here. Once presentations have all been delivered, the judges deliberate using the presentation evaluations to decide on

How will we present our projects virtually?

how do i present my poster?

how should i format my presentation?

What dates should I keep in mind?

Do I have to have a faculty sponsor for my research?

for any other questions you may have, please email whalen@ithaca.edu for more information.