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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. Updated 04/02/2021

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 over the course of several days:

April 19–21, 2021 | 4–7 pm (ET)

Monday, April 19 | School of Humanities & Sciences

Tuesday, April 20 | Schools of Business, Communications & Music

Wednesday, April 21 | School of Health Science & Human Performance

Please visit the 2021 Whalen site for a full presentation schedule.

how are abstracts for award reviewed?

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 for reference 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 live by judges when they present their research during Whalen. Students will be judged on their presentation of their research's purpose/originality, their methods and framework, their results and conclusions, and the visual and logical organization of presentation. Once presentations have all been delivered, the judges deliberate using the presentation evaluations to decide on.

How will we present our projects virtually?

The Whalen steering committee is currently reviewing platforms and discussing the best ways to allow students to present in a virtual setting. We intend to have students present their research live online. Please check back soon when we have more information about how the conference will run!

What dates should I keep in mind?

Submissions for the Whalen Symposium open on Jan 4, 2021, and will remain open until March 17, 2021. If you want to submit your work for an award, you must submit before March 17.

Once abstracts have been reviewed, you will be assigned your presentation time no later than April 12. Please remember that you will be presenting on the day that represents the school of your research - April 19 for HSHP, April 20 for Business, Communications, and Music, and April 21 for H&S.

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