Call for CLAS Sessions

The Colby Liberal Arts Symposium will be held April 27, 2017.  This page contains information for how departments/programs and individual faculty members can request a CLAS session.

The deadline to register a session is January 12, 2017.

Department/Program Sessions

Department/Program Sessions are sponsored by departments/programs with the anticipation that all/most of the faculty will attend that session.  Typically, Department/Programs Sessions are used for Honors presentations, Capstone presentations, Senior Seminars, or other Independent Research.

Departments/programs may request a session of up to (but preferably less than) three hours.  If a department/program needs additional time, they may also submit a request for an Open CLAS session on another date to cover the remaining time.

Request Form for a Department/Program Session

Course-based Sessions

Course-based Sessions are sponsored by individual faculty members and reflect the work done either in a particular course or by a group of students supervised by an individual faculty member.

There are five types of Course-based Sessions:

  1. Thursday CLAS Poster Session (on April 27 in Parker-Reed)
  2. Thursday CLAS Presentation Session (on April 27 in Diamond or Davis)
  3. Open CLAS Poster Session (during regular class time during the final two weeks of class, typically in one’s regular classroom)
  4. Open CLAS Presentation Session (during regular class time during the final two weeks class, typically in one’s regular classroom)
  5. Wild Card Session (on April 27 in Ostrove, creative format {pecha kucha, debate, etc.) or interdisciplinary topic.  Engagingly targeted at a general (non-expert) audience.

Based on feedback, the scheduling will prioritize Department/Program Sessions to feature more advanced student scholarship.  If there are more Course-based Sessions than slots available, the divisions will determine which proposed sessions will occur on Thursday; toward that end, the request form includes a space for an explanation for why the session would be particularly well suited for Thursday.  Any sessions that might not be selected for Thursday will certainly have the opportunity to use an Open CLAS slot(s).

Request Form for a Course-based Session

Arts@CLAS Sessions

Arts@CLAS is a celebration of the Arts that takes place on Wednesday evening (from 6-9 p.m.) in the Museum of Art.  The evening includes student performances (musical, theatrical, dance), readings (creative writing, poetry, multiple languages), exhibitions/ open galleries (visual arts, cinema), and activities.  The spirit of the evening is lively, with many different venues ablaze with activity.

If you have questions about Arts@CLAS, please contact Kim Besio.

Request Form for Arts@CLAS Session

Registration/Planning Schedule

December 15:  Call for Department/Program Sessions; Call for Course-based Sessions

January 12:  Deadline for Department/Program Sessions and Course-based Sessions

January 18:  Draft session schedule available for review

January 25:  Final session schedule available (for inclusion in course syllabi)

February 27:  Deadline for name confirmations of participants

  • As was the case last year, session sponsors will be asked to confirm the participants in their session.

March 27:  Deadline for presentation titles and sequences

  • Based on review of past practice, we will be asking session sponsors to provide the titles and sequences of the presentations/posters.  Note: We will not be soliciting abstracts this year; departments or instructors may feel free to require them, but we will not be gathering or compiling them.

April 3:  Deadline for student-initiated General Session posters or presentations.

  • General Session presentations are for projects that are not part of a Department- or Course-based Session.  Students will have the opportunity to propose projects that they will present.  These will be scheduled based on available space.

April 26:  Arts@ CLAS

April 27:  CLAS

Responsibility of Session Sponsor

  1. Request a session (by January 12)
  2. Confirm the participants for your session (by February 27)
  3. Submit titles and sequences (by March 27)
  4. Communicate with session participants
  5. Moderate the session

Responsibility of a Student Presenter

  1. Confirm your participation with your session sponsor (chair, director, or instructor)
  2. Submit your title to your session sponsor (chair, director, or instructor)
  3. Prepare your materials (Posters must be submitted by Thursday, April 20.  Slides must be submitted by Tuesday, April 25.)
  4. Practice your presentation
  5. Come early to your session
  6. Be brilliant and have fun!











Previous years’ material

A goal of this symposium is to recognize student research, provide incentives for high quality work, encourage a higher level of participation in research among the student body, and to draw external attention to Colby’s experience in providing undergraduate research opportunities.


CLAS 2016 will be organized differently this year. Based on demand and feedback from last year, we are extending CLAS to the final two weeks of the term through the use of Open CLAS sessions. These Open CLAS sessions will take place during regular course time and in regular classrooms, but the sessions will be open to the public. The course schedule during the final two weeks of the term will remain the same–with the exception of Thursday, April 28 when classes will be suspended in order to allow for a campus-wide celebration of student work. (Those Thursday classes will take place on Friday, April 29.)

Thursday, April 28 will be a full day devoted to student posters and presentations–with a particular emphasis on honors theses, capstones, senior seminars, and independent studies. We will also be offering some Wild Card sessions with either unique format (e.g., debate or pecha kucha) or interdisciplinary theme. There will also be course-based sessions on Thursday.

Because of this different format, the registration process will be different this year. Departments and faculty are registering sessions (both for Thursday and for Open CLAS). Faculty will then be confirming the names of the student participants. Following that confirmation, the student participants will receive an e-mail asking them to provide their titles and abstracts. While this solicitation will happen later than it did last year, it will be essential for students to meet the April 4 deadline.

As has been the case for the previous years of CLAS, we are preserving space for students who wish to participate in class independently of a particular course. After Spring Break, we will e-mail all students with a link that they can use to sign up for an independent poster or presentation. This is an opportunity to present research that may have occurred over the Fall or Jan Plan. Students requesting an independent session will need to have a faculty member who will serve as the sponsor for that project.

Students are invited to present papers or posters of their research completed as part of a class project, independent study, honors project, or other scholarly activity. Presentations of research conducted last semester, Jan Plan, and this semester are welcomed. Interested students should submit a proposed title for their presentation along with their name, email address, program or department affiliation, and the format of their presentation (poster or talk) by using the symposium submittal webpage. Please note that independent presentations will be 10-15 minutes in length. Independent posters or presentations must be submitted (with titles and abstracts) by Friday, April 8.


Submit/Modify a Proposed Title

Those submitting posters enter the title the same way, but students should design the poster for a 3 ft by 4 ft or 4 ft by 4 ft space, and follow the Poster Guidelines as they construct the poster.

Abstracts should be submitted using the same web pages (you can update the form first submitted at any time) by Monday, April 4. When you go back to the web page, it will show the titles of any presentations you have previously submitted. The abstract will be included in the conference program and proceedings.

Questions regarding the symposium and title/abstract submission should be addressed to

Please use the following guidelines when preparing your abstract. A sample abstract is provided below as an example.

Font: 12 point Times New Roman
Justification: Use full justification
Titles: Use CAPITALS for the first letter of each word in titles (except articles and prepositions).
Authors: For multi-authored presentations, place a check mark in the box on the left of the author that will present. Please include departmental affiliation(s). List authors in alphabetical order. Include email, class year, and phone number in the appropriate fields.
Length: Abstracts should not exceed 250 words. Scientific names: Use italics for genus and species names of organisms.
Line Spacing: Use single spacing throughout.
Information: Please include audio visual needs (if computer is to be used, indicate Mac or PC). Check boxes are found on the webpage for each item.


An example of an abstract is shown below. You may view titles and abstracts of last year’s symposium for more examples by clicking on the links toward the bottom of the menu on the left of this page.

Analysis of the Environmental Effects of Economic Sanctions through the Cuban Experience

A great deal of research has been conducted to ascertain the effects of the embargo against Cuba on the economy and general livelihood of the region. Yet, there is little evidence to suggest the ways that the embargo might be effecting the country’s local environment. This study explores the links between the embargo and any changes in environmental quality. To do so effectively, it is necessary to isolate the possible explanatory variables. Not only is Cuba the victim of economic sanctions, but it is also communist and severely impoverished. The study will conclude that both environmental improvements and damage can be traced back to the different variables. In many cases, these effects have been strongly enhanced by the presence of the embargo. By looking at the impacts of the embargo on individual environmental indicators, as well as its interactions with poverty and communism, the pathways through which it has worked to change the local environment become quite clear.