Call for Papers and Posters

Call for Papers and Posters

The Colby Liberal Arts Symposium will be held April 28, 2016. 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.

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. Titles and information should be submitted by Monday, April 4. Presentation times for speakers will typically be 10 or 15 minutes. Please include that information when filling out the registration form. Abstracts should be added by April 4.


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 Jim Sloat ([email protected]).

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.


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.