For Faculty Mentors

Each student participating in the SOARS Conference must have a SUNY Orange faculty mentor.  Mentors are required to send an e-mail to verifying that they are mentoring the student.

This page contains the following information for faculty:
1.  Guidelines for Faculty Mentors
2.  Faculty Mentor FAQs
3.  Faculty Reader Guidelines

SOARS Conference Guidelines for Mentors

Please note: The goal of this conference is to foster intellectual/academic curiosity and scholarly research. It is not a contest.

The role of the mentor is to:

  • encourage the student to develop his or her paper or project in accordance with the submission criteria of the conference
  • read the paper carefully and advise the student about how to improve his/her research —specifically, identify potential problems with the credibility and relevance of sources and/or accuracy of documentation
  • help the student to incorporate research material clearly to make and support a compelling argument
  • review reader feedback with the student and help the student develop strategies for revision (Please note:  Reader feedback will be sent directly to mentors who should then review this feedback with the student)
  • help the student prepare for presentation

Note:  Much of the wording of these guidelines was taken directly from the Beacon Conference Reader Guidelines.

SOARS: FAQs For Faculty Mentors

Does the student’s paper need to be grammatically/structurally perfect for submission?

Each submission should represent the student’s best effort; feedback will be provided by faculty readers.

Does the research paper require a PowerPoint, even if the discipline/topic does not encourage such interaction?

No, the PowerPoint is not mandatory; if the presentation does not lend itself to a visual aid, the student should still submit a 1-slide PowerPoint “cover” page with his/her name and project title.

What should a student with a poster presentation bring to the conference day (e.g. copy of the paper, copy of works cited/references page)?

The Undergraduate Research Task Force suggests that each student presenting a poster bring a clean copy of the paper in order to answer any questions from conference attendees.  The Task Force also suggests that the student have a copy of the works cited/references page; the student may adhere it to the back of the poster, or he or she may choose to bring copies for handouts.  Anything else the student would like to bring depends on discipline and individual presentation.

What is the suggested attire for student presenters and student volunteers?

Proper attire for males:

Dress slacks (no jeans); shirt with collar; dress shoes.

(Sport coat, vest or sweater - optional)

Proper attire for females:

Skirt or dress (knee-length or below), or slacks (no jeans); blouse or sweater;   dress shoes (heels lower than four inches).

Inappropriate attire:

Jeans or denim; see-though, tightfitting, or extremely low-cut blouses; spaghetti straps or backless shirts; excessively high heels.

[Adapted from:  “FBLA-PBL National Dress Code.” Future Business Leaders of America-Phi Beta Lamda, 9 Jan. 2009. Web. 4 February 2013.]

What should students do with the faculty reader feedback? Will the paper be resubmitted?

At this time, the Undergraduate Research Task Force does not require papers to be resubmitted.  However, since both the PowerPoint and accompanying oral presentation as well as the poster presentations reflect the paper itself, faculty feedback should be used to refine and strengthen the poster, PowerPoint, and/or presentation for the conference.. Although the paper will not be resubmitted to the SOARS committee, the mentor should work with the student to allow the feedback to serve as a guide for future research in which the student may participate.

May a student submit multiple papers from multiple courses? May a student submit multiple papers from one course? If all submitted papers are accepted, may the student present them all, or should he or she choose one?

Yes, a student may submit multiple papers.  It is at the discretion of the mentor to determine if more than one paper from the same course is worthy of submission. If the mentor determines that each paper is appropriate for submission, then the mentor should encourage the submission of multiple papers.  A student is permitted to make multiple presentations at the conference.

What should a mentor do if multiple students would like to submit a paper, poster, or project on the same topic?

 A mentor should use his/her discretion in determining how to address the situation if multiple students want to submit papers, posters, or projects on the same topic.  A mentor should encourage students to address raw data from differing angles (even when the entire class is working with the same data set) and subsequently produce a paper, poster, or project that is distinct from other students in the class.

If the student has access to a large-scale printer, may the student print a poster rather than piece one together on a tri-fold board?

The student may create the poster using whatever means or media he or she, in collaboration with a faculty mentor, feels is appropriate. All finished posters must stand independently, without requiring any supports; the conference will not provide boards, easels, etc.  The student should not hold his or her poster for the duration of the session.  The poster should follow the format of a tri-fold poster and be no larger than a typical tri-fold poster board. 

*Please see “Poster FAQs” under the Presentation Guidelines tab on this web site for more details about research posters.

Must the mentor’s name appear on the student poster or PowerPoint?

No, inclusion of the mentor’s name is not mandatory.