The department graduate symposium occurred on April 13, 2021 after not having a symposium in 2020 due to the pandemic. Planning a research symposium was a major hurdle for Nick Gregorich, Molli Garifo, and Mark Pitman. The CEGSO board devised an idea to utilize Google Sites for displaying the posters virtually. These personalized Google Sites allowed students to upload a poster, abstract, and photo of themselves displayable on the internet. In an effort to mirror an in-person poster symposium virtually, the students sat in individual zoom rooms for a virtual question and answer period while faculty and students could jump from room to room and view the students with their posters.
Zoom links were set up for each person so that judges were able to enter a zoom call and discuss the students’ posters with them. A Google Form was also set up for the judges to input their scoring. For the oral presentations, there was one zoom link that every participant was able to join and give their presentation. Even with some unforeseen technical difficulties, the symposium was an overall success and the event was able to get back on track very quickly with an engaged audience.
Our department would like to extend our thanks to Ph.D. students for their leadership as well as the Graduate Student Coordinator, Diana Stamey. We would also like to thank our faculty members who dedicated their time to serve as judges for the event.