Annual Honours Students Conference at St. Thomas University:
A Proposal

This proposal was published in Teaching Perspectives in the Spring, 2000 issue.

On Tuesday and Wednesday, the 22nd and 23rd of February, 2000, I was invited to judge the 8th Annual Conference on Student Research organized by the Graduate Students Association at the University of New Brunswick. I was very impressed by the overall quality of the papers given and was enthralled by the high quality multi media work (computer simulations, Power Point and equivalent presentations, slides, computer animations, and overheads) presented by the students.

In fact, over all, the conference reminded me very much of Canons to the right of them, an undergraduate conference organized not so long ago at St. Thomas University by Dr. Elizabeth McKim. I strongly believe that an annual students' conference run at St. Thomas University on a regular basis for and by our Honours students in Humanities and the Social Sciences would be of great benefit not only to our students but also to our image in the local community. Such a conference could be used to attract high school students as observers. Further, it could develop the organizational skills of our students in addition to developing and rewarding their presentational skills.

Prizes at the UNB conference were assessed at $400, $300, and $100 for the first three places in each of two categories, Pure Sciences and Humanities / Social Sciences. It should be easy enough for us to award a half course off in the second semester to the faculty member willing to initiate such a conference. In addition, it should be relatively easy to find adequate prize money for an event that can only enhance the pursuit of academic vigor and rigor, to which we so often pay lip service, while actually rewarding our best students for the best of their work.

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