Attendee FAQs

General Questions

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What is the Undergraduate Symposium?

The Undergraduate Symposium is an annual showcase and celebration of undergraduate research, scholarly work, service-learning, community-based research, creative projects, and fine arts. The event is composed of three poster and presentation sessions in which students concurrently present their posters, presentations, art/project displays, and films/performances. All mentors, faculty, staff, students, family, and friends are welcome and encouraged to attend!

When and where is the event?

The 2024 Undergraduate Symposium will be held on Thursday, April 25 on floor 2 and 3 of Union South.

Where should I go when I arrive?

You are welcome to head to the registration tables outside of Varsity Hall when you arrive. There, staff members will provide you with an overview of the symposium schedule and assist you with finding presentation rooms. You also can go directly to a presentation room or Varsity Hall if you would like.

How can I find out when and where a student is presenting?

The symposium schedule will be released in late March/early April. It will be available on the “Overview and Event Details” page. You will be able to search for a student’s name to find when and where they will be presenting. If you have any difficulties with finding this information, you are welcome to reach out to us at ugradsymposium@wisc.edu.

Will digital copies of the program and abstract book be available?

Yes, digital copies of the program and abstract book will be available on the website in mid-April. You will be able to find them on the “Overview & Event Details” page and the “About” page.

I have questions about accessibility and/or would like to request accommodations for the event. Who should I reach out to?

The Undergraduate Symposium team is committed to ensuring the symposium is accessible and enjoyable for all participants and guests. If you have questions about accessibility or will require specific accommodations for the event, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at ugradsymposium@wisc.edu. We are more than happy to help!

Faculty/Staff/Mentor Questions

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What are some ways I can support my students or mentees as they prepare for the symposium?

We encourage students to work closely with their mentors as they prepare for the symposium. Students might request support as they write their project titles and abstracts, create their posters or presentations, or practice presenting.

Here are some helpful resources you can share as they do so:

  1. The Writing Center’s Guide to Writing Abstracts
  2. DesignLab’s Poster-Creation Resource
  3. The Writing Center’s Guide to Creating a Poster
  4. DesignLab’s Project-Specific Resources
  5. DesignLab’s Presentation-Creation Resource

We also encourage students to make appointments with the Writing Center and/or DesignLab as they prepare for the symposium. The Writing Center and DesignLab can supplement the support you provide, allowing you to focus your feedback for students on content.

Should I encourage students who aren’t presenting their work to attend?

Yes! The symposium is a fantastic way for students to:

  • Learn about what engaging in undergraduate research, scholarship, service-learning, and creative projects looks like
  • Experience being and engaging in a professional setting where researchers, scholars, and creatives are presenting work
  • Connect with mentors and other students on research topics that interest them
  • Be inspired by the work of their peers and learn about research, scholarship, service-learning, and creative opportunities for undergraduates

We strongly encourage students who are not presenting to attend!

How will I receive symposium updates and information?

We encourage you to check the “Overview and Event Details” page for important symposium details and information.

If you were listed as a mentor on a participant’s application, you will receive email communications from the Undergraduate Symposium team in late March. If you signed a mentor approval form and do not receive emails from the symposium team by April, please contact us.

When will the symposium schedule be available?

The symposium schedule will be available on the “Overview and Event Details” page in late March/early April.

Student Attendee Questions

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What makes the Undergraduate Symposium a great opportunity for student attendees (students who are not presenting but plan to attend the event) as well?

We strongly encourage students who are not presenting to attend the Undergraduate Symposium! The event is a fantastic way to:

  • Meet other students and faculty doing incredible and innovative work
  • Learn about what it’s like to engage in undergraduate research, scholarship, service-learning, and creative projects (and how to get involved!)
  • Experience being in a professional setting where researchers, scholars, and creatives are presenting work (which can be helpful if you plan to present work or to go to conferences in the future)
  • Be inspired by the work of your peers and learn about research, scholarship, service-learning, and creative opportunities available to you

If you have anywhere from twenty minutes to a few hours free on April 25th, 2024, you should swing by floor 2 and 3 of Union South!

Can attending the Undergraduate Symposium help student attendees get connected to research opportunities?

Yes! Attending the Undergraduate Symposium is a great way to learn about research happening across campus and to talk to other students and mentors about how to get involved. We encourage you to ask students presenting posters about how they got involved in their current work. You also can ask if they have advice for students looking to get involved in similar work.

What are some tips for students attending the symposium?

Here are a few general tips for student attendees:

  • If you are able to attend the event for only a short time (twenty to thirty minutes), we encourage you to head to Varsity Hall for the poster session. The poster session will allow you to have conversations with presenters sharing posters and to ask any questions you have about what it’s like to engage in the research or projects they’re working on. Presentations are timed, so you will not have the same opportunity to engage with presenters one-on-one in presentation sessions.
  • If you plan to enter or leave a presentation room (any presentation room in Union South that is not Varsity Hall) in the middle of a session, we encourage you to wait for the presentation being given to conclude and for the next presenter to begin setting up before entering or leaving the room. Movement in the audience can be disruptive and distracting for presenters in the middle of a presentation.
  • Ask presenters questions! Here are a few examples of questions you can ask:
    • What was the most interesting finding or idea they learned when working on this project?
    • How did they get into this area of study?
    • What was their biggest challenge when conducting this research?
    • Where do they go from here? Do they plan to continue this work in the future?
  • Don’t hesitate to speak with symposium staff if you’re having difficulty finding a presentation room or would like guidance as you navigate the event!

Friends and Family Questions

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How do I get to Union South?

Union South is located at 1308 West Dayton Street, Madison, WI 53715.

Directions to Union South

Where can I park?

Guests can park in the deck under Union South (lot 80) or in any of the lots listed on the page linked below. We encourage you to check the page monitoring current lot occupancy before departing.

Union South Parking Information

How do I find my friend/family member’s presentation room?

The Undergraduate Symposium schedule will be shared on the “Overview and Event Details” page in late March/early April. You will be able to search the schedule to find which presentation room your friend or family member is presenting in. If you have any difficulties finding this information or navigating the schedule, please feel free to reach out to the Undergraduate Symposium team.

What are some event guidelines for attendees?

We encourage event attendees to:

  • Silence phones during presentation sessions
  • Wait for a presentation to conclude and for the next presenter to begin setting up before entering or leaving a presentation room
  • Quietly listen during students’ presentations and ask any questions during the question-and-answer period (which moderators will announce)
  • Ask presenters questions about their work. Some good questions to ask are:
    • How did they get involved in this project?
    • What was most interesting to them about their findings?
    • What did they most enjoy when working on this project?
    • Do they plan to continue this research in the future?
  • Feel free to ask event staff any questions you have!

Will support staff be available to assist with navigation and other questions on the day of the event?

Yes, support staff will be available to assist with navigation and any other questions you have on the day of the event. Please head to the registration tables outside of Varsity Hall to speak with a staff member.