Annual Undergraduate Symposium seeks volunteers for judges

Undergraduate Symposium invite

From robots to creative studies on poets, and hand-crafted sodas to solar-powered airplanes, the Undergraduate Symposium has seen it all. Gearing up for the 2020 year, Northern Arizona University presents the 12th annual Undergraduate Symposium from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday, April 24, in the University Union and Fieldhouse.

The symposium is a campus-wide celebration of students who share their academic achievements and research in the form of posters, oral presentations, roundtable discussions and exhibits.

“A highlight of the symposium is seeing the wide range of accomplishments of our students over the past year displayed in one place,” said Tina Zecher, assistant director of Undergraduate Research. “It is so exciting to see artists creating pieces in the same space where engineering teams are demonstrating their capstone projects and HRM students are giving out samples of their latest food or beverage creation.”

With nearly 1,500 presentations planned, organizers are working to recruit at least 300 volunteers to serve as judges to achieve the symposium’s goal of providing feedback to every student presenting.

“The volunteers are critical to the success of the Undergraduate Symposium,” Zecher said. “In 2019, we committed to providing every presenter with feedback. With approximately 1,500 student presenters, this would not be possible without our volunteer reviewers.”

Faculty, staff, graduate students, alumni, professionals and others interested are encouraged to volunteer as a judge. There are three different judging sessions available:

  • Session 1: 8-10:30 a.m.
  • Session 2: 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Session 3: 1-4 p.m.

By volunteering, individuals see a variety of presentations, learn about the work and research taking place at NAU and provide constructive feedback to students, encouraging more growth in their field of study.

Expertise in a field is not required. A variety of backgrounds provides opportunities for students to practice communicating their research to people with varying levels of knowledge in their disciplines. If students want to spread their work, they have to learn how to adjust their explanations so a wider audience will understand.

To make it into the printed program, volunteers must register to judge before Sunday, March 15, but volunteers will be accepted up until the day of the event. Register by following the steps in this link. Fill in the requested information to create an account and save your login credentials to access judging assignments in the future. Returning judges can use the same login credentials as last year.

In early April, judging guidelines, logistics and titles of assigned presentations will be sent out to registered volunteers. For additional information or questions, contact Tina Zecher. She can be reached via email or phone at or (928) 523-1026.