The distinction candidate works with the department to select a three-member faculty committee. If the distinction project is interdisciplinary, one faculty member with appropriate expertise from another department may be included in the committee. The chair of this committee is the candidate’s project mentor. When the distinction candidate and mentor are reasonably satisfied with the paper, a current draft is submitted to this faculty committee. The candidate works with the faculty members to determine a date and time (usually about one hour in length) for the committee to ask questions about the work, and to make comments or suggest changes to the paper. This meeting may begin with the student offering a brief oral synopsis of the work. The paper draft must be submitted to committee members in a timely fashion to allow at least one week to read the paper before the committee meeting. These meetings represent an opportunity for the candidate to serve as the principal authority on the subject of the work.
At the close of the presentation, the candidate is asked to step out of the room while the committee briefly considers two aspects of the candidates presentation: the knowledge displayed by the candidate about the work, and the paper itself. Upon achieving consensus, the committee invites the candidate back into the room and offers feedback on the candidate’s performance. There is often, at this time, a request for further edits to the paper.
A final draft of the paper is prepared by the candidate and signed and dated by each of the committee members. Final drafts are kept on file in the chemistry department office. Final drafts must be signed, dated and submitted to the Chemistry Department Chair prior to the advertised deadline.
Various aspects of the distinction process are described at the links below.
Qualifications necessary for pursuing distinction.
The required elements of the distinction process:
1. Participation in an experiential learning activity or project.
2. Production of a formal paper describing the project, usually in journal format.
3. Oral presentation of the paper to a small committee of faculty. (current page)
4. Public oral presentation of the work.
Timeline for the completion of the distinction process.