Since a primary goal of the distinction process is to develop and improve skills in communicating science, a public oral presentation is required. Poster presentations, which are also of great value to improving communications skills, cannot be substituted for the oral presentation requirement for distinction. Students are encouraged to present their work in poster format when other opportunities arise.
The oral presentation for distinction may take the form of a chemistry department student seminar or any number of undergraduate research meetings to which the student and mentor might travel. The distinction mentor will help the student plan a short oral presentation (a minimum of 12 minutes) complete with professional quality visuals (slides, computer projection, overheads, etc.) On-campus student seminars are often planned with three to four students in one seminar period. The public is welcome to attend. The oral presentation is not scored or graded in any way, but the distinction mentor will likely have a debriefing meeting with the student speaker to talk about the student’s performance. The seminar can take place either before or after the meeting with the distinction committee. In some cases all elements of the distinction process except this one might be finished in the fall, with the seminar taking place in the spring in conjunction with other students fulfilling the requirements for distinction.
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.
4. Public oral presentation of the work. (current page)
Timeline for the completion of the distinction process.