Sunday, April 14

Tell Us About Your Research

This time of year can get a bit stressful for new scholars as they get ready to present their research proposals to their faculty research mentors. They've been working on this all semester so it's a real milestone and accomplishment along their McNair journeys. What's great is that they have an awesome "trio of support" in the form of Dr. Brooke Harrison, Dr. Shelly Hinck and Ms. Maureen Harke. These tremendous women have the scholars' best interests in hand and are ready to help formulate, massage and fine-tune the inner workings of their research presentations. They are also here to grow confidence. I personally love seeing our scholars evolve in their presentation abilities and styles between now and the fall when they present their actual research findings.

Here are some thoughts and recommendations that I would like to offer:
  • Take full advantage by being prepared to practice your stuff.
  • Let yourself shine!  We want to see your excitement - tell us why your work is important.
  • Be sure to hit on the three most important points about your work - (1) give us context, (2) tell us what you are going to do and (3) what you are hoping to find.
  • Less is more - don't overload the audience with content - stick to major points.
  • Be professional but try to be relaxed too.
  • Your audience is typically rooting for you and wants to hear what you have to say.
  • Bust it out and put forward your best effort, but realize that this is PRACTICE and that in the end it really doesn't matter. Does that seem counter intuitive? Should I not be saying things like this?! Perhaps. But, it's my personal philosophy that you've probably heard before - we want all of you to do a great job and you will. This is just another step in the process. Outcomes don't matter that much as long as you know that you made your best effort.  Presenting can make people a little crazy (some actually stop breathing) - but the stress really isn't worth it. It's just a conversation about your work. Tell us about your research and chances are we are going to want to know more!
McNair scholars rock and you are all going to do great in your own sweet ways. Enjoy this! All of the sudden you are going to turn around and it will be time to start practicing for the fall.  :)

1 comment:

  1. I just want to thank Mame (Sorry if I spelled your name wrong) Tara, and Justin C for our conversation this past Monday. Many might not know and I am not ashamed to tell anyone, but as of this past March I have been placed on probation and for me this was a terrible thing. Although Lynn and Maureen assured me it was not a bad thing, because I am a slight perfectionist and overachiever I did not want to accept the fact that I had cracked under pressure and failed to keep hold of the bar. But like any gymnast (or athlete) you get right back up, chalk up those hands and go at it again. So I am excited that I am getting a second chance to prove that the President, and the rest of the McNair committee did not make a mistake in giving me this opportunity. I lost confidence in myself and if I don't believe in me then the hope others have won't even matter. So thanks to the other three scholars I learned that I am not and was not the only scholar that felt the pressure and had breakdowns; but because we are a special group of individuals we don't let those breakdowns define us. So I am proud to say that I am proud of myself, my accomplishments, and the people that I have managed to surround myself with. You guys truly assisted me in rekindling my inner fire. THANKS!!!


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