2017 Undergraduate Experience Student Research Symposium

Insights into Princeton undergraduate student experiences

May 12, 2017 from 1:00 - 4:30 p.m.
Senate Chamber, Whig Hall

The McGraw Center invites Princeton faculty and staff to participate in the first annual Undergraduate Experience Student Research Symposium.

This symposium brings together undergraduates from across the disciplines who are conducting investigations in the Princeton context.  Engaging students as partners and co-inquirers into their educational experience, this first-ever symposium seeks to provide a forum for students who have conducted research of direct relevance to the Princeton community to present their insights and implications and engage in structured, but informal, roundtable conversations with campus administrators.

Each year dozens of theses and Junior Papers, as well as course and other (e.g. Keller Center Tiger Challenge) projects, are undertaken by Princeton University undergraduates on topics directly related to the experiences of undergraduate students. Students’ inquiries are valuable in their own right, but their results have often had limited audiences and have not had the impact on the campus community which they might if they were more widely disseminated.

Undergraduate Student inquiries into student experiences possess considerable potential for enhancing institutional knowledge and increasing the responsiveness and effectiveness of the McGraw Center, the Office of the Dean of the College, and the University as a whole. This forum affords a distinctive opportunity for administrators to efficiently learn from a wide variety of student inquiry which can inform our work on campus.  

At the same time, the symposium supports the University’s aim of encouraging undergraduates’ inquiry by providing them with a unique opportunity to contextualize and exchange their perspectives with students in departments across campus.


The symposium is organized around a sequence of three successive breakout roundtable sessions which afford the opportunity for in-depth discussions among student-inquirers, faculty, and staff. The aim is to have genuine exchanges grounded in recent findings which foster a deeper mutual understanding of undergraduate student experiences.

We will kick-off the symposium with a brief keynote by Michael Moorin ’16, based upon his senior thesis, “Princeton’s Hidden Minority: Understanding and Supporting First-Generation and Low-Income Students at Princeton University.” It will be followed by the first set of breakout roundtable sessions during which student-inquirers share key findings and discuss with administrators their implications for the university.

A small number of 50-minute roundtable discussions, each guided by a facilitator, will occur simultaneously. At the end of the discussions, administrators will move to another table (speed-dating style) to engage in another conversation with a different group of student-researchers. After three successive conversations, we will hold a short plenary session to sum up what we have gleaned and identify next steps. 

How to Participate

Administrators and faculty: RSVP to confirm your attendance at the event.  (Your information is used for name tags and to plan for the roundtables.)

Students: To participate in the symposium (and so we can make arrangements), please provide us with some information about your project using this form. We’ll offer a short workshop on polishing your presentation for a roundtable format and deriving implications for an audience of administrators.

These small-group roundtables are a fantastic opportunity to discuss your work and its impact the Princeton community. It’s also an excellent professional development opportunity where you sharpen your skills in talking to a general audience about your work. If you undertook your investigations as part of a team, feel free to arrange for two of the team to present together.

Please contact Nic Voge, nvoge@princeton.edu, with any questions.


Symposium proceedings, comprised of one-page executive summaries of the implications of each student-inquirers findings for administrators, will be distributed and made available online to the entire campus community. Additionally, each roundtable facilitator will record key insights from discussions and make them available to participants.

Tentative Schedule

Welcome 1:00-1:10
Key Note 1:10-1:35
Roundtable 1 1:35-2:25
Roundtable 2 2:30-3:20
Roundtable 3 3:25-4:15
Wrap-up & Next Steps 4:15-4:30