2017 Graduate Student Paper and Poster Competition


Don’t Forget: SEDAAG abstract submission deadline is September 29, 2017.

Conference registration deadline: October 20, 2017

The student honors competition consists of paper competitions for both Master and Doctoral level and one combined poster competition for Master and Doctoral levels.

Eligibility: To be eligible to participate in the student honors competition, the graduate student must have been enrolled in a geography program and in residence at the sponsoring department at the time his or her research was done. The sponsoring department must be located within the SEDAAG region. Ph.D. students must still be enrolled as a student at the time the paper is presented. Master level students who have graduated since doing their research may present their papers at the first SEDAAG meeting following graduation. Papers should represent original research. Maps, illustrations, and other audiovisual materials should be designed and constructed by the author. No multiple-authored papers will be accepted. All topics broadly related to geography may be entered and will be given a critical and impartial evaluation.

Departmental Responsibilities: 

Sponsoring departments need to verify the eligibility of graduate students for the honors competition and conduct preliminary screening of papers to ensure that those submitted are high quality products. Departments should ensure that authors accepted in the competition attend the 2017 meeting and are present at the awards ceremony.

Evaluation Procedures:

Papers and posters submitted for the honors competition will undergo preliminary screening by the Honors Committee. Those accepted for the competition will be referred to the Program Committee for inclusion in one of the honors competition sessions. Papers and posters not included in the competition but accepted in the program will be placed in an appropriate session elsewhere.

Honors Competition Paper Submissions: 

Each paper submitted to the honors competition will be evaluated on the following criteria: original research undertaken by the author, its quality as a written paper, and the oral presentation and defense. In calculating the overall score, the written portion of the paper will be weighted 60 percent and the presentation and defense 40 percent.

The oral examination is independent of the evaluation of the written paper, and will focus on the professional quality of the presentation and the adequacy with which questions are answered. It is important that the oral presentations be lively and well-illustrated. The visual quality of the presentation is also important in determining the final evaluation. All visual aids should be intelligible. In order to leave enough time for questions, each oral presentation should adhere to the time limit (15 minutes) for delivery by the person specified by the person chairing the session.

Honors Competition Poster Submissions:

Each poster submission will be evaluated for quality in the written and visual reporting of original research undertaken by the author, for its visual presentation, and for its oral defense/explanation when presented to judges. The weight for each category is as follows: 30 percent for the written component, 30 percent for the oral defense, and 40 percent for the visual presentation.

The evaluation of the visual presentation of the poster will include quality, appropriateness, and visual appeal of maps, figures and illustrations. Materials should be of professional quality and legible from a distance of one to three feet. Text should be confined to brief statements. Maximum poster dimensions are 36’ by 48″.

Other Considerations for Honors Competition Paper and Poster Submissions:

The paper and posters must be prepared with care and treated as one prepares a manuscript for possible publication, which includes proper citations. A primary criterion for evaluation will be a well-defined research objective and a methodology appropriate to achieving it. The paper/poster should focus on one or more research questions and present at least a tentative answer, or it will receive a lower score in the judging competition.

Submission of Honors’ Papers or Posters Instructions:

A. Attach the following two items in an email to the Honors Committee Chair, Dr. Amy Potter, Armstrong State University (amy.potter@armstrong.edu) by the SEDAAG abstract deadline (September 29, 2017):

1)  8-page paper or completed poster

2) A letter from the student’s advisor or head of the sponsoring department verifying the status and eligibility of student (a pdf of an email stating this information is also fine).

B. Register your paper/poster through the online submission form on the SEDAAG website (see link below) where you will also submit your abstract. Please indicate in the online system that your submission is for the honors competition and please make sure that you clearly indicate if you wish the paper to be considered for the Master or PhD level.


For more information on the Honors’ Paper and Poster Competition, please contact Dr. Amy Potter (amy.potter@armstrong.edu), Armstrong State University.