News & Editorial

Beyond the Classroom: Beacon Conference 2016

by Edward Boice

The regional Beacon Conference offers two-year college students a chance to share their scholarship.

Remember all those essays you wrote during the fall semester? Sometimes you work tirelessly on a fantastic essay, but you wish you could share it with more than just your professor and classmates, or get a little more validation than an A in a gradebook. Fortunately, several local two-year colleges feel it would be a waste not to give those essays some extra recognition. The Beacon Conference provides RACC and other two-year college students the opportunity to receive recognition and reward for their outstanding papers.

The 25th annual Beacon Conference, held on June 2 at Orange County Community College in New York, is a Mid-Atlantic conference for two-year college students that showcases student scholarship for the first-year and sophomore levels. Two-year colleges from New York to Maryland take turns hosting the conference every year.

Before submitting papers to Beacon, students must review their paper with the teacher for whom the paper was written. Every paper must be mentored by one or multiple professors before being officially submitted for Beacon. RACC students are also strongly encouraged to have their papers reviewed by C.L. Costello, an instructor in the Communications, Arts and Humanities Division. Costello helps students prepare for conference opportunities by reviewing student papers, making revision recommendations, and assisting in the development of presentations. Once mentored, the paper can be submitted on Beacon’s website.

Every paper received by Beacon is then sorted into twenty-six categories. Four professors from four-year colleges will then rank all papers in their respective categories. The top three students in each category are then chosen to create and showcase a presentation at the Beacon Conference. The winner in each category will be determined at the conference. The paper will count for 70 percent of each presenter’s performance ranking, and the presentation on June 2 will count for the remaining 30 percent.

Depending on the number and variety of topics, presenters will be divided into a number of panels. The person with the highest grade from each panel will receive a monetary award of $100.

Dr. Michele Iannuzzi-Sucich, the Beacon Conference Director, stated that Beacon is “a valuable opportunity to gain experience presenting […] work at an academic conference and to have […] academic achievements recognized.”

Not only will fellow students see the work, but people from all over the mid-Atlantic region can see the time and effort participants have placed in creating their academic papers.

Students with other questions or specific concerns can go to the Beacon page, or email Dr. Iannuzzi-Sucich.

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