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The series is named in honour of the founding president of Trent, Professor Thomas H.B. Symons. Professor Symons is an obvious choice to represent this series because of his dedication to higher education and student development, as well as his keen interest in graduate students and their research aspirations. Graduate research at Trent University encompasses an array of topics across the arts and sciences. This seminar series is a unique opportunity for graduate students from across disciplines to come together and share research and ideas.
Six evening events are held annually at Catharine Parr Traill College from November to April. Each month, two student speakers (one from the Arts/Humanities, and one from the Sciences) give twenty-minute presentations on their research. Questions and discussion follow each speaker, as well as an intermission for refreshments and socializing. Abstracts are solicited twice during the academic year, usually in October and January, and they are reviewed by a team of volunteers to select the series speakers. Based on criteria of high quality research and ability to communicate to a broad audience, a panel of student judges selects the top speakers in the Arts/Humanities and the Sciences at the end of the year. These students are invited to present their lectures again at the Catharine Parr Traill College Symons Seminar Series Gala, typically held in April, and are awarded a Symons Seminar Series certificate and a stipend.
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