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Short on time, but full of contribution

2014 MicroTalks fit Concordia professors’ contributions in 6-minute talks

The second annual Concordia MicroTalks event is about to get underway and bring together a whole array of Concordia’s part-time faculty to discuss their research by way of short, individual 6-minute presentations.

Run by the Concordia’s University Part-time Faculty Association (CUPFA), MicroTalks will once again draw from the the PechaKucha method. Developed in Japan, PechaKucha is a presentation style where 20 slides are shown for 20 seconds each, leading to a concise, purposeful experience that avoids the perils of lengthy powerpoint presentations. The brevity of the talks encourages fast-paced and energetic discussion periods.

“It’s good for speaking to a non-specialist community,” said Alison Reiko Loader, a presenter at this year’s event with a project using forest tent caterpillars  to create living paintings, and one of last year’s organizers. “If you get ten people talking in a row, you can cover this huge diverse area where [you’re] much more likely for someone to find something they’re interested in.”

This year’s theme, Equity and Engagement, was chosen to coincide with Campus Equity Week, which seeks to highlight part-time faculty contributions. As CUPFA Vice President and MicroTalks organizer Lorraine Oades explains, part-time or not, members are heavily involved in making the university what it is. This is one way of getting the word out there.

“Everything the association does essentially helps to create greater visibility for our members in order to have our voices heard at every level of the university,” said Oades.

Though part-time faculty operates under a reduced load, they represent Concordia nationally and internationally at all manner of conferences, exhibitions, performance events, and workshops.

“We hold positions on administrative committees, on every hiring committee, on the Board of Governors, Senate, on faculty councils and departmental councils,” she continued.

There will be 10 lecturers at this year’s event, with such titles as “Cinderella and Chinese Foot-binding” and “Real-time Motion-Based Graphics on Stage with the ISS.”

“Part-time faculty teach in every area of the university, so this means there is a lot of ground to cover in terms of ideas. While six minutes doesn’t seem like a lot, you’d be surprised at just how much can be done in such a short period of time,” said Oades. “Being integrated into the fabric of the university allows us to share our ideas and experiences, which overlap but are also distinct from full-time faculty.”

Concordia’s 2014 MicroTalks will be held on Wednesday, Oct. 29, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at 1515 Ste. Catherine St. West, EV 6.720. The event is free.

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