FAQs for Student Presenters

Important Dates for Ignite 2020:

  • Registration/Abstract Due: Monday, March 2nd
  • Email Contact Regarding Committee Decision: Monday, March 16th
  • Posters Due: Wednesday, April 15th
  • ​Ignite: Thursday, April 23rd

Registration Information

To register for Ignite, students will need the following:

  • Presentation Format (Poster, Creative Display, Lightning Talk)
  • Title of your presentation (limited to 100 characters)
  • Your name and your co-presenters (if any)
  • Faculty mentor(s) name, and professional title(s)
  • Abstract (limited to 250 words)

Eligibility Requirements

To present at Ignite, presenters must:

  • Be an undergraduate student at St. Thomas Aquinas College
  • Have a faculty mentor at St. Thomas Aquinas College
  • Be available for no less than two hours on the day of Ignite
  • Submit all required materials by the designated due date

Presentation Format Specifics

Poster Presentation

The poster presentation is the most popular format for Ignite. Typically, there is one-two hour poster session located on the first and second floor of Costello Hall. Posters are created using the template provided for presenters (which includes the Ignite Logo and Title), and are not to exceed 2’ tall X 3’ wide in size. If your research is the result of program or external funding sources, include the appropriate logo and acknowledgement on your poster. The final version of your poster should be submitted in PDF format for printing purposes.

Lightning Talks

This will be the first year Lightning Talks are offered as a presentation option at Ignite. Lighting Talks consist of six-five minute long oral presentations with a maximum of three-five slides per presenter, and 25 minutes of conversation and questions. In brief, students should talk for five minutes. In total, six presenters will give their talks in rapid succession, and once all talks are complete, the presenters will move to the front of the room to accept questions. Presentations can be generated using PowerPoint, Prezi, or Google Slides. Given the limited number of lightning talks, not everyone is selected to give a presentation in this format. The Ignite Committee will make the final decision as to who will give a lighting talk each year.

Creative Presentations

Visual Art, Art Therapy, Art Education, and Visual Communications majors who have completed a capstone portfolio may exhibit their work during Ignite. Typically, these presentations are hosted in the Azarian McCullough Art Gallery on the first floor of Costello Hall.


Who can present at Ignite?

Students across all disciplines are encouraged to present at Ignite. Typically, students who enrolled in independent study courses, or designated research courses within their academic discipline are invited to present at Ignite. Students in capstone courses are allowed to submit their research projects to the Ignite committee with their instructor’s permission.

What if I am not finished with my research?

If your research is incomplete, you are still permitted to present at Ignite. Many students choose to present information about their methodology, research questions, and information they have at the time of the presentation. No matter what stage your work is at, students are invited to present at Ignite.

What happens after I submit my registration?

Once you submit your registration, the Ignite Committee will review your abstract. The Ignite committee will make the final decision whether your work qualifies for Ignite. If selected to present, you will be included on the Ignite presenter email list, and you will be notified of deadlines, and important announcements leading up to Ignite.

Who is a member of the Ignite Committee?

Currently, the Ignite Committee consists of the following members: Professor Nina Bellisio; Associate Professor of Graphic Design and Director of Azarian McCullough Art Gallery, Dr. Craig Martin; Professor of Religious Studies, and Dr. Ryan Wynne; Professor of Biology and Honors Program Director.

How do I write an abstract?

An abstract is a brief summary of the work you are doing for your project. The abstract should not exceed 200 words, and is required for registration. The abstract for a research presentation should include the question being asked, the methodology of studying the question, and how this work will add to the field of study. For creative presentations, the abstract should include a description of the work being highlighted at the event. You are expected to submit your abstract to your faculty mentor for review prior to registration. Based on your mentor’s feedback, you are expected to revise your abstract if necessary.

If selected to present, how do I create a poster?

Posters are to be 2’ tall X 3’ wide in size, and should be generated using the Ignite template provided to presenters. Posters can be made in PowerPoint, Prezi, or Google Slides. Posters will be submitted in PDF format to the curators of Ignite, and the curators will be responsible for printing and hanging your poster in Costello Hall.

What can I expect at my poster presentation?

Although there is no way to predict the number of people who will stop by your poster at Ignite, each student should come prepared with a brief summary of the work they are presenting. It is recommended students practice a 1-3 minute introduction of their research with their friends or mentor to determine what kinds of questions they may be asked at Ignite.

How do I prepare for my lightning talk?

Student lightning talks should be no more than five minutes long and consist of no more than three to five slides. Presentations should be sent to the curators of Ignite by 8am the morning of Ignite. Presentations should be created in PowerPoint, Prezi, or Google Slides. Six presentations will be given in rapid succession, and you are expected to stay as an audience member for all lighting talks. At the end of the talks, the presenters will come to the front of the room and accept questions. The question portion will be 25 minutes in length.

How do I prepare for my creative presentation?

Creative presentations should be set up by 8:30am on the day of Ignite in the Azarian McCullough Art Gallery. Any additional materials (pedestals, tables, monitors, laptops, projectors, computers, power cords, etc.) must be requested by April 1st. Presenters are required to be with their project for 2 hours. Clean up of materials is at 5pm.

What is appropriate attire for Ignite Presenters?

Students presenting at Ignite should wear professional/business attire.

Can I submit more than one abstract for Ignite?

Yes, students are able to submit more than one abstract for Ignite as long as they have a mentor for each project.

I would like to share my pictures I took at Ignite. How should I share these pictures?

Everyone is encouraged to take pictures at Ignite, and share these images on social media using the hashtag #stacignite. All pictures can also be shared on the official STAC Ignite Flickr account.