Presentation Strands

Conference informationTypes of proposalsStrand descriptionsProposal rubric

Business, Economics, and Technology

For this strand, we encourage investigation into how individuals and nations are finding their voices in terms of business, economics and technology to respond to not just changing business conditions but unprecedented ones, and speaking what they believe is “truth to power” to secure their own economic stability. This is evident, for example, in Brexit and U.S. tariffs on China. One might explore how countries today are trying to find new economic voices in response to the ever-growing global economy, trade imbalances, and accumulating national debt ratios, and how new and traditional kinds of businesses, both technology and non-technology based, that are transforming both emerging as well as established economies. There are also now a plethora of voices speaking truth to power about the growing income and thus opportunity gap between the rich and the poor. One might explore the solutions that explore the intersection of business, economics, and technology to help solve this crisis.  

Reviewed by Heather Chase (Hudson Valley Community College), Anthony DeLuca (SUNY Old Westbury), and Michael Tasto (Southern New Hampshire University)

Education

This strand encourages proposals that explore how education empowers individuals to find their voice and to speak truth to power.  We welcome proposals that examine ways in which educational systems support or silence voices of change. For this strand, you might ask, Is there equality in education? How does being educated (or not) allow individuals to influence and impact others? How can educational systems be utilized to advocate for the voices of the unheard?

Reviewed by Richard Cohen (Nassau Community College) and Irina Ellison (Mercy College)

History, Politics and Culture

This strand invites presentations about individuals or groups who have found their voices and speak out at the crossroads of history, politics and culture. History and current politics are full of stories of individuals and groups speaking truth to power even though the end results are uncertain and the process is difficult—the French Revolution, women’s suffrage movements, Gandhi’s revolt against colonialism, LGBTQ activism and the #MeToo movements are just a few examples. As LGBTQ activists proclaimed, “Silence= Death.” Some presenters might describe how social change happens or is inhibited when commercialism and other forces make people feel powerless and unable to speak up.  Othersmight discuss the journey and experience of finding voice and speaking to the truth in particular instances in the past or presentFor instance, in his Soul of a Citizen, Paul Rogat Loeb inspires people to take stands in their communities and notes that those who do find their voice and speak to the truth “. . . savor the journey of engagement and draw strength from its challenges” and “. . .  trust that the fruits of their efforts will ripple outward, in ways they can rarely anticipate” (8-9). Still other possibilities include describing ways social media has helped or hurt traditionally disadvantaged groups in attaining power. Black Lives Matter and Arab spring, for example, are just two of the times social media was used effectively to rally people together, while Myanmar’s military used Facebook to incite genocide.

Reviewed by Ann Bomberger (Gannon University), Chris Brittain (Ramapo College), and Tonya Moutray (Russell Sage College)


Language, Literature, and Philosophy

We welcome proposals for this strand that examine and define how in each discipline, or in their interconnectedness, there exist distinctive voices that speak truth to power. For example, the Socratic tradition requires that we take full responsibility for finding our voice by examining our lives, standing up against injustices by those in power, and realizing that silence against injustice empowers injustice. Speaking truth to power can mean finding new ways of using language to foster the inclusion of women and gender fluid individuals in fields that traditionally had no place for them. One might look at how in languages other than English certain groups are empowered or erased. Many works of literature are about how heroic acts, deep understanding of humanity and positive social change come about by an individual’s or even an entire society’s struggle to find a voice and speak truth to power.

Reviewed by Ann Bomberger (Gannon University), Anthony DeLuca (SUNY Old Westbury), Linda Kobylarz (Post University), and Tonya Moutray (Russell Sage College).

Natural Sciences, Psychology, and Allied Health

Scientists, mathematicians and health care providers interpret and influence the way humans see the world and solve complex problems.  The voice of a scientist is heard when presenting original research or in reinterpreting existing data.  The voice of a mathematician is heard when an algorithm is used to solve a problem in a unique way.  Health care providers find ways to incorporate the patient voice into healthcare decisions and voice their opinions to government officials involved in health care policies.  We welcome proposals that provide examples of the ways that voices are heard in the areas of science, mathematics and health care. 

Reviewed by Richard Cohen (Nassau Community College), AnnMarie DelliPizzi (Dominican College), and Irina Ellison (Mercy College)

Media Studies and the Arts

This strand welcomes proposals that examine ways in which media and the arts—how media, artists, and art forms— can discover, shape, manipulate or obscure the truth. How does the media’s role in American society and politics, and the power that our many present-day media venues generate, influence the direction of a culture’s history—a power and influence which is now under perhaps the highest level of scrutiny in our nation’s history? In an age with limitless sources of information and data, can an objective truth still be agreed upon? Do media and the arts, in the US and internationally, interrogate, investigate and uncover the ever-changing sources of political and economic power that help create the historical times in which we live?  Or have media outlets, under the control of powerful national and international magnates, become disseminators of propaganda for the powers-that-be to maintain control of established narratives and the consensus of truth?  Can we still rely on the media to speak truth to power, or is it incumbent upon art and independent artists to cut to the core of facts and reality? In an era of “alternative facts,” use this strand to inspect and scrutinize the role of media and the arts in the pursuit of undeniable truth. 

Reviewed by Heather Chase (Hudson Valley Community College) and Chris Brittain (Ramapo College)

Social Sciences (Sociology, Anthropology, Archaeology, Geography, and Jurisprudence)

There are many academic disciplines within the social sciences, but they all study society and the relationships among groups and individuals within a society. For this strand, we seek proposals that explore the sociology, anthropology, archaeology, geography, or jurisprudence branches of the social sciences. Of particular interest are proposals that focus on how groups and individuals find their own voice in a society, how they advocate for those who are more vulnerable within a society, and how they can give power to voice in making societal changes that benefit all. For example, Albany citizens gave voice to their beliefs through the Anti-Slavery Society (founded in 1842) and by helping run-away slaves on their way to freedom via the Underground Railroad. Kate Stoneman, an Albany native, was the first woman admitted to the New York State bar, giving voice to an underrepresented segment of society.

The social sciences provide fertile ground for investigating the conference theme of “finding our voice: giving voice to power.” Consider these questions. How can we bring innovative approaches to the exploration of human relationships in highly diverse and rapidly changing societies? How do we, as a society bring voice to law enforcement and our legal system to address issues of differences in equitable ways that safeguard the rights of all? How is the behavior of individuals, groups, or societies influenced by the voices of competing forces, agendas, and motivations? What actions can you, as honors students, take to find your own voice on campus and beyond?

Reviewed by Hui-Ching Chang (SUNY Albany) and Linda Kobylarz (Post University)

Honors Education and Practices

For this strand, we welcome proposals that provide examples of the many ways that honors education and practices can help honors students and programs find their voices.

Novel and creative approaches to teaching and learning allow the voices of previously marginalized groups, such as cultural minorities and LGBTQ communities, access to a broader, mainstream audience in and beyond honors.  Honors research projects can help students develop their intellectual voice. Additionally, courses, internships and programming that focus on applied learning can help honors students develop a “professional voice” and career identity.  Each honors programs needs to discover a collective voice that helps it to serve the unique college culture in which it is situated.

Reviewed by Ann Bomberger (Gannon University), Heather Chase (Hudson Valley Com,unity College), AnnMarie DelliPizzi (Dominican College), and Tonya Moutray (Russell Sage College)