STARS Symposium 2024 logo

What is the STARS Symposium? 

UIS has a tradition of celebrating our students’ talents. Each year, we invite our graduate and undergraduate students from all academic disciplines to showcase their scholarly and creative works at the symposium. At STARS, students experience an opportunity to professionally present their work, interact with other scholars, and engage with UIS and surrounding community members and invited speakers. 

  • Student researchers, under the guidance of faculty, will present at STARS in conference-style format on a variety of topics related to business, the humanities, natural sciences, social sciences, and technology. 
  • Students of visual arts, under the guidance of faculty, will display and discuss their creative scholarly projects in an exhibition format. 
  • Student musicians, under the guidance of faculty, will offer live concert performances.

All students (graduate and undergraduate) involved in research or creative works are invited to participate in the 2024 STARS event. You can elect to give a short oral presentation, a poster presentation, an art exhibition, or a performance of your work. STARS will be In-Person this year, but we are open to online presentations for online students.

Abstract Submission Deadline: March 29, 2024 (revised)

STARS 2024 Schedule

Thursday, April 11th

5:00-6:00 PM Violet Margin Literary Journal LaunchOnline
6:00-8:00 PMOnline PresentationsOnline

Note: April 11th, Thursday, is the only day that includes an online event. On Friday, the presentations and events are in-person

Friday, April 12th

8:30 - NoonCheck-in / RegistrationStudent Union, Ballroom
9:00 - 11:00 AMLive Oral PresentationsStudent Union Classrooms, 2nd Floor
11:00 - 12:30 AMPosters & Art ExhibitionStudent Union, Ballroom
12:30-1:30 PMLuncheon Student Union, Ballroom 
1:30-2:30 PMKeynote Speaker: Dr. Mar Hicks
Presentation Title: "Connecting Computing's History with the Present"
Student Union, Ballroom
 Awards CeremonyStudent Union, Ballroom
2:30 - 3:00 PMOutstanding Master’s Thesis AwardStudent Union, Ballroom
3:00- 3:15 PMStudents awards for:Best oral presentationBest poster presentationBest art pieceStudent Union, Ballroom
3:15- 3:30 PMFaculty Mentor AwardsStudent Union, Ballroom

The students who won STARS 2024 awards in various categories by the vote of the judges are:

STARS Core Planning Team

Lucia Vazquez
Associate Vice Chancellor for Research & Innovation, Professor of Biology

Sahar Farshadkhah
Assistant Professor of Management Information Systems

Te-wei Wang
Professor of Management Information Systems

Anne-Marie Hanson
Associate Dean, College of Health Science and Technology

Eric Hadley-Ives
Associate Professor of Social Work

Isabel Skinner
Assistant Professor, School of Politics and International Affairs

Noah Reynolds
Assistant Professor of Biology

Previous STARS Symposium Events

STARS Website

UIS hosts a website for STARS that contains abstracts, posters, creative works, music, and links to live sessions.


What does STARS stand for?

Student Technology, Arts and Research Symposium

When is STARS?

Wednesday, April 12th through Friday, April 13th, 2023

When are abstract submissions due?

The submission system opens December 1st. The final deadline for your abstract submission is 5:00 p.m., February 17th, 2023. Registration information (abstract submissions must be confirmed prior to registration).

Why submit so early?

Early submission of faculty approved abstracts will guarantee you a spot in the conference (oral presentation, poster, performance or exhibition).  Early submissions are also guaranteed free printing of posters (for poster session applicants).

I’ve never presented my research before- is STARS a good “first” symposium?

Yes! This is a great chance to practice your presentation skills in a supportive environment.  We strongly encourage all first-time presenters to submit an abstract.

Who should submit?

Any student (undergraduate or graduate) doing research or creative works with a professor should participate!  Students can elect to give a short oral presentation (spots will be limited on a competitive basis), or a poster presentation of research, or a performance, or exhibition of creative work.

Can graduate students present?

Yes. STARS will honor both graduate and undergraduate student achievement.

Can online students present?

Yes, STARS will honor online student achievement.  Electronic presentation options will be available for both oral and poster presentations.  Online students are welcome to attend the symposium virtually or in person.

Can recent graduates present?

Students who graduated in August or December of the previous year are welcome to present, provided that the work was done while they were enrolled as UIS students.

What do I get out of presenting?

There are many benefits to presenting. For example, a presentation is a good way to build your resume or graduate school application. A presentation allows you to show off your creative ability, and to discuss your ideas with other scholars. Ideas for new projects often come out of questions you are asked, and opportunities for new collaboration are often found.

Is ongoing work eligible for presentation, or is the conference just for completed work?

Yes, ongoing work may be presented, but it must have reached a level that your faculty mentor is comfortable with and will approve. If there is any question, please discuss this issue with your faculty mentor.

How do I submit?

Students’ abstracts must be reviewed and approved by their faculty mentor(s), who will then submit the abstracts for the student(s) to the Abstract Submission System. Abstracts are limited to a maximum of 250 words and will only be accepted from individuals who hold faculty/instructor appointments at UIS or other institutions. If you have questions about your abstract, submit them via email to Read more about preparing & submitting abstracts.

What is the required format for posters?

If the printing costs of your poster are being covered by STARS, you will be asked to submit a PowerPoint file of your poster approximately two weeks before the symposium. The dimensions of your poster should be 46 inches (width) x 36 inches (height). To set your poster dimensions in PowerPoint, go to the “Design” menu item and select “Page Setup”.