Chapter G7: Student Volunteers

IEEE MTT-S International Microwave Symposium

Guidelines and Procedures Manual

 

Prepared by Cleo Alexander of IMS2009

 

Table of Contents:

Purpose and Duties

Suggested Membership Structure

Timeline of Events

Description of Events

Problems Encountered

Suggestions and Recommendations

Conclusion

IMS Recent Reports

            IMS2011

            IMS2012

            IMS2014

 

Purpose and Duties

 

Our goal was to engage as many students as possible to participate in the 2009 IMS.  To this end we recruited student volunteers to support several 2009 initiatives; virtual participation, feedback, print on demand and of course as monitors for all of the technical sessions and workshops.  Each student was required to serve a minimum of 10 hours or one full day and in return received free admission to the IMS along with meals, lodging at a reduced rate, shirts and entry into a raffle for the laptops used for recording the virtual participation sessions.

 

As chair, I also took on responsibility for applying for an NSF grant (which was awarded) to help student volunteers as well as student paper finalists with travel expenses.  This required a review of over 80 applications.  A combination of NSF and IEEE funds allowed us to award some assistance to 70 students.

 

Suggested Membership Structure

 

I had 3 students who were crucial to our success last year, Nora Dianne Bull, Suzette Aguilar and Bojana Zivanovic.  They functioned as peer leaders and managers during the IMS and helped with recruitment and assignments.  Nora Dianne Bull volunteered early in the process and pulled together the entire volunteer schedule which was a daunting task (more about this later).  Bojana and Suzette initiated a facebook group for the students, which was a great recruiting tool.

 

Their and my recommendation is that they reprise their roles this year as they have the experience and that the next chair identify at least one other “Super Student” to join their team.  It was more demanding than they or I had hoped to manage the onsite logistics as we had over 90 students involved as volunteers during the symposium.

Timeline of Events

 

Recruitment should commence by late January.  This works out well as students are typically back from their semester break and have a good idea of their schedule and availability.  We used a combination of letters to key professors and IEEE society leaders at many schools along with advertising directly on the IMS website.   Also, as noted above, we recruited through facebook.   All of these methods proved successful and no single method seemed superior to the others.

 

Travel Grant awards were sent out by 1 May.  Scheduling the volunteers should have been completed at this time but was weeks later, primarily as we did not receive requirements from some chairs until quite late in the game.  I would urge this year’s chair to insist that all requests be submitted by a date that allows for earlier communication of assignments and training.  Had I to do this again, I would be much firmer on this than I was.

 

Local arrangements did a great job of finding affordable housing for students at a local campus.  This is a great idea but we did not get the details nailed down until quite late in the schedule which caused some confusion.  I would strongly recommend working with a local school to see if dorm rooms are available and strongly recommend that this be done very early so that information can go out with the grant notifications.

Description of Events

 

Volunteers were responsible for:

 

Recording all virtual participation sessions

Monitoring print on demand kiosks

Distributing, collecting and returning all feedback forms

Scanning badges and passing out materials at all Short Courses and Workshops

Monitoring all technical, panel and poster sessions

 

Problems Encountered

 

No problems were encountered that could not be resolved with the benefit of experience.  See Suggestions and Recommendations.

Suggestions and Recommendations

 

Specifically, I would recommend all committee chairs submit their volunteer requests 2 to 3 months ahead of the event.  Additionally, any training required should be scheduled well ahead of the IMS.  This did not work well last year for a couple of reasons; the first being that virtual participation was a brand new endeavor much was being developed as to process and requirements up to the actual event.  This resulted in training being offered the day before IMS which did not accommodate the majority of volunteers.  Since Charlotte has developed a great process for this I would urge that she and the Student Volunteers Chair plan a virtual training prior to the students arriving at IMS.

 

Again, I cannot stress enough how valuable the three Super Students were to me and the success of the event.  However, it was tremendously consuming for us to manage 90 volunteers with staggered arrival dates and times and we had little time to attend the sessions.  Identifying at least one other Super Student to join the leadership team would allow more balance during the event.

Conclusion

 

I believe we had a very successful IMS 2009 and that the students who volunteered greatly contributed to this success.  Many shared that they truly enjoyed the experience and benefited from their involvement.  Our experience last year was quite different (at least that is what I am told) from year’s past in that we had a very large number of volunteers and that the vast majority of the students were not locally based.  That is why I have suggested planning for earlier communication of assignments and earlier training sessions.

 

If I can be of further assistance feel free to ask.  I had offered to work with this year’s chair in an ex-officio capacity and my offer still stands.

 

IMS Recent Reports

IMS2011

IMS2011_Files\IMS2011_FinalReport_Student_Volunteer.htm

IMS2012

IMS2012_Files\IMS2012 StudentVolunteerApplicationForm_24_May_2012_MAILING.xls

IMS2012_Files\IMS2012_StudentVolunteerGuide_v3-revised.docx

IMS2012_Files\IMS2012_Training.pptx

IMS2012_Files\ims2012_volunteer needs_schedule_v2ec_18_June_2012.xls

IMS2012_Files\PhD Initiative_StudentInformation_v5_with_hotel_info.xlsx

IMS2012_Files\StudentVolunteer_FV.docx

IMS2012_Files\StudentVolunteerSummaryReport IMS 2012.docx

IMS2012_Files\StudentVoluteerApplication2012.doc

IMS2012_Files\TrainingSchedule.docx

IMS2014

IMS2014_Files\IMS2014studentvolunteer_finalreport.htm

IMS2014_Files\_2014VolunteerForm.pdf

IMS2014_Files\IMS2014_LAOC_9Jan2014.pptx

IMS2014_Files\IMS2014_LAOC_student_volunteers presentation.pptx

IMS2014_Files\IMS2014_Student_volunteer_training_rmh2_053114.pptx

IMS2014_Files\ims2014_studentvol_facultyref.docx

IMS2014_Files\IMS2014_StudentVolunteer_Handbook_Final.docx

IMS2014_Files\IMS2014_StudentVolunteer_Handbook_v3_rmh.docx

IMS2014_Files\IMS2014_Volunteer_Schedule_monday_rmh.pdf

IMS2014_Files\IMS2014_Volunteer_Schedule_Sunday_rmh.pdf

IMS2014_Files\IMS2014_Volunteer_Schedule_thursday_rmh.pdf

IMS2014_Files\IMS2014_Volunteer_Schedule_tuesday_rmh.pdf

IMS2014_Files\IMS2014_Volunteer_Schedule_wednesday_rmh.pdf

IMS2014_Files\IMS2014_StudentVolunteer_Handbook_v3_rmh.docx

IMS2014_Files\PhD_SSI_2014_volunteers_v3.xlsx

IMS2014_Files\student_volunteer_training_053014_2255.xls

IMS2014_Files\Student_Volunteers_DressInfo.xlsx

IMS2014_Files\Student_Volunteers_rmh_041914.xlsx

IMS2014_Files\StudentVolunteerApplication_IMS2014_SB2.docx

IMS2014_Files\StudentVolunteerRequestForm_IMS2014_rmh.docx

IMS2014_Files\Submissions(010114-050314).xls