Take a break from studying and thesis writing! This year’s teaching and learning conference features senior administrators from seven universities, the provost, and deans from nearly every faculty at the University of Windsor. You can be at the centre of it all! As a conference volunteer, you’ll be involved in all the behind-the-scenes action at the Centre for Engineering Innovation (CEI), palling around with professors, clarifying confusions, and battling bedlam. Join us in making this conference a success!

Yes, you’ll feel a certain level of self-satisfaction from helping those in need, but let’s face it, there’s more in it for an ambitious, gifted scholar like you:

Teaching – When it comes to information about professional development in teaching in higher education, this is the place to be. Join a group of academics who are committed to improving teaching, and truly concerned with learning.

Research – Meet and develop ties with academics from other institutions. Find sources of inspiration for future research projects and/or connect to a network of potential collaborators in your field.

Service – A lesser known, but vital component for promotion and tenure. Volunteering at conferences is hard to beat as a quick and meaningful service credential. Your CV will thank you. Trust us.

Employment – Volunteering at an international conference shows an interest in professional development and community service. Simply put, it highlights your intellectual interests and curiosity. You will also receive a letter of appreciation suitable for framing or inclusion in your teaching portfolio (also handy for mopping up coffee spills). Any way you look at it, you may need a job. Eventually.

Sign up for one or more of the following extra-extra-ordinary, fabulous professional opportunities:

Communications Base and Logistical Support Agent – Working at one of the conference information desks, you’ll gain useful first-hand knowledge about events organization at an international conference.

Communications Facilitator & Sessions Liaison – Be the on-the-spot and up-to-date source of information and directions for conference speakers, presenters, and participants, moving between session rooms and the sessions’ resource centre.

Sessions Chair – Welcome the session presenter(s), and kick off the session by introducing him/her to the session’s participants. You will also have to skillfully, and diplomatically manage the timekeeping during the session to keep it on schedule. Stay and enjoy the session, and finally, distribute the feedback forms.

Location and Transition Facilitator – This really is the best of both worlds: help with set-up, set-down, and transitional room re-arrangements in an early or a late shift. You’ll be free to attend sessions the rest of the day.

First Contact Welcome Host – Yes, it’s true. You’re standing in a parking lot. But, as host, you’ll be the first friendly face to set the tone of the conference, and point participants in the right direction for the day. After your morning shift, you’ll be free to attend sessions the rest of the day.

Registration Facilitator – Greet participants and help with handing out conference information, to get participants started. It’s a great way to learn the names and interests of the academics you’ll want to connect with during the rest of the conference.

Signage Scout (Human GPS?!) - Be an indispensable front-line guide, offering information and directions to participants, making the campus layout clear to our guests.

Special Assignment Attendant – Flexibility, stealth, and diplomacy are your strengths. At a moment’s notice, a new assignment could be required, such as facilitating food service logistics, or running for missing flip chart markers for a presentation. You can’t be afraid to ask questions, but can remain calm in a typhoon.

Poster Conference Facilitator (Poster Child…) – You help delegates to set up or take down their posters before and after the Poster Competition. You will also be helping to quickly digitally record participants’ ballots while grabbing a bite to eat at lunchtime.

Aide-de-camp – You are specially chosen to be the personal assistant for some of the conference’s guest presenters.

Technical Triage Team – People look to you (with a desperate grimace) when A/V equipment or computers do not behave as expected. You can help out with social media in a pinch. If you can solve these problems while exuding an air of calm, this is the role for you!

This is a fantastic opportunity to meet and interact with dozens of academics from Canada and the US, from a huge range of disciplines. It’s also a chance to work closely with and to get to know University of Windsor students, faculty, and staff. We’d love to get to know you better and find out about your unique perspectives on teaching and learning!

As at any conference, things may change as needs arise…. This is an excellent opportunity to give your “flexible events management and problem solving skills” a chance to flourish! Sign up now to become a conference volunteer – help make this great community-building event a time to remember!