Why Beacon?

Extended Research Experience

Return to a favorite project, broaden its scope, reconsider its findings, or dive into additional data, reports, or criticism.

A Mentor

With guidance from an enthusiastic faculty member who has expertise in your topic's field, enhance your questions, ideas, arguments, and presentation.

Academic Writing Experience

Refine, revise, expand, and meticulously document sustained academic prose.

An Enthusiastic Audience

Present your work to a judge, other panel presenters, and a mix of faculty, family, and friends, all listening closely and able to ask questions about your work.


Panel presenters have submitted the best, most interesting papers, and they compete for Panel Awards that include monetary prizes and publication.

Conference Experience

Participate in this academic and professional conference, presenting your ideas and listening to others' ideas, and gain a range of experiences that encourage further development of valuable skills that transfer into many other contexts.


Guidelines for Panel Presenters

Guidelines for students invited to present their work as part of a panel at the Beacon Conference.

Guidelines for Poster-Session Presenters

Information for students invited to present their work during the non-competitive, afternoon poster session.

Guidelines for Panel Judges

An overview of how professors at four-year colleges and universities in the mid-Atlantic region can participate in Beacon.

Guidelines for Category Readers

Information about the important role faculty at community colleges play by reading and ranking papers submitted for each of the conference's competitive panels.

Guidelines for Students Submitting a Paper

Information about the conference, how to participate, and why you should consider submitting a paper. 

Guidelines for Faculty Mentors

Information about how to encourage and mentor students interested in submitting a paper and preparing to present.