Beacon 2020 Call for Papers


Lehigh Carbon Community College is proud to host Beacon 2020 on June 5, 2020, at its Main Campus in Schnecksville, PA.

Beacon celebrates academic achievements of outstanding students in a wide range of disciplines at community colleges in the mid-Atlantic region.

With guidance from faculty mentors, students at member colleges revise their own researched, analytical papers and submit them.

Submitted papers are grouped by category, methodology, or theme, and papers in each group are ranked by scholars. Writers of the three highest-ranked papers per group are invited to present their papers in competitive panels at the conference. (Additional papers are selected for an afternoon poster session.)

Panels afford each presenter 20 minutes to present their paper, and each panel concludes with a half hour for questions from the Panel Judge and, in many cases, members of the audience. Each panel’s judge selects one winning paper.

Submission Guidelines

Categories of Papers

The conference welcomes papers on various topics and in various disciplines. The categories listed below are offered as a guide. Accepted papers will be grouped into competitive panels based at least partly on categories identified by students at time of submission. The conference co-directors and their team will form panels they think appropriate.

Papers authored by individual students AND papers co-authored by pairs and small groups of students are welcome. Competitive panels for co-authored papers will be separate from competitive panels for papers authored by individual students. Formation of competitive panels depends on interest indicated by quantities of submissions. If too few papers are submitted for a particular category, for example, then a competitive panel for that category will not be formed. Co-directors are keeping open the possibility of forming interdisciplinary panels.

All students are strongly encouraged to discuss category choices with their Faculty Mentors. It's often best to choose categories most closely related to the methodology used in the paper.

  • Allied Health and Nursing
  • Anthropology
  • Arts
  • Biology
  • Business and Economics
  • Chemistry and Physical Sciences
  • Communications and Media Studies
  • Engineering and Computer Science
  • Education
  • Environmental Studies
  • Gender Studies
  • History
  • Interdisciplinary Studies
  • International Studies
  • Literature Studies
  • Mathematics
  • Philosophy and Religion
  • Political Science
  • Psychology
  • Sociology

How to Submit Your Paper

Students interested in participating in the conference on June 5, 2020, may submit original, eligible papers online at Submission forms will become available December 16, 2019, and will remain available through the deadline, March 1, 2020. There will be one form for papers authored by individual students and one form for co-authored papers.


All Papers
  • Papers written Fall 2018 through Spring 2020 are eligible, but papers must be submitted in their final form by March 1, 2020.
  • The maximum paper length is 5,000 words, excluding the bibliography.
  • Papers authored by individual students AND papers co-authored by pairs and small groups of students are welcome. All papers submitted will be considered for competitive panels, depending on interest indicated by submission quantities. Competitive panels for co-authored papers will be separate from competitive panels for papers authored by individual students.
  • Students from non-member colleges who are interested in submitting a paper should contact the co-directors.
Co-authored Papers
  • Papers written by pairs or small groups of students (five students or fewer) are co-authored papers.
  • When a group submits a project to the conference, the group must designate an individual member of that group to serve as Lead Author: the group's representative and potential presenter. The group's Faculty Mentor will be required to verify both the group's selection of Lead Author and the group's full permission to submit the paper to the conference. The Faculty Mentor and Lead Author will receive confirmation of the paper’s submission and any messages regarding its status.
  • Additional information for pairs and groups of students interested in submitting their work is available in the Guidelines for Students Submitting a Paper.

Appropriate Approaches

The methods and tools of research and/or analysis should be appropriate to paper’s specific discipline. All submissions must show the results of research, reflection, and an original perspective.


Follow discipline-specific guidelines for documentation and format (APA, MLA, etc.) except when they contradict these requirements:

  1. Use a standard typeface, size 12, double-spaced, on letter-sized pages with one-inch margins.
  2. Paginate with Arabic numerals in the upper-right corner.
  3. Remove all identifying information (your name, your professor’s name, your college’s name, etc.) from your file.
  4. Do not submit a title page.
  5. Upload your paper as a Word document (.docx). Students writing papers in TeX or LaTeX may submit their work in Portable Document Format (PDF).


  • All panel and poster session participants receive a Certificate of Participation.
  • Panel Award Winners, including Lead Authors of co-authored papers that win a Panel Award, receive $100, and winning papers are published in the conference’s annual Proceedings.
  • Faculty Mentors of Panel Award Winners receive $50.

Terms and Conditions

  • Confirmations of submissions will be emailed to students, their mentors, and their college’s conference steering team members.
  • Students submitting papers agree to have their work’s originality verified by conference organizers via Turnitin or a similar service. Papers identified as plagiarized will be disqualified.
  • This page may be revised until December 16, 2019, in response to questions and concerns raised by students interested in participating, Faculty Mentors, and Beacon Conference Steering Committee members. Students and Faculty Mentors are strongly encouraged to review this page before submitting papers. A last date of revision will be posted on this page.

Last modified: 2019-11-10