Graduate Seminar

Procedures, Student Responsibilities and Guidelines of
Graduate Seminar

Dr. Donald Schaffner, Fall 2017 Seminar Chair
Food Science, room 207
phone: (848) 932-5411
email:  don.schaffner@rutgers.edu

Dr. Mukund Karwe, Fall 2017 Seminar Co-Chair
CAFT, room 221
phone: (848) 932-5487
email:  karwe@aesop.rutgers.edu


Seminar is a required and an integral component of the Food Science Graduate Program. Seminar is offered every fall (16:400:601) and spring (16:400:602) semester. Seminar meets weekly when classes are in session and provides students and faculty members with a forum to present current research and to discuss the latest developments in the field of food science. Seminar provides an important opportunity for members of the Food Science Graduate Program as a whole to interact and exchange ideas. The Graduate Program Faculty considers Seminar to be one of the most important learning experiences in a student’s graduate education. As a scientist in academia, government or industry, our graduates will be judged not only on the quality of their research accomplishments but on how well they communicate them to others. We have a proud tradition of teaching our students how to present excellent seminars and this manifests itself in the numerous times our students have given award-winning presentations at national meetings and how well they do when asked to present a seminar as part of the job interview process.

Required Seminars for M.S. and Ph.D. Students


M.S. students are required to take 1 credit of seminar when they present their M.S. seminar. Ph.D. students are required to take 1 credit of seminar when they present their initial Ph.D. seminar, and 1 credit of seminar when they present their final Ph.D. seminar.

Attendance Expectation and Requirement


All students and faculty are expected to attend seminar when they are on campus. All students who are enrolled in this seminar are expected to prepare their presentations carefully and all are required to attend each seminar during the semesters that they are enrolled. Attendance will be taken for those students who are enrolled in the class. Exceptions to this requirement are allowed only in rare instances, with the approval of the Graduate Director and the Seminar Chair, when such attendance has clearly become onerous due to a change in circumstance while in the program. During the semester, the students registered for Seminar are required to fulfill the attendance requirement of all the seminars and give their seminar presentations. In addition, all full time students, even if not registered for the seminar course, are expected to attend. As of Fall 2016, part-time students registered for seminar must attend seminar virtually via electronic means provided by the Food Science Graduate Program.

Seminar Committee


The Seminar Committee responsible for seminar each semester shall consist of the Seminar Chair and a second faculty member who will assume the position of Seminar Chair in the following semester.

Who Should Register for Seminar


Students who wish to register for seminar should do so only after consulting with their advisor to discuss the progress of their research or critical essay. The advisor must notify the Seminar Chair that the student is prepared to present. Students who register for seminar are expected to present.

Seminar Orientation & Lottery for Presentation Schedule

At the beginning of each semester, the Faculty Coordinator will schedule a seminar orientation meeting. At this meeting, the seminar schedule will be set and the coordinator will explain specific guidelines covering seminar style, format, abstract preparation, and attendance requirements. Students with a grade of "incomplete" from a previous semester must go first the next semester and should not register again.

Seminar slots are assigned by lottery. Students who must a have a specific date due to extenuating circumstances (job assignments, committee member availability, etc.) must put their request in writing and provide justification for special consideration. If there are any conflicts that are not resolvable, trades may be arranged before the end of the lottery session but no later than the second class meeting time for Seminar. Final schedules will be posted on the department website.

Post-Seminar Evaluation

At the end of the session, the evaluation of the strengths and weaknesses of the seminars will be conducted by the Chair and the co-Chair together with the speakers, their advisor and all the students registered for the class. This will be a closed-door session. The objective of this dialogue is to provide suggestions that will strengthen future presentations. The Faculty Coordinator and the co-Chair will determine the grade for seminar (Pass or Fail). To avoid conflicts of interest, faculty members cannot provide grades for their own advisees. The grade is based on preparedness, clarity and organization of contents, articulation of memorable key messages, oral and visual presentation effectiveness, and ability to hold the attention of the audience and arouse their interest.