The annual Streamlines Conference hosted by Clarke University and University of Dubuque has switched to a virtual platform for presentation and attendance. This year, it is being hosted by Clarke, with all presentations being done through Teams.
The Streamlines annual academic conference is held between two Dubuque universities, Clarke and University of Dubuque. Students from around the Dubuque area and beyond submit to have their paper considered for a presentation and following Q&A session.
While in the past it has been an in-person conference, the COVID-19 pandemic enticed the planners at Clarke to take a change, setting up this year’s conference to be virtual through Microsoft Teams.
At Clarke, the faculty member working closely with UD to put together this conference each year is Steve Bellomy, Assistant Professor of English. “To not attempt the conference virtually is a disservice to several students in the area who look forward to presenting at Streamlines for that kind of professional development opportunity,” he remarks. “I think we’re all trying to work under the assumption that all of this is temporary.”
To move the conference had briefly crossed the minds of the planners in light of the pandemic. “We thought about postponing it to spring,” Steve mentions, “If you postpone the conference to spring for one year, that kind of sets it in motion to be a spring conference for the foreseeable future.” A conference in spring, summer break, and then the same conference again in the fall created a strange flow to what had already been in place. Seeing other universities switching conferences to an online platform initiated the idea of transferring Streamlines to a digital platform.
Steve is not the only member of the Clarke community hard a work planning and preparing this event. Senior English major, Emily Boge, is interning with Steve in preparation for the conference. She is helping with the organization, development, and communication that comes with putting the conference together.
Emily has had experience with Streamlines, having attended two years and presented once. She explains how planning an event of this magnitude is new for her, as she had not much experience besides helping plan two launch parties (one in-person and one virtual) for Clarke University’s literary magazine, the Tenth Muse.
Ann Pelelo, English Professor and Chair of Society, Culture, and Discourse department, has a long history with Streamlines. Working with UD English professor, Dr. Jonathan Barz, they created the Streamlines Undergraduate conference. The two components they wanted to focus on for this conference were having high standards for acceptance and time for Q&A.
This year, another effect of the pandemic, the keynote speaker was chosen from a local audience. The coordinators of Streamlines this year are happy to welcome Ann Pelelo as the keynote speaker. She will be presenting on some of her lessons learned from attending a small, liberal arts college.
The Streamlines Academic Conference, held via Microsoft Teams, is scheduled to be on November 14th. Information on how to register for the conference can be found on the Streamlines page through the Clarke website. The registration deadline is October 31.