Session Chairs (Roundtables)

Serving as a Roundtable Chair during the ASHE Conference is an important task that ensures session participants are involved in a well-managed session. The Roundtable Chair is responsible for assisting the Presenters before and during the session.

Roundtable Chairs provide clarity and organization for Presenters and attendees. Roundtable Chairs will support the Presenters by introducing speakers, keeping time, organizing the session, organizing the question & answer portion, and providing overall structure to the session. 

Before the Conference, the Roundtable Chair is responsible for initiating outreach via email to the Presenters. This email serves as an important introductory point to build excitement around the session; develop rapport among the Chair and Authors; provide important context for ASHE paper sessions; and open channels of communication to address clarifying questions and session news.

Your role as a Session Chair helps ensure that each session, and ultimately the conference, runs smoothly and on time. Ultimately, you are an ambassador of the Association and are responsible for helping to ensure an impactful session.
impactful session.

Best Practices for a High Quality Discussand and Chair Process Webinar
Recorded October 26, 2022

This webinar clarifies the purpose and role of the ASHE discussants and chairs. Panelists share best practices for discussants in providing quality and constructive feedback to authors, and giving strong, integrative comments during the ASHE session. Panelists also cover the responsibilities of the chairs in providing organization and structure to the session.

Whether it's your first time serving as a discussant or chair or you have been discussing or chairing for years, we encourage you to review the webinar recording below to learn more about the process and gain some new ideas to support the scholarly development of authors.

Program Committee Co-Chairs:

  • Bridget Turner Kelly, University of Maryland
  • Lara Perez-Felkner, Florida State University


  • Marcela G. Cuellar, University of California, Davis
  • Eileen Galvez, Yale University / Colorado State University
  • Emily Koren, University of Southern California
  • Linda Sax, University of California, Los Angeles

Contacting Authors

Send an introduction email to the Presenters by early October. You can find contact info by logging in to the ASHE Conference Portal using the following instructions:
  1. Log in to ASHE Conference Portal:
  2. Select Main Menu (Submission Site) from the menu.
  3. From the Submitter menu, click on the "Chair/Discussant" tab.
  4. Within this link, you will find the sessions for which you are a participant (Presenters, Chair, Discussant, Organizer, etc.). 
  5. Click on the "Participations" tab and click the "view" link next to the title of the session in which you are the Discussant.
  6. Gather the author and discssuant emails listed on the page. 

Sample Email: Chair To Presenters (send before October 1)
Dear Presenters,

As ASHE 2022 approaches, I wanted to send a few reminders.

[Introduce yourself, including name, organization/institution, and role. You can include how many ASHE Conferences you’ve attended. Remember, this is a great networking opportunity.]

I am serving as your Chair for the session [INSERT SESSION NAME] at ASHE 2022. This is my [#] time serving as a Chair and I am excited to help us organize and manage this session.

A few things I want to highlight:

  • For Roundtable sessions, you do not need to upload a final paper nor create a PowerPoint Presentation.
  • Each paper will be allocated 10 minutes during the session. I will be the timekeeper and alert you of timing during the presentation.
  • Please notify the ASHE Staff of any accessibility accommodations. ASHE Staff can best meet your needs when notified at least 3 weeks before any event.
  • The ASHE Staff has provided a Presenter Guide website at
[Add a closing]
[Sign your name]
[We suggest including your gender pronouns. You can find more information about using gender pronouns here:]

Arriving to Your Session (15 minutes prior to your session)

  • Locate your session’s room assignment in the Conference Program (note: there are Virtual Roundtables on November 10 that will be held on Zoom and In-Person Roundtable to be held in Las Vegas on November 18). Plan to arrive 15 minutes early. Please note that there is a 15-minute break between sessions, so the previous session may still be wrapping up when you arrive.
  • In the 15 minutes before your session starting, the Paper Session Chair, Paper Session Discussant, and Paper Session Authors can discuss: 
    • The order of the presentations based on the program 
    • Name pronunciations and preferred names for Authors (e.g., Jason vs. Dr. Guilbeau)
    • The time limits for each Presenter
    • Process for selecting questions for the Q and A section
    • Process for Q and A section of the session
NOTE: Any Author/Presenter who is listed on a paper but not registered will not be able to present. In this situation, we assume the Author is not presenting during the conference.

In-Person Roundtable Session Format


Virtual Roundtable Session Format 


Sample Session Script

Sample: Chair Welcome And Introduction

Hello Everyone [please do not say ladies and gentlemen or any gendered greeting]. My name is [Insert Name, Institution/Organization, and Gender Pronouns] and I would like to welcome and thank you for joining us today for this session titled [Insert Session Title].

[Provide land acknowledgement]

I am very excited to introduce our excellent presenters today.

We will begin the session with our first presentation from [Insert Author(s) names] titled [Insert Title of Presentation].

Sample: Chair Presentation Transitions
Thank you [Insert Name of Author(s)] for your excellent presentation. Please remember to use the Chat function if you have questions you would like to be considered for the Q and A section. We will now have [Insert Name of Next Author] with their presentation titled [Insert Title of Presentation].

Q and A Session Wrap Up
In addition to keeping time during the Session, the Chair will facilitate the Q&A portion of the session.

These questions should be based on the information provided during the presentation. Acceptable questions typically:

  • Are specific towards an aspect of the research being presented
  • Allow the presenter to clarify or expound upon information provided in the presentation
  • Provide the presenter an opportunity to discuss the future of their research or topic area
At the end of the session, the Chair should again thank the Presenters for sharing their information and thank the attendees for joining the session