Session Chairs (Works in Progress)

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

Works In Progress Chairs provide clarity and organization for Presenters and attendees. Works In Progress 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 Works In Progress 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 sessions; and open channels of communication to address clarifying questions and session news.

Your role as a Works In Progress 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 Discussant and Chair Process

2024 session info coming soon

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 2024 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 2024. 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 Works In Porgress sessions, you do not need to upload a final paper nor create a PowerPoint Presentation.
  • Each paper will be allocated 20 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. Plan to arrive 15 minutes early. 

Session Format

  • All Presenters MUST use the microphone, as must audience members who pose questions. There will be one microphone on the podium, one for each presenter, and one for the audience. If anyone is speaking and not using the microphone, the Chair will step in to ask them to use the microphone or repeat what was said; if the Chair does not step in, we encourage community accountability and ask for any attendee to step in to ask for usage of the microphone.
  • All Presenters must use the ASHE laptop provided in the meeting space for their presentation. We recommend uploading your presentation to a USB drive and then saving it onto the ASHE laptop desktop before your presentation.

Session Agenda (75 minutes)

Works In Progress Sessions are 75-minutes long and feature Authors sharing their research in an informal, conversational style.
  1. The Chair introduces themself and acknowledges the place you are joining from (i.e., a land acknowledgment). Session Chair introduces the session and reviews the agenda/timing of the session (1-2 minutes). 
  2. Session Chair introduces Paper #1 and Presenters (1 minute) 
  3. Paper #1 (20 minutes).
  4. Session Chair introduces Paper #2 and Presenters (1 minute) 
  5. Paper #2 (20 minutes) 
  6. Session Chair introduces Paper #3 and Presenters (1 minute) 
  7. Paper #3 (20 minutes) 
  8. Session Chair facilitates Open Q&A (10 minutes).

NOTE: If only 2 presentations are assigned to a session, 30 minutes will be allocated to each Presenter. If there are four papers, then each Author will have 15 minutes.


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