quest report: minding your manners.

Submitted by Gabriela Santos

I attended “Etiquette: Minding Your Manners” at Quest. During the presentation, I learned about business etiquette and how to act respectively in the workplace.

When you are going for an interview, be early. Introduce yourself to everyone and shake hands with everyone as well. Dress professional, as a first impression is very important. Listen carefully to your interviewers for all information about the job. After your interview, you should send a thank you card, thanking your interviewer for their time. Make the card personal to help them remember you and stick out from the rest.

At your job, you should always be prompt and prepared. You must make sure that you use proper language around your co-workers and bosses. Keep the conversations appropriate and refrain from swearing. If your job requires you to travel often, make sure you research the culture, proxemics and hand gestures. Some countries take offense to things that have positive meanings in the United States.

E-mailing is a major way of communication today. It is used in the workplace frequently so there are a few guidelines you need to follow. You should always put a subject line in your emails. This will make it easy for the receiver to have an idea of the email and it is also easier to find this way. If the email is long, put “(long)” in the subject line as well. This way, a reader can put time aside to read your email. Make sure your grammar is perfect and reread your email.

If you want to quit your job, there are a few ways of doing this without burning any bridges. You may want to use your boss as a reference for the future. You want to give your boss a two-week notice of your leaving. Some jobs, such as a teacher, you should give your boss notice of your leaving at least six months ahead of time. When telling your boss you should write a letter as well as telling them face-to-face. Make sure you thank them for the opportunity and stay positive. You should offer to train your replacement. Someone had to train you and it looks professional to do the same. Make sure you tie up all of your loose ends. You do not want to leave your replacement with unfinished projects. Also, it is smart to ask for references from your boss and co-workers. Following these guidelines will allow you to succeed in the workplace in a positive way.

quest report: business and leadership sessions

Submitted by Kaila Curatalo

Etiquette: Minding Your Manners

The first presentation that I attended was a presentation about the different types of business etiquette. What to do and not to do in the work place, interview etiquette, email etiquette and in case you ever want to quit your job, the successful ways to go about it. To start off with the topic of interviewing, always be early. Whenever attending an interview it is crucial that you dress appropriately in business attire. When meeting the person who is interviewing be sure to shake their hand and be prepared for small talk. Also be sure that you listen carefully through out the interview and if you do not understand something, speak up and ask them to repeat themselves. Make sure you always being extra resumes and although most people do not think to send a thank you note, it shows that you are appreciative and serious about the job position.

Through out the presentation the group discussed the six rules of business etiquette, which are promptness, preparation, appearance, decorum, e-mail formatting and communication appropriateness. By being prepared in those six skills you will look more professional and more likely be hired for the job. One of the most important skills to have in this technological day in age is good email etiquette. Be sure that you are not using email just to avoid face-to-face communication. Always know that email is not private, so your messages need to be professional or work related in case they get into the wrong hands, and as always be sure to reread your emails and make sure your grammar, spelling and punctuation are all correct.

Quitting a job always seems like it would be an awkward or uncomfortable process, but after watching this presentation, leaving a corporation or business in the correct fashion can actually help your future endeavors. Always give enough notice to your job when you are putting in your recognition. The standard is two weeks, but some companies may require up to a year in advance notice. You never want to burn any bridges with your employers so letting the company have adequate time to replace you is the respectable thing to do. Ask if you can train your replacement, finish any projects that your working on, leave a clean workspace, ask for references and thank your supervisor for the opportunity and training.  After watching this presentation I am more familiar with what I need to have to have good business etiquette.

Networking: Your Key to Success

The next presentation I attended was about what may most be the most important aspect of our society today, networking. Networking opens up new doors for you every day. Meeting new people and making new connections proves to be very beneficial in the business world.

There are many places right on campus at SUNY Oswego that open opportunities for you to network. The Compass has services such as the Leadership Development Program, Major Career Exploration, Career Services and Experience-Based Education. The ASK mentoring program pairs you with an alum to explore your field of career interest. With the help of your alumni mentor, you can find what truly interests you and they can help you to begin to network yourself.

Being involved around campus can quickly increase your networking status. The many different jobs the school offers in places such as residence life and housing, Cooper and Glimmerglass gyms and the dining halls can help you meet new people and create networks. Also the different activities and clubs such as Greek life and the numerous different varsity sports can help you network yourself. Although social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter have become highly popular within the last few years you have to be extremely careful about what you put on your site. Some companies hire people who can hack your account to see the types of things you put on your page. Always make sure you are putting things on the Internet that you would want people to see, not something that people could use against you.

Managing Conflict: A Soft Skill

The third presentation that I attended was about conflict management. Many people view that conflict it a bad thing, but throughout this presentation you being to see that sometimes conflict can be a good thing. Conflict is normal in the everyday workplace and normally if everyone communicates properly it can be easily solved. Conflict will test the strengths of individuals, and will help you learn about the strengths of others. It has been proven that when conflict is involved it actually improves your performance rate.

When being faced with a conflict don’t be afraid to ask questions. Getting a variety of different sources is crucial in the resolution of a conflict. In the pre-negotiation stage, first start of the conversation, and find out if everyone is willing to communicate. Then agree on the discussion rules and be organized. During the negotiation bring everyone’s concerns to light and show the current options. Once this is done, evaluate the options then write a written agreement. Last in the post-negotiation make sure you take action and seek outside support if needed. The most important aspect of solving a conflict is that both parties need to be willing to negotiate. Solving conflict will help you and your business succeed.

Becoming a Leader

The last presentation that I went to was about becoming a leader. Every good business has people that step up and become leaders to their co-workers. Every leader must have good communication traits and create different approaches to management. There are five different leadership styles, which are social, task, balance, leaderless and moderate. A balanced leader has a high concern for the task and a high concern for the people. The balanced leader is the ultimate leader and has great communication skills. A moderate leader has moderate concern for the task and moderate concern for the people, and although this is not the best case, this is in reality what most leaders are.

Leaders need to have good communication traits that will continue to make them better leaders. They have to have a willingness to communicate. Leaders also need to have a sense of argumentativeness, which is being able to exchange ideas that state positions providing support for those positions. Leaders that are high in argumentativeness are likely to have more influence in an organization. Leaders need many skills in order to be successful such as strategy, writing and speaking. Emotional intelligence, cultural literacy and listening are also key character traits of a leader. One of the most important traits of being a leader has to be credibility; if your co-workers do not think you are credible you are most likely not going to be taken seriously in the workplace.

quest report: “current issues in media law”

The 2 p.m. presentation of “Current Issues in Media Law” featured a panel of  Jason Zenor, Asa Stackel, Leigh Rusyn, Annie Palmer and Carly Olds discussing provocative issues in this evolving field.

The presentation discussed the legal issues various forms of broadcast media have to deal with. One situation given was libelous statements via the Internet and whether anyone saying things on the Internet should be held responsible for their statements. One interesting point given was that people have claimed that any offending statements could have been said as a spur-of-the-moment event, and that making these hurtful statements newsworthy would only increase the publicity.
The other topic involved copyright infringement. Under today’s protection, a copyright stays active until a considerable amount of years after the copyright owner is deceased. Examples of potential copyright-infringing material includes fan-fiction (the use of copyright characters in an original story), parody (a mostly satirical comment on a specific work, usually depends on how much the original work is duplicated) and music sampling (using clips of a copyrighted song without owning the rights to create a new song).

quest report: panel on mental health

Submitted by Jen Roerty
I attended “Mental Health: Unlocking the Combination to Finding Your True Potential” with a panel of four participants including three psychologists and mental health professionals and one SUNY oSwego student going into the mental health field. They discussed medication, how caffeine affects your mental health, meditation, exercise and diet. I believe it was very beneficial to hear certain opinions from different people however  I did not necessarily agree with their opinions. It was very informative.

quest report: “news media bias in 2008 presidential election” by Arvind Diddi

Submitted by Aubrey Mulvey

This Quest program was a content analysis of the television coverage of the 2008 presidential election through broadcast, cable, and public television. The program started with Diddi giving an example of bias in media. He pulled up an article which had the headline “CNN is less biased than Fox.” The speaker of the quote was none other than Newt Gingrich. This has drawn attention back to bias in media, particularly in television. Apparently Newt Gingrich made this claim feeling Fox was biased towards his political opponent Mitt Romney.

According to the presenter, news viewership has seen an increase in the past year. Network TV evening news is watched by 21.6 million people during a presidential election. It is very important that television reporting remains unbiased, given its effect on public opinion and influence on registered, undecided voters who are following the campaign by night to try to decide where to vote. But viewers are becoming increasingly aware of media bias. According to the presenter 55% of Americans believe news media is politically biased. This is a 10% increase since the 1980s.

We then broke down the television coverage of the Obama vs. McCain campaign. Diddi said 846 stories having partisan assertions were published by ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, Fox, and PBS — 425 of these stories were favored by Democrats, 48% of the stories were favored by Republicans and there was a balance of about 10%. It was also noted that cable and public television gave stories for both parties fairly equally while broadcasting networks appeared more uneven.

This was an intriguing program which brought more attention to the ethics of media.

more than games: hci students present at quest.

Students in our human-computer interaction graduate program presented several sessions at Quest, many related to video games and learning. Among them:

Dan Young showing his project to have NAO robots perform Waiting for Godot to learn more about programming robot movement and simulating human actions.


Randy Belcher and Dan Cutler, with help from an audience volunteer, show the large amount of data one can obtain from the Xbox Kinect. They are using it to study body language and emotion. An audience member described it as "amazing ... potentially revolutionary" in possibly helping autistic children.

Joshua Farrell discusses his research of what motivates people who play video games, with potential implications for game developers and marketers.

Kevin Graham demonstrates the Rocksmith guitar-instruction system. He also talked about how studying it could shed lighting on electronic learning aids.

You can also see a video of Graham rocking out during his presentation.