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September 25, 2013 7:24 AM   Subscribe

Suggestions needed for gift/craft ideas that'd mark a friend's presentations at two academic conferences.

A friend of mine presented at a conference earlier this year and will do so at another soon. I’d like to commemorate her achievement, so I was thinking about getting a copy of the conference program and placing in a frame the cover and the page with her presentation title. Repeat for the next. (Alternatively, I have PDFs of the programs and would go to a print shop so they could be on high-quality paper stock.)

I’m not especially crafty, so the frame idea struck me as kind of sophisticated and thoughtful without showcasing my own clumsiness. Does anyone have another possibility for how to mark these occasions?

posted by xenization to Grab Bag (3 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Do you have, can you get a good shot of her presenting? Put it in a paperweight?
posted by tilde at 7:34 AM on September 25, 2013

The thing about framing something like that is that it carries an expectation that the framed thing will be hung on a wall somewhere and that's a somewhat odd thing to have hung on a wall, other than in her academic office, where it still might seem kind of weird.

I imagine your friend the academic is likely to participate in many more conferences in the future?

What about getting her a nice (relatively plain, easy to use, moderately professional looking) photo/scrapbooking album and starting it off with those particular pages. Then she or you could add future conference info to them. If you can get it, I kind of like conference badges as a thing to include in this type of keepsake. As tilde suggested, including a shot of her presenting would also be good. I don't mean anything fancy with flowers and foils and loop-de-doops. Just a relatively plain album, maybe with a bunch of those old fashioned photo corners to insert items into?
posted by jacquilynne at 7:41 AM on September 25, 2013 [2 favorites]

It's a very sweet idea. I remember the fear and sense of accomplishment at my first academic conferences, and it was sweet when friends raised a toast when we happened to be out for dinner. Most academics end up presenting at 2-10 conferences throughout the year, so a framed printout of a conference program will seem very out of place in most offices. In fact, I can say with certainty that I've never ever seen such a thing, and my guess is your friend would feel a bit embarrassed to hang something like that.

To show your love, I'd honestly suggest a batch of cookies or brownies, and a sweet card, offering your support and hearty congrats. Anything beyond that would honestly feel quite out of place.

Are you technologically inclined? If so, one gift which might be appreciated is help registering and setting up a very simple professional website, where your friend can document her presentations and other relevant info.
posted by barnone at 7:56 AM on September 25, 2013 [1 favorite]

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