Grad students rise to challenge

Earlier this month, Nipissing University hosted its annual Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) competition that saw 14 students across six graduate programs rise to the challenge of presenting a year's worth or more of research, in just three minutes. In addition to the strict time limit, presenters were restricted to just one PowerPoint slide and the spoken word to relay their complex research to the audience and a panel of three judges in an engaging and easy-to-understand way.

This year's judging panel included David Bell, Associate Vice President, Advancement and Alumni Relations at Georgian College, Jack Jones, Professor Emeritus of Nipissing University, and Corina Moore, CEO of Ontario Northland. The judges were tasked with evaluating the presentations to determine the winner and runner-up, while the audience was responsible for selecting the People’s Choice recipient.

Despite the event being held virtually for the second year in a row, the audience remained active and encouraging, expressing their congratulations in between each presentation. The audience, judges and fellow presenters were amazed at the diversity of research, talent and enthusiasm displayed by each student. After a longer than expected deliberation and voting period, the judges and audience members submitted their decisions.

KJ Hills, PhD in Education candidate, took home this year's 3MT title and a $500 prize for her presentation, "Get the @#$%&! off the road!” and Other Forms of Self-Talk. KJ discussed how we all engage in self-talk whether as an internal narrative or running dialogue, verbalized (overt) or in our heads (covert), directed at ourselves or other people. Self-talk reflects our conscious and unconscious biases, beliefs and perceptions of the world, other people, and ourselves. KJ’s research aims to further existing studies on how to make more effective use of self-talk to avoid procrastination, improve learning effort, meet challenges and reach goals.

The runner-up of the evening and recipient of $250 was PhD in Education candidate, Jamie Jackson. Jamie’s presentation, The Neoliberal Business of Commodifying Public Education: Unsustainable Education and How it is Bankrupting the Mental Health of Public Educators & Students in Ontario discussed the mental health crisis in Ontario children and public educators alike. His research juxtaposes aspects of Nel Noddings’ ethics of caring and Parker Palmer’s teaching with heart with neoliberal educational policy arguing that the commodification and standardization of public education in Ontario since the late ‘90s, has resulted in an unsustainable model.

Finally, the People’s Choice award and corresponding $250 prize went to MSc in Kinesiology candidate, Jackie Rochefort. Jackie’s presentation, #SportIsForEveryone? discussed that despite the improvements within the last decade of women and girls participating in sport, enrolled in sport management programs, and graduating from North American universities at proportionally higher levels than men, women remain underrepresented at the senior leadership levels in sport. In Canadian professional sport, women in senior sport leadership only occupy 14% of these positions and a call for change is needed.

Congratulations to each of this year's competitors:

  • Devon Andrews-Simons, (MA in History), Admirals Dream of Big Ships: The Royal Canadian Navy and Late War Ship Acquisition
  • Carey Atkinson, (MA in History), Stiff Club Moss, the silence of a female botanist, and settler-colonialism
  • Luke Cooper (MSc in Mathematics), Seeing the forest through the trees
  • Bright Effah, (MSc in Mathematics), Topological Data Analysis on Open Ended Survey
  • Sophie Lauzon, (MA in History), The Princesses of Greek Tragedy- Views on Classical Athenian Daughters
  • Megan MacKinnon, (Master of Environmental Science), Increasing Optimism and Pro-environmental Behaviour
  • Alexander Maycock, (MSc in Kinesiology), Nitrate Supplementation: ‘Beeting’ the oxygen deficit
  • Maxwell Peacock, (MA in History), Talking Among the Trees
  • Marcie Tellier, (Master of Education), The Bigger the Responsibility the Heavier the Load
  • Man Tran, (PhD in Education), Why Care? Psychological Distress + Burnout: An Unsustainable System for Adult English Language Teachers (ELTs)
  • Katie Whelan, (MA in History), Little Fires Everywhere: Changing the Metric of Success for the Irish Republican Army during the Irish War of Independence

A special thank you to Casey Monkelbaan (3MT 2021 Runner-Up) and Erin Watters (3MT 2021 Winner) for sharing their experiences, words of wisdom and encouragement with the 2022 competitors.

3MT® is an internationally recognized competition originally developed by the University of Queensland in 2008 to promote effective communication of research. 

Miss the event? You can watch a recording of the presentations here.

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