Brock graduate student one of 11 finalists as Canadian 3MT competition begins

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Brock graduate student Leslie Nash is one of 11 finalists in the inaugural Canadian 3MT competition now under way and sponsored by the Canadian Association for Graduate Studies (CAGS).

Brock graduate student Leslie Nash is one of 11 finalists in the inaugural Canadian 3MT competition now under way and sponsored by the Canadian Association for Graduate Studies (CAGS).

Nash came second at the Ontario finals held at McMaster University April 24.

The video of her 3MT presentation at the provincial contest is now posted on the CAGS website along with videos of all 11 finalists from across the county. People are invited to watch the presentations and vote for a People’s Choice Award winner. The contest voting will continue until June 2.

Based on the videos from the regional competitions, a national winner will be selected by a judges panel that includes Nobel laureate Dr. John Polanyi, journalist Kady O’Malley and former CAGS President (2010) and Dean of Arts / Professor of History at University of Waterloo, Doug Peers. Judging is based on entrants’ communication skills, their ability to engage in the audience and their mastery of the topic.

Winners will be announced June 12. In addition to a cash prize, the national champion will attend the CAGS Annual Conference in St. John’s, Nfld.

Nash is a master’s student in Applied Health Sciences. Her research, supervised by Prof. Wendy Ward, focuses on assessing how tea flavonoids manipulate mineralization in human bone cells, in hopes to identify dietary strategies for prevention and management of osteoporosis.

“I decided to take part in the 3MT because it’s very different from presenting at conferences. I changed my 3MT script many times as I prepared for the contest. I had to think carefully about how to explain my research in a clear and concise message and how to break down the science in a way that a general audience could understand. So the 3MT has been a great opportunity for me to work on those communication skills.”

The 3MT concept has had widespread international popularity since it was developed by the University of Queensland in 2008. In Canada, UBC ran the first university based competition in 2011. In 2013, 16 Ontario universities sent representatives to the inaugural Ontario competition. This year’s regional competitions were a popular success. And Western University has already been chosen as the location for the 2015 Ontario regional competition.

“CAGS supports the 3MT challenge because is it a great skill-building opportunity for graduate students,” CAGS executive director Sally Rutherford said. “It is also a public showcase of the importance and relevance of graduate studies - a theme CAGS has been working hard to promote.”

Posted on May 22, 2014

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