Aly Bailey – 3MT profile

MA student, Applied Health Sciences
2014 Three Minute Thesis finalist
Supervisor: Professor Kim Gammage
Title: “The Body That You Love – Stories of the Injured But Not Broken”


It takes a second or two before you realize just what you’re looking at when you see Aly Bailey’s Three Minutes Thesis (3MT) presentation slide.

It’s a dramatic mid-air photograph of a person in a wheelchair BASE jumping. The shot was taken in the early seconds of the jump, parachute not yet open, and a spectacular panoramic view of land far below.

Bailey chose the dramatic photo to illustrate her 2014 3MT presentation: “The Body That You Love – Stories of the Injured But Not Broken.” On the slide, she highlights a message about body image that reads: “accepting your body for what it is and focusing on your abilities, not your disabilities.”

For her master’s research, Bailey conducted a study that involved interviewing people with spinal cord injuries to better understand their experience and their attitudes about appearance, health and function of the body.

“My research focuses on exploring the positive experiences of the body,” Bailey said during her presentation at the 3MT finals in April. “Although several of my participants disclosed facing many adversities after their injury, they also persevered to pursue their passion, whether it is the job they love or a hobby that brings meaning to their life such as this participant here.

“One fascinating conclusion in my study is that many of the same body image characteristics that are discussed by my participants are the same ones that are discussed by able-body individuals. The most important being accepting and appreciating the body for what it can do.”

The 3MT contest is a university-wide competition open to master’s (thesis and research project) and doctoral students in all Brock’s graduate programs. The contest challenges students to talk about their research and why it matters in a way that will inform and captivate people outside of their disciplines. It is held each year in conjunction with Brock’s annual Mapping the New Knowledges Graduate Student Research Conference.

Plans for the 2015 3MT contest are underway. More details will be announced in the fall term. For now, graduate students can find out what the contest involves by visiting Brock’s 3MT website.

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