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Cornell University


Friday, March 31, 2017
BESTies compete in 3MT

February was a busy month for the 35 applicants to the Three Minute Thesis competition at Cornell. Many of them are associated with the BEST Program, and all have worked hard to perfect their TED-style talk to summarize their thesis work "in an engaging form that can be understood by an intelligent audience with no background in the research area. This exercise develops presentation, research and academic communication skills and supports the development of research students' capacity to explain their work effectively."(Wikipedia). Three rounds of competition organized by Jan Allen, Associate Dean for Academic and Student Affairs, and judged by graduate school staff and faculty across campus (see list below) whittled the numbers down to twelve finalists.

A festive atmosphere encouraged the presenters to give it their all on March 29 to a packed auditorium of fellow students, faculty and staff.

The first place award: Kristina Smiley (Psychology, Special Committee Chair: Elizabeth Regan) "Prolactin: It's Not Just for Lactation"
2nd place award: Prateek Sehgal (Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering, Special Committee Chair: Brian Kirby) "Using Sound Waves to Separate Cancer Particles"
People's Choice Award: Xiangkun "Elvis" Cao (Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering, Special Committee Chair: David Erickson) "FeverPhone"

Congratulations to all of the other finalists: Kristen Brochu (Entomology), Fiona Harnishfeger (Food Science & Technology), Heather Callaway (Immunology & Infectious Disease), Aravind Natarajan (Microbiology), David Gludish (Comparative Biomedical Sciences), Mary Centrella (Entomology), Mardochee Reveil (Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering), Theodore Harwood (Classics), and Olivia White (City and Regional Planning).

Other BESTies who competed include: Mohammad Haft-Javaherian (Biomedical Engineering), Evgeniya Nazarova (Microbiology), Marissa Rice (Molecular Biology and Genetics).

Read about 3MT highlights and watch participants in the Graduate School newsletter here.

Thanks to the judges:

Elizabeth Ellis (Director of Communications, Graduate School), Jason Kahabka (Associate Dean for Administration, Graduate School), Rosemary Lang (Data Manager, Graduate School), Anne Laughlin, (Director of Assessment, Graduate School), Nathan Lindberg (Lecturer, English Language Support Office), Colleen McLinn, Program Director, CU-CIRTL), Barbara Mink (Senior Lecturer of Management Communication, JGSM), Traci Nathans-Kelly (Senior Lecturer, Engineering Communications Program), Nate Rogers (GPSA President & PhD Student, Mechanical Engineering), and Kelly Tillotson (Executive Assistant to the Senior Vice Provost & Dean of the Graduate School).