Competition improves research graduates’ communication skills

By: Gerry Rucchin
March 4, 2019

Western Education students participated in the Three Minute Thesis competition. From left, Mohammed Estaiteyeh, Maryam Koozehkanani, Mikayla Jeffery, Kayla Edwards, Angela Celebre and Anh Le.

Western Education students participated in the Three Minute Thesis competition. From left, Mohammed Estaiteyeh, Maryam Koozehkanani, Mikayla Jeffery, Kayla Edwards, Angela Celebre and Anh Le.

Taking years of research and describing it, including its impact, in 180 seconds. That was the graduate students’ challenge in the Three Minute Thesis competition.

Six graduate students from the Faculty of Education competed in a heat against participants from the Faculty of Information and Media Studies, Arts and Humanities, Law, Music, Social Science and Ivey Business School.

The following Western Education competitors described their thesis to the audience and judging panel:

  • Maryam Koozehkanani – Investigating the Design of an Aesthetic Mathematical Experience
  • Anh Le – Autonomy of Public Universities
  • Mohammed Estaiteyeh – One Size Doesn’t Fit All
  • Angela Celebre – A Better Path Forward for Child and Youth Development
  • Kayla Edwards – Peer’s Perspectives on the Social Exclusion of Children with Behavioural Difficulties
  • Mikayla Jeffery – School Success After Trauma: Examining the Parallels Among Trauma, Bullying and School Disruption

The Three Minute Thesis is a research communication competition where graduate students present their research and its impact to a panel of non-specialist judges and peers.

“I thought it was a cool challenge,” said Celebre. “It’s different than how we’re typically asked to present our work. It was a challenge to present your work in three minutes and make it meaningful for a wider audience.”

The contest develops students’ academic, presentation and research communication skills.

“I thought it would be a good experience in terms of being able to present my research and figure out what is the important part of what I’m doing for someone who isn’t in Education and who isn’t in my field,” said Edwards.

Students also learn networking skills and develop confidence in their communication skills that can help them when they enter the workforce.

“You feel a little bit stressed just before you speak,” said Estaiteyeh. “However, once you’re here, you forget about everything and you just do it.”

The University of Queensland, Australia created the competition. The first one was held in 2008 and the first international competition began in 2010. Western University hosted its first competition in April 2012.

The top 20 finalists will be announced later this week. The final takes place on Thursday, March 21 at 7 p.m. at the Wolf Performance Hall in the London Public Library.