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Three-minute thesis competition tomorrow at WIDC

Gene and cell therapies for diabetes. Helping bears one simulation at a time. Effects of gender stereotypes on women’s competence and participation in physical activity. Facilitators to military mental health services.

Those are just some of the topics that will be presented by graduate students at the 3MT Three Minute Thesis Western Regional Competition on Wednesday, April 17 from 1:30 – 3:30 p.m. at the Wood Innovation and Design Centre in downtown Prince George.

Organized by the University of Northern British Columbia’s Graduate Programs office, it’s the first time UNBC has hosted this prestigious research competition.

Eighteen graduate students from universities across B.C., Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba will have three minutes to present their research and its impact to a panel of non-specialist judges and peers.

The event in the WIDC Lecture Theatre is free and open to the public of all ages.

Jennifer Coburn, a graduate student in Gender Studies, will represent UNBC with her topic: The “Girl Push-Up:” The Effects of Gender Stereotypes on Women’s Competence and Participation in Physical Activity.

The exercise develops academic, presentation and research communication skills. It also supports the development of research students’ capacity to effectively explain their research in language appropriate to an intelligent but non-specialist audience.

“I’m thrilled for all the graduate students and their achievements to come to UNBC and present their work at this week’s 3MT competition,” said Dr. Geoff Payne, UNBC Vice President Research and Graduate Programs. “I’m extremely impressed with the breadth of the research being presented by these emerging scholars.”

Participants are judged on communication, comprehension and engagement.

The winner will advance to the national competition on June 3 and there are prizes awarded to first, second and third-place finishers as well as a People’s Choice award voted on by the audience, as well as those tuning in on a livestream. If the People’s Choice winner is also one of the top-three, the prize will move to the fourth-place competitor.

The judging panel of five consists of: Renee McCloskey – Manager of External Relations, Regional District of Fraser-Fort George; Matt Wood – Director, Communications and Marketing, UNBC; Kyle Sampson – Acting Mayor, City of Prince George; Jennifer Pighin – Educator and Artist, College of New Caledonia and Prince George secondary school; and Neil Godbout – Editor-in-Chief, Prince George Citizen.


Created by Professor Alan Lawson at the University of Queensland, Australia in 2008, the 3MT celebrates exciting and innovative graduate student research while promoting communication, public speaking and story-telling skills.

The Ontario Regional competition is at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ont. on April 17; the Eastern Regional competition is on April 30 at McGill University in Montreal on April 30.

In addition to Jennifer Coburn from UNBC, a list of competitors as of April 15 is below:

  1. University of Manitoba – Kevin Boreskie, Applied Health Sciences – Topic: Exaggerated Blood Pressure Response to Exercise: A Simple Solution
  2. University of Alberta – Annapoorna Shruthi Subramanya Master of Science Chemical Engineering: Topic: Partial Upgrading: A quest to unclog the arteries of Canada’s oil sands economy
  3. University of Victoria – Alehandra Zubiria Peres, Master of Science, Geography: Helping Bears One Simulation at a Time
  4. University of Calgary – Laura Rios Carreno, Master of Science, Chemical and Petroleum Engineering
    Modification of asphalt with reactive polymers for quality enhancement of pavement
  5. Trinity Western University – Danielle Raymond, Counseling Psychology
    The Fitness Industry and Eating Disorders: What Can We Do Better?
  6. Royal Roads University – Monica Hinton, Doctor of Social Sciences: Warrior Tenacity and Medical Stigma: Facilitators to Military Mental Health Services
  7. Simon Fraser University – Elana Varner, Biological Sciences Masters of Pest Management: Sex Appeal of Mouse Pee Safeguards Wildlife
  8. University of Regina – Alejandra Castilla, Master of Science – Biology: Forget What You Know About Alzheimer’s
  9. University of Saskatchewan – Farzad Dehgan, Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering A Power Source for Implantable Devices
  10. University of Lethbridge – Aubrey Demchuk, Doctor of Neuroscience: Making “Brainbows”: Colour Coding the Cortical Computer
  11. University of BC-Okanagan – Cassidy Wallis, Masters of Psychological Science: Non-offending Parental Support and Its Impact on Delays in Reporting Child Sexual Abuse
  12. Thompson Rivers University – Adam Zelmer, Master of Science in Environmental Science: Vertical Challenges: Creating Sustainable Rock Climbing Areas in Banff National park
  13. University of B.C. – Vancouver – Adam Ramzy, Doctor of Cell and Development Biology: Gene and Cell Therapies for Diabetes
  14. Athabasca University – Dustin Purnell, Master of Counselling: Ethical Tensions in Sex Addiction Counselling

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