What do addiction treatment, choosing a sunscreen, and fungal pathogenesis have in common? They are just some of the topics Trent’s undergraduate student researchers presented in this year’s 3-Minute Paper competition.
With help from faculty supervisors, students completed impressive research projects on a range of topics this year, from Medieval beverages to sex trafficking to creative art therapy. Many students also completed research related to the pandemic, covering the zoonotic origins of COV-2 pathogens, factors affecting employment in remote work, and the well-being of students, athletes, and youth experiencing homelessness.
“Each year, I am so impressed by the student presenters,” states Dr. Stephanie Muehlethaler, Otonabee College principal and event organizer. “I’m so pleased we continued this event virtually this year. It’s so important to celebrate our students and to highlight the rich opportunities for undergraduate research at Trent.”
Just as they adjusted their research to include video interviewing, new lab protocols, and online research, 3MP presenters also learned to communicate their research in short three-minute video presentations. Their task was to inform their audience about the complexity of their research without using specialist or highly technical language, with the goal of impressing upon viewers the significance of their work – a challenge that winners Ayan Niazi and Nicole Leach approached with enthusiasm.
“3MP was a great opportunity to showcase my research in a short and creative manner. I thoroughly enjoyed sharing my research with a general audience, highlighting the important work that is being done at Trent University,” shares fourth-year Biology student Mr. Niazi, who claimed both the Office of Research overall prize and President’s Office Best Visuals prize.
For Ms. Leach, Alumni Engagement and Services first runner up prize winner and fourth-year Chemistry and Mathematics student, 3MP encouraged her to continue sharing her research. “Participating in 3MP gave me a chance to really condense my work and focus on the aspects that everyone could relate to. Winning first runner up has given me the motivation to do more to share my research with everyone I can,” she says.
Showcasing graduating students
Participants competed for prizes, including an audience choice award, which offered viewers an opportunity to recognize the presentation they deemed the most informative and engaging.
“This event is a great showcase for graduating Trent students,” shares Erin Stewart Eves, academic skills instructor and event organizer. Ms. Stewart Eves believes this event highlights the transferrable skills essential for career success developed by Trent undergraduates. “The three-minute challenge requires presenters to clearly explain complex concepts and connect them to the world around us. These skills are so important for new graduates entering professional or academic careers.”
Student presentations were judged by a panel of esteemed Trent University leaders, including Marilyn Burns, vice-president communications and enrollment, Dr. Michael Kahn, provost and vice-president academic, and Trent Chancellor Stephen Stohn ’66.
Congratulations to this year’s 3MP winners!
- Ayan Niazi (Lady Eaton College, Biology) for Proteins Behaving Badly!, The Office of Research Overall Prize and The President’s Office Best Visuals Prize
- Nicole Leach (Gzowski College, Chemistry) for Why Is Choosing a Sunscreen Still an Enigma? A Chemical Approach to Effective Decision Making, Alumni Engagement and Services 1st Runner Up Prize
- Linda El-Ayday (Lady Eaton College, Psychology) for Working out a Solution: Exercise Therapy for Anxiety in Parkinson’s Disorder, Centre for Teaching and Learning 2nd Runner Up Prize
- Arlene Ononiwu (Lady Eaton College, Biology) for Building Technologies for Disease Detection, The President’s Office Audience Choice Prize