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Sixteen Students, Three Minutes, Tons of Pressure

March 15, 2018

Trent Durham Psych major takes home top prize in fourth annual 3MP competition

3 Minute Paper competition
Trent student Elisabeth Burden presents her three-minute paper on 'older adults interactions at a retirement home' at Nozhem Theatre March 8.

Taylor Crawford, a Psychology major at Trent’s Durham GTA campus, was introduced to the Three Minute Paper competition a year ago as one of its organizers. Now she’s the champion.

“I helped coordinate on behalf of the Durham campus last year,” Ms. Crawford recalled, just moments after she was named of the winner of the 2018 3MP. “I saw how amazing the presentations were and it inspired me to want to participate this year.”

Ms. Crawford was chosen both by the judges and the audience as this year’s winner, winning not just the honour but also a prize pool that totalled $225. The event has the audience vote while the judges are secluded away to pick their own favourites.

Her paper, which focused on education, was deemed both clever and informative.

Each year, Trent invites its undergraduate students to present their original research in a brief three-minute talk. “3MP is an excellent showcase of the broad range of research that is going on at the undergraduate level at Trent,” said Melanie Sedge, Champlain College head and co-organizer.

This year’s event, now in its fourth year, drew 16 competitors presenting on topics that ranged from exercising and obesity in nursing students to old age and social exile.

Student presentations were judged by a panel of Trent University staff and faculty, including Dr. Leo Groarke, president and vice-chancellor of Trent, Robyne Hanley-Dafoe, educational developer, Centre for Teaching and Learning, and Dr. Stephen Hill, associate professor and associate director of the Trent School of the Environment.

Just before heading off to vote, President Groarke described the event as a wonderful example of experiential learning. “It takes a lot of courage for students at this point in their educational career to stand up in front of this many people to make a presentation. I’m always impressed by the quality of the presentations they make.”

This year’s first runner-up was Sabateeshan Mathavarajah, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology student, who presented on the mysteries of Batten Disease. His placing was worth $100 from Trent’s Alumni Affairs. The second runner-up was Laurel Pirrie, Psychology, who presented on “a desire for consent: teasing apart conflated dimensions of sexual interaction”. She took home a $75 prize donated by the Centre for Teaching and Learning.