Mashal Fida Claims Top Prize at 2017 3MT Finals

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

How do you condense years of research into one slide and a three-minute presentation? Ask Mashal Fida (MSc, Neuroscience), who knows all about it. Fida took the top prize in the 2017 uLethbridge Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) competition hosted on campus on Friday March 17, 2017. 

Fida, a Master of Science student in the Department of Neuroscience competed against nine other finalists to take home the first place prize in this year’s competition, by successfully explaining her research on sex differences in spatial navigation to a non-specialist audience. She was joined on the podium by Catherine Laskowski (PhD, Neuroscience) and Jessica Kuntz (MSc, Neuroscience), who placed second and third respectively. Faye Salins (MSc, Management) was voted the 2017 People’s Choice winner by a crowd of over 100 spectators. As the winner of the competition, Mashal Fida will take home $1250, Laskowski $750 for second place, and finally Kuntz and Salins will each receive $500 for third place and People’s Choice respectively.

Catherine Laskowski presented on the analysis of gambling addiction in patients with Parkinsons with her presentation titled “‘Gambling on Dopamine: An Offer You Can’t Refuse.” Laskowski is currently studying in Dr. David Euston’s lab. Kuntz took home third place with her presentation titled “What are They Looking At? Analyzing Visual Attention during Reaching.” Kuntz is currently studying with Drs. Ian Whishaw and Jon Doan. Faye Salins, who is majoring in International Business, won over the crowd to take home the People’s Choice trophy with her presentation “Workplace Bullying in Canada: An Analysis of the Legislative Framework.” Salins is supervised by Drs. Robbin Derry and Kelly Williams-Whitt.

From left to right are Faye Salins (People's Choice), Jessica Kuntz (Third Place), Catherine Laskowski (Second Place), Mashal Fida (First Place), Chancellor Janice Varzari and Dr. Helen Kelley, Associate Dean, School of Graduate Studies. 

Ms. Fida will now move on to the Western Regional competition hosted by the University of Saskatchewan on April 28, 2017 where she will compete against the top candidates from Universities across Western Canada. The top three competitors from the Western Regional competition will then advance to the national competition, which is hosted virtually by the Canadian Association for Graduate Students (CAGS).

uLethbridge held their first 3MT® competition in 2014 as a way to provide career building opportunities for graduate students. 3MT® allows graduate students at uLethbridge to develop their academic, presentation, research communication skills, and supports the development of research students' capacity to effectively explain their research in language appropriate to an intelligent but non-specialist audience. The 3MT competition was originally developed by the University of Queensland in 2008, and has since grown to include competitions in over 170 competitions in more than 18 countries worldwide. 

The School of Graduate Studies and the Graduate Students’ Association would like to thank the five esteemed judges from the final competition. The panel of judges included Dr. Cheryl Currie, Associate Professor of Public Health in the Faculty of Health Sciences, and AIHS Translational Chair in Aboriginal Health & Wellbeing, Dory Rossiter, Weather Anchor for CTV Lethbridge, Dr. Harold Jansen, Professor of Political Science and Chair of the Political Science department, Paul Sparrow-Clarke, Academic Initiatives Manager, and Lyndsay Montina, Manager of Alumni Relations for the University of Lethbridge. Additionally, thank you to all of the volunteers including practice coaches, qualifying heat judges, and event staff who helped to make the 2017 3MT events a success.

The winners prize money is generously donated by the Faculty of Health Sciences, Faculty of Management, Faculty of Arts and Science, the Faculty of Education, Faculty of Fine Arts, Office of Research Services and Innovation (ORIS), the University of Lethbridge Alumni Association and the School of Graduate Studies. These donations support the 3MT® competition, Images of Research, and Meeting of the Minds Conference.