Meet the 2021 3MT winners

Ten graduate students took the virtual stage this Wednesday in a competition to find out who could best summarize and present years of research in only three minutes. In an event with record-breaking attendance, we learned from finalists about graduate work that spanned Faculties and research fields—from the discovery of novel antimicrobial fabrics that could help reduce the rate of infections in hospitals to the exploration of new modes of active travel in Vancouver. 

The high calibre of presentations meant the task of selecting three winners was very difficult. After long and thoughtful deliberation, our panel of guest judges declared the winners: 

First place: Tebogo Leepile, PhD in Integrated Studies in Land & Food Systems, MyData_MyVoice: Prevalence of Anemia among San Women and Young Children in Rural Botswana, Dr Eduardo Jovel & Dr Crystal Karakochuk 

“Hard work pays! Diversity and representation are important and possible in UBC! I am humbled and honored; I never imagined that I could win the 3MT, especially at a reputable institution like UBC, in a sea of extremely talented individuals! May this win inspire others particularly, the Black, the African, and the wider international student community, to consider the 3MT in the future. The experience will definitely change your life! May this achievement also motivate women and young girls to pursue their dreams with full zest; all things are possible!”

First place also advances to the Western Regional 3MT. This year’s event will be hosted by Athabasca University.  Watch Tebogo present live online Thursday, May 13th, 2021, at 12PM PDT.

Runner-up: Jennifer Ferris, PhD in Rehabilitation Science, Peering into the aging brain, Dr. Lara Boyd 

“The 3MT competition was a great opportunity to learn about effective communication of my research. I loved learning about the amazing variety of research being done at UBC by my fellow presenters!” 

Third place and People’s Choice: Sarah Morris, PhD in Physics, Using advanced MRI to track myelin loss after spinal cord injury,Dr. Cornelia Laule 

“I found the process of motivating my thesis research and condensing it into 3 minutes really thought-provoking and it reminded me again why I like the research I do. Thinking about how to remove jargon and make my story as compelling as possible taught me a lot about science communication.”

Our other finalists in order of appearance:  

  1. Ben Dantzer, PhD in Human Development, Learning, and Culture, Closing the Mentorship Gap through Youth-Initiated Mentoring, Dr. Nancy Perry 
  2. Taylor Wright, PhD in Chemistry, Discovery of Novel Antimicrobial Fabrics, Dr. Michael Wolf 
  3. Nejat Hassen, MSc in Population and Public Health, Health-Related Quality of Life in Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients, Dr. Diane Lacaille 
  4. Justin Wyss, PhD in Biomedical Engineering, A Soft Flexible and Stretchable Pressure Sensor Array Designed for the Prevention of Pressure Ulcer Formation, Dr. John Madden & Dr. Babak Shadgan 
  5. Amir Hassanpour, PhD in Civil Engineering, New Modes of Active Travel in Metro Vancouver, Dr. Alex Bigazzi 
  6. Andy An, MD/PhD in Microbiology and Immunology, Identifying Mechanisms of Persistent Immune Dysfunction in Sepsis Survivors, Dr. Bob Hancock 
  7. Meaghan Efford, PhD in Oceans and Fisheries, Archaeological investigations and Tsleil-Waututh Science: reconstructing pre-colonial ecosystems, Dr. Villy Christensen 

Thank you to our participants, judges, hosts, and organizers 

3MT depends on organizers, hosts, judges, presenters, and volunteers from many UBC faculties, departments and units. This year, over 110 students took part in preliminary virtual 3MT heats organized by various faculties and departments. Twenty-six graduate students progressed to the virtual semi-final competitions, and 10 moved on to the final. Thank you to everyone who volunteered their time to present, judge, organize or support a 3MT event. 3MT would not be possible without the dedication and hard work of so many. 

The 2021 judging panel at the final had the hardest job of all: 

  • Saranaz Barforoush, PhD, Assistant Professor of Teaching, School of Journalism, Writing, and Media 
  • Ainsley Carry, MEd, MBA, EdD, Vice-President Students 
  • Peter Simpson, PhD, Dean, College of Graduate Studies, UBC Okanagan; Professor, Physics 
  • Karine Souffez, MSc, Associate Director, Knowledge Exchange, Office of the VP Research & Innovation 

Our final was hosted by Dr. Matthew Evenden, Professor, Department of Geography, and Associate Vice-President, Research and Innovation.