Scicomm on Stage: Faculty and Students Compete for Top Communicator Crown

Science communication was in the spotlight during the 2017 Research Dialogues event, which took place at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga April 11-12.

The two-day event celebrating research, scholarship and the arts included three competitions where student and faculty researchers had only minutes to offer a compelling plain English description of their work. They included an undergraduate lightning round competition, a 3 Minute Thesis competition for graduate students, and an Elevator Pitch competition for faculty.

As a science communication geek, I love that this university puts on an event like this and focuses attention not only on the research – but also how the research is communicated.

Check out the winners!


Undergraduate Lightning Round (rules)

(The sound was improved for 3MT and faculty presentation)

1st – Reed Boeger, Studying Vibrio cholera Adaptations to Improve Cholera Prevention

2nd – William Harden, Reducing Post Operation Rates of Infection During Surgical Irrigation in the Plastic Surgery Operating Room for Breast Augmentation / Reconstruction

3rd – Cullen Harris, The Status and Conservation of the Eastern Hellbender (Cryptobranchus alleganiensis):  Is it Functionally Extinct?


Graduate Student 3 Minute Thesis Competition (rules)

1st – Drake Terry, A Noble Task:  Work Stress, Sense of Coherence, and Work-Nonwork Conflict in Christian Ministers.

2nd – Damon Sowers, Influence of Concussion History on Reactive Agility Performance among Elite Boxers and Wrestlers

3rd – Cynthia Shaffer, Increasing Access to Fresh Produce in Food Deserts in Chattanooga


Faculty Elevator Speech Competition (rules)

Category Winners:  

1st – Arts & Humanities:  Professor Laurie Melnik, The Art of Balance:  Caring for Patient and Physician

1st – Cognitive & Social Sciences:  Dr. Morgan Cooley, Foster Parent Resilience:  Relevant Factors, Importance, and Family Impact

1st – STEM:  Dr. DeAnna Beasley, Invisible Life:  Exploring Pathogen Diversity in an Urban Environment

1st – Health:  Dr. Cecelia Wigal, Communicating for Independence (Also Grand Prize Winner)


The full agenda for both days of the 2017 Research Dialogues is available online.

Header image: Designed by vvstudio / Freepik

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