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MTSU doctoral students use brief videos to explain...

MTSU doctoral students use brief videos to explain research to broader audience

MTSU graduate researcher Sara Salisbury may have had a slight edge in a new College of Basic and Applied Sciencesvideo competition.

Pursuing a doctoral degree, Salisbury, who lives in Nashville, Tennessee, had participated in a previous Three-Minute Thesis, or 3MT, challenge — “a de-jargonizer,” she termed it, “condensing hundreds of pages (of research) to three minutes” of down-to-earth explanation to a broader audience.

Greg Van Patten, right, MTSU College of Basic and Applied Sciences interim dean, recognizes first-place winner Sara Salisbury, who was watching the CBAS 3MT&MT Award Social via Zoom. Twelve doctoral candidates produced three-minute videos to explain their research in layman’s terms. The awards were announced recently in the Science Building. (MTSU photo by James Cessna)

Greg Van Patten, right, MTSU College of Basic and Applied Sciences interim dean, recognizes first-place winner Sara Salisbury, who was watching the CBAS 3MT@MT Award Social via Zoom. Twelve doctoral candidates produced three-minute videos to explain their research in layman’s terms. The awards were announced recently in the Science Building. (MTSU photo by James Cessna)

The first College of Basic and Applied Sciences’ 3MT@MT Award Social recently included the awarding of first-, second- and third-place cash prizes. New to MTSU, 3MT started at the University of Queensland in Australia in 2008. More than 200 universities worldwide compete in the official competition open to doctoral students.

Twelve students entered the MTSU competition. Their 3-minute videos can be found here.

Judges awarded Salisbury, a Mathematics and Science Education doctoral candidate, $500 for the “Plant-Based Education” video that took five tries and a full two weeks to record the finished product.

Dr. Ryan Seth Jones, assistant professor, Womack Department of Educational Leadership, College of Education

Mary Tran, left, is congratulated by Greg Van Patten, College of Basic and Applied Sciences interim dean. Tran placed second in the 3MT@MT research video competition, and earned $400. It is the first time MTSU has been involved in the Three-Minute Thesis, or 3MT, video event that originated in Australia. (MTSU photo by James Cessna)

“I was surprised (to be first), but the win was super vindicating and empowering,” Salisbury said. “There was a strong pool of candidates — a boost to my confidence and reinforced my research (K-12 science education). Science education is important … and universal.”

Dr. Ryan Seth Jones, assistant professor, Womack Department of Educational Leadership, College of Education

Dr. Seth Jones

Assistant professor Seth Jones in the College of Education’s Womack Education Leadership program said his research assistant “is a huge asset to our project with our (out-of-state) partner school, and the video was great.”

Salisbury said the researchers’ video efforts are “to make clear science is understandable and approachable — having that tool helps.” Andrea Ellis, who created her “Science Teacher Leaders” video, called it “a great experience to condense a 40-page research paper to three minutes and not use academic language.”

Chemistry doctoral candidates Mary Tran ($400) and Kevin Cavey ($300) finished second and third, respectively. Both are in the molecular bioscience program.

“It was difficult at first to be precise and then share all the information I wanted to say,” Tran said. “It was a good learning lesson. Now I can go to chemistry seminars and explain it.”

MTSU Chair of Equine Health and Master of Science in Horse Science program director Dr. Holly Spooner

Dr. Holly Spooner

This exercise develops presentation, research and academic communication skills and supports the development of research students’ capacity to explain their work effectively.

Holly Spooner, associate professor and Mary Miller chair of Equine Health in the Horse Science program, brought the idea of 3MT at MTSU to Greg Van Patten, College of Basic and Applied Sciences interim dean.

“This has the potential to grow even more beyond our college,” Van Patten said to the attending audience. “We now have beautiful videos to share your research around the college and community. Thank you for sharing your research.”

— Randy Weiler (Randy.Weiler@mtsu.edu)

Doctoral candidate Kevin Cavey, left, shakes hands with Greg Van Patten, College of Basic and Applied Sciences interim dean. Cavey placed third and received $300 in the first 3MT@MT research video competition recently in the Science Building. (MTSU photo by James Cessna)

Doctoral candidate Kevin Cavey, left, shakes hands with Greg Van Patten, College of Basic and Applied Sciences interim dean. Cavey placed third and received $300 in the first 3MT@MT research video competition recently in the Science Building. (MTSU photo by James Cessna)

CBAS 3MT@MT Award Social graphic


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