Brock student qualifies for Three Minute Thesis’ first-ever Canadian final


Leslie Nash has qualified for the first-ever Canadian finals of the Three Minute Thesis (3MT) contest.

The master’s student in Applied Health Sciences placed second out of 19 graduate student presenters at the second annual Ontario competition held at McMaster University April 24.

Nash impressed judges with her presentation “Simplici-Tea: Investigating tea as a dietary strategy for better bone health.” Her research, supervised by Prof. Wendy Ward, focuses on assessing how tea flavonoids manipulate mineralization in human bone cells, in hopes to identify dietary strategies for prevention and maintenance of osteoporosis.

The 3MT is a university-wide competition for graduate students in which participants present their research and its wider impact in three minutes or less to a panel of non-specialist judges. The challenge is to present complex research in an engaging, accessible and compelling way, using only one static slide.

Nash advance to the provincials after winning Brock’s competition April 7 during the annual Mapping the New Knowledges Graduate Student Research Conference.

“This has been an amazing experience,” said Nash standing outside the Alumni Memorial Hall at McMaster following the provincials. “There were so many excellent presentations today. I can’t get over the talent of the students and the variety of research that was presented. ”

Within 24 hours of her Ontario 3MT success, Nash was off to San Diego to present at a conference.

“I decided to take part in the 3MT because it’s very different from presenting at conferences. I changed my 3MT script many times as I prepared for the contest. I had to think carefully about how to explain my research in a clear and concise message and how to break down the science in a way that a general audience could understand.”

The top five Ontario presenters included:
1. Daiva Nielsen – University of Toronto
2. Leslie Nash – Brock University
3. Muhammad Ali Naqvi – Ryerson University
4. Joseph Donohue – Western University
5. Yasina Somani – University of Windsor

Judging the Ontario competition were:
• Rob Baker, a founding member of the Tragically Hip,
• Simona Chiose, Education Editor at The Globe and Mail
• Emily Chung, award-winning science and technology journalist for
• CFL football player Peter Dyakowski of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats
• Terry Fallis, author of The Best Laid Plans, winner of the 2008 Leacock Medal for Humour, and the 2011 CBC Canada Reads
• Annette Hamm, co-host of CHCH TV’s Morning Live and News Now Midday.
• Dr. Harvey P. Weingarten, president and CEO of The Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario (HEQCO)

The national competition is sponsored by the Canadian Association for Graduate Studies and will be held in May as a virtual contest. It will involve 11 finalists from three regional competitions – western Canada, eastern Canada and Ontario. The judging will be based on viewing the videotapes of qualifiers from the three regions.


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