MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - Graduate and McNair students at Northern Michigan University took part in a special competition Thursday. They presented their theses, but with a catch; they only had three minutes.
During the competition, students had three minutes to present their theses, a process that normally takes an hour.
"The idea is that they're supposed to get the concept of their research out to a broad audience so that people can understand and engage in the research," said Janelle Taylor, principal secretary for the office of graduate education and research.
One of the main goals of the competition is to get the students comfortable with talking about their work; an added benefit is the practice it gives them for their real thesis defense.
"It's almost like doing an abstract where you're condensing all of your research into the big ideas and definitely it's helpful for research in the future, or grants, or talking to people about what they do," said Taylor.
Students who have taken part in the competition say that the experience is beneficial.
"Heck yeah, it was a very good experience,” said Jaime Vanenkevort, a Master of Arts in Education candidate. “Like I said, it was good to get that nervous about something that was by choice."
They say the only way you can do well, is to know your research and be comfortable.
"Definitely practice, because it is kind of intimidating, and scary to get up in front of a bunch of people and talk about research that you're doing if maybe it's your first time doing research which is my case," said Vanenkevort.
New to this year’s competition, McNair students, undergraduate scholars who have their own research to do. Event organizers were happy to show off their work as well.
"Here at Northern, student research is important to us. faculty are very engaged with their students in that way, so we want to make sure that everyone knows we have undergraduate scholars as well as graduate scholars,” said Lisa Eckert, interim dean of the office of graduate education and research.
First place in each category won $500 towards their research, second place won $300, and the audience's choice won $75. First place for the graduate students will travel to the Midwest Association of Graduate Schools in St. Louis for the regional competition in March.
Winner: Kathryn Bianga, MBA (Will travel to the Midwest Competition)
Runner Up: Veronica Snow, MS Biology
People's Choice: Jaime Vanenkevort, MAE Education, Reading Specialist
Winner: Cecilia Ruiz, Neuroscience
Runner Up: Brittney Moore, Upper Michigan Brain Tumor Center
People's Choice: Cecilia Ruiz