Grad Slam 2017 Final Round: Diverse Talks and Results

Submitted on April 11, 2017
UA Grad Slam Finalists with Masters of Ceremony Jude Udeozor and Meg Lota Brown, PhD

Congratulations to all of this year's finalists and award winners. This year, the top three presenters and the Honorable Mention will represent the UA at the statewide Arizona 3-Minute Grad Slam (link is external), a presentation competition featuring the top presenters from the UA, Northern Arizona University, and Arizona State University. Videos of the all the finalists' presentations will be available on the Grad Slam Videos page and the UA Libraries’ Vimeo page once finished (link to be posted). Pictures from the Final, as well as the preliminary and semifinal rounds, are available via the Graduate College Facebook Photo Album, #UAGradSlam 2017.

As the list of presenters below illustrates, the fields and topics represented in the final round were a diverse representation of the work UA does in a variety of fields. The final round was a microcosm of the entire Grad Slam 2017 competition, which featured presenters from nearly every college and many programs across campus.

The Finalists of Grad Slam 2017 were, in alphabetical order by last name:

  • Lourena Arone, 3rd year doctoral student in Plant Pathology, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Talk Title: Impacts of farming practices on fates of aflatoxin in the environment
  • Joan Palmiter Bajorek, 1st year doctoral student in the Second Language Acquisition and Teaching Graduate Interdisciplinary Program (GIDP), Talk Title: Pronunciation Technology: Clear Speech and Empowerment
  • Tim Frost, 2nd year doctoral student in Biomedical Engineering GIDP, Talk Title: Accelerating drug discovery with microfluidic models
  • Lora Key, 3rd year doctoral student in History, College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Talk Title: Mexican Americans in the World War II Era
  • Sara Khosravi, 5th year doctoral student in Systems & Industrial Engineering, College of Engineering, Talk Title: SmartWalk Assistant for Disabled Pedestrians
  • Samantha Reznik, 3rd year doctoral student in Psychology, Clinical Psychology concentration, College of Science, Talk Title: Developing a new intervention for treatment-resistant depression

As one can imagine, the final round is a difficult round to judge, and the finalists kept true to that trend. Our set of esteemed judges for the final round were Jonathan Rothschild, Mayor of the City of the Tucson; Melinda Burke, Vice President of Alumni Relations & President, UA Alumni Association; and Neal R. Armstrong, Regents’ Professor of Chemistry & Biochemistry and Optical Sciences, Associate Vice President, UA Research, Discovery, & Innovation. They had the fun, yet difficult task of selecting the winners of the Grand Prizes and determining which students move on to represent the UA at the Arizona 3-Minute Grad Slam.

Winners of the Grad Slam Grand Prizes, sponsored by UA Research, Discovery, & Innovation, are:

  • 1st Place ($3,000): Tim Frost, Biomedical Engineering GIDP doctoral student, for his talk "Accelerating drug discovery with microfluidic models"
  • 2nd Place ($2,000): Samantha Reznik, Clinical Psychology doctoral student, for her talk "Developing a new intervention for treatment-resistant depression"
  • 3rd Place ($1,000): Lora Key, History doctoral student, for her talk "Mexican Americans in the World War II Era"

The Grad Slam Honorable Mention Award recipient and this year’s People’s Choice Award winner is

  • Lourena Arone, Plant Pathology doctoral student, for her talk "Impacts of farming practices on fate of aflatoxin in the environment"

Grad Slam 2017 featured two themed awards, Best Environmental Presentation and Best Environment and Social Justice Presentation, awarded by the UA Institute of the Environment (link is external) and the UA's Agnese Nelms Haury Program in Environment and Social Justice. (link is external)

The recipient of the Best Environmental Presentation Award ($1,000), sponsored by the Institute of Environment, is:

  • Lourena Arone, Plant Pathology doctoral student, for her talk "Impacts of farming practices on fate of aflatoxin in the environment"

Best Environment and Social Justice Presentation Award Winner, sponsored by the Haury Program, went to two students. Each received an award of $1,000:

  • Lora Key, History doctoral student, for her talk "Mexican Americans in the World War II Era"
  • Daniel Bernal, dual program doctoral student in Law (JD) and Rhetoric, Composition, and Teaching of English (PhD), for his talk “The Simpla Phi Solution: The Benefits of Self-Help Forms in Eviction Hearings”

The Grad Slam Team thanks the following organizations and individuals for their support as sponsors and event partners. With their support Grad Slam is more effective in our goal to create an engaging professional development opportunity for graduate students to enhance their public speaking skills for diverse audience.

  • UA Research, Discovery, & Innovation
  • UA Libraries
  • Institute of the Environment
  • Agnese Nelms Haury Program in Environment and Social Justice
  • Jerry Flanary, UA Toastmasters
  • Susan Miller, Biosciences Toastmasters
  • Monte Ralstin, Professor of Practice, School of Theatre, Film & Television

 

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