Six graduate students to compete in Mountain Lion Grad Slam finals Jan. 31

Mountain Lion Grad Slam graphic

The challenge to condense a graduate thesis into three minutes, with the aid of only one static slide, to a general population audience will be the task for six UCCS graduate students who advanced to the finals of the 2020 Mountain Lion Grad Slam. The competition, open to the public, will be held at 12-1 p.m. in Berger Hall on campus and will be streamed on the UCCSLive YouTube channel.

Based on the Three-Minute Thesis Competition founded by the University of Queensland in Australia, the graduate students will present their original research to a panel of judges made up of faculty and staff. The students will be evaluated on how well they explain and communication the most significant parts of their research. The crowd will also select a “People’s Choice Award” for the audience’s favorite presenter. Voting will begin online after the conclusion of the presentations.

The six finalists include:

  • Amanda Devane of psychology presenting “The Power of Belief: Revolutionizing the Way We Provide Trauma Treatment.” Advisor Charles “Chip” Benight
  • Brittini A. Hill of biology presenting “Immigrant Dolphins.” Advisor Jeremy Bono
  • Julia Hilliard of biology presenting “Winter is Coming: Lyme Disease Interaction in the Tick.” Advisory Meghan Lybecker
  • Julie Hurd of psychology presenting “To Use or Not to Use: The Relationship Between Marijuana and Trauma Recovery.” Advisor Charles “Chip” Benight
  • Brianne McGrath of physics presenting “The Strange Magnet: Iron Rhodium.” Advisors: Karen Livesey and Robert Camley
  • Sara Rodriguez of biochemistry presenting “Role of Large Genome Arrangements on Genome Organization and Gene Expression in Neurospora crassa.” Advisor Andrew Klocko

The winner will receive a $750 prize and the opportunity to represent UCCS in the Colorado and regional competitions. The second-place presenter will receive $500, and the People’s Choice recipient will receive $250.

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