2015 Research Pitch Competition hosted by CBGSA

Posted on

competition small2

Graduate students competed in the Research Pitch Competition by giving five minute “pitches” about their research to a panel of faculty judges. 

The event was hosted by the Chemistry and Biochemistry Graduate Student Association (CBGSA). 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place prizes were awarded for $500, $300, and $200 respectively in the form of a travel grant for conferences. The winners were 1st Place – Jeff McCormick, 2nd Place – Nanette Jarenwattananon  and 3rd place (tied) – Kent Kirlikovali and Janice Lin.

Other students who participated were Taylor Aubry, David Boyer, Rafal Dziedzic, and Chain Lee.  The judges were Professors Cathy Clarke, Hosea Nelson and Alex Spokoyny. More than 30 people attended the Dec. 1st event which took place in Young Hall 2200.

“One topic discussed at the departmental retreat last year was how to increase awareness of the great research happening in our department,” said event organizer Benjamin Lesel. “One sure way to get the word out is presenting at conferences and what better way to motivate grad students to go to conferences than taking money out of the equation? I’m happy to say the event went off as well as I could have hoped and will continue to very six months as long as we can.”

The Winners – (left to right) Janice Lin, Ken Kirlikovali, Nanette Jarenwattananon and Jeff McCormick.

“The five minute limit was challenging, and it forced me to cut out all the fluff and really focus on the essential points of my presentation.” said winner Kent Kirlikovali. “Overall, it was a great experience.”

“I’m used to being scrutinized on every detail of my slides and data; this time the challenge was getting the point across in under 30 seconds.” said winner Jeff McCormick. “I had to work on making it obvious I knew more about a subject and could elaborate on it if needed, but simply didn’t have time now, which is a handy presentation skill.”

Judge Prof. Cathy Clarke said of the event “I loved the enthusiasm and energy in the room… All the students gave terrific presentations and it was great to hear the students give their research pitches!”

“This is a fantastic opportunity for graduate students to showcase their recent discoveries and share these with their colleagues from across the entire department.” said Judge Prof. Alex Spokoyny.
Over 30 people attended the event which took place in Young Hall 2200.