Three Graduate Researchers Named Winners of 2019 Nutshell Games
Hosted by Virginia Tech's Center for Communicating Science and held in conjunction with the Virginia Tech Science Festival, the Nutshell Games allow Virginia Tech graduate students 90 seconds to present their research--research in a nutshell--to a public audience. Three winners, determined by a panel of judges to have been the most engaging and to have communicated their research the most clearly, each receive a $500 prize. All of the contestants receive a professional quality video recording of their talk--and the opportunity to share their research.
Shadle, a graduate student in biological sciences, won with a kiddie pool and a talk titled "Understanding Frogs in a Hotter, Dryer World: An Experimental Pond Approach."
Suresh, wearing an upper body "exoskeleton" that served to illustrate her talk, won with her presentation titled "Opportunities and Challenges in Exoskeleton-Based Rehabilitation." She is studying industrial and systems engineering.
Davis, dressed for vacation and rolling a suitcase onto the stage, won with her talk "Cancer Vacation." A human nutrition, foods, and exercise graduate student, she is researching cancer and obesity.
While the judges convened to determine the three winners, Miss Virginia 2019 Camille Schrier performed a chemistry demonstration onstage and talked to the audience about her Miss Virginia pageant experiences with a hydrogen peroxide reaction that shoots colorful foams out of glass cylinders. Schrier is a Virginia Tech dual degree graduate who majored in systems biology in the College of Science and biochemistry in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.
Nutshell Games presenters this year included graduate students from a wide variety of research fields, including human development, biomedical engineering, plant and environmental sciences, industrial and systems engineering, geosciences, biology, electrical engineering, psychology, nutrition, food science and technology, and many more. Nutshell Games talks from this year and previous years can be viewed on the Center for Communicating Science YouTube channel.
With an emphasis on communicating to a public audience, the Nutshell Games were judged by a panel of eight people from both on and off campus, including two seventh graders. The judges were
· Karen DePauw, dean of graduate education, Virginia Tech
· Reiss Gidner, Virginia Tech theatre arts and animal and poultry sciences double major
· Kwame Harrison, associate professor, sociology, Virginia Tech
· Steve Hulburt, Virginia Tech alumnus and science educator
· Sarah McAnulty, Skype a Scientist founder and squid researcher
· Odessa Mayalorca, 7th grader, Blacksburg Middle School
· Molly Morris, 7th grader, Eastern Elementary/Middle School
· Bob Whiton, Virginia Tech chemistry alumnus
The following is a list of the graduate students who competed this year:
Emma Coleman, The Road to Healthier Neighborhoods, Civil Engineering
Emily Kieffer, Head Impact Exposure and Concussion Tolerance in Men's and Women's Collegiate Rugby, Biomedical Engineering and Mechanics
Tanya Mitropoulos, Work Work Work Work Work: The Impact of Post-Work Emailing on Recovery and Well-Being, Industrial/Organizational Psychology
Elisa Gagliano, Radical SAM Enzymes, Life Science
Cynthia Hampton, "Good" Men, "Bad" Systems?, Engineering Education
Gourav Sharma, Understanding DNA: The Door to the Future of Agriculture, Plant Pathology, Physiology, and Weed Science
Amy Moore, Apples to Alcohol, Food Science and Technology
Elizabeth Shadle, Understanding Frogs in a Hotter, Dryer World: An Experimental Pond Approach, Biological Sciences
Grace Davis, Cancer Vacation, Human Nutrition, Foods, and Exercise
Max Mikel-Stites, Can You Hear Better if You're Lopsided?, Engineering Mechanics
Brittany Nackley, What's Driving Us Crazy?, Biological Psychology
Mostafa Mohammed, Enhance Teaching of Computer Science Theory Courses, Computer Science
Nastaran Khalili, Modeling and Analyzing Fake News Diffusion Through Social Media, Industrial and Systems Engineering
Chandani Shrestha, Promoting Conscientious Discussions in Classrooms Using ThoughtSwap, Computer and Information Sciences
Parul Sharma, "Hi Alexa, What's Wrong with My Tomato Plant?", Genetics, Bioinformatics, and Computational Biology
Connor Owens, Who Is Talking to You Before You Are Born?, Animal Science, Dairy
Renata Carneiro, How Do You Choose Your Food?, Food Science and Technology
Vaishakhi Suresh, Opportunities and Challenges in Exoskeleton-Based Rehabilitation, Industrial and Systems Engineering
Yezi Yang, Who Killed the Archaeocyathids?, Geosciences
Jessica Resor, Alexa, How Do Families Use You?, Human Development and Family Science
Stephanie Edwards Compton, What Do a Jungle and a Tumor Have in Common?, Human Nutrition, Foods, and Exercise
Bailey Walker, Cellular Communication Within the Cumulus Oocyte Complex, Animal and Poultry Science
Ziling Wu, Biomimetic Materials Research: What Can We Learn from Natural Structural Materials?, Electrical and Computer Engineering
Zahra Moghimi, Helping a Machine to See, Electrical and Computer Engineering
Kulyash Zhumadilova, Genome Architecture, Biological Sciences
Holly Morrison, Growing Mini Organs to Study the Development of Colorectal Cancer, Biomedical and Veterinary Sciences