Rosanna Stevens claimed a double victory for the College of Arts and Social Sciences (CASS) in the ANU final of the 3 Minute Thesis Competition (3MT) on Wednesday night, winning first place and the people’s choice award.
During her 3 minutes on stage in front of a packed lecture theatre, Rosanna spoke about the idea of “whiteness” and its invisible, dominant presence in society.
While she’s excited to win (and has already earmarked her $4,500 in prize money to attend various conferences), she says the most valuable part of her 3MT experience has been the opportunity to share her research and to get to know fellow PhD students from across ANU.
“I didn’t care if I won last night or not and I hope none of the other competitors did either,” says Rosanna.
“One of the great things about the competition is the sense of camaraderie among the speakers, and I really admired the perseverance, honesty and passion that the other researchers had.”
“We all really love what we do because we believe it is changing something, and change is good.”
Studying in the Interdisciplinary and Cross Cultural Research program at the School of Archaeology and Anthropology, Rosanna says the competition has also helped her get to the heart of her research topic.
The 3MT was a natural fit for Rosanna, who believes strongly in making research accessible to a broad audience outside of academia.
“I have a staunch belief that as a researcher I have a responsibility to the public,” she says.
“The 3MT is wonderful as a starting point to developing an understanding of how to communicate research to the public.”
Twitter was abuzz with chatter on the #ANU3MT2014 hashtag, with plenty of praise for all the presenters at the final.
A total of 11 research students from around ANU competed, with topics ranging from the human brain to redefining careers.
Second CASS finalist Imogen Mathew also presented her research on Australian author Anita Heiss at the final.
The next round of the competition is the Trans-Tasman 3MT Final on 3 November at the University of Western Australia in Perth. Here Rosanna will pit her 3MT skills against 48 students from universities in Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, Singapore and Hong Kong.
Rosanna’s supervisor and Director of the RSHA Professor Paul Pickering described her performance as “outstanding” and wished her well for the next round of the competition.
“Rosanna’s thesis incorporates creative writing, music and indigenous studies, and is an excellent example of the innovative scholarship possible in CASS. She’ll be hard to beat,” he said.
Read more about the CASS finalists
Watch the video for more on Rosanna's 3MT experience.