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Lightning Talks Science Pub Kicks off Graduate Student Appreciation Week

By Amy Matzke-Fawcett

What's better than one informed, innovative and interesting talk? Six talks, of course!

On March 21, six graduate students from colleges across Old Dominion University will discuss their research at the third annual Science Pubs Lightning Talks. Sciences Pubs are free, casual events where researchers discuss their work with the community at a local brewery; the Lightning Talks are a modified version with graduate students giving quick, five-minute talks.

Speakers include:

  • Lily Kunda, graduate student in the humanities M.A. program in the College of Arts & Letters, who will graduatein May. Her concentrations are media studies and cultural studies, specifically black culture and the way depictions of race in the media create our understanding of black life and marginalization.
  • Kristina Harrison, a fourth-year business administration Ph.D. candidate at the Strome College of Business specializing in marketing and international business. Harrison's dissertation focuses on immigrants' acculturation to the U.S. consumer marketplace, specifically in the financial services context. Her research interests include cross-cultural consumer behavior, the marketing of services and consumer well-being.
  • Rebecca John is a doctoral candidate in the Darden College of Education & Professional Studies within the curriculum and instruction program. Her research focuses on the experiences of resettled refugee mothers of young children in the U.S. She will be defending her dissertation this semester.
  • Xavier-Lewis Palmer is a biomedical engineering Ph.D. student in the Batten College of Engineering & Technology. The focus of his dissertation is to identify molecular mechanisms that mediate suppression of breast cancer cells by the normal mammary microenvironment. He is employing 3D bioprinting technology to study the interaction of normal and breast cancer cells within novel biomimetic 3D microenvironments. Answers from this work could provide additional means of diagnosing, treating and preventing cancer in the future.
  • Molly Long is a Ph.D. candidate in the health services research program in the College of Sciences. Her areas of research interests include vulnerable population mental health and women's mental health, specifically perinatal mental health.
  • Harmony Martell is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Biological Sciences in the College of Science. She studies coral bleaching, specifically to predict when and where corals will bleach, and whether we can train corals to be stronger.

While short, the talks allow students to share their research with the community, many of whom may have no knowledge of the subject matter. It also helps prepare the students to discuss their research in a real-world setting, helping to distinguish academic jargon from everyday language.

At the conclusion of all the talks, the students will return to take questions from the audience.

This Science Pub kicks off Graduate Student Appreciation Week, which will feature several events through March 28. For more information, contact Genny Conwell at gconwell@odu.edu.

"Graduate students at Old Dominion University are actively engaged in cutting edge and impactful scholarship," said Bryan Porter, associate dean and professor at the Graduate School. "Their initiatives and energy, supported by committed faculty, contribute to generating important new knowledge and creativity vital for the growth of disciplines and the University. The Graduate School is proud of their efforts and want them to receive as much well-earned attention as possible."

Networking begins at 6 p.m., followed by talks and trivia at 6:30 p.m. at O'Connor Brewing Company, 211 W. 24th St., Norfolk. RSVPs are requested.

The last Science Pub of this academic year is scheduled for April 23. Jennifer Fish, professor and chair of the Department of Women's Studies, will discuss "The Making of Migrants and the Rights of Care" at Bearded Bird in Norfolk.

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