Elana Varner Takes Home 3MT Western Regionals and People's Choice

November 10, 2020

SFU Biological Sciences PhD student, Elana Varner, dazzled the judges during the Western Regional competition on September 23 with her topic: A bumblebee nest-site roadmap: The saving grace of of mouse pee?

Competing against 15 other graduate students virtually for the first time from universities across Western Canada, Varner stood out as an impressive presenter.

“Elana’s 3MT presentation was a perfect example of how to quickly and compellingly relate a complex topic to any audience,” Chris McLeod, Director of Marketing & Communications for Edmonton Global, said of Varner’s talk.

“One of the things that impressed our judging panel the most was how she wove together the description of the problem, her thought process for discovering what she thought was happening, and then the experiments she created to test her theory. She turned her scientific process into a truly engaging story that was entertaining, humorous, and very informative.”

The five judges had the difficult task of evaluating each of the 3-minute videos. The judging panel included UA Chancellor Peggy Garritty, UA Interim Vice Provost Research and Innovation Walter Dixon, Alberta Council for Global Cooperation Executive Director Leah Ettarh, Social Media Strategist and Digital Communicator Linda Hoang, and Edmonton Global Director Chris McLeod.

The organizing committee for this year's 3MT Western Regionals had this to say about the re-scheduled COVID-appropriate event, "This is the first time any Regional 3MT competition in Canada has been hosted virtually, and each competing institution and their respective champions collaborated beautifully to make this event a reality."

Congratulations, Elana!