Carleton Student to Present at Provincial Three-Minute Thesis Competition

Cassandra Erichsen, a master’s student at Carleton University’s School of Social Work, will be among 20 graduate students from across Ontario to present her research at the provincial finals of the Three-Minute Thesis Competition (3MT Ontario) on April 14 in Waterloo.

The 3MT is a communications competition for graduate students. Developed in Australia by the University of Queensland in 2008, the 3MT challenges students to explain their research in plain language in just three minutes. This is not an easy task considering a full graduate thesis can be 80,000 words in length.

The 20 competitors in the provincial competition are all winners of local competitions hosted by each university in Ontario. Cassandra’s 3MT presentation is titled, “Shame in Social Work Students: A Qualitative Interview Study.” Her research explores how social work students experience and cope with shame, as well as the ways in which it might impact their professional practice.

“My 3MT presentation is focused on how shame affects social work students and how this can lead to burnout on the job,” explains Erichsen.  “I am excited to represent Carleton at the provincial 3MT championship as it will give me an opportunity to share this important research with a larger audience and, hopefully, this will lead to changes in the curricula of social work programs across the country.”

Sitting across from the competitors will be a panel of judges with a wide range of backgrounds and interests. The 3MT Ontario judges will score the quality of the presentations and the presenters’ ability to engage the audience.

The judges for the 3MT Ontario are: Rob Baker, guitarist for the Tragically Hip, David Meyers, chief executive officer of Iceberg Vodka, Susan Anzolin, chief financial officer for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), Ken Steele, chief futurist at Eduvation and Gohar Ashoughian, university librarian, Wilfrid Laurier University.

The judges will select winners of the 3MT Ontario, who will receive $2,000 in total prize money. As well, the top five presenters will move onto the national level, an online competition co-ordinated by the Canadian Association of Graduate Schools.

The 3MT will be hosted by Wilfrid Laurier University and is open to the public. More information can be found at

To view a video of Cassandra’s 3MT Presentation please click here.

Media Contact:

Steven Reid
Media Relations Officer
Carleton University
613-520-2600 ext. 8718

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