Welcome to the 2023 GAC!
THE 15TH ANNUAL GRADUATE ACADEMIC CONFERENCE
April 29, 2023 at The Kellogg Hotel & Conference Center
And that’s a wrap! The 15th annual Graduate Academic Conference took place on Saturday April 29th. We had a great turn out and enjoyed connecting with students from a great many programs and alums from communities & industries across the spectrum!
All of our presenters were amazing! Thank you so much for sharing your research and venerable talents! And we thank our MSU Alumni community for taking time out of their weekend to provide valuable feedback to our students. The goal of the GAC is to provide a forum to fine tune students’ research communication skills, so that we can learn better ways to share the excitement of our research to a non-expert audience. Thank you to all who presented, supported, reviewed and came out to view the wonderful student presentations! And thank you to the generous financial support of our sponsors. This would not be possible with out you. And finally a shout out to the GAC Committee Members who volunteered countless hours of their time to put on this annual conference. Go Green!
Click here to get a full copy of THE 2023 GAC PROGRAM
What is the GAC?
The Council of Graduate Students (COGS) invites you to the 15th annual Graduate Academic Conference (GAC). The GAC is a forum for graduate students to gain experience communicating their research to a non-specialized audience. Our adjudicators are MSU Alums (many graduate school alums!) with wide-ranging professional backgrounds who provide feedback that can help students fine tune their presentation skills.
The annual GAC is the result of hard work and planning by our all-graduate & professional student committee.
As a presenter, you will benefit from constructive feedback that will help you learn to better communicate your research to generalized audiences as you progress in your research. You will also be able to network with your peers across disciplines as well as with your audience of judges and other interested professionals attending the conference! As an attendee, you will be able to view the great work being done by student researchers as well as have access to workshops geared to help all graduate/professional students!
Who is eligible to participate? ALL MSU Graduate & Professional students! Masters/PhD and all professional students – at any point in your program. The GAC is a great place to hone your skills as a communicator and presenter! Communication is a skill that takes practice. The GAC helps students get the practice and provides feedback they need to become better communicators.
Thank you to Mark Bogarin Photography for taking photos at our event! If you had your professional headshot taken at the GAC, please click on the link below to find your photo to download. You can also view a photo gallery from the event by clicking on the Event Photos button!
Thank you to Chelsie Boodoo and Daniel Puentes of the Sci Files for interviewing students at the GAC! You can catch episodes of their Award-Winning Podcast on MSU’s Impact Radio 89FM every Sunday at 9:30 AM est. Listen to the interviews now: The Sci Files GAC Edition
Graduate Career Services
If you missed visiting Graduate Career Services and the complimentary CV review table at the GAC, don’t worry! You can contact them for a personal appointment. Learn more about the team on their website: https://grad.msu.edu/gradcareerdevelopment and follow the link to make an appointment!
MSU Library: Makerspace
Thank you to the Makerspace team for showing us your 3D Printer! There is a wealth of resources to help graduate students achieve their research goals at the MSU Library – 2West! To learn more about the resources and what they can do for you, book a consultation appointment soon! Visit: https://lib.msu.edu/makerspace/
Graduate Student Accessibility & Support Network (GSASN)
Thank you GSASN for hosting a table and providing valuable information to students! If you want to learn more about GSASN or find out how to get involved, visit: GSASN at Involve@State
Click on the tabs below to see more information:
Keynote Speaker (click/tap to open section)
Join us for the Keynote Luncheon in the MSU Ballroom starting at approximately noon. We’re excited to have Dr. Angela K. Wilson give the Keynote address. Dr. Wilson is a John A. Hannah Distinguished Professor/Associate Dean for Strategic Initatives and President, 2022, American Chemical Society – Physical, Theoretical, and Computational Chemistrystry
Room Themes 2023 (click/tap to open section)
|Science and Society
This session is targeted at research that advances understanding and gears toward improving the human experience, including and not limited to research from fields of psychology, astronomy, engineering, natural sciences, health sciences, music.
This session highlights research that enables cultivation of strong minds and bodies of all forms of life, including, but not limited to research from fields of education, medicine, agriculture, natural resources, and natural science.
This session focuses on research that promotes knowledge to guide us through an uncertain future, bridging research from fields related, but not limited to, climate change, food and water, energy, and business.
This session highlights research on novel methods or concepts that enables application of cutting-edge technology to address emerging issues in all fields.
3-Minute Thesis (3MT) Information (click/tap to open section)
2023 3-Minute Thesis Competition Update:
When COGS had to postpone the GAC scheduled for 2.19, that meant our 3-Minute Thesis presenters might not get to compete for a chance to present in the 3MT regional competition in Chicago. So with all of our ! Congratulations to all who participated! All of the presentations were OUTSTANDING! Thank you so much for sharing your valuable research with us!! While the “official” competition has passed, COGS will provide another opportunity for practice and feedback in this category along with a chance to compete for a $300 top prize in the rescheduled GAC on April 29th.
Click here for Rubrics that judges will be using to rate the presenters
See below 3MT tab for more information about the Three Minute Thesis!
Judges Choice Winners:
1st Place Winner – Meghan Hill, Dept. of Biomedical Engineering
2nd Place Winner – Konika Konika, Dept. of Chemistry
3rd Place Winner – Kelsi Morris, Dept. of Food Science and Human Nutrition
*Adjudicators included a panel of MSU Grad Alumni representing diverse disciplines and industries using Rubrics informed by official 3MT rules. Our panel was recruited with help from the MSU Alumni Association — we are grateful for their support!
Audience “Popular” Choice Winners:
1st Place Winner – Rahul Jain, Dept. of Physics and Astronomy
2nd Place Winner – Konika Konika, Dept. of Chemistry
3rd Place Winner- Meghan Hill, Dept. of Biomedical Engineering
We would like thank the many colleges, departments, staff and students that continue to support the Graduate Academic Conference – we could not do it without you!! We would especially like to thank The Graduate School and the Dept. of Student Life & Engagement which have helped the GAC Committee navigate during these challenging times.
What is 3MT?
Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) celebrates the exciting research conducted by Ph.D. students around the world. Developed by The University of Queensland (UQ), the competition cultivates students’ academic, presentation, and research communication skills. Presenting in a 3MT competition increases their capacity to effectively explain their research in three minutes, in a language appropriate to a non-specialist audience. Competitors are allowed one PowerPoint slide, but no other resources or props. The winner of MSU’s 3MT competition will have the opportunity to compete at the Midwestern Association of Graduate Schools (MAGS) 3MT in March 2023. Students must be enrolled during the Spring 2023 semester to compete. Please click on the LINK below for more information. You may also visit https://threeminutethesis.uq.edu.au for more information on 3MT.
Important Information for Speakers and Presenters (click/tap to open section)
Conference Day Schedule
Please check in at the registration area in the Lobby Area outside of Big Ten A of the MSU Kellogg Center. Registration table will open at 9:00 AM. You are welcome to get set up and attend workshops in the morning. We’ll be set up by 8:30 if you want to get checked in early.
Suggested dress code is Formal-business/ business casual.
PRESENTERS: Please check in at registration/check-in prior to setting up for your presentation. You do not need to come at any particular time, just make sure you check in before your presentation time and give yourself enough time to set up and be at your assigned location at your assigned time. You are welcome to participate in workshops, keynote lunch and other activities, but they are not required.
RUBRICS: Available for your review to see how the judges will be evaluating the presentations.
Coffee will be available throughout the day!
General Information on Presenting: Focus on Communication
The focus of this conference is to help students fine tune their presentation skills. Therefore, you are NOT being judged on the quality of your research. Was your research slowed down by the pandemic? Experiments not completed? Results not ready yet? No problem! We just want you to concentrate on how best to COMMUNICATE your research to a generalized audience!
Our adjudicators are MSU Alums, many former graduate students just like you! They represent a wide range of professional backgrounds.
To pay the abstract fee please follow this link (or wait for your confirmation email): *Link will close at 5PM on on Friday Feb. 18th. Please take care of payment before then to be eligible for prize $. Abstract Payment
- Arrive 10 minutes early to your time slot for your presentation.
- Send PowerPoint for Oral Presentation to the committee before the day of the conference.
- Oral Presentation is 10 minutes of presentation time and a 5-minute period for questions
- There is no specific size or design requirement for Posters.
- A typical poster size is either 32″ x 40″ or 36″ x 48″ .
- Either portrait or landscape orientation is acceptable.
- We will have easels with large sturdy backing on which to clip or fasten your poster. (We have clips with the easels.)
- Poster resources are listed in the Poster Resources tab.
- Arrive 10 minutes early to your time slot for your presentation.
- We will provide a time count down and a walk through before the event.
- Rules for 3MT follow the same format as the University of Queensland here.
Abstract Acceptance Email Information:
3 Minute Thesis Presenters:
Attend workshops, Keynote Lunch, view the amazing student presentations, and participate in activities throughout the day. *Schedule may be updated for 4/29 event. Presenters should also register to ensure access to preferred workshops and lunch.
April 29, 2023 GAC Schedule
Check-in Starts at 9:00 am:
- Big Ten A (Lobby Area) – we will be set up by 8:30 am if you arrive to check-in early.
- Welcome Address by Dr. Allyn Shaw at 9:10 am. in Big Ten A
Workshops/Coffee Time – 9:20-11:00 am: Rooms 103A-B
- Writing Workshop: Publishing High Impact Journals (Hybrid/Zoom)* NOTE – this is our only hybrid option. All other activities for GAC are in-person only.
- Preparing for a job interview (Panel Discussion)
Speed Networking – Session 1: 11:15 am – 12:15 pm – Willy Room
Other Activities: 11:15-4:00 South Lobby
- Free Professional Photographs-Headshots, CV/Resume Review Station, The Graduate School, MSU Library Makerspace and more will be set up throughout the day in the South Lobby. Note, individual tabling hours may be updated.
Lunch & Keynote – 12:15-1:45 pm: Big Ten A
Dr. Angela K. Wilson, John A. Hannah Distinguished Professor/Associate Dean for Strategic Initatives and President, 2022, American Chemical Society; Physical, Theoretical, and Computational Chemistry
Dr. Wilson will speak during our GAC lunch. Make sure to register so you don’t miss out! Keynote address begins approx. 12:45 pm
Speed Networking – Session 2: 2:00 – 3:00 pm – Willy Room
The Sci-Files – Big Ten A from 2:00-4:15pm. Live broadcast of this award-winning Podcast from MSU Impact Radio!
- 15-mins Oral Presentations AM/11:15-12:15 and PM/2-4:15 pm – See sessions for room #
- Poster Presentations – 2:00-4:15 pm Centennial Room ABC
- 3-Minutes Thesis (3MT) – Approx. 4:30 pm, Big Ten A
- Presenter Schedule
Science and Society: (Room 103AB) This session is targeted at research that advances understanding and gears toward improving the human experience, including and not limited to research from fields of psychology, astronomy, engineering, natural sciences, health sciences, music.
Growing Knowledge: (Willy Room) This session highlights research that enables cultivation of strong minds and bodies of all forms of life, including, but not limited to research from fields of education, medicine, agriculture, natural resources, and natural science.
Sustainability: (Room 104AB) This session focuses on research that promotes knowledge to guide us through an uncertain future, bridging research from fields related, but not limited to, climate change, food and water, energy, and business
Innovative Ideas: (Room 105AB) This session highlights research on novel methods or concepts that enables application of cutting-edge technology to address emerging issues in all fields.
NEW THIS YEAR!
(Registration required): Interact with peers in a short amount of time! In this session, you’ll be randomly paired with a participant for 6 minutes to connect, exchange information, and ask questions. When the time is up you move on to your next connection. The goal is to enable each participant to interact with over half a dozen colleagues and the opportunity to meet many more. Space is limited for these sessions.
Free Professional Photographs-Headshots, CV/Resume Review Station, The Graduate School, MSU Library Makerspace…
Located in the tabling area outside of the breakout rooms (near garage entrance). CV Review will be available until 12:30 pm. Headshots will be set up in Big Ten A.
The Sci-Files – Live broadcast of this award-winning Podcast from MSU Impact Radio! See them in room Big Ten A from 2:00-4:15pm. You’ll have the opportunity to sign-up to be interviewed about your research! Lear more here: impact89fm.org/the-sci-files/
Important Information for Judges (click/tap to open section)
CONFERENCE DAY SCHEDULE
Please check in at the registration area in the Lobby Area outside of Big Ten A in the MSU Kellogg Center. Registration table will open at 9:00 AM. You are welcome to get set up and even attend workshops in the morning before the presentations get started if you arrive early. Please note, the GAC Committee is scheduling Judge “orientation/training” sessions and will update this information here and via email.
Coffee will be available throughout the day.
If you wish to help judge additional presentations, should we have last minute cancellations, please come to the Registration Area and let a staff member know. We almost always have a need!
Click on the link above if you need a quick glance at presentation times or location. Or come to the Registration Area (2nd floor outside of ballroom) if you need assistance!
- You will receive an email with all day-of details that you will need.
- We will have a session onsite at the conference to go over responsibilities for the conference and to help with any concerns.
- Session assignment times will be emailed to you. Please feel free to contact us if you have questions!
- Thank you for your service! Go Green!
- Questions? Contact the COGS Office: firstname.lastname@example.org or call (517) 353-9189.
Poster Resources at MSU (click/tap to open section)
Don’t know where to get your poster printed? Look into your department first to see if there is a place to print posters. If not, there is a poster printer in the library and at Erickson Hall that can help! Below is a little bit of information that may be helpful for you as well!
Find the answers here:
- MSU Library: https://lib.msu.edu/node/1886123/
- Erickson Hall: https://education.msu.edu/resources/buildings-technology/service-center/
- The poster printing service is only available to MSU Students and Faculty/Staff. You must have a valid MSU NetID to log into computers that support the software needed to send a poster.
Having trouble designing your poster?
Follow this link to a cool new poster presentation called the Better Poster! https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2019/06/24/theres-movement-better-scientific-posters-are-they-really-better
Undergraduate Research at MSU has some good information about Research Posters: https://venture.msu.edu/posters
Here are some additional links to youtube videos about poster design and how to make a poster in PowerPoint.
Abstract Submission/Registration (click/tap to open section)
The 15th Annual Graduate Academic Conference
Our Theme: “Making Knowledge Worthwhile”
**Register here to attend the conference, view presentations, keynote & luncheon, and attend workshops, etc**
Our 2023 Room Themes: Science and Society, Growing Knowledge, Sustainability, and Innovative ideas.
PRESENTERS: ABSTRACT SUBMISSION IS CLOSED. *Please still register to attend the conference!
All those presenting will be asked to pay a $5 Presenter fee. An email confirmation of Abstract Acceptance will be sent that includes a link to pay this fee. If payment is not received by the day before the conference, you will not be able to take home any winnings. Please pay the $5.00 Presenter fee once you receive COGS GAC Abstract Acceptance Confirmation email.
CO-presenters and Non-Presenters: Even if you are NOT presenting, you are welcome to attend the conference to watch your peers’ presentations, attend a workshop, attend our Keynote event and more! There is no charge for any of the events. For co-presenters where your primary presenter has completed the Abstract Submission form – please use this attendee registration form as well to be counted for lunch and workshops!
Please register below:
Previous Conferences (click/tap to open section)
2021 Conference Details
Congratulations to our 2021 GAC Winners, and thank you to our GAC Committee and The Graduate School for the support. We can’t wait to see you again next year!
1st Place: Ying-Chen Lin, Horticulture
2nd Place: Sukhwindar Ajimal, Osteopathic Medicine
3rd Place: Talha Ghazi, Human Medicine
1st Place: Megan Carrillo, Osteopathic Medicine
2nd Place: Erika Tvedten, Osteopathic Medicine
3rd Place: Jillian Sterman, Fisheries & Wildlife
1st Place: Tessa Grebey, Animal Science*
2nd Place: Sneha Banerjee, Electrical Engineering
Apoorva Kulkarni, Chemical Engineering
*Advances to Regional MAGS 3-MT!
2020 Conference Details
The 2020 GAC Conference was such a huge success that we just want to say thanks to everyone who came out to the 12th annual Graduate Academic Conference on February 22, 2020. Congratulations to all of our winners and thank you again to our amazing Keynote Speaker and Workshop leaders! Without you this conference would not have been the success it was! This conference led to some amazing participants and we are proud to award the following students with awards in each of the categories listed below. We hope to see you at the 2021 GAC!
1st Place: Katayoon Maghami
2nd Place: Vinai Reddy
3rd Place: Brianna Alred
1st Place: Amelia Stieren
2nd Place: Vanessa Maldonado
3rd Place: Skye Russell
1st Place: Syeda Anum Hadi
2nd Place: Xinyu Tu
3rd Place: Dhrubajit Chowdhury
Thank you to all who volunteered, judged, attended, presented, and planned our 12th Annual GAC! See below for pictures of the event.
2019 Conference Details
During the 2019 GAC we had many presenters and participants and we just want to say thanks to everyone who came out to the 11th Annual Graduate Academic Conference on February 16, 2019 and congratulations to all of our presenters. Without you this conference would not have been the success it was! This year we were proud to award the following students with awards in each of the categories below. We hope to see you this February as well!!
1st: Azrina Azrina with the presentation titled ‘Salmonella typhimurium: Specific Signatures as Targets for Detection by Using DNA Aptamer in Foods and Enviroments’.
2nd: Albert Jiao with the presentation titled ‘Reversal of Cancer Gene Expression Predicts drug Candidates for Cholangiocarcinoma’.
3rd: Saba Manzoor with the presentation titled ‘Effects of seasonal variations on distribution patterns of Common Myna (Acridotheres tristis) in rural and urban zones of Central Punjab, Pakistan’.
1st: Kellie Walters with a presentation titled ‘Temperature and daily light integral influence growth and development of sweet basil’
2nd: Matthew Swiatnicki with a presentation titled ‘Whole genome sequencing of mouse mammary tumors reveals a Ptprh mutation with potential importance to non-small cell lung cancer’
3rd: Lauren Kiryakoza with a presentation titled ‘Concerted transcriptomic and lipidomic analysis highlights altered lipid metabolism in humane diabetic retinopathy, particulary in phosphatidylcholine and diacylglycerol generative pathways’
1st: Azrina Azrina with a presentation titled ‘Salmonella typhimurium: Specific Signatures as Targets for Detection by Using DNA Aptamer in Food and Environments’
2nd: Pretap Bhanu Solanski with a presentation titled ‘Staying Connected in the Underwater Realm via Light’
3rd: Tyler Derr with a presentation titled ‘Multi-Factor Congressional Vote Prediction’
Please see here for article – The State News
Videos from GAC 2021 (click/tap to open section)
Thank you all for attending this year’s conference! The day went so well and we could not have asked for better presentations! Thank you to our judges for all of your hard work! We also want to thank our workshop organizers/presenters and our Keynote speaker Provost Woodruff from MSU. The day was a huge success and we are so happy that the first ever virtual GAC was enjoyed by all that attended!
Below you will find the videos that we collected from the conference. We only recorded the Keynote Address and the Awards as we did not want any issues with research grants to effect our student presenters as they continue their work.
For those that attended the conference you are still able to access Whova for the videos as well. Thank you for your attendance and we look forward to next year’s conference!
Learn About Last Year’s GAC Presenters!
On Saturday, February 19, 2022, The Council of Graduate Students (COGS) held their 14th annual Graduate Academic Conference (GAC). After its first ever virtual conference held in 2021, the GAC was back in person at the MSU Union. Highlighting the daylong conference were 60+ graduate & professional students sharing over 70 total outstanding presentations in the Oral, Poster and Three-Minute Thesis events.
The 2022 conference concluded with the exciting 3‐Minute Thesis, a nationally recognized competition where participants have exactly three minutes to summarize their research. The winner of the COGS 3MT event qualifies to represent MSU at the regional competition held by the Midwestern Association of Graduate Schools (MAGS). MAGS hosted the 3MT competition at their 78th Annual Meeting, scheduled for April 6-8, 2022 in Milwaukee, WI. You may also visit http://mags-net.org/three-minute-thesis-award/ for more information on 3MT.
View the 2022 GAC Program
Congratulations to This Year’s GAC Winners!
Here are the winners of the 2022 Graduate Academic Conference are awarded: $300 for 1st place, $200 for 2nd place, $100 for 3rd place/ 3MT people’s choice. Winners received the top scores averaged from their judging rubrics. Click HERE to view their Abstract pages.
Top Oral Presentations:
- Samridhi Satija, Chemistry/Facility for Rare Isotope Beams
- Chayce Griffith, Horticulture
- Md Shakir Mahmud, Civil and Environmental Engineering
Top Poster Presentations:
- Taylar Dickson, College of Human Medicine
- Nicholas Michel, College of Osteopathic Medicine; Department of Kinesiology
- Maria Kloboves, Food Science & Human Nutrition
Top 3-Minute Thesis (3MT) Presentations:
- Pragya Saxena*, Pharmacology and Toxicology
- John Tran, Plant Biology
- Marzieh Ghiasi, Epidemiology (People’s Choice)