For those who didn't attend the final of the Thesis in Three and are
curious who won:
*FASS* student wins University's Thesis in Three Competition
English Renaissance drama is full of death and some of the most
memorable deaths are prefaced by marvellous speeches. Waikato University
PhD student Fiona Martin is researching dying words in early modern
English drama and earlier this week won $5000 to put towards her study.
Martin was the winner of the University's Thesis in Three competition
where, as part of Postgraduate Research Month, doctoral students had to
outline their theses in three minutes. Sixty students took part in
early rounds and the best eight presenters came together in a final
competition, judged for their ability to communicate their research and
"It was a good experience, to condense and compact what I'm doing into
such a short time and showing a single slide."
Fiona Martin says she's looking at death speeches delivered before
onstage murders, executions, and suicide and says while the plays of
Shakespeare, Christopher Marlowe and John Webster are obvious choices
she's also managed to find some more obscure writers who give their
characters interesting last words, such as Thomas Middleton, John
Marston and William Sampson
"I'm interested in the historical events and cultural trends as
background to the plays, looking at how they influenced final speeches.
Certain motifs tend to be repeated and playwrights often adapted their
source material to give their players greater impact."
Chief judge of Thesis in Three, Professor Doug Sutton, said all the
presentations were clever and clear. He praised the presenters for
their use of humour and theatre and the passion they showed for their work.
Looking forward to seeing you all at the Thesis Writing Circles end- of-
year function. Join us for entertainment and conversation, and bring
some food for a shared lunch with your colleagues.
Date : Friday 4 Dec
Venue : BG 24
Time : 12 - 2pm
Check out our Moodle site which can be accessed through the graduate
portal of the Student Learning website
Student Learning Support
University of Waikato
I am currently representing the postgraduate students association (PGSA) as the previous president (Todd Nachowitz) has resigned, and the other
executive member (Caroline Thomas) is finishing her PhD and will not be a student next year. This letter is being sent to all the faculties of
the university to ask for expressions of interest from postgraduate students to join the PGSA executive for 2010. Ideally, we want to have
representatives from all faculties on the executive.
The role involves being a member of a body that liaises with the PGSC (Post Graduate Studies Committee) and to represent postgraduate student
interests across the university. Ideally the executive will meet regularly (once a month) to discuss issues concerning postgraduate
research and study. One current topic is to lobby for a designated postgraduate space on campus where we can meet and where seminars,
workshops, meetings etc can take place.
I would like to arrange a meeting of postgraduates interested in joining the PGSA executive, around the first week of December. I would
appreciate hearing from those who would be willing to represent their schools, departments, etc with an indication of when they could be
available to meet, and then I can arrange a time.
If you have any queries, don't hesitate to contact me,
Acting PGSA President
Below you will see an outline for the structure of the "Practice Public
Speaking Group". (Also attached as a Word 2007 file).
If you would like to make any coments, or see more information, go to the
Student Learning website and click on the "Thesis writing Group" button (or
find this from the link below.) The proposed structure and other notes have
been posted on the moodle page, along with a forum for discussions. This
public speaking group will be seperate from the writing group, and it is
aimed at Masters and PhD students.
* The Practice Public
My proposed structure
Much of the structure I’m proposing comes from Toastmasters. I attended
Toastmaster meetings weekly for about a year. The group was excellent for
providing opportunities for developing confidence with speaking to an
audience, use of voice, gestures, and how to effectively present your topic.
The people really made the group, these were mostly university graduates, a
few lecturers, and a handful of full-time workers from places like Livestock
Improvement and AgResearch. This variety provided a really interesting
atmosphere and learning environment.
*To give you a little background on Toastmasters *
There was a yearly fee for joining Toastmasters that paid for your books, a
monthly magazine, and the hiring of a hall. The books you received provided
lots of useful information. You completed about one speech per month and
were evaluated on your speech in terms of the speech objectives outlined in
your book (usually about 3 objectives per speech, and difficulty increasing
with each speech). The evaluation was detailed and you received a pass or
need-to-repeat score. Toastmasters had a strong meeting structure and roles
rotated around all participants, that way you experienced a range of tasks,
and developed a range of relevant skills.
What I propose is similar to Toastmasters (I think the Toastmaster structure
is well tried and tested), but with a lot more flexibility (and no fees).
*Sessions:* to be held every second and fourth Thursday of the month at *5pm
*. Sessions last one hour. First meeting I think will begin February 11,
- an introduction of the topic of the day (a fun topic to get
everyone started with the 1 minute speeches).
- hear the 1 minute speeches,
- hear evaluations from the 1 minute speeches
and take a short break.
*This will get everyone involved and practiced on some aspect. *
- hear two or three planned and prepared speeches, and their
*Possibly we could have an evaluation of the evaluations? *
- sort out who be the session organiser, who will give speeches,
speech evaluations, and the topic of the day for the next session.
Someone needs to be *timing* all the speeches so that we don’t go over the
I also think it would be a good idea to record who has presented a planned
speech on moodle to know everyone is getting a turn (this could simply be:
-date- and –name-).
· Planned speeches only need to be 7 to 10 minutes, and (say) 3 to 5
minutes for shy speakers
· I’m asking to rotate the role of ‘Session Organiser’ weekly from
the third session in order to reduce the potential workload. This will also
give a number of people experience with this role. Help will be available
because we do want things to go well, and I am only asking for volunteers
(i.e. you won’t be ‘appointed’ roles).
· Depending on the number in attendance, I think start with 1 hour
· MUST rotate tasks around everyone BUT this doesn’t have occur all
within one meeting. Sometimes people can just be audience
· Topics of the day should be fun, and perhaps have some themed
sessions, such as Halloween
· During summer occasionally hold a session outdoors?
· Some planned events, such as a little competition, might be an
The purpose of the group is to develop presentation skills of any kind, as
well as to provide a supportive learning environment. Presentations could
include PowerPoint, a poster, a pretend work meeting, etc.
See the earlier discussion for more notes.
Sometime before the first meeting in February a reminder about the group
will be sent out. This reminder will also ask who would like to provide the
first speeches, and who might like to do some other tasks such as time
keeping, introducing the topic of the day, etc.