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Advocacy, Science and Communication Intersect in 3MT Competition

Three PhD students

Three PhD students explored new ways to disseminate nursing science and grew their communication skills in the Three Minute Thesis (3MT) Competition on February 18 in Villanova University’s John and Joan Mullen Center for the Performing Arts. 3MT was an opportunity for Jane Frances Anyango, MSN (left); Lt. Akeeka Davis, USN, NC, MSN, MBA, BSHCS, AMB-BC, CLSSGB (center); and Carol Devlin, MSN, RN, RNFA, CNOR (right), along with master’s and doctoral students from across the campus, to develop and showcase their research communication skills as they effectively relayed their work to an audience outside their specialty.  

Jan Anyango on screen 2

Anyango presented Health Care Providers Screening of Pregnant Women for Intimate Partner Violence in Africa. “My strong desire to provide evidence about screening for intimate partner violence against pregnant women to contribute to the information out there that would break the cycle of violence made me to start talking about it,” she explains.  She plans to publish her research evidence and present her quantitative integrative review to reach policymakers, public health professionals, and others. She also notes, “As a PhD in Nursing student, I feel one of the major ways in which I could make my research area of interest known to people out there, is by talking about it. I felt 3MT would give to me the confidence and chance to begin speaking about my research.” She viewed the event as a way for other disciplines to know what happens in the nurse's world of practice and research. An added benefit? She learned how to “summarize key points to present to people and make them understand what I want them to do in a systematic way.”

Insights on her work and the PhD program:

“I am very passionate about my topic, and I want to continue to the research on intimate partner violence against women and particularly pregnant women.  I feel as nurses there is a big role that we can play through screening, but this has not been explored a lot.  I am currently in my third year of the PhD program and have gathered a lot of literature on the topic worldwide and plan to conduct a primary study on the proportion of health care providers (Nurses and Midwives) who screen pregnant women for intimate partner violence in prenatal clinics in Uganda and what could be the barriers and facilitators to screening. I hope the results will help to inform policy on training, and practice of health care providers to prevent violence against women.

When I joined the FCN as a PhD in Nursing Student from Uganda in 2019, I felt I met the best and most supportive faculty. The way the courses are arranged somehow leads one to have a paper that can be published before completing own primary research. I love this.”

Akeeka slide

Lt. Davis called 3MT a “wonderful scholarly experience” supported by university and college leadership. She presented The Lived Experiences of Undergraduate Traditional 4-Year BSN Students with Academic Challenges and Testing of the NCLEX-RN” at 3MT to further develop her communication skills and easily discuss her research proposal “so that professionals that are not in the nursing field can understand the underpinnings what I am trying to do as a PhD student pursing this nurse education issue.” She shares that the presentations were well received and “we as graduate students felt empowered to continuously make great strides in our work that we all feel so passionate about. This experience is something I will never forget for many reasons.”  In addition to the joy of meeting her professors in person for the first time, Lt. Davis says she left the event feeling inspired, confident, and proud, thinking, “Conducting this research with our Villanova professors will be a memorable experience that will ultimately make a difference in so many nursing students’ lives.”


Insights on her work and the PhD program:

“I wanted to bring awareness to this issue and firmly believe that dissemination is key when conducting research; it is just as important of doing the research itself.  You must get out there and talk about it, publish your findings, write and present on your experiences so that others can learn and perhaps duplicate, or build upon your research efforts.

I am currently in the draft phase of writing Chapter 1 and Chapter 3 for my proposed study, and I look forward to continued efforts in synthesizing the literature and making the important connections that will ultimately help so many nursing students.”


Carol Devlin presents

At 3MT, Devlin presented The Relationship between Smoking and Surgical Site Infections and was moved to do so after attending an encouraging informational session about the opportunity. Afterwards, Marguerite Schlag, EdD, RN, Associate Dean of the Graduate Nursing Program and Mary Ann Cantrell, PhD, RN, CNE, ANEF, FAAN, PhD Program director followed up to provide information and support to the three students prepare for round one.  “The experience was great. It provided an opportunity to think about my work from a different lens. Meeting the other candidates was also enriching. Watching people from other disciplines present was very interesting. As a group, we instantly bonded,” she says, noting, “Villanova is a community like no other! The comradery among the contestants was supreme. We supported, encouraged, and cheered for each other throughout!”  

Insights on her work and the PhD program:

“With 3MT, I was reminded of why I started my research and the importance to everyday surgical patients.

When I entered FCN, as an RN to BSN student in January of 2014, I immediately wanted to learn how to publish. Through my dissertation work, I expect to submit seven manuscripts. I lived the experience of asking for help and getting it. Here I am in 2022, anticipating graduating triple degrees from the FCN. My PhD is bigger than I dreamed at first. I suppose it is like steps, one at a time.” 

The 3MT event was sponsored by the Graduate Programs in the Fitzpatrick College of Nursing, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the College of Engineering, the Villanova School of Business as well as Falvey Memorial Library.