Student winner in Graduate School
Chad Pearson receives an award at Milesones of Success event from David Engelke, dean of the Graduate School.

From puppies and genomes to iPhones and brains, topics highlighting the annual ‘Milestones of Success’ celebration generated ample applause in the Krugman Conference Hall on May 2, as CU Anschutz Graduate School students, faculty and staff recognized the accomplishments of their peers.

“Milestones is meant to be a light-hearted, bragging event,” Inge Wefes, PhD, associate dean of the Graduate School, said of the end-of-the-year affair. “We wanted to recognize publications, graduation and just an overall job well done.”

Awards were presented to students and faculty for many different categories, including most outstanding faculty peer mentor taken home by Chad Pearson, PhD.

Following the recognitions, a competition dubbed the “three-minute talk” pitted students against each other and the clock, as they attempted to explain their academic work in three minutes or less. Participants included:

  • Rwik Sen, PhD, Julbert Caneus, PhD, and Sawako Tabuchi, PhD, who competed in the postdoc category. Tabuchi’s talk about comparing the brain to an iPhone camera won the crowd over, taking first prize.
  • Katie Mishall Barrett, Stephanie Garcia Alvarez and Esteban Lucero, who competed in the doctoral candidate group. Barrett won this category with her talk about thyroid cancer.
  • Liz Litkowski, Guttu Maskalo and Christophe Langouët-Astrie, who rounded out the competition in the master’s group. Maskalo’s talk about analyzing brain MRI volumetric data of Parkinson’s patients won.

“It’s important to be able to present your research in a digestible way,” said Langouët-Astrie. “Our lab works with patients a lot and being able to break down the complicated research is incredibly important,” he said, adding that he’d do the competition again. “The more practice the better.”