The Office of Postdoctoral Affairs and English Language Programs hosted the inaugural ExCELS (Excellence in Communication and English Language Skills) Awards on Thursday, Sept. 22.
The purpose of ExCELS Awards is to celebrate the diversity of research, culture, and language among the postdoctoral appointees at Washington University. In addition, the ExCELS Awards prepares each participant to distill complex research into clear and specific points and to deliver a presentation with confidence for a non-specialist audience.
Following a rigorous application process, 10 postdoctoral appointees who speak English as a non-native language competed by delivering five-minute presentations using one slide to showcase their current research projects followed a five-minute Q&A session.
Topics varied from algorithmic bias and its implications on medical practice, to the birth and death of plant species in Hawaii, to the development of a stable mirror assembly for high-resolution x-ray images of space.
Scholars were evaluated based on their content, audience engagement, and clarity of language by a panel of three judges: Cyril Loum, Assistant Director of Venture Development at the Skandalaris Center, Dr. Cindy Vigueira, Director of Curriculum and Graduate Programs in DBBS, and Dr. Clifton Holmes, Postdoctoral Research Scholar in Physical Therapy. The impressive presentations resulted in three winners from the judges and one winner based on audience votes (the People’s Choice Award).
Banafsheh Beheshtipour, Ph.D., A step forward in understanding the universe: Adjustable X-ray mirrors bring high resolution observations of astrophysical objects
Juan Ferreira, Ph.D., Winning your first race: Understanding sperm physiology
Fabio Mendes, Ph.D., The birth and death of species on a moving archipelago
People’s Choice Award:
Amal El Daibani, Ph.D., Overcoming the opioid crisis
Guarav Chauhan, Ph.D., Membrane-less organelles: Wisdom from the crowd
Caleb Nwongbouwoh Muefong, Ph.D., FEJ Mice Recapitulate PDL1-mediated Neutrophil Activity During Tuberculosis
Adidti Bagade, Ph.D., Same…But Different! Development of an imaging biomarker for accurate diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease and Multiple System Atrophy
Silvia Penati, Ph.D., What if we could prevent Alzheimer’s Disease?
Sandhya Tripathi, Ph.D., Algorithmic bias in machine learning-based delirium prediction
Michio Inoue, M.D, Ph.D., Why I study Ultra-Rare Disease? N-of-1 to 1,000,000