Kinesiology graduate student wins WKU’s inaugural 3MT Competition


Catie Duchette, a graduate assistant in the Kinesiology program, is the winner of the inaugural WKU 3MT Competition. Duchette’s research is related to mental health of pregnant women. Her research findings indicate that prenatal yoga didn’t just help maintain mental health; yoga decreased depression and anxiety, even as the pandemic continued to get worse.

“The 3MT competition has been an incredibly rewarding challenge,” Duchette said. “it’s much harder than it looks to condense hundreds of pages of research into just 3 minutes!”

Dr. Rachel Tinius, Assistant Professor in Exercise Science and a research mentor of Duchette, encouraged her to compete realizing that the project was topical given the challenges faced by pregnant women during the pandemic. Dr. Tinius indicated that despite the challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Duchette’s training, excitement and passion were key factors that helped design and implement a new research protocol successfully. According to Dr. Tinius, Duchette “plans to become a doctor of osteopathic medicine, and her project is a perfect bridge between her background in exercise science and her future in holistic medicine.”

Dr. Ranjit Koodali, Associate Provost for Research and Graduate Education, attributes the success of the competition due to contributions from the Graduate School staff members Laura Burchfield, Dr. Colette Chelf and Dr. Scott Gordon. In addition, the 3MT information sessions that featured faculty from the Department of Communication, Dr. Lauren Bland and Dr. Gary Hughes, helped students be informed of effective strategies to make a compelling presentation.

Duchette will represent WKU in the Midwestern Association of Graduate Schools (MAGS) 3MT Conference competition.