During mid to late February each year, our sophomore teams take part in one of the first, integral experiences of their time as a Gemstone team. This is the Thesis Proposal Defense, which is, in short, a chance for teams to get feedback on their overall research design and theory before formally beginning their research. Teams give a 15 minute presentation about their project followed by up to 45 minutes of questions from their expert(s) (faculty member(s) in the field), their librarian, and/or members of the Gemstone staff. The 15 minute presentation is a chance for members of the team to practice informing an audience about their project before Junior Colloquia, where the situation is much more formal. But make no mistake, teams come dressed to impress for this event. All Thesis Proposal Defenses are videotaped and uploaded to the Gemstone Program’s Youtube channel for review by the team, as well as anyone who would like to get an idea of what Proposal Defense is like.
For Team MTB, the 15 minute presentation included all the major highlights of the project. This included a detailed literature review, methodology, budget, and timeline. After the team members finished informing their audience about their project, they moved to taking questions. Questions were directed from their expert, Dr. McIver, their librarian Jeremy Garritano, Dr. Coale, and Dr. Skendall. The questions and comments ranged from small corrections in wording, to clarifications about content, as well as some tips for the presenters to improve. All of the criticism was positive and the mood began to lighten up as the presentation concluded. Team MTB had a very successful Thesis Proposal Defense and I am sure that the rest of the sophomore teams also had a great experience.
-27 February 2015, Nate Nenortas
Congratulations to all sophomore teams!