The Lightning Challenge

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The inauguration of a new president is cause for celebration. As we do so, we celebrate not only NYU's 16th president, but also our collective commitment to NYU's future. A cornerstone of that future is graduate education. The Lightning Challenge, scheduled during the inauguration week of activities, gives us an opportunity to showcase the academic and creative excellence of NYU's graduate students.

The Challenge

Through their work at NYU, our graduate students will make a contribution to knowledge, an impact in their field, and ultimately, a difference in the world. But can they make that clear in just three minutes?

We have challenged them to impart the significance of their academic research and creative projects, and to engage and excite a general audience about their work, using nothing more than their knowledge, passion, and three minutes!

Master's/Professional FinalistsDoctoral Finalists
Danielle K. Davis
Steinhardt School of Culture,
Education, and Human
Development

Evelyn Fitzgerald
Steinhardt School of Culture,
Education, and Human
Development

Connor Hamm
The Institute of Fine Arts
Graduate School of Arts
and Science

Tammy Smith
Silver School of Social Work

Olga Verlato
Graduate School of Arts
and Science

Alicia Waller
Gallatin School of
Individualized Study
Steven K. Dallas
Stern School of Business

Gregory Lemberskiy
The Sackler Institute
Graduate School of Arts
and Science

Shannon M. Locke
Graduate School of Arts
and Science

Melissa Therese Ojemeni
Rory Meyers College
of Nursing

Tina R. Sadarangani
Rory Meyers College
of Nursing

Nikki Youngblood
Steinhardt School of Culture,
Education, and Human
Development

The Competition

The Challenge was held on Wednesday, September 21, 2016, from 5-6:30 PM in the Eisner and Lubin Auditorium of the Kimmel Center. Twelve finalists stepped onto the stage to present their research before a panel of judges selected from the university’s faculty and a general audience.

The judges awarded a prize of $750 to one PhD presenter and a prize of $750 to one Master’s/Professional presenter using the following criteria:

  1. Mastery: Does the speaker clearly grasp the material?
  2. Communication Style: Is the topic and its significance communicated in language accessible for a non-specialized audience?
  3. Engagement: Does the oration captivate and intrigue the audience?

The audience awarded an audience choice prize of $500 to one PhD presenter and a prize of $500 to one Master’s/Professional presenter. In addition, all finalists received an award of $125.

Master’s/Professional First Place Award Winner: Danielle K. Davis, Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development

Doctoral First Place Award Winner: Steven K. Dallas, Stern School of Business

Master’s/Professional Audience Choice Award Winner: Evelyn Fitzgerald, Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development

Doctoral Audience Choice Award Winner: Tina R. Sadarangani, Rory Meyers College of Nursing

Congratulations to all of the Graduate Student Lightning Challenge finalists!

To see photos from the event, click here.

Updated on 10/17/2016