2020 News Stories

Virtual Pecha Kucha allows faculty, students to share brief research presentations

Pecha Kucha Virtual Event 2020

by Jessenia Rivera

The Fall 2020 Pecha Kucha Research Event featured the work of eight College of Education faculty and student researchers who were challenged to demonstrate the most captivating elements of their research in only six minutes and 40 seconds.

Kathy Bradley-Klug, PhD, Professor and Associate Dean for Research, Innovation and Faculty Affairs at USF, said Pecha Kucha’s format allows the audience to enjoy a series of research presentations in a short span of time and to focus on what’s said, rather than what’s written on a PowerPoint slide. 

“Pecha Kucha is a presentation where 20 slides are shown for 20 seconds each,” Dr. Bradley-Klug explained. “The idea behind the presentation is that there’s some sort of visual or illustration and a small set of words on each slide that capture your attention so you can really listen to what the presenter wants you to know.” 

Hosted in a virtual format due to the coronavirus pandemic, this year’s event allowed some presenters to share how the pandemic has impacted their research activities. Samuel Buckner, PhD, an Assistant Professor in USF’s Exercise Science Program, and graduate student Ecaterina Vasenina, kicked off the event with a presentation titled, “Does Quarantine Grow Muscle?”

In the presentation, Vasenina introduced her focus on muscle training techniques like Blood Flow Restriction (BFR), a practice that helps individuals grow their muscles without lifting any weights.

“With BFR, we take the blood pressure of your leg and inflate the blood pressure cuff below the pressure it takes to cut the blood flow,” Vasenina said. “When we restrict the blood flow, it causes your muscles to fatigue very quickly. Dr. Buckner used BFR during quarantine and he claims he was able to maintain some of his muscle mass.”

Other presenters shared ongoing projects that have impacted the surrounding community. Dana Zeidler, PhD, a Distinguished University Professor of Science Education at USF, discussed how he gathered students to tackle complicated socioscientific issues in science. In one example, he shared about his work with a group of college school students who were tasked with examining the issue of wolves being reintroduced into Yellow Stone National Park.

“In order to understand the different points of view that are necessary in socioscientific reasoning, students talked to wildlife biologists, to hunters, to locals in the town and to scientists,” Dr. Zeidler said. “They participated in field-based research by trying to solve the problem of invasive species of plants, and this culminated with a beautifully-worked debate.” 

Presentations throughout the event covered topics such as educational leadership, career and technical education, socioscientific issues, teacher support, sustainability in schools and illustrations in children’s literature. Although organized in a digital format, individuals who tuned into the College of Education’s Pecha Kucha event said it was an informative and engaging experience. 

“From a non-academic’s standpoint, these sessions are really nice because now I know what everybody works on,” Arlene Swartz, the College Budget Director at the College of Education said. “I don’t need a PhD to understand what’s said.”

To view a video playlist of the Fall 2020 Pecha Kucha presentations, visit our YouTube channel at the link below.

Watch the Videos