Xiaoqing Zhang wins People's Choice and Second Place Overall in 3MT Competition!

Have you heard of Stony Brook University's Three Minute Thesis (3MT)? Congratulations to Xiaoqing Zhang, PhD in Health and Rehabilitation Sciences May 2020 Degree Candidate, for her entry into the 3MT competition, winning first place for the People's Choice Award, and second place overall based on the scoring from the judges’ panel!  To view the entry, go to: https://youtu.be/dA7-jKPvHds.

Xiaoqing Zhang Xiaoqing Zhang joined the Ph.D. program in Health and Rehabilitation Sciences in August 2016. She holds a B.S. degree in Economics and an M.S. degree in Management. She was a graduate assistant for the Rehabilitation Research and Movement Performance Laboratory, the Occupational Therapy program, as well as the Global Summer Institute, and has served on the Research Committee of School of Health Technology and Management since September 2017. In addition to doing research, Xiaoqing is an active student advocate. She has participated in the Graduate Student Organization (GSO) as a senator in 2017-18, as treasurer 18-19, and as president since May 2019. Xiaoqing also served on the SBU 2019 Presidential Search Committee, Chief of Diversity Search Committee, Academic Planning and Resource Allocation Committee, and Graduate Council. She currently sits on the Research Committee of the University Senate as well as the SBU Alumni Association Board. Xiaoqing passed her Ph.D. dissertation defense in May 2020. 

Xiaoqing’s research focuses on the risk and protective factors and their interaction contributing to the psychological resilience of left-behind children (LBC) in rural China. In China, 61 million children have been left behind in rural areas under the supervision of their grandparents, relatives, elder siblings, or self-supervised. Research and anecdotal documentation have consistently reported negative mental health sequelae faced by those children, including depression, anxiety, negative self-perception, and loneliness. Xiaoqing conceptualizes resilience in LBC as a dynamic process of adaptive functioning when encountering adversity and an interactive process between risk and protective factors, and measures resilience with an outcome of the absence of depressive symptoms. Xiaoqing hypothesizes that resilience is improved by understanding the mechanism of the interplay between risk and protective factors and by promoting the protective factors that target specific risk factors.

Using survey data collected from 1,572 young students in Henan Province of China, a set of logistic regressions were performed to examine the effect of risk and protective factors on LBC’s depressive symptoms. The findings show that positive beliefs about adversity, hope, and perceived social support mitigate the negative impact of stressful life events on LBC’s depressive symptoms, meaning that in the presence of those protective factors, LBC facing stressful life events become resilient. The research findings improve the knowledge of factors that contribute to the development and maintenance of resilience to improve the health and well-being of LBC. These findings suggest that future interventions should consider the protective influence of the parent-child cohesion on LBC’s depressive symptoms, and the impacts of protective factors (i.e., positive beliefs about adversity, hope, and perceived social support) on LBC’s resilience when they face stressful life events.

Three Minute Thesis, or 3MT® for short, is a spoken word thesis competition. 3MT is an opportunity for SBU graduate students to present their dissertation research findings to a general audience in three minutes with only one PowerPoint slide. The goal is for students to engage all their communication skills to make their research vivid and engaging while emphasizing its key point without technical terminology or field-specific jargon. 

Graduate students who compete will receive specialized coaching.  Speakers will work with coaches from the nationally recognized Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science. While 3MT is a competition, SBU emphasizes the professional development derived from a cohort approach where students participate in small group coaching that encourages peer feedback and support.  

The SBU Alumni Association kindly sponsors prizes for the best talks.