Windsor's Travis DeWolfe is Three Minute Thesis champ

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Windsor's Travis DeWolfe is Three Minute Thesis champ

Travis DeWolfe became this year's Three Minute Thesis champion at what judges described as a highly competitive event at the University of Windsor on Tuesday.

The chemistry and biochemistry master's student gave a savvy presentation on how his research is finding ways to battle painful and often deadly superbugs by using supercomputers.

"I honestly didn't think I was going to win," DeWolfe said. "All the competitors here were fantastic, so just watching them do that and seeing my name announced ... I was just kind of flabergasted."

The internationally recognized competition challenges graduate students to present their research in three minutes or less, using only one visual slide to illustrate their point.

Deeply personal story

Priscilla Bernauer told the deeply personal story about grieving the tragic and high-profile death of her sister, Emily Bernauer.

Emily was 18 when she crashed her car and died after working a shift with a wine festival vendor in the fall of 2014. The incident prompted the shut down of a popular wine festival, where Emily is alleged to have consumed alcohol while still a minor.

The family has had to grieve Emily's loss in public, for the most part, as several legal actions have taken place since the crash.

Priscilla — who is a master's student in U of W's English language, literature and creative writing — has largely processed her sister's death by copiously writing poetry, which she plans to put into a book.

"My little sister always said she wanted me to write a book," Priscilla said. "After she died, I knew what that book would be about."

Her poems illustrate her grieving process and the memories she has of her sister. 

"It has its ups and downs, it's overwhelming and isolating at times, but I am glad that I've come this far," she said. 

DeWolfe goes on to represent his school at the provincial final to be held at the University of Waterloo April 12.