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Grace Weber, Ellie Huff recognized for research communication skills during the WiSys Quick Pitch @ UW-Whitewater

UW-Whitewater students Grace Weber, left, and Ellie Huff, right, present their three-minute research talks during the WiSys Quick Pitch @ UW-Whitewater in October. (Photos Courtesy of Craig Schreiner, UW-Whitewater)

WHITEWATER—UW-Whitewater students Grace Weber and Ellie Huff were recognized for their research communication skills in the WiSys Quick Pitch @ UW-Whitewater on Oct. 18.

The student “pitch” competition inspires UW System students to consider the impact of their research and effectively communicate it to the public. Students have three minutes to impress a panel of judges with their pitch.

PHOTOS: WiSys Quick Pitch @ UW-Whitewater 2022

Weber, a senior communication sciences and disorders major, earned first place and a $300 cash prize for the presentation titled “Life with Eosinophilic Esophagitis—A Hard Pill to Swallow.” 

The win comes with the opportunity to represent UW-Whitewater in the WiSys Quick Pitch State Finals at the WiSys SPARK Symposium in the Summer.

Ellie Huff, a junior communication sciences and disorders major, claimed second place and was awarded a $125 cash prize for her presentation, titled “Human Cortical Control for the Onset of the Voice—Movement is More than Meets the Ear.”

Michael Hammer, UW-Whitewater associate professor of communication sciences and disorders, was the faculty advisor for both Weber and Huff.

Senior Women’s and Gender Studies student Elizabeth Ascherl won the event’s People’s Choice Award, voted on by the audience in attendance, for the presentation “Developing Inclusive Healthcare Environments for Gender-Expansive Individuals with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome.”

UW-Whitewater Instructor and LGBT Coordinator Dr. Stephanie Selvick was Ascherl’s faculty advisor.

Overall, the event featured five student research pitches. The other presenters and presentations were:

  • Katelynn Cleveland, “3-Dimensional Respiratory Airway Device for Biophysically Modeling the Impact of Tracheal Stenosis on Breathing.”
  • Ashley Peterson, “Key Ingredients (and Barriers) to Successful Training and Education in Stuttering.”

The judges for the competition were:

  • Dr. Franklin Goza, Dean of College of Letters and Sciences, UW-Whitewater.
  • Dr. Katy Casey, Director of Academic Assessment and Interim Chief of Institutional Research and Planning, UW-Whitewater.
  • Dr. Ana Caballero Mengibar, Director of the Undergraduate Research Program and Associate Professor of Political Science, UW-Whitewater.

For more information about the WiSys Quick Pitch Program, visit

WiSys is a nonprofit organization that works with faculty, staff, students and alumni of the UW System to facilitate cutting-edge research programs, develop and commercialize discoveries and foster a spirit of innovative and entrepreneurial thinking across the state.