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K-State Today

February 16, 2018

Finalists announced for Three Minute Thesis

By Kelsey Peterson

Gabriela Magossi one of the finalists explains her research in the heats on Tuesday, Feb. 13.

Eight graduate students will advance to participate in the final Three Minute Thesis Competition at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 27, in the K-State Alumni Center Banquet Room. 

Thirty-seven students participated in the third annual heats competition on Feb. 13.

Theses and dissertations can be more than 80,000 words and take hours to present, but graduate students in this competition have just three minutes and one slide to convey their often highly-technical research to a lay audience.

Three Minute Thesis encourages graduate students to hone their science communication skills by learning to present a compelling oration on their thesis topic and its significance.

The eight graduate students who will compete in the final competition include:

Heat one: Gabriela Magossi, master's students in food science, "From dust to dinner: Salmonella in feed mills" and Thiwanka Fernando, doctoral student in mathematics, "Going from 'a' to 'b'."

Heat two: Catherine Steele, doctoral student in psychology, "Diet-induced impulsivity" and Sam Sharpe, doctoral student in biology, "Thinking like a thirsty plant."

Heat three: Tennecia Dacass, doctoral student in economics, "Intergenerational effects of mass incarceration" and Rachel Wilkins, master's student in entomology, "Feeding the world by implementing robust management programs for insects pests after crop harvest."

Heat four: Dave Hoffman, doctoral student in counseling and student development, "Purple stride: Prospective engineering students and first year retention" and Vinicius Perin, master's student in agronomy, "Nitrogen Fertilizer: When to Apply Urea?"

The Three Minute Thesis Competition, known as 3MT, began in 2008 at the University of Queensland, Australia, and has since spread to at least 600 universities in 63 countries around the world. The challenge of 3MT is to encourage graduate students to hone their science communication skills by learning to present a compelling oration on their thesis topic and its significance.

The top two presenters will be awarded a scholarship, with the first-place winner receiving a $500 scholarship and serving as K-State's representative at the Midwestern Association of Graduate Schools' 3MT Competition April 4-6 p.m. in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Second place will be awarded a $250 scholarship. The audience will participate by voting for the people's choice winner, who receives a $125 scholarship.

The 3MT is just one way the Graduate School and Graduate Student Council looks to challenge graduate students to effectively communicate their research. The council and Graduate School also hosts professional development and research forums in the fall and spring semesters, which provide graduate students a time to practice presenting their research to a broad group of people.

Any questions about K-State's Three Minute Thesis Competition can be directed to Megan Miller, the Graduate School's student services coordinator, at mmmiller@k-state.edu