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K-State Today

February 19, 2020

Finalists announced for Three Minute Thesis

Submitted by Megan Miller

Thirty graduate students participated in Three Minute Thesis heat competitions on Feb. 14. Eight were selected to advance to the final competition at 5:30 p.m. Feb. 27 in the K-State Alumni Center Banquet Room.

Theses and dissertations can be more than 80,000 words, which can 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.

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 67 countries around the world. The 3MT challenges graduate students to hone their science communication skills by presenting a compelling oration on their thesis topic and its significance.

Judges in K-State's final competition select a first-place winner to receive a $500 scholarship and to represent K-State at the Midwestern Association of Graduate Schools' 3MT Competition on April 3 in Milwaukee. The second-place presenter is awarded a $250 scholarship. The audience will participate by voting for the people's choice winner, who receives a $125 scholarship.

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

  • Jaide Allenbrand, master's student in biology, "Small organisms respond to big events: Impacts of fire and grazing on soil microbes."
  • Micah Cameron-Harp, doctoral student in agricultural economics, "Calculating an asset value for soil carbon."
  • Shilpa Hebbar, doctoral student in biology, "microRNAs — it's the small ingredients that matter!"
  • Pavithra Natarajan, doctoral student in biochemistry, "A magnetized peptide-based delivery system for tracking and treating melanoma."
  • Cameron Osborne, doctoral student in entomology, "Can a livestock pest control itself?"
  • Mikaela Rader, master's student in geology, "LA-ICP-MS zircon geochronology of granulite xenoliths from the Geronimo Volcanic Field, SE Arizona: implications for crustal evolution since 2.4 Ga."
  • Paula Rozo, doctoral student in entomology, "Culicoides midges and virus interactions, milestones to understand epidemics."
  • Kristen Sikorsky, master's student horticulture and natural resources, "Ready for Takeoff: Using Drones to Protect Our Parks"

The final competition is open to the public. Learn more about the event.

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