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K-State Today

February 10, 2023

Finalists selected for Three Minute Thesis

Submitted by Megan Miller

Three Minute Thesis

Ten graduate students have been selected to compete in K-State's Three Minute Thesis, or 3MT, final at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 22, in the K-State Alumni Center Banquet Room. The event is open to the public.

On Feb. 8, 52 graduate students from seven academic colleges competed in the first round of competition for K-State's Three Minute Thesis. This is the largest participation since the Graduate School began hosting a 3MT in 2016.

The 10 finalists:

  • Hannah Dea, doctoral student in biology, "Looking out for the little guys: The importance of plant microbiomes."
  • Shivaprasad Doddabematti Prakash, doctoral student in grain science, "Intervention steps for controlling salmonella contamination in wheat and wheat flour."
  • Tucker Graff, master's student in grain science, "From pond to table: Meeting global animal protein demand through sustainable aquatic feed production."
  • Kylee Jennings, master's student in regional and community planning, "The immobility in mobile home parks."
  • Conrad Kabus, master's student in grain science, "Food 3D printing: A taste of the future."
  • Abigail Kreznor, doctoral student in chemistry, "Moving brain cancer: Studying cells in inexpensive ways."
  • Endy Lopes Kailer, doctoral student in agronomy, "The hidden heroes — Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) and the future of climate mitigation."
  • Amogh Sirnoorkar, doctoral student in physics, "Question features that promote sensemaking in science."
  • Aspen Streetman, doctoral student in kinesiology, "Does resistance training empower women? And should you care?"
  • Dylan Wheeler, doctoral student in electrical and computer engineering, "Engineering meaningful communication."

Judges in K-State's final competition select a first-place winner to receive a $500 scholarship and to represent K-State in the Midwestern Association of Graduate Schools' 3MT Competition in March. 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.

To encourage academic colleges' participation in this event, an invitation for the final competition judging panel was reserved for the dean of the college with the most 3MT presenters. There was a suspenseful turn of events between the time of registration and the first round of competition. For the second year in a row, the College of Agriculture initially had the most students registered to participate. As a result of participant withdrawals, the College of Arts and Sciences had the largest number of students participate in the first round of competition on Feb. 8. Congratulations to the College of Arts and Sciences for reserving a spot for Chris Culbertson, interim dean — or a college representative — on the judging panel.

Judges for the final competition:

  • Chris Culbertson, interim dean, College of Arts and Sciences.
  • Mary Ice, K-State alumna and advocate.
  • Linda Morse, city commissioner and previous mayor of Manhattan.
  • Claudia Petrescu, vice provost for graduate education and dean of the Graduate School.
  • David Rosowsky, K-State vice president for research.
  • Kiana Schulze, 2022 3MT second-place winner.
  • Jason Smith, president and CEO of the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce.

The Three Minute Thesis Competition began in 2008 at the University of Queensland, Australia. The 3MT challenges graduate students to hone their science communication skills by presenting a compelling oration on their thesis topic and its significance in three minutes using a single slide.

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