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13 finalists compete in University's 3-Minute Thesis competition

Dr. David Zeh, University of Nevada, Reno's vice provost for graduate education and dean of the Graduate School
University of Nevada, Reno

To earn an advanced degree, graduate students spend countless hours preparing their theses as a requirement for graduation. But summing up that research in a three-minute presentation to compete with other students is quite a different challenge.

The second annual 3-Minute Thesis (3MT) final competition features 13 graduate-student finalists presenting their projects on Thursday evening, April 23, in the Mathewson-IGT Knowledge Center, Wells Fargo Auditorium.

The 3MT competition was the topic of a conversation on KUNR's Beyond the Headlines with Dr. David Zeh, vice provost for graduate education and dean of the Graduate School at the University of Nevada, Reno. (Interviewed by David Stipech; air date 4-17-15).

The finals event on April 23 begins with a reception and music by the Nightingale String Quartet at 6:15 p.m. followed by the competition at 7 p.m.

The second annual 3MT saw 32 graduate students compete in the preliminary round March 2-4. The 13 finalists include six in the Ph.D. competition, three in the master's competition and four in the professional project competition. The finalist have three minutes to present their abstract or professional-project overview -- with an wide and intriguing range of subjects -- and can use only one presentation slide. A panel of judges evaluates the presentations based on two categories of criteria: first, comprehension and content and, second, engagement and communication. 

See the list of finalists and their topics below.

Read more from the university about this year's 3-Minute Thesis competition.

Find out more about the event
3-Minute Thesis Finalists for 2015

Doctoral Students -- Results

• Matt Gruner, Ph.D., Cell and Molecular Biology: Who's in Charge, the Belly or the Brain?

1st Place: Jesse Mayer, Ph.D., Biochemistry: Desert Diesel: Engineering Opuntia as a Low-Input Biofuel Crop

• Augustus Merwin, Ph.D., Materials Science and Engineering: What is the Purple Stuff?

3rd Place: Jessica Rafferty, Ph.D., Education: Profoundly Gifted Students’ Perceptions of Virtual Classrooms: A Phenomenological Case Study

2nd Place: Jaclyn Stephens, Ph.D., Psychology: Can We Enhance Everyday Cognition Using Memory Training and Non-Invasive Neurostimulation?

• Pamela Young, Ph.D., Education: Family Stress and Early Intervention for Families with Infants and Toddlers Who are Medically Fragile

Master's Students -- Results

2nd Place: Keith Heidecorn, M.S., Hydrology: Progress Towards Understanding Mercury (Hg) in the Atmosphere

3rd Place: Tara Langus, M.S., Biology: Maternal Microbes and Pathogenic Vulnerability: Effects of Plant Chemistry and Egg Microbes on the Immune Response of a Specialist Caterpillar

1st Place: Laura Rocke, M.A., History: Reinterment at the African Burial Ground: A 21st Century Reclamation of Agency

Professional Project Students -- Results

• Patricia Bobek: Cross the Line: A Documentary About What It's Like to be a Teenager Across Different Cultures

1st Place: Christopher Dugan: Analysis and Cost of Frequent ED Users in Washoe County

2nd Place: Morgan Nazemian: Compassion in Action: Design and Implementation of an 11th Hour Program

3rd Place: Miranda Smith: Compassion Fatigue Curriculum Infusion: A Three-Part Workshop for Social Work Students


David Stipech is a former general manager at KUNR Public Radio.
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