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Four Winners Named at Annual 3MT Competition

December 4, 2023

The Idaho State University Graduate School hosted its 7th Annual Three Minute Thesis competition on Thursday, Nov. 9, in the Black Box Theater at the L.E. and Thelma E. Stephens Performing Arts Center with the highest number of participants to date.

Graduate students, both master’s and doctoral, representing various disciplines, ranging from public health to English, presented their research in three minutes or less to a live audience in pursuit of the grand prize of $2,000.

Out of 45 submissions, 33 students went on to compete at the 3MT event. Winners included: 

1st Place: Dawn Amos - Public Health- MPH

“Predictors of Unintended Pregnancy and STI Co-Occurrence”

2nd Place: Adam Zambie - Biology - MS

“How Much Stream is Enough? Does Amount of Remnant Habitat Predict a Decline in Genetic Diversity for Redband Trout Populations”

3rd Place: Bethany Hickey - Nutrition - MS

“Food Processing and Appetite Regulation: How Ultra-Processed Foods May Be Influencing What and How Much We Eat”

People’s Choice: Verlyn Glenn - Nursing Practice - DNP

“Barriers To Nurse Practitioner Post-graduate Fellowships”

“The 3MT event is an outstanding opportunity for students,” said 3MT judge, Donna Lybecker. “They first learn how to succinctly describe their research to a general audience, and then get to experience expliang research on-stage.”

Other judges in 2023 included: Martin “Marty” Blair, Vice President for Research & Economic Development, Esther Ntuli, Associate Dean & Professor of the College of Education and Krystal Chanda, Principal Engineer at A&E Engineering, Inc. 

“ISU students are bright, forward-thinking, and striving to address real-world problems,” said Blair. “I was impressed with the quality and potential impact of the science these students engaged in and I appreciate their preparation and thorough review of the problems to be solved.” 

All four winners will go on to represent ISU at the state-level Three Minute Competition in Spring, 2024, competing against other graduate students from Boise State University and the University of Idaho. Additionally, the first-place winner, Dawn Amos, will be invited to represent ISU at the Western Association of Graduate Schools (WAGS) 3MT Conference. Live streams, in real-time, of the competition and the awards ceremony can be viewed on the ISU Graduate School’s website. 

This prestigious competition originated at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia in 2008 when the concept was born during a severe drought. To conserve water, residents were encouraged to time their showers, many people fixed a three-minute egg timer to their bathroom walls. Taking inspiration from residents timing their showers, the then Dean of the Graduate School of the University of Queensland, Emeritus Professor Alan Lawson, created the concept of competition for his graduate students thus 3MT was born. 

Since then, the 3MT competition has expanded in popularity in Australia and New Zealand with enthusiasm growing across the globe. The competition is now held in over 900 universities spanning 85 countries worldwide in both virtual and live formats.

In 2018, the ISU Graduate School joined the global 3MT community by adding the Three Minute Thesis event as a component for its annual Graduate Research Symposium. After much recruitment, the inaugural ISU 3MT event started with 17 participants presenting to fewer than 30 audience members. It has since grown successfully into an event that fills the Black Box Theater, boasting more than 45 submissions for 3MT 2023, and live streaming to a global audience. 

The Graduate School’s next event to support graduate students' scholarly work will be the Graduate Research Symposium. The symposium will be held on March 13, 2024, in conjunction with the Office of Research to showcase both undergraduate and graduate work.


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