Najjar Represents U of A in Regional Three Minute Thesis Competition

Jade Najjar, with adviser and plant pathology professor Ken Korth, won the U of A's inaugural Three Minute Thesis competition last year to earn a spot in this year's Conference of Southern Graduate Schools regional contest.

Jade Najjar, with adviser and plant pathology professor Ken Korth, won the U of A's inaugural Three Minute Thesis competition last year to earn a spot in this year's Conference of Southern Graduate Schools regional contest.

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Jade Najjar, a master's degree student in Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences' plant pathology program, recently represented the University of Arkansas in the regional Three Minute Thesis competition.

Najjar qualified for regionals at the Conference of Southern Graduate Schools in Annapolis, Maryland, after winning last year's inaugural Bumpers College and overall U of A Three Minute Thesis titles in events sponsored by the U of A Graduate School and International Education.

More than 40 students from across the southeast participated in the regional competition.

Najjar presented on her research - Dissecting Salt Tolerance in Soybean by Profiling Differential Physiological Responses and Gene Expression. She explained the importance of developing soybean plants that grow better under the stress of salty soils.

Her research is supported by the Arkansas Soybean Promotion Board and conducted with adviser Ken Korth, professor of plant biotechnology in the Department of Plant Pathology.

"The students competing in this event were all faced with the task of explaining complex ideas in a brief message," Korth said. "This is such an important goal. As academic researchers, it is crucial that our work can be understood and appreciated by a broad audience. Jade has a particular talent for doing just that, and she did a fantastic job representing the university." 

The 3MT competitions challenge graduate students to summarize their thesis research within three minutes to a general audience. Presenters are allowed a single slide to accompany their presentation, and are judged on their ability to engage the audience and to help audience members understand their research.

About the Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences: Bumpers College provides life-changing opportunities to position and prepare graduates who will be leaders in the businesses associated with foods, family, the environment, agriculture, sustainability and human quality of life; and who will be first-choice candidates of employers looking for leaders, innovators, policy makers and entrepreneurs. The college is named for Dale Bumpers, former Arkansas governor and longtime U.S. senator who made the state prominent in national and international agriculture.

About the U of A: The U of A provides an internationally competitive education for undergraduate and graduate students in more than 200 academic programs. The university contributes new knowledge, economic development, basic and applied research, and creative activity while also providing service to academic and professional disciplines. The Carnegie Foundation classifies the U of Aamong only 2 percent of universities in America that have the highest level of research activity. U.S. News & World Report ranks the U of A among its top American public research universities. Founded in 1871, the U of A comprises 10 colleges and schools and maintains a low student-to-faculty ratio that promotes personal attention and close mentoring.


Robby Edwards, director of communications
Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences

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