Food Science Doctoral Student Takes Top Prize in Three Minute Thesis Competition

Sara Jarma Arroyo
University Relations

Sara Jarma Arroyo

Sara Jarma Arroyo, a food science doctoral student in the Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences, is the winner of the University of Arkansas Three Minute Thesis competition sponsored by the Graduate School. She earned the top prize for her presentation Eating Your Stress Away? Your Emotional State Impacts the Way You Perceived Food.

As the top finisher, Arroyo won a cash prize and entry to the Conference of Southern Graduate Schools' regional Three Minute Thesis contest in North Carolina later this month. In the regional contest Arroyo will compete against roughly 80 students from universities across the Southern Region, where U of A students have been awarded prizes for the past two years.

Nearly 40 graduate students representing each of the university's academic colleges participated in the competition organized by the Office of Graduate Student Support. During the Three Minute Thesis, students use one static slide and describe their research thesis in less than three minutes using language for an audience wholly unfamiliar with the topic.

In addition to the top prizes, the Graduate School awarded prizes to the winning presenter from each academic college listed below:

College of Education and Health Professions

Stefanie McKoy, doctoral student in curriculum and instruction
Thesis: Teachers' Use of TikTok as a Classroom Management Resource

Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences

Jamie Walker, doctoral student in psychology
Thesis: Sleep reactivity: How vulnerable are you to stress-related sleep disturbance?

Sam M. Walton College of Business

Ahmad Shah Mobariz, doctoral student in economics
Thesis: Foreign military withdrawal, male migration, and female education

College of Engineering

Prathamesh Bandekar, doctoral student in biological engineering
Thesis: Pulses- a boon for the health and the environment

Graduate School and International Education (Interdisciplinary Studies)

Seth Price, doctoral student in Environmental Dynamics
Thesis: Echoes of Then or Symptoms of Now: Ancient Sustainable Agriculture in Peru

Additionally, five students were named as honorable mention participants. The students receiving this recognition are:

  • Tahrir Alenezi, doctoral student, cell and molecular biology, Graduate School (Interdisciplinary Studies)
  • Alexis Campbell, master's student, journalism, Fulbright College
  • John Emett, doctoral student, educational leadership, College of Education and Health Professions 
  • Xinchao Liu, doctoral student, industrial engineering, College of Engineering
  • Harrison Smith, doctoral student in environmental dynamics, Graduate School (Interdisciplinary Studies) 

About the Three Minute Thesis: The Three Minute Thesis competition was developed by The University of Queensland to cultivate students' academic, presentation, and research communication skills. The competition supports their capacity to effectively explain their research in three minutes, in a language appropriate to a non-specialist audience. Competitions are held in over 900 universities across more than 85 countries worldwide. The idea for 3MT came about when Queensland was suffering severe drought. To conserve water, residents were encouraged to time their showers, and many people had a three-minute egg timer fixed to the wall in their bathroom. The then Dean of the Graduate School, Emeritus Professor Alan Lawson, put two and two together and the idea for the 3MT competition was born.





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