Three U of A Graduate Students Win at 3MT Competition

Mostafa Mahmoudi, right, with Ed Pohl, dean of the Graduate School and International Education.
Cassandra Thomas

Mostafa Mahmoudi, right, with Ed Pohl, dean of the Graduate School and International Education.

Ten U of A graduate students competed at the annual 3 Minute Thesis competition earlier this month, a competition challenging graduate students to present a simple and compelling speech about their research and its significance in just three minutes.

Mostafa Mahmoudi placed first for his presentation titled "Eco-Friendly Concrete Production Using Electrochemistry," and Christina Barnes placed second for her presentation, "Whispering Sweet Somethings: Children's Understanding of Whispered Speech." Mahmoudi, whose faculty adviser is Martin Edwards, won $1,000 and a trip to Greenville, South Carolina, to compete in the regional competition. Barnes, whose adviser is Douglas Behrend, won $750.

Additionally, Kindler Norman won the People Choice Award for her thesis, "Giving the Girls a Chance! Our Fight Against Rett Syndrome." Her adviser is Woodrow Shew.

"We had another amazingly successful competition this year, and I want to thank our students and judges who participated in this transformational event," said Umer Rahman, associate director for graduate student support. "We are a prominent R1 research institution, but what this competition highlights is that our research translates to achieving high-level impact for our community, state, nation and globe. Our graduate students are working on solutions to the most pressing challenges facing our world, and our students have the ability to explain it in plain and simple terms."

The competition, which was created by The University of Queensland in Australia, helps students learn how to communicate clearly their academic and research endeavors in language appropriate to an intelligent but non-specialist audience. Graduate students are tasked with presenting their research in a tight timeframe with only one presentation image.

The competition on the U of A campus began in October with 50 students competing in the first round, with Ed Bengtson and Chase Rainwater serving as judges. Eighteen students moved on as semi-finalists to compete in the second round, with Burak Eksioglu, Bill McComas and Christa Hestekin serving as judges. Judges of the final round were Dean Lynda Coon, Dean Kim Needy and Assistant Dean Deb Korth.

Those interested in watching the presentation can do so by visiting the GSIE Facebook page.



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