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Three Minute ThesisThey have made it through the preliminary round, and now 10 UNC-Chapel Hill graduate students will present their research to judges and an audience – with a three-minute time limit for each finalist. The Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) finals, a competition that highlights effective presentation and communication skills, will take place at 4 p.m. Oct. 30 at Bondurant G100.

The event is open to the public. The finalists now compete for:

  • First place – $1,000 and the opportunity to compete in the regional competition in February 2019
  • Second place – $600
  • People’s Choice (audience member votes determine the People’s Choice winner) – $400

“As an audience, it is truly inspiring to learn about the depth and range of graduate students’ innovative research at Carolina,” said Brian Rybarczyk, assistant dean for academic and professional development at The Graduate School. “The 3MT is an ideal venue for students from all disciplines to develop solid communication skills.”

Master’s and doctoral students enrolled at UNC-Chapel Hill, from any discipline administered by The Graduate School, were eligible to participate in the competition.

The 10 finalists and their topics are:

  • Jessica Barrick, a doctoral student in physics and astronomy, “Understanding Sea Turtle Navigation with Laser-Based Imaging”
  • Alex Chung, a doctoral student in pharmacology, “Smart Fight Against Breast Cancer”
  • William Green, a doctoral student in nutrition, “Obesity Weighs Down the Immune Response to Influenza”
  • Susanna Harris, a doctoral student in microbiology and immunology, “Building Plant Probiotics Using a Natural Community”
  • Ashley Hedrick, a doctoral student in the School of Media and Journalism, “One Direction Fanfiction on An Analysis of Sexual Consent”
  • Ryan Kingsbury, a doctoral student in environmental sciences and engineering, “Tiny Gatekeepers for Clean Water and Energy”
  • Caroline Newhall, a doctoral student in history, “Under the Rebel Lash: Black Prisoners of War in the Confederate South”
  • Bhawana Shrestha, a doctoral student in microbiology and immunology, “Novel Non-Hormonal Contraception for Women”
  • Erin Spencer, a master’s degree student in the Environment, Ecology and Energy Program, “Fishy Business: Red Snapper Mislabeling in the Southeastern United States”
  • Jenny Spencer, a doctoral student in health policy and management, “Will the HPV Vaccine Reduce Disparities in Cancer for People Living in Poor Counties?”

The University of Queensland held the first 3MT, in 2008. The competition now takes place in more than 600 universities in 65 countries around the world.

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