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Oklahoma State University

2017 3MT® Winners Named

Mon, March 20, 2017
2017 Graduate College Three Minute Thesis competition: (left to right) Master of Ceremonies Kelly Ogle, Channel 9 News; Christina Sharkey, People's Choice Award; 1st place Deepak Kumar; second place Jennifer Rudd; third place Joyce Nabisaalu; and Graduate College Dean Sheryl Tucker.

Deepak Kumar, a master’s student in Food Science, won first place and $1,000 at the 2017 Oklahoma State University Graduate College Three Minute Thesis® (3MT) competition March 9, sponsored by Halliburton. Kumar described his research into increasing protein in the diet of people from developing countries using microbes to reduce malnutrition.

“Participating and winning the 3MT® has been one of the most rewarding experiences so far in my graduate studies,” Kumar said. “This competition gave me an opportunity to boost my confidence and improve my presentation skills. I literally practiced my speech with everyone I know here in the university - more than 30 people.”

3MT® is designed to teach students the skill of explaining their research in three minutes using one static slide. The key to the competition is presenting the relevance of their graduate research to a panel of non-specialist judges and the audience.

“I am passionate about my research and 3MT® really pushed me to articulate its significance to a wider audience,” Kumar said.

Along with Kumar, finalists included second place Jennifer Rudd, a Ph.D. student in Veterinary Biomedical Sciences who won $750; third place Joyce Nabisaalu, a Ph.D. student in Design, Housing and Merchandising who won $500; and Christina Sharkey, a Ph.D. student in Psychology who was awarded $1,000 for winning the People’s Choice Award given to a contestant based on a vote of the audience.

Serving as the master of ceremonies for the first time was OSU alumni Kelly Ogle, the evening news anchor with Channel 9 News in Oklahoma City. The judges were: Joe Beisel, R&D mechanical engineering advisor for sponsor Halliburton; Richard Cochran, owner and CPA, Cochran-Jones, LLC; Jane Durham, owner and manager of Durham Hereford Ranch in Stillwater; Melissa Reames, chief financial officer, City of Stillwater; Suzanne Spradling, owner and manager, Earth Connections in Oklahoma City; Laura Thomas, district attorney, Payne and Logan counties; and Joe Weaver, administration and finance senior vice president, OSU.

Additional support for participation in 3MT® came from the Graduate College which helped graduate programs encourage their students to participate by awarding Program Participation Awards of $200 per participating student (up to a maximum of $2,000 per program) in research-related travel funds for the programs with the highest percent of their students participating. The awards were given to Chemistry, Entomology and Plant Pathology, and Horticulture for the large, medium and small enrollment graduate programs with the highest participation in the 3MT®, respectively.

Dr. Sheryl Tucker, dean of the Graduate College, concluded the competition with an invitation to attend a three-minute competition unique to OSU. In the Presidential Fellows Three Minute Challenge, finalists and the People’s Choice winners from the 3MT® and the Three Minute Presentation contests will compete against each other April 13 at 3:30 p.m. in the Student Union Theater.

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