For Kendall Anderson, who knew that a brief presentation on pecans and gut immunology would bring her out of her shell, the nutritional science Master’s student won the Oklahoma State University Three-Minute Thesis® on Nov. 6, ahead of 12 other competitors from across the university.
Something even she had a hard time conceiving prior to the competition.
“It was something that I didn’t really quite frankly believe in myself and think that I could do this,” Anderson said. “And through this experience, it has done a lot for me.”
“I think that it has kind of busted me out of my shell because being in the spotlight is not exactly something that is easy for me.”
Anderson was “lovingly pushed” to present her presentation titled, “Pecans: Altering Communication between the Gut and the Immune System,” by her advisor, Dr. Brenda Smith.
Her performance ultimately won Anderson $1,000 and sent her to the Conference of Southern Graduate Schools Regional 3MT® Competition in Knoxville in February.
However, that wasn’t the greatest reward for Anderson, who now has a new outlook on her research.
“I think that this really helped me fall back in love with my project and it helped me take a step back and look at my research in terms of the bigger picture,” Anderson said. “That’s what 3MT® is about.”
Anderson wasn’t the only nutritional science Master’s student to place.
Christina Sciarrillo joined her in the top two, grabbing both second place and the night’s People’s Choice award, which was voted by the audience. In her efforts, Sciarrillo walked away with $1,000 for people’s choice and $750 for second place.
Sociology doctoral student Srijana Karki brought in third place and $500.
This year’s competition was again sponsored by Halliburton, who last year renewed its sponsorship of the research competition.