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Oklahoma State University

OSU’s top three-minute presenters awarded

Monday, May 7, 2018

Sabra Billups

Sabra Billups, a food science graduate student, has won the $2,000 grand prize in the third annual Oklahoma State University President’s Fellows Grand Three Minute Challenge (3MC).

The grand challenge pits the top student competitors from earlier contests on campus against each other to present their thesis (Three Minute Thesis®) or presentation (Three Minute Presentation) quickly and clearly, while keeping the audience’s attention.

Billups won with her presentation “Antimicrobial Ice Sanitation.” In the process of competing, she also refined valuable skills that will help further her career. 

“It’s really exciting. There is such a gap between what scientists do and the general public,” Billups said. “This experience helps you better bridge that gap by being able to clearly explain what you’re doing to the general public. Every time you do something like this you come out a better person and a better competitor, and all of my public speaking experiences better prepare me for the workplace.” 

Along with Billups, three other participants were honored at the challenge. Mackenzie Landis, a communication sciences and disorders graduate student and winner of the 2017 3MP, won second place and $1,500 award with her presentation “Speech - Language Pathology: Building Communication.”  

Vikramsingh Gujar, a doctoral student in the biomedical sciences program, took third place and $1,000 for his presentation “Controlling Arthritic Pain.” 

The $2,000 People’s Choice Award, based on a vote of the audience, went to Masoud Moghaddam, a doctoral student in health and human performance, for his presentation “Move Out of Your Comfort Zone: High Intensity Interval Training Delays Early Muscle Aging.” 

The 3MC College Participation Traveling Trophy went to the Center for Veterinary Health Sciences for the second year in a row. The trophy recognizes the college with the highest percentage of their students participating in the OSU 3MT® and 3MP competitions. 

The 3MC is sponsored by the OSU President’s Fellows, a unique society of passionate and loyal OSU alumni and supporters. This group supports the larger priorities of the university through the leadership of President Burns Hargis and provides resources that allow projects and initiatives related to the ongoing transformation of the OSU campuses. 

An addition to this year’s event was the presentation of the Three Minute Idea (3MI) awards video contest. The 3MI, which is sponsored by Richard Cochran, is the newest addition to the three minutes challenges at OSU. Students submitted a three-minute video describing their research or subject of interest. 

Christine Fuston won the Judge’s Choice Award with her video “Why Coming Out Is Important,” and Ayantika Sen won the People’s Choice Award for her “Role of Estrogen in Protecting Against Urinary Tract Infections” video. Each received a $500 prize.

The 3MC is coordinated by the OSU Graduate College, where the goal is for every graduate student to acquire the skill of explaining what they do as practitioners of their graduate education and its relevance to furthering the public good by participating in a 3MT® or 3MP competition during their graduate studies at OSU concluding with the President’s Fellows Grand Three Minute Challenge. Videos of individual presentation can be viewed online by going to OStateTV ( and entering “2018 3MC” in the search option.

Story by Marcia Guevara

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