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Oklahoma State University

OSU grad student wins Three Minute Thesis® after several attempts

Fri, November 17, 2017
Allison Campolo

Allison Campolo knows it pays to persevere. After competing in the preliminary rounds of the Oklahoma State University Graduate College Three Minute Thesis® four times, she recently made it to the finals and won, defeating 11 other competitors.  

A doctoral student in veterinary biomedical sciences, Campolo said entering the 3MT® multiple times really improved her ability to connect with an audience in three minutes as well as her basic presentation skills.  

“From my first time to do this until now I see a difference in myself but it’s taken years of practice,” she said, adding that avoiding scientific language is a key to simplifying science for a lay audience. “My research is in pulmonary hyperglycemia, but most people don’t know what that means, so I say ‘diabetes,’ which everyone can identify with.”  

Her winning presentation was titled, “Is diabetes taking your breath away.”   

Campolo received $1,000 for her 3MT® win. The second and third place finishers were William Hammond, a doctoral student in plant biology, ecology and evolution, and Vikramsingh Gujar, a doctoral student in anatomy and cell biology, who won $750 and $500, respectively. Human performance doctoral candidate Masoud Moghaddam won the People’s Choice Award, and $1,000, which is awarded by a vote of the audience.  

During the event, Graduate College Dean Dr. Sheryl Tucker announced that corporate sponsor Halliburton had agreed to continue its support of the OSU competition. Dr. Jim Surjaatmadja, the ESG Technology Fellow with Halliburton, said the company sees value in 3MT® because communication skills are essential for university graduates entering the job market. Those talents make job applicants stand out at Halliburton, he said.  

The finals were judged by a cross section of community members and OSU representatives, including individuals unfamiliar with the presentation subjects. The 3MT® winners will face off against the winners of the Three Minute Presentation finals next spring in the President’s Fellows Three Minute Challenge. Competitors in 3MT are graduate students in research-based degrees such as thesis master’s or doctoral degrees. 3MP is open to students who are non-research master’s, education specialist and graduate certificate students.  

For more information about the Graduate College three minute competitions, visit