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Oklahoma State University

Student wins contest with judges and audience 

Mon, November 06, 2017
Mackenzie Landis

In only three minutes, Mackenzie Landis convinced judges and an audience that the way she explained her topic was so award-winning she received both the first place award from judges and the People’s Choice Award from the audience in the Oklahoma State University Graduate College’s 2017 Three Minute Presentation (3MP) finals.

Landis, a master’s degree student in the communication sciences and disorders program, took on nine other finalists and fellow students from the graduate college, to win its third annual contest with her talk titled “Speech-Language Pathologists: Building Communication.”

For Landis, winning feels great but she said the biggest benefits are the skills she’ll be able to apply in her professional career. 

“As you start editing for a three-minute presentation, you realize some things are not at the core and you have to find it,” Landis said. “As a speech pathologist, talking to parents or someone who was recently diagnosed, and being able to identify the core (challenge) and share that with them is a huge skill this competition helped me define.” 

The second and third place finishers were both graduate students in business analytics who talked about artificial intelligence and data analytics for optimization. Ankita Khurana placed second with her presentation, “Why UPS Drivers Don’t Turn Left,” while Shikha Prasad was third with her presentation, “Artificial Intelligence.”  All winners received cash prizes. Landis won $1,000 for her first-place finish and $1,000 for the People’s Choice Award. Khurana earned $750, and Prasad received $500. 

The 3MP finals were judged by a diverse group of community members and OSU representatives, while the event emcee was Kelly Burley, director of public radio station KOSU. The 3MP winners will join the winners of the Three Minute Thesis® finals, which will take place on Nov. 15, and in the spring the President's Fellows' Three Minute Challenge, which brings together all 3MP and 3MT winners to select the top graduate student presenters. 

The 3MP competition, based on the 3MT®, was created three years ago to teach students the crucial skill of explaining what they do, especially to people outside their field of expertise. OSU’s Graduate College is the first institution to establish this type of competition for non-thesis master’s, education specialist and graduate certificate students who cannot participate in the Three Minute Thesis competition. 

The 3MT®, which was developed by the University of Queensland in Australia, gives graduate students in research-based degrees such as thesis master’s or Ph.D. degrees the chance to present their research and win prizes. 

For more information about the 3MP and 3MT competitions, visit grad.okstate.edu. 

Story by Marcia Guevara Valor 

PHOTOS: https://www.flickr.com/photos/ostatenews/albums/72157665979504499