Elevator speeches

Wright State University graduate students working on their thesis or dissertation face a common challenge — explaining complex and nuanced subject matter in simple and concise terms that novices can quickly understand.

That was the premise behind the Wright State College of Graduate Programs and Honors Studies’ inaugural Three Minute Thesis/Dissertation competition, or 3MT, which took place Feb. 21 in the Student Union Endeavour Room.

“We have 11 final contenders, and each one of them presented their original research topic,” said Shu Schiller, Ph.D., interim dean of the college. “It can be very hard to do. That’s why this is such a good exercise for these students to engage in.”

The average master’s thesis or doctoral dissertation is tens of thousands of words in length and would take several hours to read aloud. Students participating in the 3MT competition were only allotted three minutes.

William Cvammen, a graduate biomedical sciences student, received the First-place award for his presentation on skin cancer treatment.

He said it was a good learning experience but extremely challenging. “It was very difficult to condense that information,” he said.

The contest was judged by a seven-person panel, which also selected two second-place and three third-place winners.

Those in attendance had the opportunity to vote for a “People’s Choice Award,” which went to Vamshi Beemanapalli, a graduate pharmacology and toxicology student.

The other student participants included:

  • Cassidy Alspaugh, College of Science and Mathematics
  • Mia Williams Burnett, College of Science and Mathematics
  • Ryanne Antonette Cimatu, College of Science and Mathematics
  • Pranali Manjrekar, Boonshoft School of Medicine
  • Venkata Sailaja Rachakonda, Boonshoft School of Medicine
  • Shikshita Singh, Boonshoft School of Medicine
  • Marilyn Kindig Stahl, College of Health, Education and Human Services
  • Peter Swartz, College of Engineering and Computer Science
  • Michelle Trimbur, College of Health, Education, and Human Services

More information on the 3MT competition is available on the graduate programs’ website.

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