picture of 3MT winners

(photo, left to right, 2nd Place Romina Nabiee, People’s Choice Award Priscila Liou, 1st Place Dominic So)

Chapman University held its second annual Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) competition at the inaugural Graduate and Professional Student Excellence Dinner and Celebration on Saturday, May 4. The Office of the Vice Provost for Graduate Education hosted the event and the Office of Research sponsored the 3MT® prizes.

Three Minute Thesis, or 3MT®, is an internationally recognized competition founded at the University of Queensland, Australia. Participation in the competition helps students develop and practice their academic, presentation, and research communication skills.

Five Chapman graduate students advanced from the preliminary video round held in early spring to the live 3MT® final round, where they competed for cash prizes. The finalists had just three minutes and one PowerPoint slide to share their research with peers, mentors, and judges. The 3MT® finalists were judged on their communication, delivery, visuals, and timing.  The panel of judges was comprised of Thomas Piechota, Ph.D., P.E., Vice President of Research; Wendy Salmond, Ph.D., Professor of Art; and Essraa Nawar, Library Development Coordinator and Assistant Librarian in the Leatherby Libraries.  Although five contestants competed, only three winners walked away with cash prizes.

Priscila Liou, who is working toward her Master of Science degree in Food Science in Schmid College of Science and Technology, won the People’s Choice Award and $250 prize for her presentation, entitled “Labeling compliance and species authentication of fish fillets sold in Southern California grocery stores”. Priscila explained how species mislabeling and country-of-origin labeling noncompliance was revealed across various fish categories in grocery stores throughout Southern California through her research. Priscilla shared three specific findings with the audience: first, species substitution was detected in 16 of 120 samples; second, among the 120 samples, 11 samples were mislabeled due to the use of an unacceptable market name; and third, country-of-origin labeling noncompliance was observed for 29 of the 120 samples.

Romina Nabiee, who is working toward her Ph.D. degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences in the School of Pharmacy, won second place and a $500 prize for her presentation, entitled “Factors influencing KSHV infection”. Romina explained Kaposi sarcoma herpesvirus (KSHV) causes cancer. Romina shared her research to answer two questions: first, what makes human B cells susceptible to this KSHV infection; and second, what makes KSHV ‘tick’.  Romina’s research yielded new evidence about human B cells and how KSHV infects and interacts with them.

Dominic So, who is working toward his Master of Arts degree in War and Society in Wilkinson College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences, won first place and a $750 cash prize for his presentation, entitled “Humanity amidst the inhumanity of Vietnam war”.  Dominic’s PowerPoint slide displayed the cover of an official U.S. Department of Defense’s newspaper Stars and Stripes issue circulated during the Vietnam War. The cover depicted a Vietnamese woman wearing a revealing bathing suit. Dominic captured the imagination of his audience from the very first spoken sentence, uttering the phrase, “Me love you long time . . .”. Dominic shared how, although objectification was rampant during the Vietnam War, what is often portrayed exclusively as sexual objectification was, sometimes, a deeper story of humanization and genuine affection. For historians and the public, Dominic’s research gives us another lens through which to view the Vietnam War and human relationships.

Dominic will represent Chapman in the regional competition at the Western Association of Graduate Schools Annual Meeting in March 2020 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. If successful there, he will advance to the national competition at the Council of Graduate Schools Annual Meeting in December 2020.

The Office of the Vice Provost for Graduate Education invites you to watch this year’s Chapman final round here. More information about Chapman’s 3MT® can be obtained by emailing our office at GradEd@chapman.edu.

Blog content written by Lonnise Magallanez, Administrative Coordinator, Office of the Vice Provost for Graduate Education.