Chapman’s 2021 Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) Competition is now underway! Participants are judged along four dimensions: (1) how well the presenter shares their research in a manner that is accessible to the general public; (2) the organization of the content presented; (3) how engaging the presentation is; and, (4) the presenter’s skill in communicating their findings clearly. Learn more about the competition and how to enter here; preliminary round video submissions are due March 26, 2020 by 11:59 p.m.

2020 first place and people’s choice award winner, Anna Colella, will represent Chapman University’s graduate students when she competes at the end of this month at the Western Association of Graduate Schools (WAGS) annual conference. Her multi-prize-winning Three Minute Thesis (3MT®), entitled “The Impact of Processing on the Composition of Bovine Milk

Extracellular Vesicles,” won first place and a $1000 cash prize and the People’s Choice award and a $500 cash prize at Chapman’s virtual competition. Anna will be participating in the regional WAGS competition against other graduate students from 21 institutions.

Anna is completing her Master of Science in Food Science Program in Schmid College of Science and Technology. In summary, Anna’s research on Extracellular Vesicles (EVs) are newly discovered bioactive compounds that have been raising scientists’ awareness. EVs are present in many of the foods we eat, especially in bovine and human milk. These vesicles are promising biomarkers for the diagnosis and treatment of diseases. They harbor proteins, lipids and genetic material, which has been proven to alter human gene expression. We hypothesize that the processing of bovine milk negatively affects the composition and structure of EVs. This investigation will contribute to improvements in the nutritional composition of dairy products and in commercial infant formula, currently still a developmental challenge in the food industry.

Anna shared with the Vice Provost for Graduate Education, “What started as a class assignment in one of my Food Science courses led to my participation in Chapman’s 3MT® competition. I am passionate about my research, and the feedback I got from people was that they felt it from my video, and I was pleasantly surprised for being awarded first place from both judges’ and People’s Choice awards. Now I am very honored to be representing Chapman at the WAGS 3MT Competition. I appreciate the support I’m having from my professors, family, and friends — I wouldn’t have made it without them. As an international student, getting this far already means a huge accomplishment to me, but I sure hope to bring this prize to Chapman!”

We congratulate Anna on her winning presentation at Chapman’s 3MT® competition and wish her the best of luck in the upcoming WAGS 3MT® virtual competition. Are you up for the competition? Will YOU be the next graduate student to win 3MT®?

For more information on Chapman’s participation in WAGS and recognitions available to our graduate students, please visit our website or contact