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CASNR student wins OSU 3MT finals

Adam Cobb, a doctoral student in natural resource ecology and management, was awarded first place and $1,000 at the fourth Oklahoma State University Graduate College Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) competition for thesis master’s and Ph.D. students on March 3 in the Student Union Theater


Adam Cobb, a doctoral student in natural resource ecology and management, was awarded first place and $1,000 at the fourth Oklahoma State University Graduate College Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) competition for thesis master’s and Ph.D. students on March 3 in the Student Union Theater. Cobb presented on sustainability in farming systems; linking soil ecology to improved food nutritional quality. He will represent OSU in the regional 3MT competition in February 2017.

“It was exciting to witness that my fellow grad students have amazing research, presentations and professionalism, and then to realize that I have the privilege of standing alongside them,” Cobb said. “I am excited by my win and thrilled that I get to represent my department, college, and university moving forward to regionals. This place has done so much for me, and I am honored to represent our brand. Go Pokes!”

3MT® is designed to teach students the important skill of explaining what they do and how their graduate discipline is relevant to addressing societal needs to audiences outside specialists in their field of study. The challenge lies in the students’ ability to present their research and its significance in less than three minutes, using only one PowerPoint slide, to a general audience.

Dr. Sheryl Tucker, associate provost for Graduate Education and dean of the Graduate College, welcomed a full audience to the competition. Audience members ranged from faculty and graduate students to family supporters of the competitors, in addition to remote viewers who tuned in via live stream on OStateTV.

Along with Cobb, finalists included Dane Robertson, a master’s student in forensic sciences, and Kahli Remy, a doctoral student in physics, who tied for second place and were awarded $750. Robertson presented his research about the use of sweat patches in forensic science to help victims of drug-facilitated sexual assault. Remy presented her research on high dose radiation effects in tissue equivalent materials. This is the first tie in a 3MT® finals at OSU.

“I am happy to share second place with Dane,” Remy said. “I didn't get to hear him speak because the contestants were put in a back room, and I was last to present, but I could hear the huge applause after his presentation, so it had to be good!”

“For the twelve of us to even reach this point was a success, and to be recognized alongside Adam, Kahli, and Zahra as one of the competition’s top presentations was surreal,” Robertson said.

Zahra Maria, who’s earning a doctoral degree in mechanical and aerospace engineering, engaged the audience with her presentation about diabetes damage to the human heart, which earned her the People’s Choice Award and $1,000.

Rachel Hubbard, associate director and station manager for Oklahoma public radio station KOSU, served as the master of ceremonies for the competition. The judges were Bryan Lewis, senior technical professional for production enhancement at Halliburton, a 3MT sponsor; John Logan, executive director for Masonic Charity Foundation of Oklahoma; Jessica Russell, director of state government relations for the Board of Regents for the Oklahoma A&M Colleges; Suzanne Shaw Spradling, owner of Earth Connections; Cindy Waits, board of directors member for Friends of the OSU Library; and Bonnie Kenoly, executive vice president for Decision Analyst. The judges critiqued the competitors in the categories of communication, comprehension and engagement.

Additional support for participation in 3MT®came from the Graduate College which helped graduate programs encourage their students to participate by awarding Program Participation Awards of $200 per participating student (up to a maximum of $2,000 per program) in research-related travel funds for the programs with the highest percent of their students participating. During the intermission designated for the audience’s vote for the People’s Choice Award, Hubbard announced the winners for the Program Participation Awards. Awards were given to large, medium and small enrollment graduate programs that participate in the 3MT®.

Dr. Tucker concluded the competition with an invitation to attend the university’s first Presidential Fellows Three Minute Challenge, a competition in which the finalists and the People’s Choice winners from both the 3MT® and Three Minute Presentation contests will compete against each other April 14.

Story by Taylor Young
PHOTOS: https://www.flickr.com/photos/ostatenews/albums/72157664928348139
CONTACT: Jeff Joiner | Research Communications | 405-744-5827 | jeff.joiner@okstate.edu

Oklahoma State University is a modern land-grant university that prepares students for success. OSU has more than 36,000 students across its five-campus system and more than 25,000 on its combined Stillwater and Tulsa campuses, with students from all 50 states and around 120 nations. Established in 1890, Oklahoma State has graduated more than 260,000 students who have been serving Oklahoma and the world for 125 years.