Education doctoral student earns top honors at FSU’s Three Minute Thesis competition



Selecting the right face mask. Examining the potential of human brands in sport.  Sonically exploring La Paz, Bolivia. These were just some of the topics presented at Florida State University’s Three Minute Thesis (3MT) competition.

The event, a presentation of The Graduate School, took place Wednesday, Nov. 16, in the Durell Peaden Auditorium at the FSU College of Medicine.

Developed by The University of Queensland, in Australia, 3MT is a research communication competition in which doctoral students develop academic, presentation and research communication skills. The competition boosts students’ abilities  to effectively explain their research in language appropriate for an intelligent but non-specialist audience.

“The Three Minute Thesis (3MT) is an opportunity for our graduate students to showcase and show off their research, presentation and communication skills,” said Adrienne Stephenson, assistant dean of The Graduate School and director of the Office of Graduate Fellowships and Awards. “It’s a chance for them to communicate to a larger audience what they do, why it’s important and why anybody should care.”

Doctoral students have three minutes to present a compelling oration on their dissertation topic and its significance. 3MT encourages students to consolidate their ideas and crystalize their research discoveries.

The judging panel included Renisha Gibbs, associate vice president for Human Resources and Finance and Administration chief of staff; Jason Pappas, associate teaching professor and experiential learning coordinator in the Department of Sport Management; Cecile Reynaud, retired FSU volleyball coach and faculty member and former chair of the USA Volleyball Board of Directors; and Dylan Rogers, a postdoctoral scholar in the Department of Classics.

Cecile Reynaud, retired FSU volleyball coach and faculty member and former chair of the USA Volleyball Board of Directors; Renisha Gibbs, associate vice president for Human Resources and Finance and Administration chief of staff; Jason Pappas, associate teaching professor and experiential learning coordinator in the Department of Sport Management; and Dylan Rogers, a postdoctoral scholar in the Department of Classics. (FSU Photography Services/Bill Lax)
Cecile Reynaud, retired FSU volleyball coach and faculty member and former chair of the USA Volleyball Board of Directors; Renisha Gibbs, associate vice president for Human Resources and Finance and Administration chief of staff; Jason Pappas, associate teaching professor and experiential learning coordinator in the Department of Sport Management; and Dylan Rogers, a postdoctoral scholar in the Department of Classics. (FSU Photography Services/Bill Lax)
Dionne Wilson, a doctoral student in the College of Education’s Science Education program and the first-place winner of FSU's 2022 3MT competition.
Dionne Wilson, a doctoral student in the College of Education’s Science Education program and the first-place winner of FSU’s 2022 3MT competition.

Dionne Wilson, a doctoral student in the College of Education’s Science Education program, won the competition and took home a $1,000 prize. Her thesis “The Making of Black Scientists” focuses on creating more equitable science learning environments to support effective science teaching.

“My passion is teaching little Black kids science, getting them excited about it in a way that the world tells them they can’t be. It’s fulfilling,” Wilson said. “I’ve always had a passion for my dissertation, for what I do, and it is nice to see that that passion can come through in a variety of different spaces through a variety of different perspectives. I think I’m just more motivated now than ever to just continue with this work because there is a purpose for it.”

Judges selected Rachel Flemming, a doctoral student in the Modern Languages and Linguistics Department, for second place and the winner of $750 for her thesis “Second Language Learning and Instructions from a Cognition-Based Perspective.” Flemming’s research focuses on Spanish linguistics and bridges the fields of language teaching and psycholinguistics within a theoretical framework of processing and cognition. Flemming hopes this research will help inform the understanding of how language learners process Spanish.

Doctoral student Sen Wang from the College of Education’s Reading Education and Language Arts program took third place and $500 for the presentation of her thesis “The Effects of Shared Book Reading and Video Viewing on Preschool Children’s Vocabulary and Knowledge Acquisition in Informational Text.” Her research focuses on how to facilitate the reading process early to build a strong foundation for developing skills.

Akshay Anand, a doctoral student in Mechanical Engineering, took home the People’s Choice award and $500 for his presentation “One Size Does Not Fit All: Selecting the Right Mask.” For his thesis, Anand and his collaborators at Johns Hopkins University and Brown University developed a framework that uses a morphable face model and mask deployment simulation to test mask fitting for many facial characteristics.

Akshay Anand (People's Choice), Dionne Gerri Wilson (First-Place), Sen Wang (Third-Place) and Rachel Flemming (Second-Place).
Akshay Anand (People’s Choice), Dionne Wilson (First-Place), Sen Wang (Third-Place) and Rachel Flemming (Second-Place). (FSU Photography Services/Bill Lax)

The other finalists were:

Addie McConomy, Special Education, “Developing a Formative Assessment Tool for Special Education Teachers.”

Muhamad Prabu Wibowo, Information Science, “The Dynamics of Open Health Research Data in Universities.”

Vivianne Asturizaga, Musicology, “Cantos de la Ciudad MAravilla: A Sonic Exploration of La Paz, Bolivia.”

Susmit S. Gulavani, Sport Management, “A Quasi-Natural Experiment to Examine the Transformative Potential of Sport Human Brands.”

To learn more about The Graduate School and the 3MT competition, visit gradschool.fsu.edu.

The 2022 FSU 3MT competition finalists: M. Addie McConomy, Special Education; Vivianne Asturizaga, Musicology; Akshay Anand, Mechanical Engineering; Susmit S. Gulavani, Sport Management; Dionne Gerri Wilson, Teacher Education; Rachel Flemming, Spanish Linguistics; Muhamad Prabu Wibowo, Information Science; and Sen Wang, Reading Education and Language Arts. (FSU Photography Services/Bill Lax)
The 2022 FSU 3MT competition finalists: M. Addie McConomy, Special Education; Vivianne Asturizaga, Musicology; Akshay Anand, Mechanical Engineering; Susmit S. Gulavani, Sport Management; Dionne Gerri Wilson, Teacher Education; Rachel Flemming, Spanish Linguistics; Muhamad Prabu Wibowo, Information Science; and Sen Wang, Reading Education and Language Arts. (FSU Photography Services/Bill Lax)

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