ECU students present research in unique competition
Forty-two East Carolina University undergraduate and graduate students gave their “elevator speech” about research they’re doing during the annual Three Minute Thesis competition on Oct. 26.
While the event wasn’t held in an elevator (it happened in the Mendenhall Great Rooms), the concept was the same: clearly and concisely summarize research in three minutes or less, using only one PowerPoint slide.
Divided into two parts, 13 undergraduate students competed in the morning while 29 graduate students presented in the afternoon.
Students from a range of departments and majors participated, and the graduate competition featured thesis and dissertation projects from masters and doctoral students. Individual heats were held with the two top-scoring students moving to the championship round.
In the undergraduate competition, Mira Sampath, a multidisciplinary studies major, was named grand champion. Jayati Vyas, who is majoring in psychology, took second place while chemistry major Jared Keever won third. Sampath’s mentor was Dr. Alex Murashov, associate professor of physiology. Vyas was mentored by Dr. Michael Baker, assistant professor of psychology, and Keever was advised by Dr. Fadi Issa, assistant professor of biology.
Sophronia Knott, who is pursuing a master’s degree in English, took grand champion in the graduate competition for her presentation, “A Literary and Narrative Comparison of Sylvia Plath’s Journals and Marya Hornbacher’s ‘Wasted’ and ‘Madness.’”
As the winner, Knott will represent ECU at regional competition this spring at the Conference of Southern Graduate Schools Meeting in Annapolis, Maryland.
Graduate students also competed for the Department Cup and People’s Choice Award.
The biology department won the Department Cup with the highest combined total of the top three scoring competitors.
Adam Stuckert received the People’s Choice Award for his presentation titled “Surviving to Sex: A ‘Shout’ Out to Predators.” Biology professor Dr. Kyle Summers was Stuckert’s advisor.
More information about the worldwide event is available online at http://threeminutethesis.org/.