Three Minute Thesis: Graduate Student Competition

November 10, 2020

Campus community invited to watch fast-paced graduate student competition

Jill E. Bunch, Graduate School

November 9, 2020

When you’re passionate about your research, you enjoy an opportunity to talk about it with your colleagues. When that opportunity is only three minutes long, and you have to make your research understandable to everyone, it’s a little more challenging. For the audience, though, it’s a lot more fun.

Clemson’s Three Minute Thesis (3MT) competition is back, and the fact it is virtual this year makes it more accessible than ever to the campus community. The online event is scheduled to start at 9 a.m. Friday, November 20.

Twenty-nine graduate students representing every college will summarize and explain the relevance of their research in three minutes or less and will be judged on clarity, presentation, and more. Sponsored at Clemson by Graduate Student Government (GSG), the Graduate School, the Vice President for Research, and the colleges, the competition allows students to develop and hone communication skills they need as professionals but often don’t focus on as part of their usual studies.

The link to the competition will be posted at Clemson Initiatives a few days before the event, and all employees, students, and community members are invited and encouraged to watch.

A similar event is being held the day before by the Clemson Post-Doc Association, wherein ten postdoctoral scholars present “Three-Minute Flash Talks” on their research. Viewers can log into Zoom at just before
2 p.m. 
on November 19 to watch the one-hour event.

Cash prizes will be awarded, including one for People’s Choice, which the audience determines. The winner in the Ph.D. candidate category will compete against other universities at the Council of Southern Graduate Schools’ annual conference next year.

Last year’s winner, Nickolas Gregorich, is this year’s director of the Research Initiatives Committee, the GSG group responsible for planning the event. “It’s exciting for students to be able to tell the larger Clemson community what they are working on every day,” he said. “And the staff and faculty tell us they enjoy the event, too. Some say it’s their favorite day of the academic year.”

This year’s finalists, listed by college then by program:

Agriculture, Forestry & Life Sciences

  • Amber Stone: Animal & Veterinary Science
  • Joel Hamilton: Food, Nutrition & Packaging Science
  • Meredith Bean: Forest Resources
  • Manisha Parajuli: Forest Resources
  • Wendy Buchanan: Plant & Environmental Sciences
  • Enoch Noh: Plant & Environmental Sciences
  • Tony Reda: Plant & Environmental Sciences
  • Pawanjit Sandhu: Plant & Environmental Sciences
  • Ricardo St Aime: Plant & Environmental Sciences

Architecture, Arts & Humanities

  • Rutali Joshi:  Planning, Design & the Built Environment
  • Vincent Qiu: Planning, Design & the Built Environment
  • Saeideh Sobhaninia: Planning, Design & the Built Environment

Behavioral, Social & Health Sciences

  • Pinar Ozmizrak: Healthcare Genetics
  • Kaitlin Mueller: Parks, Recreation & Tourism Managemen


  • Hyunji Suh: Business Administration
  • Bob Wen: Economics


  • Abby Baker: Learning Sciences
  • Emma Chiappetta: Teaching & Learning

Engineering, Computing & Applied Sciences

  • Amirreza Yeganegi: Bioengineering
  • Paritra Mandal: Biomedical Data Science & Informatics
  • Libby Flanagan: Biosystems Engineering
  • Omar Amer: Civil Engineering
  • Moazzam Nazir: Electrical Engineering
  • Chirath Pathiravasam: Electrical Engineering
  • Brennan Ferguson: Environmental Engineering & Earth Science
  • Reza Ghaiumy Anaraky: Human-Centered Computing
  • Moloud Nasiri: Human-Centered Computing
  • Jennifer Brown: Mechanical Engineering


  • Lea Marcotulli: Physics

Originally posted: Clemson awarded $3 million grant to develop AI-powered professional development for teachers