Three Minute Thesis Competition

The Three Minute Thesis Competition (3MT) is an exciting, fast-paced event showcasing the research of graduate students across campus. Each scholar is given three minutes to present their research displayed to the audience and judging panel in a single presentation slide. The competition boasts cash prizes for winners in each category.

You'll be amazed at what these scholars can fit into a three-minute presentation. You don't want to miss this competition!

The 2022 3MT Final competition will be held in person on April 14, 2022, in the MIKC Wells Fargo Auditorium. See below for more information on how to register to compete in the preliminary rounds on March 22nd and 23rd.

One of our past winners, Robert del Carlo, was recently featured in the Nevada Silver & Blue Magazine. Read the article.

Join us for the 2022 Three Minute Thesis competition!

The University of Nevada, Reno Graduate School is pleased to announce that the Three Minute Thesis Competition (3MT) has returned to campus as an in-person event for Spring 2022. The competition is open to students in masters and doctoral programs that require a thesis, dissertation or professional project. 

Preliminary round

The 3MT preliminary rounds were hosted on March 22 and March 23, 2022 in the MIKC Wells Fargo Auditorium.

The top four contestants in each preliminary round category won $300 and advanced to the final round of the competition.

The preliminary rounds are subdivided into four disciplinary/degree categories, as follows:

March 22, 2022: Liberal Arts, Social Sciences, Education, Business, Journalism and Social Work

  • Doctoral, Group A1
  • Master's, Group B1

March 23, 2022: STEM and Health Sciences 

  • Doctoral, Group A2
  • Master's, Group B2

Final round

What to expect in the final round:

  • What: 3MT finals competition in master’s and doctoral student categories
  • When: Thursday, April 14, 2022, from 6:30 to 9 p.m.
  • Where: Wells Fargo Auditorium (MIKC 124) in the lower level of the Knowledge Center

There will be a total of 16 finalists competing in the following two groups based on degree level:

  • Group A – Doctoral Students (Four students from A1 and four students from A2)
  • Group B – Master's Students (Four students from B1 and four students from B2)

Awards for final round winners will be $1,000 for 1st place, $600 for 2nd place, and $400 for 3rd place.


Times are approximate.

  • 6:30 p.m. | Opening reception in the foyer outside of the Wells Fargo Auditorium (MIKC 124)
  • 7:00 p.m. | 3MT program begins 
  • 7:05 p.m. | 3MT for graduate students in training: Honor’s thesis presentations
  • 7:13 p.m. | Judges for the master’s student presentations introduced
  • 7:20 p.m. | Master’s student presentations
  • 7:55 p.m. | Judges for the doctoral student presentations introduced
  • 8:00 p.m. | Doctoral student presentations
  • 8:30 p.m. | People’s Choice Award balloting
  • 8:35 p.m. | Intermission for tabulating judges’ scores
  • 8:50 p.m. | Winners announced

2022 Finalists

Group A – Doctoral Dissertation Category

  • Angie Bradley, Educational Leadership Ph.D.
    Title: Sense of Belonging of Students of Color Participating in Living Learning Communities: A Phenomenological Study
    Advisor: Ethan Ris
  • Keely Eshenbaugh, Political Science Ph.D.
    Title: Playing Darts in the Dark: Making Sense of the 2016 Brexit Referendum
    Advisor: Ian Hartshorn
  • Jennifer Heppner, Ecology, Evolution and Conservation Biology Ph.D.
    Title: Do mothers know best? Stress in our city birds
    Advisor: Jenny Ouyang
  • Jerry Howard, Materials Science and Engineering Ph.D.
    Title: Improving Energy Sustainability, Inspired by Genetics
    Advisor: Krista Carlson
  • Md Hafizur Rahman, Mechanical Engineering Ph.D.
    Title: Oil & gas: How safe is 'safe enough’?
    Advisor: Pradeep Menezes
  • Stephanie Reyes, Clinical Psychology Ph.D.
    Title: Are Latinxs "Crazy" or Are Treatments Unavailable?
    Advisor: Lorraine Benuto
  • Yu Rong, Business Administration (Management) Ph.D.
    Title: Study Vaccine Intention Through the Lens of Knowledge and Collective Thinking
    Advisor: Amir Talaei-Khoei
  • Derrick Satterfield, Engineering Education Ph.D.
    Title: "I don't know why I am here, I never wanted to go to graduate school in the first place..."
    Advisor: Adam Kirn

Group B – Master’s Thesis Category

  • Gabriel Angres, Biochemistry MS
    Title: Efficient and Parsimonious Modeling of Opuntia cladodes
    Advisor: John Cushman
  • Fatema Azmee, History MA
    Title: Forming Foundations: The Origin of Korea's Nationalist Historiography
    Advisor: Eugene Park
  • Jessica Obermiller, Anthropology MA
    Title: Towards a queer Christianity: The evolution of norms, traditions, values, and culture in a queer affirming Lutheran church
    Advisor: Erin Stiles
  • Lawrence Ray, Biotechnology MS
    Title: "The Age of Data": In-silico Brain Modeling
    Advisor: M. Rashed Khan
  • Rachel Rein, Interdisciplinary Arts MFA
    Title: Chromosome Stroll
    Advisor: Russell Dudley
  • Abigail Sandquist, Graduate Program of Hydrologic Sciences MS
    Title: A large, highly uncertain fraction of precipitation evaporates from plants before reaching the ground
    Advisor: Scott Allen
  • Dustin Taylor, Philosophy MA
    Title: Weakness of Will as Insufficient Self-Constitution
    Advisor: Christopher Williams
  • Casey White, Animal and Rangeland Science MS
    Title: Tragedy of the Commons or Common Misconception?
    Advisor: Robert Washington Allen

Learn more about our competition

2020-2021 Finalists and winners

Doctoral category


FIRST PLACE: Elizabeth Preston
  • Graduate Program: Rhetoric and Composition
  • Title:  Humor Me: Using Humor Writing to Teach FYC Students Rhetoric and Composition
  • Faculty Advisors: Drs. William Macauley, Jr., Maureen McBride, Michael Branch and Chris Earle
SECOND PLACE: Katie Snider
  • Graduate Program: Interdisciplinary Social Psychology
  • Title: Coping with their Child's Incarceration: The Experiences of Parents in the Juvenile Justice System
  • Faculty Advisor: Shawn Marsh
THIRD PLACE: Beatrice Gordon
  • Graduate Program: Graduate Program of Hydrologic Sciences
  • Title: A Socio-Hydrologic Assessment of Agricultural Vulnerability to Changing Snowmelt-Driven Streamflow
  • Faculty Advisor: Dr. Adrian Harpold


Brendan Johnston
  • Graduate Program: English
  • Title:  Epic Materialism: Matter, Culture, and Place in the Modernist Long Poem
  • Faculty Advisor: Dr. Ann Keniston
Mohammad Sadrian
  • Graduate Program: Geological Sciences and Engineering
  • Title: Sometimes it's the Little Things that Count most: Mineral Dust, a Driver of the Earth Climate
  • Faculty Advisor: Dr. Wendy Calvin
Priyamvada Sharma
  • Graduate Program: Civil & Environmental Engineering
  • Title: What Goes Around Comes Around: Drugs in our Food?
  • Faculty Advisor: Dr. David Hanigan
Asif Siddiqui
  • Graduate Program: Political Science
  • Title:  The Fraying American Social Contract: The Politics and Budgeting of the Global War on Terror
  • Faculty Advisor: Dr. Susanne Martin

Patricia Berninsone People's Choice Award

Anjana Parandhaman
  • Graduate Program: Ecology Evolution and Conservation Biology
  • Title: Slow and Steady Wins the Race?
  • Faculty Advisor: Dr. Kenneth Nussear

Master's category


FIRST PLACE: Sarah Shapley
  • Graduate Program: Geology
  • Title: Fluid Inclusions and the Origin of Carlin-Style Deposits
  • Faculty Advisor:  Dr. John Muntean
SECOND PLACE: Samuel Cartwright
  • Graduate Program: Geological Sciences & Engineering
  • Title: Reading the Icy Pages of Mars Climate History
  • Faculty Advisor: Dr. Wendy Calvin
THIRD PLACE: Alexis Tudor
  • Graduate Program: Computer Science & Engineering
  • Title: Tick Marks on the Intergalactic Wall: Measuring the Flux of Stars
  • Faculty Advisors: Drs. Sergiu Dascalu and Richard Plotkin


Timothy Hannon
  • Graduate Program: Judicial Studies
  • Title: Asteroid Mining and the future of Space Law
  • Faculty Advisor: Dr. David Tanenhaus 
Haden Kingrey
  • Graduate Program: Anthropology
  • Title: Protein Residue and Starch Grain Analysis of Early Holocene Groundstone from the Northern Great Basin
  • Faculty Advisor: Dr. Geoffrey Smith
Brittany McAllister
  • Graduate Program: Philosophy
  • Title: Relational Autonomy
  • Faculty Advisor: Dr. Christopher Williams
Nazli Mohammad
  • Graduate Program: Business
  • Title: The Power of Trust
  • Faculty Advisor: Dr. Yvonne Stedham
Erin Smith
  • Graduate Program: Agriculture, Veterinary & Rangeland Sciences
  • Title: Growing Sorghum in Nevada: Using Modern Technology to Study an Ancient Grain
  • Faculty Advisor: Dr. Robert Washington-Allen

Undergraduate honor's thesis category (non-competitive)


Lily Liu
  • Major: Biology
  • Title: YPEL3: Important for Synaptic Development?
  • Faculty Advisor: Dr. Jung Hwan Kim
Moriah Martinez
  • Major: Integrated Elementary Education
  • Title: Students’ Eyewitness Accounts of Nazi Governed Schools
  • Faculty Advisor: Dr. John Marini