Grad students to compete for prize money in annual Shaheen Three Minute Thesis competition

Author: Erin Blasko

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Eight University of Notre Dame graduate students will compete for $4,500 in prize money at the annual Shaheen Three Minute Thesis (3MT) competition at 5 p.m. Monday (April 23) in the Jordan Auditorium at the Mendoza College of Business.

Developed by the University of Queensland, Australia, 3MT is an academic competition that challenges Ph.D. students to explain their research in a language appropriate to both specialists and non-specialists in three minutes or less.

The competition provides an opportunity for undergraduates, alumni, industry partners, various on-campus departments/institutes and the community at large to learn about high-level, cutting-edge research at Notre Dame.

“The Shaheen 3MT competition lies at the heart of our conviction that ‘Your Research Matters.’ It gives Notre Dame graduate students a platform for promoting their research and communicating its importance to a broader community beyond their disciplines,” said Laura Carlson, vice president, associate provost and dean of the Graduate School.

“Graduate students play a pivotal role in our institution’s research advances,” Carlson said. “During the 3MT competition, we are able to celebrate these contributions while challenging our students to hone the professional development skills required for articulating a dissertation via a single, static slide and three-minute oration.”

In addition to Carlson, judges for this year’s competition include Bryan Ritchie, vice president and associate provost for innovation at Notre Dame; Lisa Michaels, associate director of career services, Mendoza College of Business; Lionel Pittman, assistant professor, Chicago State University; and Karen Bailey, process TD engineer, Intel Corp.

Randy Kelly, head of school at Montessori Academy Edison Lakes, will emcee the event.

This year’s finalists are Jonathon Gondelman, political science; Matteo Bianchetti, philosophy; Sarah Lum, chemistry; Whitney Liske, math; Elvin Morales, biology; Mark Summe, chemical engineering; Diya Li, chemical engineering; and Xunzhao Yin, computer science and engineering.

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Contact: Erin Blasko, assistant director of media relations, 574-631-4127,

Originally published by Erin Blasko at on April 20, 2018.