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Send UM's Three Minute Thesis Winner to Regional Competition

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Project ended on March 06, at 09:27 AM CST
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Join the Graduate School in Sending UM’s Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) Winner to Regional Competition

UM's 3MT competition winner Kendall Wontor will go on to the regional competition. Support her journey and future graduate students in this worthy effort!

The Three Minute Thesis, or 3MT, is a research communication competition that challenges students to communicate the significance of their research and work without props or industry jargon – in just three minutes.

Every year, the UM Graduate School hosts training sessions, a preliminary round and a final round. This year at the University of Mississippi’s 3MT competition, 75 students participated in the first round, representing 30 academic programs.

Of these 75 students, 26 advanced to the final round. Each year, our finalists compete to see who will represent UM at the Conference of Southern Graduate Schools, which is a regional competition. This year’s regional conference will be held March 3 - 4 in Tampa, Florida, and we ask for your support to help send UM’s winner to this important event!

In each round at UM and the regional competition, a panel of judges scores each participant. The scores from the final round at the University of Mississippi are used to identify an overall winner, first- and second-place doctoral student, and first- and second-place master’s student. In addition, audience members in

Sumeet Kulkarni (top), a secondary education master's student, and Daphney Stanford (bottom), a doctoral student in Health, Exercise Science and Recreation Management, competed in the final round of UM's 3MT competition. Kulkarni won first place among master's students. 

attendance at the final round vote for their favorite presentation, constituting the People’s Choice award.

Drumroll, please. This year’s 3MT overall winner, who, with your support, will represent UM at regionals is Kendall Wontor. A doctoral chemistry student, Wontor’s research focuses on microplastic pollution in our oceans, specifically as found in oysters.

The first component of Wontor’s research is focused on developing new methods to extract microplastics from oyster tissue, which was the thrust of her 3MT presentation. For the second component of her research, Wontor used chemical digestion to analyze oysters from 10 sites across the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Here, Wontor is looking for any differences in the numbers, sizes, shapes and polymer types of microplastics present in the oysters from the different sites. Sadly, some of the key sources of oysters from the state can include a large number of microplastics that are then ingested by humans.

In her winning presentation, Wontor was able to grab her audience’s attention, succinctly discuss the scientific process of her research, and explain in plain terms why this research is so important – all in three minutes.

Her competitors were especially fierce this year, which is why we think Wontor will shine in the regional competition and be an exceptional representative for our UM graduate students. The costs for her participation, from registration fees to hotel to transportation, will be approximately $2,000. We are committed to raising these costs together to celebrate our students and their achievements.

Please join us in this effort by making a gift to send Wontor to the 3MT regional competition in Tampa today! Our gifts also support this important program in the future by increasing the scholarship prizes available to all of our winners.

In addition to honoring our overall winner, Kendall Wontor, we want to recognize all the exceptional winners of the 2022 University of Mississippi 3MT competition:

  • People’s Choice: Emily Gravlee - Pharmacy Administration
  • Tied for First-Place Doctoral: Baharul Islam - Medicinal Chemistry; and Maisha Sadia - Electrical Engineering
  • First-Place Masters: Sumeet Kulkarni - Secondary Education
  • Tied for Second-Place Masters: Mitchell Roberts - Philosophy; Preethi Lakkala – Pharmaceutics
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Pumped Up for 3MT!

The cost of an espresso or energy drink is about $7. Participants need to be pumped up and ready to put their best foot forward to compete in 3MT.


Welcome to Finals

This year, 26 students qualified for the final round of the University of Mississippi's 3MT competition, presenting on everything from philosophy to physics to pharmaceutics and more! Honor their hard work with your gift.


Near Perfection

In the UM 3MT competition, a panel of judges awarded points to each competitor based on two categories: 1. Comprehension and Content; and 2. Engagement and Communication. Kendall Wontor's overall score of 75 meant the four judges rated her nearly perfect. Help her continue her winning streak! Make a gift!


Registration, Please

The cost for the University of Mississippi to register for the 3MT regional competition is $100. Help us cover this cost!


The Playoffs

At the Southeast regional competition, UM's winner Kendall Wontor will be up against as many as 200 other winners from colleges and universities. Help her represent UM with pride!


A Prized Competition

Currently, we award $500 total in scholarships to our overall, people’s choice, and first and second place winners in UM's 3MT competition. With your $500 gift, you can reward future students’ hard work and help us increase the prize awarded to these very hard-working graduate students.


Home Sweet Hotel

The hotel room for our UM graduate student competitor in Tampa, Florida is reserved. Your gift of $746 can cover this cost and ensure that our winner stays focused on the competition.


Competing at the Next Level

The total cost for UM Graduate School's participation in the regional 3MT competition is $2,000. With one gift, you can cover this cost. And, if our student advances to the national level, all our gifts work together to help the University of Mississippi compete on a national and international stage.

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