Karen Davis’ ’83, G’90 desire to create a welcoming environment for all has permeated every corner of the College of Engineering and Computer Science (ECS). Building the college’s career services from the ground up and becoming the assistant dean of…
Lei Wang, Yousr Dhaouadi Take Awards in ‘Three Minute Thesis’ Graduate School Competition
Winners of the Three Minute Thesis® (3MT) competition have been announced by the Graduate School. 3MT is a research communication competition that challenges graduate and doctoral students to deliver a compelling oration on the nature, significance and interests of their dissertation or master’s thesis research in three minutes or less.
The 2023 Syracuse University Three-Minute Thesis champion is Lei Wang, a doctoral student in the instructional design, development and evaluation program in the School of Education. She presented “Decision-Making Matters: A Learning Resources Tool to Prompt Deeper Learning” at the 3MT finals on March 3 in Bird Library.
Wang spoke about an innovative tool she developed to address a significant gap in the field of instructional design. She paired the tool with a systematic and comprehensive study evaluating the features of learning resources that prompt deeper learning. The term “deeper learning” goes beyond rote memorization of facts. Through thorough and in-depth understanding of content, it helps students transfer and apply knowledge to tackle new problems from multiple perspectives.
The competition provided Wang the opportunity to share her research with a wider audience while building confidence in her public-speaking abilities, she says. “As an international student from China, winning this has been an incredible achievement. The recognition has given me a newfound confidence in my abilities and strengthened my resolve to continue pursuing excellence in my field.”
Wang’s grand prize is a 16-inch MacBook Pro M1 computer. She also received a one-year membership in the American Educational Research Association. She will represent Syracuse University in the Northeast Association of Graduate Schools’ 3MT competition in April.
Attendees at the 3MT finals selected as “people’s choice” winner Yousr Dhaouadi, a chemical engineering doctoral student in the College of Engineering and Computer Science, who discussed “Controlling Bacterial Stress Tolerance with Light.” Her research seeks to understand bacterial persister cells that reside within biofilms. Persister cells are linked to resilience of chronic infections against antibiotics and to the rise of antimicrobial resistance.
Dhaouadi says that being selected for the people’s choice award “is an incredible honor for me. Communicating research on drug-tolerant bacteria can be quite challenging. Condensing intricate scientific concepts and technical terms into a three-minute summary requires contemplating the overarching objective of our research. I am delighted that the message I conveyed resonated with the audience. I am grateful for the recognition and am motivated to continue my research to develop effective tools to help combat the global rise in drug tolerance and resistance.” Her prize is a ReMarkable 2 tablet.
Also participating in the competition were:
- Çağla Çimendereli, Ph.D. student, philosophy: “Being Yourself Behind Different Words”
- Joy Nyokabi Karinge, master’s student, Pan-African Studies: “Mercenaries of History: Migrating Archives, Controlling Narratives in African Studies”
- Jooyoung Kim, Ph.D. student, economics: “How Do Same-Sex Couples Affect Central Cities?”
- Mary Theresa Pagán, Ph.D. student, sociology: “The Elephant in the Room Has an Octopus Head: COVID-19 and Older Adults”
- Durgesh Ranjan, Ph.D. student, mechanical and aerospace engineering: “Hydrophobicity of Novel Carbon-Based Surface in Extreme Conditions”
- Andrew Ridgeway, Ph.D. student, composition and cultural rhetoric: “Bad Rhetoric: Analyzing Conspiracy Theories on Social Media”
- Magan Denae Straight, Ph.D. student, teaching and curriculum: “Our Lives Together, Artifacts of Siblinghood: A Visual Narrative Inquiry with Three Autistic Adults and Their Siblings”
- Joonsik Yoon, Ph.D. student, social science: “Transnational Imagination: Generational Ties, Filial Piety and Caregiving Across Borders Among Korean American Migrant Families”
Glenn Wright, executive director of career and professional development at the Graduate School, moderated the competition. Judges included Amanda Brown, associate professor of languages, literatures and linguistics in the College of Arts and Sciences; Adam Cucchiara, doctoral student in public administration and international affairs in the Maxwell School and the 2022 3MT champion; and Aaron Mohammed, assistant professor of earth and environmental sciences, College of Arts and Sciences, with a joint appointment in the College of Engineering and Computer Science.
The Three Minute Thesis competition was founded at the University of Queensland to celebrate graduate student research. The first competition was held in 2008. It grew in popularity and today takes place at more than 900 universities across more than 85 countries worldwide and in both virtual and in-person formats.