Grad School announces winner of 3MT competition

Competitors in the university's first 3MT competition.

The University of Arkansas at Little Rock Graduate School crowned the winner of its first Three Minute Thesis – 3MT competition – on Thursday, Feb. 8.

Melanie Desmuke, a Ph.D. candidate in the College of Education and Health Professions, advised by Dr. Linda Dorn, stole the competition with her synopsis of “Culturally Responsive Teaching,” which addressed the cultural and linguistic gap between black and Latino students and their teachers.

“Culturally responsive teaching requires teachers to identify, value, and honor the cultural and linguistic differences, rather than deficits, of each of their students,” Desmuke explained. “Teachers must keep in mind that even within a cultural or social group, there are within-group differences that should be identified and considered when developing instructional lessons.”  

Following the competition, Desmuke was awarded $500. In addition, she will represent UA Little Rock in the regional 3MT competition in Fayetteville, Arkansas, on Saturday, Feb. 24. The UA Little Rock Graduate School will cover the trip’s expenses.

He Zhang, a doctoral student in the College of Engineering and Information Technology, snagged second place with his presentation, “Robocane: Indoor GPS, Guiding White Cane.” Zhang, advised by Dr. Xian Liu, received $300.

Other competition participants included:

  • Karrer Agjhazali, College of Arts, Letters and Sciences: “A Nano-bases Scaffold, Bioactive System for Nerve Injury Recovery.” Advisor, Dr. Alexandru Biris.
  • Suzan Anwar, College of Engineering and Information Technology: “Real Time Eye Blink Detection for Monitoring Drivers.” Advisor, Dr. Mariofanna Milanova.
  • Kevin Golden, College of Engineering and Information Technology: “Identifying Fraudulent Retail-Consumer Transactions using Cluster Analysis.” Advisor, Dr. Daniel Berleant.
  • Abdulrahman Homadi, College of Engineering and Information Technology: “Experimental and Modeling a Novel Thermo-Magneto-Electrical Linear Generator.” Advisor, Dr. Lawrence Whitman.
  • James Hurst, College of Social Sciences and Communication: “Framing Fear: The Campus Environment.” Advisor, Dr. Tusty ten Bensel.
  • Juan Sebastian Munoz Arango, College of Engineering and Information Technology: “Multi-user VR.” Advisor, Dr. Dirk Reiners.
  • Yu Nie, College of Engineering and Information Technology: “Does Chief Data Officer Matter?” Advisor, Dr. John Talburt.
  • Ujwani Nukala, College of Engineering and Information Technology: “Are you Prepared for Emergency Nuclear Alerts?” Advisor, Dr. Cesar Compadre.
  • Brenda Prochaska, College of Social Sciences and Communication: “The Contextual Factors that Matter in Juvenile Transfer.” Advisor, Dr. Tusty ten Bensel.
  • Rajat Singh, College of Engineering and Information Technology: “Muscle Synergies.” Advisor, Dr. Kamran Iqbal.
  • Junxiu Zhou, College of Engineering and Information Technology: “Smart Cane.” Advisor, Dr. Xian Liu.

Each participant was awarded a $25 Barnes and Noble gift card and a certificate of appreciation.

The competition was organized by Kristi Wright, business manager of the Graduate School, and judged by Dr. Sherry Rankins-Robertson from the College of Social Sciences and Communications, Dr. Kent Layton from the College of Education and Health Professions, Dr. Nawab Ali from the College of Arts, Letters and Sciences, and Dr. Elizabeth Pierce from the College of Engineering and Information Technology.

“The Graduate School is also very appreciative of the collaboration with the Communication Skills Center, which hosted a series of workshops last fall  for doctoral students interested in the 3MT competition,” said Dr. Abhijit Bhattacharyya, interim vice provost for Research and dean of the Graduate School. 

For more information, contact Bhattacharyya at axbhattachar@ualr.edu.

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