After 32 College of Arts and Sciences graduate students competed in the preliminary rounds and 13 advanced to the championship round, four impressed the judges enough to win awards during the college’s Three Minute Thesis Finals on Oct. 30.
Ph.D. students Benjamin Nelson (Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics) and Erin Wood (Department of Psychology) tied for the win, with each receiving a $300 prize. Wood also earned an additional $300 as the People’s Choice Award winner. Sarah Elzay, a Ph.D. student in the Department of Integrative Biology, placed second and received $200. Meagan Bourne, a master’s student in the Department of Political Science, placed third to earn $100.
Wood went on to win another $1,000 for claiming the People's Choice honor at the University Finals on Nov. 19.
The five judges for the CAS finals were all CAS alumni: Tom Cason (’77 Department of Plant Biology, Ecology and Evolution), Janet Farhood (’68 Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics), Marlene Kisling (’70 Department of Mathematics), Sherry Marshall (’92 Department of Physics) and Lindsey McDowell (’99 School of Media and Strategic Communications).
Wood, advised by Michael Criss and Jennifer Byrd-Craven, spoke about “Father-daughter relationship quality and health risk-taking behaviors: The role of cortisol.”
Nelson’s advisor is Karen L. Wozniak. His speech was “Pigeons: Carriers of a Cryptic Killer.”
Elzay’s “Without” was about a world without insects. Her advisor is Kristen A. Baum.
Bourne, advised by Jeanette Mendez, spoke about foster children who are “Living Life Out of a Trash Bag.”
Their presentations, along with all of the other finalists, are viewable at OState.TV.
Elzay, Nelson and Wood are among the 12 competitors across OSU who advanced to the University Finals.