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More than 40 University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa graduate students representing more than 30 majors and programs competed in the Three Minute Thesis Competition on April 28. Students had to explain their master’s or doctoral research in three minutes or less and were evaluated on their ability to convey the gist of their research questions and results in a manner that is understandable and engaging and not trivializing.

The competition finalists were Daniel Mahi, Natalija Glibetic, Florencia Duron Delfin, Michael Honda, Nicole Chatterson, Leslee Mathews, Rebecca Carino, Imelda (no last name), Kelsea Hosoda and Andrew Repp.

Glibetic and Duron Delfin holding awards

Three Minute Thesis Competition winners, from left, Natalija Glibetic (second place) and Florencia Duron Delfin (first place and people’s choice). (Photo courtesy of Chase Nuuhiwa)

The first place and people’s choice winner was Duron Delfin, a master’s degree candidate from the Department of Communicology. She won over the judges and audience members with a summary of her research on the influence of environment on negative emotion expression. Duron Delfin’s research showed that women exposed to scenes of nature were significantly more expressive of their emotions and less likely to suppress anger than women exposed to urban scenes.

The second place winner was Glibetic, a molecular biosciences and bioengineering student who is also completing her master’s degree. Glibetic explained how sepsis, a common blood-borne infection, often causes lethal leakage in blood vessels. Her laboratory research has shown significant promise in reversing this clinical infection, by identifying key proteins that help “plug” these leaks.

10 people standing in a line holding certificates

Three Minute Thesis Competition finalists from left, Daniel Mahi, Natalija Glibetic, Florencia Duron Delfin, Michael Honda, Nicole Chatterson, Leslee Mathews, Rebecca Carino, Imelda (no last name), Kelsea Hosoda and Andrew Repp. (Photo courtesy of Chase Nuuhiwa)

More about the Three Minute Thesis Competition

The Three Minute Thesis Competition is a challenge considering it would take a person two hours to read out loud an average master’s thesis manuscript and about six and a half hours to read out loud an average doctoral dissertation manuscript.

This event, started in 2008 by The University of Queensland, is now held at more than 600 universities around the world in 65 countries. Dean of Graduate Division Krystyna Aune brought this competition to UH Mānoa to give graduate students an opportunity to further develop their communication skills and share their research with the campus and public.

During the event, 27 UH Mānoa faculty members judged the preliminary round—the master’s and doctoral competitions. In the final round, master’s and doctoral students went head-to-head. Judges included UH regents, the vice president for academic policy and planning, a news anchor, a journalist and business and community leaders.

9 people sitting in auditorium

Three Minute Thesis Competition final round judges, top row from left, Omar Sultan, Catherine Toth Fox, Carol Mon Lee, Randy Moore and Mahealani Richardson and bottom row from left, Donald Straney, Lee Putnam, Melanie Ide and Shaunaugh Robbins. (Photo courtesy of Chase Nuuhiwa)

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