2020 Three Minute Thesis Competition

2020 event recap

The Graduate School and Marquette University held the 3MT® competition on February 21, 2020.  The Three Minute Thesis is a global research communication competition developed by The University of Queensland in Australia.  This academic competition for doctoral and master’s degree students required each participant to explain his or her research effectively in three minutes, using one slide, with no animation.

After competing in a qualifying round, finalists were chosen to compete for the coveted prize of $1,000.  Additionally, $500 was awarded to the Runner-Up and the audience voted for the People’s Choice winner who was also awarded $500. 

Congratulations to this year's winner Isabelle Horvath and runner-up Nicholas Sepulveda

Horvath Sepulveda WoodsIsabelle Horvath (pictured left with Dr. Doug Woods), a doctoral student in the Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering program, emerged as the Three Minute Thesis competition winner with her presentation, “Designing Nutrient Traps: Optimization of Green Stormwater Infrastructure". 

Isabelle will move on to represent Marquette University at the Midwestern Association of Graduate Schools regional competition in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Horvath also was awarded the People's Choice award, which was voted by the audience. 

The Runner-Up was awarded to Mr. Nicholas Sepulveda, a doctoral student in Biological Sciences program, with his presentation, "Temperature Stress Weakens Male Fertility".

Congratulations and thank you to our winners and competitors from this year’s competition!  It was incredible to learn about the research from our graduate students. 

Watch the Entire Competition


First Place Winner and People's Choice: Isabelle Horvath- Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering

Thesis: Designing Nutrient Traps: Optimization of Green Stormwater Infrastructure


Runner-Up Winner: Nicholas Sepulveda-  Biological Sciences

Thesis: Temperature Stress Weakens Male Fertility


Abigail Bernhardt- History

Thesis: On Sides: Reading Irish National Identities Through Soccer


Stephen Calme- Theology

Thesis: Kenosis As a Path to Antiracism


Philipe Ambrozio Dias- Electrical and Computer Engineering

Thesis: Precisely Locating Objects in Images


James McDonald- Counseling Psychology

Thesis: Healing from Opioid Addiction


Seyfullah Ozkurt - Political Science

Thesis: Recycling Refugees



Thank you to our preliminary and final competition judges

Preliminary Round Judges

  • Dr. Kati Tusinski Berg- Communication
  • Dr. Daniel Bergen- Community Engagement
  • Dr. Dierdre Dempsey- Theology
  • Ms. Courtney Hanson-Career Services
  • Mr. Andrew Holmes- Physician Assistant Studies
  • Ms. Carolyn Swabek- Trinity Fellows Program
  • Dr. Darren Wheelock Social and Cultural Sciences 

Final Competition Judges

  • Jason Rae, President and CEO of Wisconsin LGBT Chamber and Secretary of the Democratic National Committee
  • Kelly McShane, Trustee at Marquette University 
  • Keith Stanley, Executive Director  Avenues West and the Near West Side Partners
  • Mike Gousha, Distinguished Fellow in Law and Public Policy at Marquette University