Pharmaceutical sciences students receive Three Minute Thesis awards

Three doctoral students have won the top awards in the NDSU Three Minute Thesis Competition. Winners were announced Feb. 3.

The honorees are:

• First place: Riddhi Trivedi, pharmaceutical sciences, who presented
"Brain targeted nanoparticles for management of neuroAIDS."She is advised by Jagdish Singh, professor and chair of pharmaceutical sciences.

• Second place: Niyati Borkar, pharmaceutical sciences, who presented
"It's All About the KISS - Gender and Asthma." Her faculty adviser is Sathish Venkatachalem, associate professor of pharmaceutical sciences and co-director of the Center for Diagnostic and Therapeutic Strategies in Pancreatic Cancer.

• Third place: Jackson Benda, coatings and polymeric materials, who presented
"Development of Robust Fouling-release Coatings with Amphilphilic Surfaces to Combat Biofouling"
His adviser is Dean Webster, professor and chair of coatings and polymeric materials.

“I was really impressed with the quality of all of the participant videos. Especially in the context of a virtual competition, the students made excellent videos that presented their exciting research,” said Benton Duncan, interim dean of the College of Graduate and Interdisciplinary Studies and professor of mathematics.

“The quality made it particularly difficult to narrow down the pool to finalists, and selecting the top three was also very hard for the judges. At the end of the day, all of the students should be proud of their work, their accomplishments and their ability and willingness to share their research with others," said Duncan. "I congratulate all of them, and their advisers, for their hard work that makes the NDSU Graduate School a great place to get an advanced education.”

The competition was a video event this year due to the pandemic. A total of 18 students submitted videos for the contest, which were viewed by 21 judges.

The students vied in two categories: Content and Comprehension, and Communication and Engagement.

The competition’s first round involved dividing the videos into four groups, with the judges scoring them based on the video presentations and an associated slide. The top presentation from each group, plus the two participants with the highest remaining scores, were named finalists.

In Three Minute Thesis, students are given three minutes to present their research clearly and concisely. The finalists received $250 and the champion was awarded $1,000 and an invitation to represent NDSU at the Western Association of Graduate Schools meeting in March.

NDSU held its first Three Minute Thesis event in 2015.

Australia's University of Queensland developed the first Three Minute Thesis competition in 2008 and the concept has spread to institutions around the world. More than 900 universities in more than 85 countries now hold competitions.

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