Image of waves on rock in blue, text NMU GS&R presents 3MT

Three Minute Thesis

NMU 3MT 2023 will be held on February 21st at 4PM in the Lydia M. Olson Library Atrium. 

NMU began its annual participation in the Three Minute Thesis (3MT) competition in 2018 and continues to expand its programming. Each year, NMU students will compete for recognition, prizes, and a spot in the regional competition. Three Minute Thesis was developed by The University of Queensland (UQ) in 2008. "3MT cultivates students’ academic, presentation, and research communication skills. The competition supports their capacity to effectively explain their research in three minutes, in a language appropriate to a non-specialist audience."

Each candidate is limited to three minutes and one static PowerPoint slide to aid in the presentation of their thesis research. Students must be actively enrolled in a graduate program and must present original research.


Are you an NMU graduate student with some cool research or scholarly work that you would like to share? Sign up to participate in 3MT using the button below! Have questions about eligibility or the competition format? Send them our way at

2022 Graduate Winners

First Place and People’s Choice: Caro Els - School of Health and Human Performance, Exercise Science - Advisor: Dr. Randall Jensen - MAXIMUM EXTERNAL LOAD DURING MAX SQUAT PROTOCOL WITH DIFFERENT ABDOMINAL STABILIZING MANEUVERS

  • Caro Els represented NMU as one of 8 finalists at the Midwest Association of Graduate Schools 3MT competition
  • Furthest NMU has gone in the competition - read about in Northern Today

Runner Up: Nicole Thomas - Department of Psychological Sciences - Advisor: Dr. Amber LaCrosse - Relationship Between Apolipoprotein E Gene Expression and Chemotherapy Induced Cognitive Impairment

2022 McNair Winners

First Place and People’s Choice: Mandy Bonesteel - Sociology - The Case Against Meritocracy

Runner Up: Gwen Murray - Mathematics - Advisor: Dr. Joshua Thompson - Surfaces as Interplay Between Topology, Geometry, and Algebra



2022 Judging Panel: 

Tom Anthos - President, Trimedia, Chairman of the Board of Directors for Innovate Marquette Smartzone

Dan Arnold - Director, Superior Health Foundation

Amy Berglund - Director of Business Initiatives, InvestUP

Meagan Morrison - Social Responsibility Advisor, Eagle Mine

Have 3 minutes to spare? Watch our 3MT in 3 Minutes intro video!


2021 Winners

  • Graduate 1st Place Winner: Emily Griffith, Biology
  • Graduate Runner-Up: Xochitl Delgado, Psychological Sciences
  • Graduate People's Choice: Emily Klinkman, Exercise Science


  • McNair 1st Place Winner: Stephanie Baklarz, Medicinal Plant Chemistry
  • McNair Runner-Up: Ashley Martinez, History
  • McNair People's Choice: Jalen Sims, Graphic Design

The winners received prizes for their accomplishments, and the graduate first-place winner will represent NMU at the Midwest Association of Graduate Schools 3MT competition in March 2021. 

Thank you to our judges:

Debb Brunnell,  Director of Workforce Services, Michigan Works

Nathan Larsen, Nutrition Educator, Marquette-Alger Regional Educational Service Agency (MARESA)

Kristen Lucas, Associate Professor, Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs, University of Louisville

Chris Standerford, Director of the Seaborg Center, NMU

Watch the Event

2020 Winners

Graduate Students
  • 1st place: Madeline Hernstrom-Hill, English Department
  • Runner up: Grant Steinacher, Biology Department
  • People's choice: Rachael Nelson, Biology Department
McNair Students
  • 1st place: Cynthia Benson, Criminal Justice
  • Runner up: Shumete Sam, Department of Social Work
  • People's choice: Cynthia Benson, Criminal Justice

The first place graduate winner, Madeline Hernstrom-Hill, received $300 and travel to the Midwest Association of Graduate Schools conference to compete at the next level! 

Thank you to our judges: Evan Bonsall, Jim LaJoie, Tammy Nyen, and Mike Rochon

Watch the Event

2019 Winners

Graduate Students
  • 1st place: Kathryn Bianga, School of Business
  • Runner up: Veronica Snow, Biology Department
  • People's choice: Jaime VanEnkevort, School of Education, Leadership and Public Service
McNair Students
  • 1st place: Cecilia Ruiz, Neuroscience
  • Runner up: Brittney Moore, Upper Michigan Brain Tumor Center
  • People's choice: Cecilia Ruiz, Neuroscience

The first place graduate winner, Kathryn Bianga, received $500 and travel to the Midwest Association of Graduate Schools conference to compete at the next level! 

Thank you to our judges: Lizzie Corser, Jim LaJoie, Chad Mager, Evelyn Massaro, and Jason Nicholas

Watch the Event


For information about previous years' 3MT competitions, click here.