At any given time, UNCG students and faculty are working on hundreds of fascinating research projects – from viruses, to education techniques, to rodents.

As an academic and a researcher, however, it’s easy to develop “blinders” that make it difficult to explain your research to the average person, says Angie Larsen, a doctoral student studying environmental health science and minoring in statistics.

That’s why The Graduate School hosts the 3MT, or Three Minute Thesis, competition each year. Students are given three minutes and one PowerPoint slide to explain their thesis to a non-expert audience, encouraging UNCG’s master’s and doctoral students to share their research in an easy-to-understand way.

Larsen, who took first place at this year’s 3MT competition with her presentation “Habitat changes: Can we grow biofuel feedstocks without negatively impacting wildlife?” said 3MT was a valuable experience – not only for herself, but for her fellow researchers as well.

“I like the idea of making research accessible to anyone and everyone,” Larsen said. “We (researchers) want people to know about it, and we want people to be interested in it.”

A native of Marinette, Wisconsin, Larsen received her associate’s degree from the University of Wisconsin – Marinette and her bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point. Her master’s degree is from Grand Valley State University. Her UNCG doctoral advisor is Dr. Matina Kalcounis-Rüppell.

Vincent Sica, a doctoral student studying chemistry and biochemistry, took second place with his presentation “Accelerating natural product drug discovery: Six weeks to six seconds.” Joseph Ross won the People’s Choice award. The fourth-year doctoral student presented “Judging Nuremberg: Creating The International Military Tribunal’s human rights legacy in America and beyond.”