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College of Health and Human Sciences

Graduate student wins regional Three Minute Thesis competition

Wednesday, April 10, 2019


Chris Omni, Kansas State University master’s student in public health, second from left, is the winner of the Midwestern Association of Graduate Schools' Three Minute Thesis competition.

MANHATTAN — Chris Omni, Kansas State University master’s student in public health, Topeka, is the winner of the 2019 Midwestern Association of Graduate Schools' Three Minute Thesis competition. Omni is the first Kansas State University student to win the regional competition. 

Omni received a $750 award for her presentation "Black Butterflyz: Making Black Women's Health a Capital Concern." Omni’s major professor is Emily Mailey, associate professor of kinesiology. 

The Midwestern Association of Graduate Schools, or MAGS, began hosting a Three Minute Thesis, or 3MT, competition, in 2016. The 2019 competition was March 22 in St. Louis and included 47 participants representing all 14 member states of the association. 

Omni said it was an experience of her professional goals becoming a reality. 

"Speaking intentions serve as an amazingly powerful tool for living," Omni said. "In December 2017, my husband and I traveled to Charlotte, North Carolina, and walked into an Omni hotel. We asked the front desk worker if we could see one of the conference rooms because I was scouting potential spaces to host a motivational speaking event. I stood in front of this vacant room and recorded my intentions about one day commanding a room that size or larger. Because of the MAGS 3MT victory, that intention will become a reality two years later when I stand onstage at the Omni hotel in Nashville, Tennessee, and continue my mission of making black women’s health a capital concern." 

Sunanda Dissanayake, associate dean of the university's Graduate School, attended the MAGS conference and observed Omni's winning presentation. 

"All participants were excellent," Dissanayake said. "However, when Chris presented, she was really able to capture the audience and pass her research message in an exceptional manner. It was clear who the winner was going to be. It was a proud moment to see how well K-State is represented at the regional level."

As winner of the MAGS 3MT, Omni is invited to give her presentation at the national level at the 2019 Council of Graduate Schools' annual meeting, December 4-7 in Nashville, Tennessee. Along with winners of 3MT competitions hosted by other regional affiliates of the Council of Graduate Schools, Omni will compete for a People’s Choice award. 

The Three Minute Thesis is an academic competition first developed by the University of Queensland of Australia. Competitions are conducted at more than 600 universities in 66 countries. 

Learn more about the Three Minute Thesis competition hosted by the Kansas State University Graduate School.

This article was posted on Wednesday, April 10, 2019, and is filed under College News, Kinesiology.