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PhD student Sasha Leiman receives thesis prize

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Sasha Leiman received 3rd prize for the Rutgers 3 Minute Thesis competition.

"The Mystery of Dark Streams: How Microbes Melt the Greenland Ice Sheet"



As many of you know, the School of Graduate Studies participates in the nationwide “3 Minute Thesis Competition (3MT)” each spring (see aims to provide  doctoral students with an engaging platform to develop communication skills by challenging them to present their dissertation research in 3 minutes or less using only one slide. The presentations must be understood and appreciated by a general audience.   Although the 3MT is formally a competitive event, it is structured so that all participants benefit from the experience and feedback.

This year 19 Rutgers doctoral students participated in 3MT across a wide range of disciplines.  The students developed their presentations with feedback and guidance from mentors, peers, fellow 3MT participants, and members of the SGS staff.  The preliminary rounds of the Rutgers competition were held during the second week of March.  Students were given detailed feedback about their presentations from a panel of volunteer judges and 10 students advanced to the final round. Due to restrictions on gatherings, the students in the final round participated by recorded presentations. 

The judges’ decisions are as follows:

1st Place: Christina Verhagen, Earth & Planetary Sciences
                   Magnetic Clocks in Crater Rocks

2nd Place:
 Franklin Halprin, Planning and Public Policy
                   The Bear Truths: Power, History, and Conflict in New Jersey Black Bear Policy


3rd Place (tie): Rachel Dickler, Education
                           Using Artificial Intelligence to Support Struggling Students in STEM
                           Sasha Leidman, Geography
                           The Mystery of Greenland’s Dark Streams: How Microbes Melt the Greenland Ice Sheet   


Analia Albuja, Psychology, How Does Discrimination Affect Bicultural People?

Kate Douthat, Ecology and Evolution, Can a Ditch by the Side of the Road Save Butterflies?

Robert Dowden, Kinesiology & Health, “Long Reads” Show Exercise Alters “Who’s There?” in Gut Bacteria

Serena DeStefani, Psychology, The Space Within

Shilpaa Mukundan, Biomedical Engineering, Bioengineering Miniaturized Tuberculosis (TB) Structures for Drug Discovery

Vinam Puri, Pharmaceutical Science, Topically Getting Rid of Nail Fungus



leidman sasha stream