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March 22: Ph.D. students present simple summaries of theses

3MT-logo-200PULLMAN, Wash. – Graduate students from five WSU Pullman colleges and WSU Vancouver will explain their research in the Three Minute Thesis (3MT) competition at 1 p.m. Tuesday, March 22, in the CUB auditorium as part of Showcase, a week of celebrating the achievements of Washington State University faculty, staff and students.

The contest challenges students to consolidate their ideas and discoveries and present them concisely to a non-specialist audience. Learn more about 3MT at Find more about Showcase events at

The 3MT contestants, from left, are Molly Perchlik, Joseph Taylor, Ellen Bornhorst, Andrew Iverson, Ruth Bryant and Phillip Uribe.

The six students competing in the WSU-wide 3MT are:

Molly Perchlik, botany, College of Arts & Sciences. Her research focuses on improving nitrogen use in plants to optimize growth, increase crop yields and reduce the need for synthetic fertilizers. Her thesis presents an effective strategy and discusses potential benefits for the environment and human health.

Joseph Taylor, information systems, Carson College of Business. His research interests focus on crowdsourcing and using technology to create business value. His thesis looks at crowdsourcing information technology tasks from the perspective of workers, buyers and platform providers.

Ellen Bornhorst, biological and agricultural engineering, College of Agricultural, Human & Natural Resource Sciences. Her research and thesis focus on improving the quality of processed foods and objectively measuring the quality of foods processed via a novel method of microwave pasteurization.

Andrew Iverson, educational psychology, College of Education. His research focuses on better understanding school truancy through risk-need profiles of teenagers. His thesis looks at helping educators target interventions and services in ways that better serve students.

Ruth Bryant, College of Nursing. Her research focuses on identifying novel ways to prevent pressure ulcers (also known as bedsores) in patients and understanding the challenges of caring for patients with pressure ulcers. Her thesis aims to identify factors that predict adverse outcomes.

Phillip Uribe, integrative physiology and neuroscience, WSU Vancouver. His research focuses on using zebrafish to study the death of sensory hearing cells and developing ways to preserve these cells – and similar ones in humans – to maintain functional hearing.

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