Graduate student Christina Rickenbach composes herself before presenting her thesis on stage.
By Quincey Taylor
The ability to present your ideas succinctly in a way that makes sense is an essential skill for graduate students. They need to be able to clearly convey the importance of their theses in order to gain support and funding. The 3-Minute Thesis or 3MT is a research presentation competition that aims to help students do just that. Christina Rickenbach, graduate student who researched school nurses’ impact during an epidemic, represented the College of Nursing at BYU’s 2020 competition.
Originating at the University of Queensland in 2008, 3MT has spread to be practiced at several universities worldwide. Each student is given only 3 minutes to present their thesis. Therefore, they work hard to make them easily understandable and to-the-point.
One student from each college is selected to present their thesis. The selected winner receives $2,000, first runner-up receives $1,500, and third place receives $1,000. However, each participant is given a prize of $250 simply for presenting.
Rickenbach presented about her research regarding school nurses. She believes that there should be more school nurses in Utah’s public schools. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends one school nurse for every 750 students, but Utah averages one nurse for every 4,300 students, which is almost six times the recommended amount. Sometimes school nurses are spread across five to 15 schools, limiting their time at each school campus significantly. This is a huge barrier during outbreaks when every moment is of the essence.
The college supports Rickenbach and we are extremely proud of her time and energy she has put into her master’s thesis. Not to mention she presented while in the final stages of pregnancy! When some people are passionate about something, nothing can stop them. We are convinced that Rickenbach is one of these people!