Three Minute Thesis

Three Minute Thesis Winners

1st Place: Danae Thackerson
Mentor: Dr. Alejandra Alvarado-Brizuela, Department of Foreign Languages
Cognitive Benefits of Childhood Bilingualism

2nd Place: Christian Bayens
Mentor: Dr. Brian Thompson
Shedding Light on Emeralds

3rd Place: Abbey Hellum
Preferential Learning Methods of MBA Students and the Overall Affect on Classroom Success

People's Choice: Sarah Schiavone
Mentors: Dr. Richard Hudiberg and Dr. Larry Bates, Department of Psychology
Star Wars vs. Star Trek: An Intergalactic Divergence of Fan Values


Three Minute Thesis Final Round Participants

April 6
Three Minute Thesis Competition Final Round
M. Alexis McAllister
Jacob Ezell
Rebecca Thomas Stackhouse
Danielle Livermore
Hailey Boeck
Sarah Schiavone
Katelyn Spidel
Emily Clay
Elly Couch
Alex Edwards
Danae Thackerson
Christian Bayens
Maisey Hunter
Stacy Verros
Kaitlyn Foster
Brandon Miller
Morgan Burcham

3MT Final Round Abstracts


The Education Imperative

Presenter: M. Alexis McAllister
Mentors: Dr. Alex Aguado and Dr. Leah Graham, Department of History and Political Science

Primary level education is necessary to break the cycle of poverty.  By providing education to all women and children, the family unit can rise above the poverty threshold. This policy will also serve to improve a country’s economy on a national scale and increase its Gross Domestic Product in the process.

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Exploration of Transgender Gender Identity and Expression with the South

Presenter: Jacob Ezell
Mentor: Dr. John Hodges, Department of Social Work

This case study explored the lives of three transgender women living in Alabama.  Transgender people’s voices are often excluded from research on the LGBTQ community. The rich diversity of experience between the women emerges as one of the core themes of the research, viewed through the Social Work strengths perspective.

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The Effect of Food Intake on Children’s Academic Performance

Presenter: Rebecca Thomas Stackhouse
Mentor: Dr. Andrea Hunt, Department of Sociology and Family Studies

Examining the relationship between student nutrition and academic performance in the classroom to identify how food intake affects learning is the research goal.

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The Role of Creativity in the Brain’s Development

Presenter: Danielle Livermore
Mentor: Chiong-Yiao Chen, Department of Art

Research shows that studying art and developing creativity is helpful in building confidence and increasing the amount of grey matter in the brain and creative activities engage the same part of the brain used for solving complex processes. My thesis proposes that the grey matter’s accelerating of the brain’s processing speed is linked to art’s development of problem solving capabilities that a myriad of other studies have shown.

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What doesn't kill you makes you stronger: cross-tolerance in the upside-down jellyfish Cassiopea xamachana.

Presenter: Hailey M. Boeck
Mentor: Dr. Isaac Sleadd, Department of Biology

A potential role for heat shock proteins was investigated during cross-tolerance in the upside-down jellyfish Cassiopea xamachana. Animals exposed to acute heat stress displayed increased salinity tolerance and survived about twice as long as control animals following transfer to a hypersaline environment. To our knowledge, this is the first time cross-tolerance has been demonstrated in a true jellyfish.

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Star Wars vs. Star Trek: An Intergalactic Divergence of Fan Values

Presenter: Sarah Schiavone
Mentors: Dr. Richard Hudiberg and Dr. Larry Bates, Department of Psychology

This research investigates Star Trek and Star Wars fans’ beliefs and values as compared to the themes presented in their favorite fandom (a fan following formed around a particular media). Understanding fandoms’ potential influence on personal values may offer a better understanding of the power of media consumption.

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U.S. Military Presence in Africa: a GIS Analysis 

Presenter: Katelyn Spidel
Mentor: Dr. Francis Koti, Department of Geography

I conducted research and analysis to determine whether there is a significant relationship between US Military presence and violence in Africa. Preliminary results indicate no significant relationship between US military presence and violence in Africa, implicating purposes other than violence as a driving factor for US military presence on the continent.

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Poulenc’s Elegie:  A Study on Grief

Presenter: Emily Clay
Mentor: Dr. David McCullough, Department of Music & Theatre

In 1957, Dennis Brain, a great musical genius, was killed in a fatal car crash. As a memorial to Brain, the composer Francis Poulenc wrote a work titled Elegie.   This study investigates the possible existence of a correlation between the clinical stages of grief and the work’s compositional elements.

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The Effect of Technology-Enhanced Lessons in the Math Classroom

Presenter: Elly Couch
Mentor: Dr. Cynthia Stenger, Department of Mathematics

Our research seeks to determine if incorporating technology in a math classroom improves student understanding.  We compare results from a projectile motion lesson incorporating a software simulation and an actual rocket launch with a lesson taught in a traditional lecture format.

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Investigating Cardano’s Irreducible Case

Prtesenter: Alex Edwards
Mentor: Dr. Jessica Stovall, Department of Mathematics

Solving cubic equations is a historically rich problem in mathematics. The most common technique for solving cubic equations is Cardano’s Method. Unfortunately, in some instances, the application of Cardano’s Method results in what Cardano termed the “irreducible case.” Our research investigates the conditions that arise to the “irreducible case.“

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Cognitive Benefits of Childhood Bilingualism

Presenter: Danae Thackerson
Mentor: Dr. Alejandra Alvarado-Brizuela, Department of Foreign Languages

In past decades many parents who immigrated to the US refused to teach their children their heritage language. They believed that bilingualism would confuse or label their children. Consequently beautiful cultures and traditions were often suppressed. However recent studies have shown that bilingualism actually has remarkable cognitive benefits for children.

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Shedding Light on Emeralds

Presenter: Christian Bayens
Mentor: Dr. Brian Thompson

Collecting photoluminescence spectra of emeralds from different origins, we have identified correlations between an emerald's geologic origin and spectral parameters of its luminescence R-lines. We have also used these luminescence R-lines to find clues as to the geographical origin and chemical composition of individual emeralds. 

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Culturing of Sommerstorffia spinosa

Presenter: Maisey Hunter
Mentors: Dr. Davison and Dr. Thompson, Department of Biology

Sommerstorffia spinosa  has long been known as an interesting water mold as it must capture and feed on a loricate rotifer in order to reproduce. This research focuses on culturing Sommerstorffia spinosa and discovering various other interesting traits of this unique water mold.

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Teaching With Crohn’s Disease: A Qualitative Analysis of a Pre-Service Teacher’s Experience

Presenter: Stacy Verros
Mentor: Dr. Gary Padgett, Department of Secondary Education

This study was conducted to address two research questions. They are what challenges would a teacher with Crohn’s disease face, and would teaching in an elementary or secondary setting provide a teacher with Crohn’s disease fewer challenges? An autoethnographic approach allowed a personal and in-depth look into the answers.

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The Influence of Physical Attractiveness Stereotye of a Salesperson on Consumer Purchasing Behavior

Presenter: Kaitlyn Foster
Mentor: Dr. Chanho Kang, Department of Health, Physical Education and Recreation (HPER)

This study assesses if salesperson’s physical attractiveness has an impact on customer behaviors. The study resulted in a non-significant impact of the salesperson’s physical attractiveness on consumer behaviors. At the time of this presentation, practical implications and suggestions for the management of salesperson derived from the results will be discussed.

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Effects of Hypohydration on Blood [La] During Cycling

Presenter: Brandon Miller

This study examined the influence of hypohydration on blood lactate concentration ([La]) during constant workload cycling. [La] was significantly greater during hypohydration (vs. well-hydrated) cycling (p = 0.03). Hypohydration leading to greater [LA] could contribute to premature fatigue potentially sacrificing performance and safety.

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Return-Oriented Programming

Presenter: Morgan Burcham
Mentor: Dr. James Jerkins, Department of Computer Science and Information Systems

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