13th Annual UGA 3MT® Competition Results

3MT 2024 finalists

(l to r) Jordan Parker, Runner-Up Winner; Colin Peterson; Rachel Rackers; Abarna Murugan; Keiko Bridwell; Breanna Timani; Viviana Bravo, People’s Choice Winner; Hannah Ericson, Grand Prize Winner; Jouman Hassan; Mikaela Warner; Ron Walcott, Vice Provost of Graduate Education and Dean of the Graduate School


Thank you to all the students who participated in this year’s University of Georgia Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) Competition.

This year’s 3MT® competition drew over 70 submissions from students in departments across UGA’s campuses. Ten students advanced to the finals after scoring well with a team of judges during the preliminary heats. The 3MT® annual contest was open to any currently enrolled UGA master’s or doctoral student.

The final competition was held Wednesday, April 3, 2024, at the Morton Theatre in downtown Athens and was livestreamed on Facebook.


Congratulations, 2024 3MT® Winners!

3MT 2024 Winners

(l to r) Viviana Bravo, People’s Choice Winner; Jordan Parker, Runner-Up Winner;  Hannah Ericson, Grand Prize Winner


This year’s Grand Prize Winner was Hannah Ericson, a doctoral candidate in Genetics, for her presentation titled “Catalyzing Change: What Helps Department Heads Be Successful?”

3MT 2024 Grand Prize Winner, Hannah Ericson

Hannah Ericson, Grand Prize Winner

Hannah is currently a Ph.D. candidate studying biology education in the Genetics department in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences. Hannah works with Dr. Tessa Andrews studying teaching evaluations at UGA.   To promote the use of evidence-based teaching practices, teaching evaluation needs to support, recognize, and incentivize their use. Teaching evaluation is inadequate in this regard at many institutions, relying solely on student surveys instead of multiple sources of evidence. Hannah’s research focuses on the changes to teaching evaluation that are occurring at UGA, as well as factors influencing these shifts in different STEM departments. Hannah is passionate about the use of evidence-based teaching practices, to provide the best possible experience for STEM students. 

Originally from Illinois, she earned her bachelor’s degree in Biology from the University of Iowa. While there, her research centered around using fruit flies as a model to study epilepsy. She also helped in the description of a new species of parasitic wasp.



The Runner-Up Winner was Jordan Parker, a doctoral candidate in Comparative Biomedical Sciences, for presenting “Stem Cells In: The Journey to Sites of Injury.”

3MT 2024 Runner-Up, Jordan Parker

Jordan Parker, Runner-Up Winner

Jordan is a doctoral candidate in the dual DVM-PhD program, Veterinary Scientist Training Program, Comparative Biomedical Sciences Department at the UGA College of Veterinary Medicine. The UGA Graduate School awarded Parker a graduate fellowship to pursue her Ph.D., and the CVM awarded her a matching assistantship to help fund her research. Parker works under Dr. John Peroni, whose lab focuses on regenerative medicine research. She designed her own Ph.D. project around exploring stem cell trafficking to sites of injury. Since joining UGA, Parker has won 1st prize for a graduate oral presentation at the UGA CVM Steeve Giguere Science of Veterinary Medicine Symposium. Additionally, her Ph.D. project pre-proposal was one of four selected to represent UGA in applying for a Mather’s Foundation Grant. She hopes to one day work in academia, educating the next generation of veterinary scientists.

Born and raised in Marietta, Georgia, Jordan has lived all around the southeastern United States. For the past 6 years, she has lived in Lexington, KY, where she graduated magna cum laude with her BS in Equine Science and Management from the University of Kentucky. She entered UK’s Veterinary Science Master’s Program in 2021 under Dr. Emma Adam and Dr. Allen Page at the Gluck Equine Research Center. Her microbiology-focused thesis worked on exploring the multi-faceted relationship between the gastrointestinal microbiota communities, the host, and antibiotics.



The People’s Choice award, which is given to the contestant who receives the most votes from viewers of the competition, went to Viviana Bravo, a doctoral candidate in the Odum School of Ecology, for her presentation of “Tiny Clues, Big Discoveries: Harnessing Environmental DNA to Study Macroinvertebrates Communities.”

3MT 2024 People's Choice Winner, Viviana Bravo

Viviana Bravo, People’s Choice Winner

Viviana is a doctoral candidate at the Odum School of Ecology.  She is supervised by Dr. Raven Bier and Dr. Krista Capps. 

Viviana graduated in 2020 from the Escuela Politécnica Nacional in Ecuador with a degree in environmental engineering. She earned the National Environmental Research Park Scholar Assistantship, which allowed her to pursue a master’s program in Conservation and Sustainable Development at the University of Georgia.  In 2023, she was recognized for her academic achievements, winning the title of Best Talk in Session at the Odum School Ecology Graduate Student Symposium. She also received the Odum School of Ecology Graduate Diversity Award, showcasing her commitment to inclusivity and excellence in her field. Additionally, she was honored by the Society for Freshwater Science with the Emerge Fellowship Program for two consecutive years, along with Travel Awards to present her research at international conferences.

Her research focuses on studying macroinvertebrate communities in streams, reflecting her passion for freshwater ecosystems. Throughout her master’s research, she has integrated traditional biomonitoring techniques such as macroinvertebrate sampling while also exploring emerging methodologies like environmental DNA (eDNA) analysis, harnessing its potential as a powerful tool for studying macroinvertebrates in aquatic environments.

Her professional goals are to advance scientific understanding while informing conservation practices and environmental management strategies. She hopes to find a job that will allow her to apply the knowledge she has gained throughout her career, inspire others, make a positive impact, and contribute to the conservation of ecosystems for the benefit of future generations.


Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) is an academic competition developed by The University of Queensland (UQ), Australia. 

3MT - Three Minute Thesis, founded by the University of Queensland


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