Turning a complex research project into a concise three-minute summary is a challenging task; more so when that three-minute summary is intended for communication to a non-specialist audience. Nevertheless, with a preliminary round held to select seven semifinalists from among the competing graduate students, AUB's FAFS hosted its first Three-Minute Thesis Competition (3MT®) (May 5).
The 3MT® competition provides a fair number of challenges to contestants: consolidating the most interesting and relevant aspects of the project into a brief summary, constructing a single slide that presents the key details, and then presenting this information to a jury and live audience. Moreover, this year's global COVID-19 pandemic presented an additional challenge: contestants had to present virtually! But, all contestants, in Lebanon and abroad, rose to the new challenge and worked diligently to present their research by WebEx.
The 3MT® competition was sponsored by Boecker, who offered generous support to the winners. First place ($1,500) went to Mr. Ayman Makarim for his project Can Lebanon improve food production in light of available water resources – The case of AREC. Winner of the second place ($1,000) was Ms. Janelle Zakour for her project Predictors of mental wellbeing during COVID-19 pandemic confinement: A comparative study between adult Arabs of the Levant and Gulf. The People's Choice Award and third place ($500) was awarded to Mr. Omar Bahlawan for his project The association between dietary intake and the severity of symptoms among COVID-19 patients – A case control study in Beirut, Lebanon.
The 3MT® jury members included: Mr. Ramy BouJawdeh, Berytech Deputy General Manager; Dr. Rodrigue Balaa, Chairperson, Department of Agriculture at Issam Fares Faculty of Technology, University of Balamand; Ms. Fida Kanaan, Director of Executive Education, AUB's Olayan School of Business ; Dr. Joanna Doummar, Assistant Professor of Hydrogeology, Department of Geology, AUB's Faculty of Arts and Sciences; Ms. Bana Kalash Kobrosly, Country Manager, Boecker Public Health; and Dr. Jala Makhzoumi, Adjunct Professor of Landscape Architecture at AUB and President of the Lebanese Landscape Association.