Grad students shine during thesis competition

Earlier this spring, Nipissing University’s Office of Graduate Studies & Research held its annual Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) Competition, challenging master’s and doctoral students to present their research and its impact to a panel of non-specialist judges in just three minutes or less. 

Erin Watters, Master of Science in Kinesiology candidate, took home this year’s title and a $500 cash prize for her presentation, Pacing difference between males and females in the Muskoka Ironman 70.3 Triathlon.

Watters’ research focused on the pacing profiles seen during the cycle and run portion of the 2019 Muskoka 70.3 Ironman, and the differences between male and female athletes. Extensive previous research on runners, specifically marathon running, suggests that females have superior pacing profiles compared to male athletes, however, similar papers investigating short distance triathlons suggest less significant differences between male and female elite triathletes. It is hypothesized that male and female both take on positive pacing strategies, with similar pacing profiles during the cycle and run portion of the Ironman 70.3 Triathlon. 

The Runner-up prize of $250 was awarded to Master of Arts in History candidate, Casey Monkelbaan. Monkelbaan’s presentation, Victims of Circumstance or Agents of Choice: Secretaries of the Third Reich, discussed what historical sources about secretaries in the Third Reich tell us about their conscious decisions, including the choices they made regarding their lives, careers, and their intimate relationships with mid and high-ranking SS men.

The People’s Choice award went to Rachel Van Woezik of the Master of Science in Kinesiology program. Van Woezik’s work titled, Real versus ideal: Understanding how coaches gain knowledge, discovered that coaches prefer learning through social and interactive experiences, as opposed to time-consuming, formal opportunities. This knowledge aims to improve coach development and in turn, improve sport experiences. Van Woezik also earned a $250 cash prize. 

Honorable mentions included: Colin Campbell (Master of Arts in History), Ben Filsinger (Master of Arts in History), Patrick-Aurel Fournier (Master of Arts in History), Kristian Harris (Master of Arts in History), Alana Javanainen (Master of Arts in History), Ashley Locke (Master of Science in Kinesiology), Robert Olajos (Master of Arts in History), Teagan Retty (Master of Science in Kinesiology), Jacob Shulman (Master of Arts in History), and Deborah Yawney (PhD in Education).

Congratulations to all competitors and a special thank you to this year’s judges: Chad Evans, Ontario Northland; Erin Richmond, City of North Bay; and Dr. Mark Tremblay, Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario. 

3MT® is an internationally recognized competition originally developed by the University of Queensland in 2008 to promote effective communication of research. 

To view recordings of this year’s presentations, visit