TWU 2024 Three Minute Thesis competition: graduate research in Counselling Psychology, Linguistics, and Interdisciplinary Humanities

Shining a light on diverse topics that affect societies in Canada and beyond.

Graduate students at TWU are shining a light on diverse topics that affect societies in Canada and beyond.

MA in Counselling Psychology student Melissa Kramer is seeking to help people hear the marginalized voices of individuals with neurodevelopmental disabilities. Also studying Counselling Psychology are students Jen Zhou, who wants to help develop more culturally-informed care for immigrants and international students, and Shu Mei Chang, who is documenting the role that shamans play as Indigenous healers in Taiwan.

Meanwhile, Jeremy Laity, from MA in Interdisciplinary Humanities, is tracing the relationships between Coast Salish Indigenous communities and pioneer settlers throughout B.C.’s history, and Andrew Johnson from MA in Linguistics is exploring what internet memes reveal about how we communicate meaning.

Graduate students participated in TWU's 2024 Three Minute Thesis (3MT) competition. (L-R) Shu Mei Chang, Melissa Kramer, Andrew Johnson, Jeremy Laity.

Engaging audiences with significant research

These graduate students participated in this year’s TWU Three Minute Thesis (3MT) competition, which took place on March 14 at the Langley campus. Each student was challenged to convey their work in accessible and engaging ways to an audience of staff, faculty, and fellow students. Each presenter was allowed only one slide image, no props or additional media, and a strict time limit of three minutes.

TWU's 2024 Three Minute Thesis (3MT) competition, organized by the Office of Graduate Studies.

Evaluating excellence

The judging panel included Dr. Monika Hilder form the English department, Grant McMillan from the Office of the Registrar, and Qinqin Zhang from TWU’s Library. They evaluated how the presenters conveyed the significance of their research in ways that were interesting and understandable for a broad audience.

TWU's 2024 Three Minute Thesis (3MT) competition. Judging committee (L-R) Qinqin Zhang, Grant McMillan, and Dr. Monika Hilder.

Winner advances to regionals

Jeremy Laity was declared first place winner by the judges. He was also voted winner of the People’s Choice Award by audience ballot. Melissa Kramer was declared second place winner by the judges. Congratulations to all students who participated for their excellent work and ongoing research.

As this year’s first place winner, Laity will advance to compete in the Canadian Association of Graduate Studies (CAGS) Western Regional Competition at the University of British Columbia Okanagan on May 8, 2024.

TWU's 2024 Three Minute Thesis (3MT) competition. Left photo (L-R): Dr. Bill Strom, Jeremy Laity, Dr. Curtis Congo. Right photo: (L-R) Jeremy Laity, Dr. Bruce Shelvey.

Celebrating ten years

This year marks the tenth time that TWU has hosted a 3MT competition. Dr. Richard Chandra provided a video welcome, following which Dr. Chen Liu provided a virtual keynote speech. A special thank you to the Office of Graduate Studies for organizing the 3MT, as well as to the event sponsors: TWU Graduate Student Association, TWU’s Office of Research, and TWU’s Graduate Admissions.

About the 3MT competition

The Three Minute Thesis (3MT) competition started in Australia at The University of Queensland in 2008 and has since been organized at universities around the world. Trinity Western University started hosting 3MT competitions in 2013, organized by the Office of Graduate Studies.

About Graduate Studies at TWU

At TWU, you will not only receive a top-quality education as a graduate student, but you will also become a part of a community that is dedicated to using their education and skills to make a positive impact on the world through their Christian beliefs and values. TWU is known for its commitment to innovation and providing its students with the tools and resources they need to succeed in their chosen fields. Learn more at the School of Graduate Studies

About Trinity Western University

Founded in 1962, Trinity Western University is a global Christian liberal arts university. We are dedicated to equipping students to discover meaningful connections between career, life, and the needs of the world. Drawing upon the riches of the Christian tradition, seeking to unite faith and reason through teaching and scholarship, Trinity Western University is a degree-granting research institution offering liberal arts and sciences as well as professional schools in business, nursing, education, human kinetics, graduate studies, and arts, media, and culture. It has campuses in Canada in Langley, Richmond, and Ottawa. Learn more at or follow us on Instagram @trinitywestern, Twitter @TrinityWestern, on Facebook and LinkedIn. For media inquiries, please contact: