Brandon Chicotsky wins 1st in Three Minute Thesis

Mary Catherine Connors

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“The Three Minute Thesis was something that was developed at the University of Queensland a few years ago, and about two years ago, it was suggested that there be an Alabama competition,” said Andrew Goodliffe, assistant dean of the University’s 
graduate school.

Goodliffe, along with associate dean David A. Francko and Cori Perdue, director of graduate programs, said he was excited to bring this aspect of competition to 
the University.

“We put together a whole professional development series leading up to this competition.” Goodliffe said. “So the students go to presentations by people who are experts at talking.”

At the end of the event, it was Brandon Chicotsky who took home the prize for first place, which included $1,500 in cash and scholarships and an invitation to compete in the regional Three Minute Thesis competition next March in New Orleans, Louisiana. Chicotsky’s thesis was focused on his website,
baldlogo.com.

“When I was losing my hair, I decided to donate a bunch of money to kids with Alopecia Areata, and I didn’t know exactly how to get it to them – that was one component of why I built baldlogo.com,” Chicotsky said. “The baldlogo.com is a part of a larger strategy for research, which is to develop a constructive principle or a method to amplify brands or to build a brand louder and bigger. So it’s not only a utility for the market, it also pushes the bounds 
for discovery.”

The audience voted for which crowd favorite would be given The People’s Choice Award. Jessica Pincham King was awarded the honor for her research in the School of Social Work, titled “Parental Involvement in Special Education.”

“It did take some preparation, but it was well worth it,” King said. “My dissertation chair encouraged me 
to participate.”

Second place was awarded to Stephanie Parker for her thesis, “The Democratization of Narrative.” Third place was given to Joseph Meany for “Molecular Circuitry: The Little Things that Matter.” Fourth place was taken by Jennifer Sherwood with “Iron Oxide Nanoparticles: The Safer MRI 
Contrast Agent.”

The panel of judges was comprised of various noted professionals from the state of Alabama. They included John H. England Jr., Sen. Gerald Allen, Catherine Randall, Joe Benson, Carl Pinkert, Samory Pruitt, Kim Severt and Will Guin, last year’s Three Minute Thesis competition winner.