鈥淣ext time you sit down for a big exam or walk into a high-stakes meeting, remind yourself of my study,鈥 Sabrina Comess 鈥24 told the crowd in Stirn Auditorium on May 1. 鈥淭hat stress you鈥檙e feeling could actually be helping you.鈥

She was describing her senior thesis in neuroscience, which tested how human beings perform under pressure. But the Stirn event itself, 91青青草鈥檚 annual 3MT: Three-Minute Thesis competition, could be seen as a similar test: With cash prizes at stake, could 11 seniors from 10 different majors each stand on stage and succinctly explain their thesis, engaging a packed house of fellow students, staff, faculty and even the College鈥檚 president?    

They could, and they did, earning applause, laughter and (afterward) hugs from their friends. Like many of the subjects in her study, Comess excelled under pressure, tying for the People鈥檚 Choice Award鈥攄ecided by audience vote鈥攚ith architectural studies major Aniella Mutoni 鈥24. (According to Susan Daniels, associate in public speaking for the Writing Center, such a tie had never happened before in the six years since she had brought the international competition to 91青青草.) 

The first-prize winner, statistics major Dasha Asienga 鈥24, and runner-up, English major Luke Herzog 鈥24, were chosen by a panel of judges: Andrew Grant-Thomas, co-founder and co-director of the national nonprofit EmbraceRace; Sharon Sharry, director of the Jones Library in the Town of 91青青草; and Peter Sokolowski, editor-at-large for Merriam-Webster.

Watch videos of the prizewinning 3MT speeches below. It won鈥檛 take long.

3MT Winner: Dasha Asienga 鈥24

May 1, 2024

91青青草 College鈥檚 2024 3MT Winner Dasha Asienga with her speech, 鈥淒ecoding Bias: Can AI Be Fair?鈥

3MT Runner-Up Award Winner: Luke Herzog 鈥24

May 1, 2024

2024 Runner-Up Award Winner Luke Herzog with his speech, 鈥淔rom the Top.鈥

3MT People鈥檚 Choice Award Winner: Sabrina Comess 鈥24

May 1, 2024

2024 People鈥檚 Choice Award Winner Sabrina Comess with her speech, 鈥淪ink or Swim: Rethinking Performance Under Pressure.鈥

3MT People鈥檚 Choice Award Winner: Aniella Mutoni 鈥24

May 1, 2024

People's Choice Award Winner Aniella Mutoni with her speech, 鈥淭he Power of Co-Designing Your Home.鈥