Fifth Annual Three Minute Thesis Competition

Event Date: March 5, 2021

Winners Finalists Judges Emcee

Competition Winners

First Place: Azalia Muchransyah

Department: Media Study

Advisor: Paige Sarlin

Biography: Azalia Muchransyah is from Jakarta, Indonesia. As a media study PhD candidate, her research project aims to illuminate the status of media activism, especially documentary film, in contemporary Indonesia. It also explores the potential of documentary media to contribute to the transformation of HIV activism and advocacy in the face of the paradoxes around HIV/AIDS in key population members. Prior to her time in Buffalo, Muchransyah received her first Fulbright scholarship to teach in Washington, D.C. She enjoys making films, watching films, reading, and spending time with her husband and two-year-old son. Muchransyah’s career goals include working in academia and becoming a filmmaker.

Second Place: Amanda Seccia

Department: Learning and Instruction

Advisor: Claire Cameron

Biography: Amanda Seccia is a learning and instruction PhD candidate from Binghamton, New York. In her dissertation, Seccia uses a phenomenological approach to understand the research-practice gap within the context of a research-practice partnership, specifically the UB Teacher Residency program. The goal of her dissertation is to broaden the understanding of the research-practice gap in education, and the character and nature of the tensions that arise because of it. In addition to her love of reading, writing and teaching, Seccia loves hiking, kayaking, and being outdoors. In the future, she hopes to work in an academic setting where she can focus on both research and teaching.

Third Place: Saber Meamardoost

Department: Chemical and Biological Engineering

Advisor: Rudiyanto Gunawan

Biography: Saber Meamardoost is a chemical and biological engineering PhD candidate from Bandar Lengeh, Iran. In his research, he develops computational algorithms to infer neuronal network from brain activity data. Meamardoost trains animals to learn a motor skill and records neuronal activity in the brain while they are learning. The goal of his research is to use brain activity data to reconstruct neuronal network in the brain, and then to understand the operational principles of neuroplasticity during learning. Meamardoost is a member of the Society for Neuroscience and enjoys reading books, soccer, watching movies and hiking. In the future, Meamardoost will continue his research focusing on building a data-intensive brain-to-materials framework.

Peoples Choice: Yuhao Shi

Department: Experimental Therapeutics (Roswell Park)

Advisor: John Ebos

Biography: From Albany, New York, Yuhao Shi is a PhD candidate in the Department of Molecular Pharmacology and Cancer Therapeutics in the Roswell Parks Graduate Division. In his research, Shi focuses on immunotherapy and how the drugs improve patient immune responses against cancer. The goal of his research is to better understand why some cancer patients relapse, and to develop new approaches when therapy fails. In his free time, Shi enjoys running, cooking, listening to podcasts and audiobooks, and hanging out with his fiancé. In the future, he hopes to become a physician.