The Graduate School invites you to help us celebrate Ball State’s outstanding student researchers by attending our fifth annual Three Minute Thesis competition this Thursday, February 23, at 6 p.m. at Emens Auditorium in the Ball Brothers Hospitality Suite. This competition challenges students to convey the essence and importance of their master’s thesis or doctoral dissertation research in an engaging way to a non-specialist audience in just three minutes using one static PowerPoint slide.  The event will feature the presentations of our 10 finalists, and we’ll announce the winners, who will receive cash prizes! We hope to see you there to support our graduate students and all their hard work!
In honor of this event, we will be featuring our ten finalists right here on our blog. Take a moment to read their bio’s and the research topics they will be presenting on! 

1) Kathryn Bradley, Communication Studies

  • Originally from Cincinnati, Ohio, Kathryn is a master’s student in the Department of Communication. After graduation, she hopes to pursue a teaching career in Boston, MA and use the skills she’s gained in her communication classes to enhance her teaching skills.
  • Communicating the C Word: Cancer Survivors’ Evaluations of Support Messages; Advisor: Dr. Carolyn Shue

2) Julie Ridgway, Educational Leadership

  • Julie is finishing her EdD in Higher Education while also working as an Academic Advisor for Biology at Ball State. Julie is a third generation Ball State student. After graduation, she hopes to continue serving Ball State students with her increased knowledge from this degree.
  • How Generation Z STEM Students Learn: A Qualitative Study; Advisor: Dr. Amanda Latz

3) Matt Martella, Architecture

  • Besides being a graduate student, Matt Martella is married to his amazing wife Ashley and is father to 3 incredible children – Kamon, Maelyn and Maebri. After Matt graduates he plans to continue working his full-time role at American Structurepoint and pursue his architecture license.
  • Designing for the Senses: A Guide to Creating Accessible Spaces for the Blind; Advisor: Ms. Pam Harwood

4) Meghan Haser, School of Kinesiology

  • Meghan Haser is from Buck Hill Falls, Pennsylvania and is finishing up her master of science in biomechanics. Meghan has enjoyed her time working within the biomechanics lab at Ball State. After graduation, Meghan hopes to start a career that allows her to utilize her knowledge of biomechanics and exercise science.
  • Sex Related Differences of Lower Limb Stiffness and Muscle Activation During Hopping and Jumping Tasks; Advisor: Dr. Clark Dickin

5) Megan Massoels, English

  • Megan Massoels is a second-year Linguistics master’s student and will be graduating this May. Megan has spent time conducting her own research and compiling a paper that discusses lexical variation in American Sign Language. When not in class or teaching, Megan can be found interpreting, reading, or spending time with her dog.
  • Lexical Variation for Four American Sign Language Signs, All of Which Mean ‘All’; Advisor: Dr. Mary Lou Vercellotti

6) Matt Lowe, School of Journalism and Strategic Communication

  • Matt Lowe is finishing his Master of Arts in Emerging Media Design and Development. A lifelong Munsonian, he is currently the Project Manager for the School of Journalism and Strategic Communication at Ball State University. Matt loves to support the local community serving on several non-profit boards including the planning committee for Muncie Pride. In his down time, you can find Matt hanging around downtown Muncie performing at Muncie Civic Theatre, playing trivia, or attending Muncie Central High School athletic events.
  • Capitol Gains: Ethics and Intent of Transmedia Resulting from the January 6 Select Committee Report; Advisor: Dr. Kevin Moloney

7) Hannah Bowles, Educational Psychology

  • Hannah is a second-year doctoral student in the Department of Educational Psychology. Broadly, her research interests include supporting the healthy development and well-being of queer students. Her presentation for Three Minute Thesis serves as her second-year project and will also be presented at the Association of Psychological Science (APS) Annual convention in May. It is also part of a larger project she hopes to continue building into her dissertation.
  • Supporting Queer Identity Development; Advisors: Dr. Lisa Rubenstein and Dr. Winnie Mucherah

8) Zainab Aamir, School of Journalism and Strategic Communication

  • Zainab is a second-year Emerging Media Design and Development (EMDD) graduate student. She chose EMDD because of her love for the Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) field. She is originally from Lahore, Pakistan where she did her undergraduate in Management Science and Computer Science. Zainab’s motivation to pursue her graduate thesis on users’ privacy considerations while using VR headsets stems from her interest toward usable privacy and extended reality (XR) technologies.
  • Users’ Privacy Considerations in Virtual Reality; Advisor: Dr. Joshua Fisher


9) Kellie Cooper, Educational Psychology

  • Kellie is currently in her last years of doctoral study in school psychology and will be attending a 12-month, full-time internship next year. Her passion for working with schools and systems-level change came from working as a master’s-level therapist for several years. In the future, she hopes to work in a setting where she can combine her clinical and academic interests to promote mental wellness for children and families through prevention and equitable access to healthcare.
  • Exploration of Mental Health Screening Programs and Readiness of Change by School Administrators and School-Based Mental Health Professionals; Advisors: Dr. Janay Sander and Dr. Serena Salloum

10) Brooke Morenz, Communication Studies

  • Brooke Morenz is from Effingham, IL, and is currently completing her MA in Communication Studies. After graduation, she hopes to continue her passion for communication studies through teaching and coaching forensics at the community college and four year university level.
  • Saving People, Hunting Things: A Rhetorical Analysis of Queer Monstrosity and Queer Sacrifice in the TV Series Supernatural; Advisor: Dr. Scarlett Hester