3 Minute Thesis

Graduate Studies

3 Minute Thesis


3 Minute Thesis

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Meet Our ​Judges

Each year the School of Graduate Studies will look to staff, faculty, alumni and the community to assist in judging our heats and final.  Past notable judges from outside Queen's have been Dr Judy Cipot-Wechsler (Dupont), Janice Mady (Director, Innovation Park), Peter Gallant (Endotec), Hon Peter Miliken, P.C., Ann Lukits (Journalist, Wall Street Journal), Linda Ann Daly (past Chair of KGH), Bhavana Varma (President, United Way KFLA).


Judges (2017)

Heat 1 Judges 2017

Michael White

Michael White (Queen's Library)

Research Services Librarian. Michael has expertise in Patent information, Chemical information, Scientific publishing, and Bibliometrics. He received his MLIS from the University of Michigan. He is a current member of the American Society of Engineering Education, Special Libraries Association, and the library advisory board of the Royal Society of Chemistry.


Alison Murray

Allison Murray (Art Conservation)

Alison Murray is an Associate Professor in the Art Conservation Program at Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario.  She received her honours B.Sc. in Chemistry from McGill University and her M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees from Johns Hopkins University in Materials Science and Engineering, specializing in Conservation Science from a joint program between Hopkins and the Smithsonian Institution. Her research has focused on modern materials, including acrylic paints and grounds, integrating information from mechanical testing data, chemical analysis, and surface analysis. The goal has been to quantify changes resulting from the cleaning process, ageing, and environmental conditions. Alison is also interested in the materials science and conservation of other artistic and historic works, including paintings and archaeological objects. A new area of research is improving the teaching of science to art conservation students. For these different projects, she has worked with students from a variety of disciplines including conservation, conservation science, art history, the sciences and engineering

Kimberley Sutherland Mills

Kimberley Sutherland-Mills (Kingston Frontenac Public Library)

Kimberly Sutherland Mills is Manager of Programming and Outreach at the Kingston Frontenac Public Library. She has worked in Canadian public libraries for 25 years, and has experience as a juror for two Canadian literary awards. Kimberly studied history and Library & Information Science at Western University. She has a passion for environmental sustainability, the culinary arts and travel.

She loves how her role at the library connects Kingston Frontenac residents with resources they need to explore their own passions – from 3D design and coding to the arts 

Heat 2 Judges 2017

MIke Best

Mike Best

Mike is a 4th year PhD student in Clinical Psychology and past winner of the Queen’s 3 Minute Thesis competition. His research focuses on the stigma surrounding schizophrenia and psychotic disorders, and ways to improve functioning for people living with these illnesses. . 

Helene Ouellette-Kuntz

Helene Ouellette-Kuntz

Hélène Ouellette-Kuntz (PhD) is an epidemiologist and Professor in the Departments of Public Health Sciences and Psychiatry (Division of Developmental Disabilities) at Queen's University. Dr. Ouellette-Kuntz’s research involves working with individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, family members, service providers, and policy makers, and has included analysis of administrative datasets in British Columbia, Manitoba and Ontario. She is the Director of two research programs: The National Epidemiologic Database for the Study of Autism in Canada and the Multidimensional Assessment of Providers and Systems and a project lead within the Health Care Access Research and Developmental Disabilities research program. Since 2008, she has served as Secretary to the International Association for the Scientific Study of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities..

Carey Bidtnes

Carey Bidtnes (KEDCO)

As Human Resources & Labour Market Specialist, Carey Bidtnes is responsible for the execution of KEDCO's labour market strategy which supports the attraction, growth and retention of businesses by providing clients with recruitment support, labour market information and HR consultations.

Heat 3 Judges 2017

Sue Fostaty-Young

Sue Fostaty-Young (CTL)

Dr. Sue Fostaty Young is an Educational Developer and Programs Manager in the Centre for Teaching and Learning. While she does work with individual faculty members and entire departments to enhance approaches to teaching, one of Sue’s primary responsibilities is developing professional teaching programming with and for Graduate Students and Post-Doctoral Fellows.

John Kirby

John Kirby (Education)

John Kirby is Professor Emeritus of Education, cross-appointed to Psychology and Neuroscience. He studied Psychology at McGill University and Educational Psychology at the University of Alberta. Before coming to Queen’s in 1987, he worked for 11 years at the University of Newcastle in Australia. He was named a Fellow of the Association for Psychological Science in 2011, and was awarded a Prize for Excellence in Research by Queen’s in 2014.

John’s research concerns the psychology of reading and students’ conceptions of learning. Current research projects include the roles of morphological knowledge and naming speed in reading, predictors of dyslexia, cognitive processes in reading comprehension, and students’ approaches to university learning. He has published seven books and over 150 research articles. He is co-editor of Enhancing the Quality of Learning (2012) and Cognition, intelligence, and achievement (2014).

Sara Montgomery

Sara Montgomery (Institutional Research & Planning)

Sara Montgomery is a Senior Analyst in the Office of Institutional Research and Planning, and has worked extensively on projects related to graduate student success, including analysis of internal and consortium datasets to inform policy. She is also a key go-to person on campus for survey-related needs, providing assistance to the many users and their particular applications in both administrative and research areas. .

Finals Judges 2017

Daniel Woolf

Principal Daniel Robert Woolf

Is the 20th Principal and Vice-Chancellor of Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario. In addition to his role as Principal, Dr. Woolf is a professor in the Department of History. He supervises graduate students and participates on a part-time basis in undergraduate teaching. He has also continued his research activities in British history and the global history of historical writing.  A specialist in early modern British cultural history and in the history of historical thought and writing, he is the author and editor of a number of scholarly articles, monographs, books and encyclopaedias. Dr. Woolf graduated from Queens University and received his Ph.D. from Oxford University following which he was SSHRC postdoctoral fellow at Queens. He has also served as Associate Dean and then Acting Dean of Graduate Studies. He is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London (2005) and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in 2006.

Chancellor Jim Leech

Chancellor Jim Leech

James Leech became 14th Chancellor of Queen's University in July 2014

Jim Leech retired as President and CEO of the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan, one of the world's largest plans. Previously, Mr. Leech was president and CEO of Unicorp Canada Corporation, one of Canada's first public merchant banks, and Union Energy Inc., then one of North America's largest integrated energy companies. Mr. Leech is a Senior Advisor with McKinsey and Company, chairs the Toronto General and Western Hospital Foundation, is on the board of the MasterCard Foundation, is the Honorary Colonel of 32 Signal Regiment, Canadian Forces and was a founding director of Right To Play International.

Mr. Leech has been a member of Queen's Board of Trustees, University Council and Chair of Queen's School of Business Advisory Board.

In 2013, he co-authored The Third Rail, Confronting our Pension Failures, a best-selling book that received the 2013-2014 National Business Book Award.

In 2010, Mr. Leech was awarded the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal and in 2014 was invested as a Member of the Order of Canada. Mr. Leech holds a BSc (Hons. Math and Physics) from the Royal Military College of Canada, an MBA (1973) from Queen's University, and is a graduate of the Institute of Corporate Directors


Robert A Wood

Robert A Wood

Rob Wood is President & CEO of 8020Info, a Kingston-based consulting firm focused on strategic planning, research/public consultation and marketing communications. His clients come predominantly from the public sector — municipal, health care, social services, education, cultural, economic development and tourism sectors. He’s well known as an experienced adviser, facilitator and speaker who has presented at workshops and conferences across the country. As a community leader, he chairs the Queen's Family Health Team Advisory Board, serves as a member (and past chair) of the Imagine Kingston Roundtable, and on the Hospice Kingston Campaign Cabinet. In his spare time he studies Mandarin.

JC Kenny

JC Kenny

JC Kenny is a media professional who applies her expertise to different facets of the industry. As a Media Coach her most recent clients include Kingston Fire & Rescue, Utilities Kingston, local current politicians and Public Health. JC creates individualized programs that are designed to give clients a level of comfort and confidence for presentations either in the Media or in the Boardroom.

JC produces and presents a regular live radio segment called The Kingston Report. It’s heard Thursday mornings on CBC Radio’s provincial flagship program, Ontario Morning.  JC also works regularly for the Canadian Armed Forces – providing simulated media for large training exercises held in Canada and the U.S and giving officers from the Army, Navy and Air Force, exposure to the camera.



Denise Cumming

A graduate of the University of Waterloo and Certified Fundraising Executive, Denise has been a full time fundraiser since 1986.  She began her career at the University of Waterloo and, over the next 18 years, Denise held fundraising positions of increasing responsibility with Mount Sinai Hospital Foundation, London Health Sciences Foundation and The University of Western Ontario.

Denise and family moved to Kingston in 2004, when she was hired to establish a new charitable foundation serving as the fundraising arm of Kingston General Hospital, Hotel Dieu Hospital, and Providence Care.  In 2006, she was named as chief executive of University Hospitals Kingston Foundation.  In this role, she has helped the foundation secure more than $125 million in community support for patient care, teaching and health research in our community.  Denise has volunteered with many community organizations throughout her career and currently serves on the board of the Kingston Frontenac Housing Corporation. 

Final Master of Ceremonies 2017

Master of Ceremonies - Bill Welychka

Bill Welychka - Host & Producer, the Morning Show, CKWS

Bill Welychka has over 25 years of extensive TV broadcasting experience. (He started when he was 4??!!!?). His career began at MuchMusic in Toronto where he was an award-winning interviewer, host, producer and editor. He would go on to become MuchMusic’s/ MuchMoreMusic’s longest running on-air personality. Bill has travelled the globe countless times, conducting over 3,000 interviews with music legends, actors, athletes and royalty. He spent 6 years in Ottawa being a Weather Anchor and hosting the fun and popular “Bill’s Excellent Adventures”.

Bill’s most recent Adventure finds him in Kingston, where he hosts and produces CKWS Daily on CKWS-TV