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 Milliken, P.C., Ann Lukits (Journalist, Wall Street Journal), Linda Ann Daly (past Chair of KGH), Bhavana Varma (President, United Way KFLA), Sophie Kiwala (Politician), Mara Shaw (Loving Spoonful).

Judges (2020)

Heat 1 Judges 2020

Susan Korba

Susan Korba - Director, Student Academic Success Services

I feel very fortunate to be the inaugural director of Student Academic Success Services. I started working at the Writing Centre in 1996 when I was a graduate student at Queen’s; since then, I’ve marked countless student papers, supported students and faculty in writing appointments and workshops, and taught writing courses at Queen’s and the Royal Military College—even one via radio. I think that what we do at SASS is a really important part of helping students recognize their own abilities, enhance their skills, and move forward academically, professionally, and personally.

I most enjoy working with students from a variety of academic and cultural backgrounds and seeing them develop their skills and confidence, as well as partnering with so many passionate educators on campus, both faculty and staff. 

Sara Montgomery

Miguel Hahn - Head Career Counsellor, Career Services

Miguel Hahn has worked at Queen’s Career Services for 8 years, with another 7 years of experience working at the University of Toronto Career Centre, and time between on other adventures including international development, farming, and the non-profit sector. He is currently adding to his training from his Bachelor of Education, and coursework in a Master’s of Counselling Psychology with a business certificate from St. Lawrence College.

His work is divided between offering direct service to students in the form of workshops and appointments, leading the career counselling team, and working on special projects such as the Major Maps, Grad Maps, and Majors Night. He is particularly excited to be a part of the 3MT as his work with graduate students often includes working to convey the value of complex research experiences to other audiences such as employers. 

Sara Montgomery

Sara Montgomery - Senior Research & Planning Analyst

Sara Montgomery is a Senior Analyst in the Office of Institutional Research and Planning. She does extensive analysis of various institutional and national datasets, in support of administrative initiatives. Sara also helps manage the Qualtrics survey system for campus users, including the delivery of training workshops. The Office of Institutional Research and Planning is establishing a self-service model of data using Tableau Software, so Sara and the OIRP team are undertaking Design Sprints and engaging with members of the Queen’s community as they build analytics dashboards. Sara has also worked with SGS on many projects over the years, and always enjoys learning about the research of graduate students.

Heat 2 Judges 2020

Liz Gorman

Liz Gorman - Director, Advancement Regional Strategy, Alumni Relations and Annual Giving, Office of Advancement

Elizabeth Gorman joined the staff of the Department of Alumni Relations and Annual Giving after her graduation from Civil Engineering at Queen’s University in 1997. She is currently the Director of Advancement Regional Strategy, overseeing a new approach to considering Queen’s advancement work by market, in addition to oversight for the Global Alumni Network and International alumni programs, including the Bader International Study Centre’s alumni network.


Eike Schamburek

Eike Schamburek - Digital Insights Manager, University Relations

Eike Schamburek is the Digital Insights Manager at Queen's University Relations. As a facilitator, he establishes digital analytics infrastructures and best practises across the campus. He has more than ten years of experience in leading digital projects, SEO and digital marketing. Eike has a pioneer mentality and a strong background in presentations. Before he came to Canada, he worked as a journalist, presentation trainer, theatre actor and director.


Kelly Blair-Matuk

Kelly Blair-Matuk - Associate Director in the Office of the Vice Principal (Research)

Kelly Blair-Matuk has spent her career in an academic setting, in a variety of different roles.  Following her doctoral work in Psychology/Neuroscience at Dalhousie University, she returned to Queen’s University, her alma mater, to work in the Department of Biology as a researcher and lecturer.  In 2008, she began work in the Office of the Vice-Principal (Research), where she fulfilled a variety of functions, including the coordination of national and international prize nominations for outstanding faculty, serving as a co-managing editor of the Queen’s research magazine (e)AFFECT, coordinating high-profile events and announcements, developing communications materials for internal and external partners, and assisting on special research initiatives.  In her current role as Associate Director, she leads the development and implementation of various research initiatives of strategic importance for the university, and provide high-level strategic and operational support for university-wide initiatives led by the Vice-Principal (Research), including policy development and strategic planning.

Finals Judges 2020

tom Howell

Tom Howell - CBC

Tom Howell is a documentary producer for CBC Radio's Ideas, where he co-hosts the series "Ideas from the Trenches," featuring the travails of Canadian PhD candidates. He appears regularly as a panelist on the comedy news quiz show, Because News. A former lexicographer for Oxford Dictionaries, Tom is also the author of a hilariously inaccurate history of our language, The Rude Story of English, published by McClelland & Stewart..

Betsy Donald

Betsy Donald, Associate Dean, School of Graduate Studies 

 Betsy Donald is a Professor in the Department of Geography at Queen’s University. She is also a Member of the Canadian Institute of Planners and a Registered Professional Planner. She teaches, does research and consults in the field of economic geography with a particular focus on innovation and regional economic development, urban planning and governance, and sustainable food systems. She has degrees from McGill (B.A. History), York (M.E.S. Environmental Studies) and the University of Toronto (M.Sc.Pl. Planning, Ph.D. Geography).

James Reynolds

James Reynolds, Associate Dean, School of Graduate Studies

Dr. James Reynolds is Professor of Pharmacology & Toxicology in the Department of Biomedical and Molecular Sciences. The major focus of Dr. Reynolds’ research is on the effects of prenatal alcohol exposure on the developing brain and the resulting cognitive, behavioral and socio-emotional deficits that may occur in children. Dr. Reynolds is the Program Lead for the FASD Research Program in the Kids Brain Health Network, a national Network of Centres of Excellence dedicated to the study of neurodevelopmental disorders in children, and he also serves as the Deputy Scientific Director for the network. .

Sophie Kiwala

Sophie Kiwala - Politician

"Sophie Kiwala was the former MPP for Kingston and the Islands where she served as the Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation, Children and Youth, and Tourism Culture and Sport. She served on numerous committees while in office including General Government, Estimates, Ontario Legislative Assembly, and she was the Chair of the Cabinet Committee on Jobs and Economic Policy. She has a long history of service to Kingstonians through her work in federal politics as well where she was the Office Manager to the Speaker of the House of Commons, Honourable Peter Milliken, and the Chief of Staff to MP Ted Hsu. Sophie is also doing a Masters of Public Administration at Queens, and is the Interim Chair of the TETT Board as well as Chair of the Ovarian Cancer of Canada Walk of Hope for Kings";