3 Minute Thesis

Graduate Studies

3 Minute Thesis


3 Minute Thesis

site header


Image of Judges

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. 

Nick Mosey

Dr. Nick Mosey - Associate Dean (Research), Faculty of Arts and Science

Dr. Nicholas Mosey, Associate Professor of Chemistry and Associate Dean (Research) in the Faculty of Arts & Science at Queen’s University, is an award-winning scholar who specializes in theoretical and computational chemistry, and a recognized leader in computational tribology (the study of friction and wear) – a field that combines chemistry, physics, applied mathematics, materials science, computer science, and engineering. Mosey obtained his B.Sc. in Chemistry (2001) and Ph.D. in Chemistry and Scientific Computing (2006) at the University of Western Ontario. Mosey joined the faculty at Queen’s in 2008 after a period as an NSERC PDF at Princeton University. Mosey’s novel use of first-principles simulation techniques in the context of examining how molecules and materials behave when subjected to high stresses and developing models describing the atomic-level origins of phenomena such as friction has garnered international attention for its potential impact and real-world application. His work is important from a fundamental perspective because many basic features of friction and wear remain poorly understood despite centuries of research, and in the context of real-world applications with friction being estimated to consume half of the world’s energy. His research has been reported in top-tier journals such as Science and Physical Review Letters, and has attracted interest from multinational corporations. His research has been recognized through numerous awards including the COU John Charles Polanyi Prize in Chemistry, the NSERC Doctoral Prize (awarded for the top Canadian Ph.D. thesis in the natural sciences), the Howard Alper Postdoctoral Prize, and an Early Researcher Award from the Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation.

Liz Gorman

Liz Gorman - Director, Advancement Regional Strategy, in the Office of Advancement


Heat 2 Judges 2020

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.

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.

Heat 3 Judges 2020

Sue Fostaty-Young

Sue Fostaty-Young - Interim Director, Centre for Teaching and Learning

Sue is responsible for leading the strategic direction and operational management of the CTL, directing a variety of programs for faculty members in all aspects of teaching development and curriculum design.  She also mentors the Centre’s three graduate student Educational Development Associates and collaborates with them to design and implement programming for graduate students’ development as post-secondary teachers.

Sue is co-author of Assessment and Learning: The ICE Approach, which outlines a comprehensive yet accessible conception of learning and assessment that is popular with both teachers and students. Aside from a primary interest in assessment design, her current research involves identifying teaching strategies that support students’ ability to transfer knowledge and skills across contexts.

Sultan Almajil

Sultan Almajil - Director QUIC

Sultan Almajil comes to Queen’s with extensive experience and expertise related to supporting international student success. He most recently held the position of Supervisor of the International Centre at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT). His educational and leadership experience - along with his Masters research while studying at Royal Roads (Master of Arts, Leadership with a concentration in Organizational Change and Culture) - has focused on collaborating with teams to create positive international student experiences and innovative supports. He prides himself on being an international student, who came to Thompson Rivers University (TRU) as an undergrad, and who has made Canada home. After graduating from TRU, he became an International Student Advisor there, and in 2016 obtained his RISIA (Regulated International Student Immigration Advisor) Certification;

Monica Stewart

Monica Stewart - Coordinator, Faculty Recruitment and Support 

Monica Stewart supports faculty and senior staff recruitment and on-boarding at Queen's, based in the Office of the Provost/Faculty Relations. She uses her wide network of community connections to provide personalized relocation and settlement support to new faculty members and their families. Her community involvement currently includes serving on the board of KEYS (Kingston Youth and Employment Services), co-chairing the Kingston Immigration Partnership and serving as Chair of the Kingston Frontenac Public Library Board of Trustees. Prior to working at Queen’s, Monica was the Executive Director of the Community Foundation for Kingston and Area

Finals Judges 2020

Patrick Deane

Principal and Vice Chancellor, Patrick Deane

Patrick Deane became the 21st Principal and Vice-Chancellor of Queen's University on July 1, 2019. He is the former President and Vice-Chancellor of McMaster University, a position he held for nine years. Prior to that he served as Vice-Principal (Academic) at Queen's and also held a number of academic administrative appointments at Western University and the University of Winnipeg. Dr. Deane is a Professor of English Literature, with his principal research focus being the relationship between cultural production and British politics in the first half of the Twentieth Century. He read English and Law at the University of Witwatersrand, South Africa, before undertaking graduate studies and receiving both an M.A. and a Ph.D. in English Literature from Western University. Dr. Deane was the first recipient of the John Charles Polanyi Prize for Literature in 1988. .

Craig Desjardins

Craig Desjardins - Director, Office of Strategy, Innovation & Partnerships at City of Kingston

In his role, Craig is responsible for the development and integration of strategy and innovation activity across the corporation, including Utilities Kingston. Prior to joining the City of Kingston, Craig was involved in rural economic development, where he managed Investment and Venture Capital Funds that supported business startup and expansion in the communities west of Kingston. In addition, after more than a decade as an elected municipal politician in the City of Quinte West, Craig joined the faculty of the Queen’s School of Business in 2011, teaching in the full-time MBA Program with a focus on new venture startups. He has also taught entrepreneurship at the Royal Military College of Canada. Craig is a graduate of both Western University (BA, Economics) and Queen’s University (MBA).

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";

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..

Bhavana Varma

Bhavana Varma

Bhavana Varma - President & CEO at United Way of Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox & Addington

Final Master of Ceremonies 2020

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