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UWinnipeg to host Western Regional 3MT Competition

Natassia D’Sena, a Master of Arts in Criminal Justice student, won UWinnipeg’s ninth annual Three-Minute Thesis competition and is competing in the Western Regional 3MT.

Some of the best student research in western Canada will be on display at The University of Winnipeg during the Western Regional Three-Minute Thesis (3MT) Competition.

I am most looking forward to seeing all of the exciting presentations from the other competitors. I’ve looked at a few of their abstracts and all the research sounds incredibly interesting and innovative.

Natassia D’Sena

“The Faculty of Graduate Studies is excited to mark UWinnipeg’s return to in-person teaching and learning by hosting the Western Regional Three-Minute Thesis Competition,” said Dr. Mavis Reimer, Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies. “This inter-provincial celebration of graduate student research will be an event well worth attending. I am confident that audience members will find the variety and quality of graduate research in western Canada showcased at this event outstanding.”

Seventeen students, including UWinnipeg’s Natassia D’Sena, will have just three minutes to explain their complex thesis ideas with one static slide. And for the first time in two years, the event will be held in-person on May 6 from 2:00 to 4:30 pm in Eckhardt-Grammatte Hall.

The first 3MT took place in 2008 at the University of Queensland, Australia, and has since grown to become an international academic competition. What makes the 3MT such a unique competition is that it challenges graduate students to present their scholarly research and its significance to judges who are not familiar with their work.

“Much of the training graduate students receive necessarily focuses on technical and specialized subjects, and it can be easy to forget the broader context in which they undertake their work,” Reimer said. “As a research communication competition, the 3MT is a demonstration and reminder of how all research connects with, and has implications for, society at large.”

Meet this year’s participants:

Natassia D’Sena, University of Winnipeg; Bolu Olaniru, Royal Roads University; Sam Meraj, Simon Fraser University; Camille Roberge, Thompson Rivers University;Kim Ho, University of Alberta; Hammad Ahmad, University of British Columbia Okanagan; Emilie Carpentier, University of British Columbia Vancouver; Julia St. Louis, University of Calgary; Pranav Mishra, University of Manitoba; Cheri Brown, University of Northern British Columbia; Kwaku Ayisi, University of Regina; Antonia Powell, University of Saskatchewan; Tess Carswell, University of Victoria; and Hanna Dudney, Vancouver Island University.

Representing UWinnipeg

D’Sena’s presentation, Virtual Drive Thrus: Is OnlyFans the McDonalds of the Sex Industry?, explores how the evolution of technology and media has made it easier for sex workers to conduct their work online, and how the labour process online differs from street-based sex work. 

Her research aims to apply Ritzer’s concept of McDonaldization to the process of sex work on OnlyFans to determine how predictability, efficiency, control, and calculability have made it easier and safer for sex workers to conduct their work online while simultaneously increasing their profits.

“I am most looking forward to seeing all of the exciting presentations from the other competitors,” D’Sena said of the competition. “I’ve looked at a few of their abstracts and all the research sounds incredibly interesting and innovative. I am also very excited to finally be on campus and see everyone in person, rather than on a screen, for the first time since I started my degree in 2020.”

Meet the judges!

Barb Gamey

Gamey is UWinnipeg’s Chancellor and co-founder of Payworks, which is a leading expert in the field of total workforce management solutions, providing cloud-based Payroll, Human Resources, Employee Time, and Absence Management to businesses across Canada.

Nadia Kidwai

Host of the Weekend Morning Show at CBC Manitoba, Nadia is currently on secondment as Executive Producer of Diversity and Inclusion at the station. 

Dr. Stephen Petersen

Dr. Stephen Petersen has been a wildlife biologist for more than 20 years and is the Director of Conservation and Research for Assiniboine Park Zoo.


The winner of the Western Regional 3MT will move on to the 2022 National 3MT Showcase as part of November’s 60th annual Canadian Association for Graduate Studies Conference in Montreal.

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