FEBRUARY 23, 2017 BY MAUREEN ZAMBITO
WEST LIBERTY, W.Va., Feb. 23, 2017 — Nothing more effectively demonstrates the value of undergraduate research than the words and stories of the student participants themselves and that’s what Undergraduate Research Day at the Capitol is all about.
This year’s display of research takes place from 8:30 a.m. to noon, Friday, Feb. 24 in the West Virginia State Capitol Rotunda. Sixteen WLU students and several professors from a variety of majors will represent WLU at the Capitol.
“We are proud of our student presenters and know that they will represent West Liberty University well,” said WLU President Dr. Stephen Greiner. “Undergraduate research is vital to a successful college experience and this opportunity to show their work to our legislators will be both meaningful and memorable for them.”
Two WLU students in Associate Professor Moonjung Kang’s graphic design class will share marketing ideas with the legislature.
“In my Design Thinking-special project class last semester, the students applied to attend and I’m proud that two of my students’ abstracts and applications were accepted, Megan Sayre and Emily Jessee,” said Kang who is an instructor in the College of Arts and Communication.
Sayre, who is from Parkersburg, W.Va., will present her poster on The Legacy of the Historic Blennerhassett Hotel and how to promote this treasure.
Jessee is from Charleston, W.Va., and will share her infographic Showcasing West Virginia to Promote Tourism, a design piece that features her work and promotes the state.
Caleb Martin, a biology student, is presenting a research poster on the identification of plant and fungal extracts that exhibit antimicrobial activity against pathogenic bacteria. He performs research in the laboratory of Dr. Joseph Horzempa, associate professor of biology.
Assistant Professor of Psychology Dr. Tifani Fletcher and Associate Professor Dr. Tammy McClain are taking nearly a dozen students to the Capitol. Psychology majors attending include: Sabrina Adams, Kristina Bennett, William Campbell, Moriah Chicoine, Haley Kleindler, Taylor Linn, Alyssa Moran, Kelly Slobodian, Susan Smith, Marshall Tallman and Michelle Yadrick.
Two research posters will be presented by the WLU Psychology Department:
A Breath of Fresh Air: Smoking Status and Lung Capacity Analysis by Moriah Chicoine, Haley Kleinedler, and Professor Tifani Fletcher.
Integration Based Stress Removal Therapy and Perceived Stress Levels by Kelly Slobodian, Moriah Chicoine, and Professor Tifani Fletcher
Two students from the College of Science, Hannah Lynch and Maria Ganoe, will present their research titled “Measurements of the Costal Cartilages: Implications for Facial Reconstructive Surgery.”
“This is very important for nasal reconstructions in particular which is prevalent with nose and nasal septal damage from substance abuse. We worked on this research in conjunction with two medical students, an Ear Nose and Throat (ENT) resident, a plastic surgeon, and another anatomist,” said Dr. Matthew Zdilla, associate professor of biology and physician assistant studies.
Directly after the poster session, students and their faculty mentors are invited to lunch at the nearby Women’s Club of Charleston.
Undergraduate Research Day at the Capitol is sponsored by West Virginia University, West Virginia State University and Marshall University. This represents the fourteen annual observance of the daylong event.
“It is increasingly important that the West Virginia Higher Education community work to ensure that those in state government, who provide substantial funding for higher education, have a clear understanding of the programs they fund and why these programs are important. Undergraduate research and creative endeavors must be among those programs that members of the West Virginia State Legislature understand if it is to continue to enjoy support,” said Paul Hill, chancellor of the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission.