WEST LIBERTY, W.Va., Feb. 27, 2018 — Student researchers took their facts and figures on the road as they participated in the annual Undergraduate Research Day at the Capitol recently.
Nine students from psychology, biology, and education shared their research with legislators and others in state government on Feb. 16. The annual Charleston event is planned and promoted by West Virginia University’s Office of Undergraduate Research.
Four students from psychology attended, along with Assistant Professor of Psychology Dr. Tifani Fletcher and Professor Dr. Tammy McClain. McClain is the Psychology Program director and Fletcher is the faculty research advisor.
Michelle Yadrick and Moriah Chicoine, senior psychology majors, presented their research on the psychology program’s “Psych Out” initiative that increases community knowledge of the diverse sub-fields of psychology and how psychology applies to their everyday lives.
“Presenting Psych Out research at the Capitol gave students a unique opportunity to talk to state legislators about the program and to remind them of psychology’s practical importance. Moriah and Michelle had an opportunity to talk to Delegates Erikka Storch (Ohio County) and Mark Zatezalo (Hancock County) about how the Psych Out program has been used as a community outreach about the importance of psychology for understanding more about ourselves and the world in which we live. The most encouraging thing for students is when someone says, ‘I didn’t know THIS was psychology!’ This validates that we are meeting the goals of this outreach program,” McClain said.
Other student presenters and the title of their research include:
Science major Edward Beaumont of Chester, W.Va., “Podostemum ceratophyllum and its Occurrences in Eastern North America.” Beaumont documented the distribution of the native aquatic plant Podostemum ceratophyllum using historical accounts, primary literature, herbarium records, and field surveys. Podostemum plays an important role in Appalachian rivers by creating high quality habitat for macroinvertebrates and fish, but water pollution has been extirpating (causing local extinction) the plant from many of the rivers within its native range. His research advisor is Dr. James Wood.
Biology major Adam Bert of Wellsburg, W.Va., “Duck Potato Extract May Lead to the Inhibition of Biofilm Formation of Pseudomonas aeruginos.” Bert Investigated the effect of duck potato (a plant) extract on bacterial biofilm formation. His research advisor is Dr. Joseph Horzempa.
Visual Communication Design major Courtney Carter of Wheeling, “The Rebirth of Coal in West Virginia.” Her research looked at Mountain State artists that use coal as medium. Using the renewed discovery of one of West Virginia’s mineral resources as an art form, she detailed the history of coal and the 1963 Arts and Crafts Technical Assistance Demonstration Project as coal, which was once thought as a nonrenewable resource, has now been reborn into beautifully crafted work of art that appeals not only to the people of West Virginia, but also across the United States. Her research advisor is Professor Moonjung Kang.
Community Education major Linda Hall of Dallas, W.Va., “Disability Kids Targeted by Bullies.” As a community education major, Hall explored the topic of bullies and disabilities. Her research advisor is Dr. Miriam Roth Douglas.
Biology major Isaiah Selmon-Miller, “Efficacy of Resazomycins Against Burkholderia cepacia.” Selmon-Miller investigated whether the human pathogen Burkholderia cepacia is susceptible to a novel family of antibiotics known as resazomycins. Her research advisor is Dr. Deanna Schmitt.
Roth Douglas attended Undergraduate Research Day with her student and believes that it’s an important endeavor for a college student
“It’s a wonderful opportunity for students to share their work. It adds value to their experience and allows them to show what they have learned, hear feedback and feel what they are doing is valid and important,” said Douglas, who is the director of Community Education degree program and an Associate Professor of Education.
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