Two Western Carolina University graduate students recently had an opportunity to discuss their research with North Carolina legislators in Raleigh.
Students Meghan Essington and Lauren Miller met with Sens. Andrew Brock of District 34 and Jim Davis of District 50 and with Rep. Joe Sam Queen of District 119, and they also had an opportunity to speak with N.C. Lt. Gov. Dan Forest. Queen and Davis represent districts that include the WCU area. Brock, a WCU alumnus and former student body president, represents Davie, Iredell and Rowan counties.
The students presented posters highlighting their research while communicating with the state leaders about the importance of graduate education in the state.
Essington, who is studying for her master’s degree in history, spoke about her research into the correspondence surrounding the Battle of Kings Mountain in the Revolutionary War and how the concept of manhood united men in a similar goal, putting both “common” and “genteel” men on equal footing. She is a native of Farragut, Tenn.
Miller, a native of Southwest Ranches, Fla., who is working toward her master’s degree in clinical psychology, discussed her work in testing individuals’ abilities to identify emotions on the faces of other people. Her study examined the correlations of individuals who have psychopathic traits and who also have difficulty with empathy, which is associated with identifying emotions.
Essington and Miller were accompanied on the Raleigh trip by Brian Kloeppel, associate dean of the Graduate School and associate professor of geosciences and natural resources. The students won the honor of representing WCU at the meetings when they were judged to have the best research projects during the university’s annual Graduate Research Symposium held in March.
The students expressed to the legislators how important their graduate assistantships have been to their success, and also how their research is linked with current issues and problems in the state, Kloeppel said.
For more information about graduate programs at WCU, call 828-227-7398 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.