Student research takes center stage

The research prowess of Western Carolina University students will be on display as the university holds two springtime events, the Undergraduate Expo and Graduate Research Symposium.

The research, creative work and service of WCU undergraduate students will be showcased during the 13th annual expo, which will be hosted by the Honors College on Monday and Tuesday, March 21-22. Student participation in the expo is at an all-time high this year, with some 285 students signed up to give presentations.

The expo schedule includes topics such as “Exploring Atrial Fibrillation: A Student’s Perspective,” “Effectiveness of Domestic Violence Shelters and Services,” “The Devil and Charlie Darwin” and “Eating Habits of College Freshmen.”

The expo poster session will be held from 5 to 6:30 p.m. on March 21 in and around the Grandroom of A.K. Hinds University Center. Also that day in the Grandroom, a reception for student presenters, faculty sponsors and the general public will begin at 5:30 p.m., and a 6 p.m. program will include presentation of Recognition of Distinction in Nurturing Awards to three WCU faculty members.

All expo presentations are open to the public. A detailed program will be posted at Undergraduate Expo or more information is available by calling the Honors College at 828-227-7383.

The scholarly research of about 130 graduate students will be showcased during the 19th annual Graduate Research Symposium, which will be hosted by Graduate School and Research on Thursday, March 24, at Hinds University Center.

Some of the topics to be addressed are “Ukte’nas on the Tuckaseigee: Land-Use and Ideology in the Tuckaseigee River Valley,” “The Role of Planning in Strategic Community Development: A Cashiers Community Development Plan,” “Superintendents’ Perceptions of their Role in Developing Teacher Leadership” and “What Pharmacologic Characteristics of Propofol Contribute to Its Use as a Drug of Abuse?”

Participating students and their faculty sponsors will be honored at a reception beginning at 5 p.m. March 24 in the Grandroom. Best Research Awards will be given to student presenters from a number of disciplines who entered the Graduate Research Competition, which is a complementary activity to the symposium. Also, winners of the Graduate Assistant Teaching Award, Karen Nicholson Thesis Award and North Carolina Research Recognition Award will be announced.

All symposium presentations are open to the public. The event program will be posted at or more information is available by calling the Graduate School at 828-227-7398.