WCU students rank second nationally in accepted projects for NCUR

Western Carolina University students once again will be having a major impact at the country’s most prestigious undergraduate research conference.

WCU students had a total of 70 project abstracts accepted for presentation at the 2014 National Conference on Undergraduate Research, an annual spring gathering that allows students from across the nation to present their best research.

Among the 460 colleges and universities that had student projects accepted for this year’s conference, WCU tied for second place in the total number of projects approved by the NCUR abstract review committee.

Since 2006, WCU has placed in the top 10 in projects accepted for NCUR, and for six of those years has been ranked in the top five, said Brian Railsback, dean of WCU’s Honors College. The college oversees the participation of WCU students in NCUR each year.

“This year, we have a wonderful array of student innovation and talent along with 70 examples of great faculty mentorship,” Railsback said. “Also impressive is the range of disciplines represented, from African-American studies to women and gender studies and almost everything in between. There is outstanding work from every academic college at WCU.”

NCUR provides a forum for undergraduate scholars to share results of their work through posters, presentations, performances and works of art. The WCU students will travel by bus to this year’s conference, which will be held Thursday, April 3, through Saturday, April 5, at the University of Kentucky.

More than 50 students are expected to make the trip, Railsback said. The experience is provided mostly free to students, who only have to pay for some meals and incidental expenses. The trip is being paid for with local tuition funds set aside for undergraduate research activities.

For more information about this year’s NCUR trip and undergraduate research at WCU, contact Railsback at 828-227-7383.