Annual Research and Scholarship Celebration set for March 29-30

The research talents and creative work of Western Carolina University’s undergraduate and graduate students will take center stage during the annual Research and Scholarship Celebration that will be held at various locations across campus over a two-day period – Wednesday, March 29, and Thursday, March 30.

The event comprises two activities – the 19th annual Undergraduate Expo, featuring the research and creative work of WCU’s undergraduate students, and the 25th annual Graduate Research Symposium, a showcase for research produced by graduate students.

The event will kick off March 29 in the arena of Ramsey Regional Activity Center with a poster preview at 3 p.m. and opening remarks by Brandon Schwab, WCU associate provost for academic affairs, at 4 p.m. A faculty panel discussion focusing on the topic “Inspiring Inquiry: Alternative Ways of Knowing and Doing” will begin at 4:05 p.m. and will include the participation of Channa DeSilva, associate professor in the Department of Chemistry and Physics; Martin Tanaka, associate professor in the School of Engineering and Technology; Steve Morse, associate professor in the School of Marketing, Entrepreneurship, Sport Management, and Hospitality and Tourism; Heather Mae Erickson, assistant professor in the School of Art and Design; and Honor Sachs, assistant professor in the Department of History. Lane Perry, director of WCU’s Center for Service Learning, will be the moderator.

Keynote speakers for WCU’s Research and Scholarship Celebration will be artist, educator and curator Marie Cochran (left) and Anthony Graham (right), dean of the College of Education at North Carolina A&T State University.

Marie Cochran, a visual artist, educator and curator, will present the keynote address for the expo portion of the event at 5 p.m. March 29 in the Peele, Westmoreland Suhre, Hartshorn Hospitality Room at the Ramsey Center. Cochran is the founding artist/curator of the Affrilachian Artist Project, which celebrates the unique perspective of people of African descent in the Appalachian region. The topic of her talk will be “When There’s More to the Story: Affrilachia and Beyond.”

Cochran’s presentation will be followed by a reception and display of undergraduate and graduate student posters from 6 to 7:30 p.m.

A total of 133 undergraduates representing 18 academic departments will be involved in presentations at various locations across campus on both days of the Research and Scholarship Celebration, and on March 30, 44 graduate students will be presenting the results of their research throughout the day at A.K. Hinds University Center. Some exemplary undergraduate research also will be featured on March 30, with 11 undergraduate students participating in the graduate sessions at the UC.

The keynote address for the Graduate Research Symposium will be delivered by Anthony Graham, dean of the College of Education at North Carolina A&T State University. Graham’s research focuses on African-American adolescent students and the construction of their academic and ethnic identities, and teaching methods for K-12 African-American male students. He will address the topic “The Elusive Fifth Loop: Challenging Onself to Engage Diverse Learners.”

The Graduate Research Symposium will conclude on March 30 with a reception and awards program at 5 p.m. in the UC Grandroom.

The Research and Scholarship Celebration represents a collaboration involving the Honors College, Graduate School and Research, and the Office of the Provost. All events are free and open to the public. The Research and Scholarship Celebration can be followed on WCU social media with the hashtag #RASC17.

More information is available in the online programs for the Undergraduate Expo and Graduate Research Symposium.