Students participate in SoCon Undergraduate Research Forum

WCU’s Monica Reece (right) discusses her biochemistry project with attendees at the SoCon Undergraduate Research Forum.

Thirteen Western Carolina University students traveled to Spartanburg, South Carolina, recently to participate in the second annual SoCon Undergraduate Research Forum.

Hosted by the Southern Conference at Wofford College on Oct. 27-29, the event was established to give undergraduate students an opportunity to gain experience in presenting and discussing the results of their academic research.

The WCU presenters were selected through a competitive process from a pool of about 20 applicants, said Bill Kwochka, associate professor in WCU’s Department of Chemistry and Physics. Of the 13 presentations, seven were given orally and six were poster presentations. Approximately 130 students from SoCon institutions participated in the event.

“Overall, it was a wonderful experience with some really outstanding presentations by our students,” Kwochka said. “Presentations ranged from a philosophical analysis of the ‘Make America Great Again’ campaign slogan to the development of zinc oxide nanoparticles as antimicrobial agents.”

The WCU student participants, with their class and presentation field of study, were Robert Mack, sophomore, sociology; Sierra Ramsey, senior, geography and earth sciences; Esther Rivas, senior, education; Isabel Couture, junior, anthropology and archeology; Robert Wyatt, senior, psychology; Lindsay Kappius, sophomore, film and photography studies; Caitlin Bernabe, senior, mathematics; Monica Reece, senior; biochemistry; Wesley Rogers, sophomore, mathematics; Bailey Stillman, senior, mathematics; William Towery, junior, diversity studies; Kyle Johnson, senior, electrical engineering; and Alison Russell, senior, philosophy and ethics.