National Conference on Undergraduate Research 2015

WCU student projects accepted for NCUR 2015 are listed by academic area, including project title, student presenter and faculty sponsor. Funding for WCU students’ travel to the conference was made possible by local tuition funds earmarked for support of the Quality Enhancement Plan, and undergraduate research in particular.

Anthropology & Archaeology

Soapstone Use in the Late Archaic
Savanah Hopper, presenter
Jane Eastman, sponsor

Push vs. Pull Saws: Analyzing Exit Chipping on Bone
Rachel Winebarger, presenter
John Williams, sponsor


Validity of Morphological Characters Used to Distinguish the Mosquitoes Culex Restuans and Culex Pipiens
Cody Dunlap, presenter
Brian Byrd, sponsor

Cell & Molecular Biology

Identifying ABC Multidrug Efflux Pump Genes in the Pathogenic Microorganism, Elizabethkingia Meningoseptica
Amanda Haile, presenter
Jessica Moore, sponsor

Keratin Biomaterials Attenuate Hypoxia-Mediate Cell Death
Brianna Lund, presenter
Heather Coan, sponsor

Identifying Antibiotic Resistance Genes from the Major Facilitator Efflux Pump Superfamily in the Pathogenic Microorganism, Elizabethkingia Meningoseptica
Chue Vang, presenter
Jessica Moore, sponsor


Synthesis, Characterization, and Luminescent Studies of Europium-Doped GdF3 Nanoparticles for Potential Biomedical Imaging.
Laney Browder, presenter
Channa De Silva, sponsor

Surface Enhanced Raman Spectroscopic Detection of Human Bodily Fluids for Forensic Applications
Alexandra Cassell, presenter
Unlisted, sponsor

Synthesis, Characterization, and Photo-catalytic Studies of ZnO Nanoparticles Doped with Europium or Manganese Metal Ions for Potential Clinical Applications
Joseph Lee, presenter
Channa de Silva, sponsor

Surveillance of Anions in Natural Waters Determined by Ion Chromatography
Carolina Naylor, presenter
Scott Huffman, sponsor

Synthesis, characterization, and Luminescent studies of Europium ß-Diketonate Complexes Using Dipyrido[3,2-a:2’,3’-c]phenazine Ligand Derivatives.
Margaret Pearce, presenter
Channa De Silva, sponsor


Emotional Dysregulation among Offender With and Without Mental Illness
Summer Brathwaite, presenter
Jamie Vaske, sponsor

Testing the Marshall Hypothesis among College Students
Mary Hannah Hughes, presenter
Cyndy Hughes, sponsor

Missing Persons: The Complexity of Water Recovery
Emily Jaynes, presenter
Lisa Briggs, sponsor

Engineering/Engineering Technology

Assessment of Google Glass Determined by a Neurotypical Population
Merab Mushfiq, presenter
Unlisted, sponsor


Shakespeare’s Modernization of the Pastoral in As You Like It
Aaron Cole, presenter
Mary Adams, sponsor

Out of Place: Sexuality, Politics, Religion and the Construction of English Identity in Chaucer’s Wife of Bath’s Tale
Allison Dorminey, presenter
Brian Gastle, sponsor

The City of Disguises: Gender Fluidity in Jeanette Winterson’s The Passion
Sara Gatilogo, presenter
Annette Debo, sponsor

The Beauty-Making Power of the Imagination in Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s Dejection: An Ode
Rachel Jackson, presenter
Brent Kinser, sponsor

The Transcendence of Female Gender Roles in Shakespeare’s Problem Comedy Measure for Measure
Tori Landolf, presenter
Mary Adams, sponsor

Christina Rossetti’s Fear of Little Goblin Men: A Psychoanalytic Approach to Goblin Market
Anna Oates, presenter
Brent Kinser, sponsor

Your Place on the Wheel: Mordred in The Alliterative Morte Arthure
Leah Rhodes, presenter
Brian Gastle, sponsor

Environmental Studies & Sciences

Should Criminologists Take an Interdisciplinary Approach? A New Perspective on Prevention
Mary Hannah Hughes, presenter
Burton Ogle, sponsor

Evaluating Sustainability of Purchasing Practices at Western Carolina University
Emily Moore, presenter
Laura DeWald, sponsor

Analyzing Health Effects of Electronic Vaporizers
Eva Robert, presenter
Unlisted, sponsor

Fog Machine Aerosol Nanoscale Characterization
Abigail Tompkins, presenter
Unlisted, sponsor

Health Sciences & Public Health

A Comparison of Static and Dynamic Stretching on Functional Performance
Julia Plourde, presenter
James Scifers, sponsor

Shift as a Variable
Marissa Taylor, presenter
Tracy Zontek, sponsor


From One King to Another: The Influence of King Alfred on Later Anglo-Saxon Kings
Kaitlyn Wright, presenter
Vicki Szabo, sponsor

Linguistics & World Languages

So I Was Like, “I wonder why people use ‘like’ to introduce a quote:” A Dialect Study of Quotative “Be Like”
Elizabeth-Ann Diehl, presenter
Erin Callahan, sponsor


Perhaps the Poet Forgot: The Manipulation of Identification in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
Melody Chandler, presenter
Brent Kinser, sponsor

The Knight’s Mirror: Moral Redemption in The Wife of Bath’s Tale
James Parr, presenter
Unlisted, sponsor

Shadrack and the Fiery Furnace: The Survivor in Toni Morrison’s Sula
Crystal Plemmons, presenter
Annette Debo, sponsor

Microbiology & Immunology

Comparison of the Microbiology of Ten Flavors of Kombucha
Chequita Brooks, presenter
Sean O’Connell, sponsor


Gustav Mahler’s Fifth Symphony
Justin Beebe, presenter
Christina Reitz, sponsor

The Development of Orff-Schulwerk
Mindy Cook, presenter
Christina Reitz, sponsor

Aaron Copland and a Lincoln Portrait
James McDonald, presenter
Unlisted, sponsor

Dvorák’s Contribution to American Nationalism in the Late 1800s
Kandyce Norton, presenter
Christina Reitz & Shannon Thompson, sponsors

Herrmann and Hitchcock: The Art of Film Music
Javan Surratt, presenter
Christina Reitz, sponsor

Philosophy & Ethics

Levinas, Feminism and Maternity
Melissa Bradley, presenter
John Whitmire, sponsor

Don’t Cop Out: A Sartrean Interpretation of the Matrix
Justin Burnette, presenter
James McLachlan, sponsor

Non-Problems: Wittgenstein and Feminist Philosophical Theory
Kathryn Hopkins, presenter
Christopher Hoyt, sponsor

Wendell Berry: The Art of Belonging
Michael Thames, presenter
Unlisted, sponsor
Misconceptions Concerning Descartes’ Method in Meditations I
Tiffany VonVitzthume, presenter
Daryl Hale, sponsor

Political Science

Assessing the Effectiveness of Community-Based Re-Entry Initiatives
Grayson Keating, presenter
Michael McDonald, sponsor


Authoritarian/Authoritative Religion and Tolerance of the LGBTQ+ Community
Garrett Goodwin, presenter
David Scales, sponsor

Analysis of Cheating in a Simulated Classroom
Olivia Lochner, presenter
David McCord & John Baley, sponsors

Religious Studies

Luther and Melanchthon: The Mutual Dependence of Faith and Reason
Michael Thames, presenter
Unlisted, sponsor


Students Estimation of Use of Campus Mental Health Services
Jalen Brown, presenter
Kathleen Brennan & Kim Gorman, sponsor