Skip to main content

Exploring Innovation in Appalachia: an Undergraduate Research Symposium

August 11, 2021

Morgantown, West Virginia

Showcase your undergraduate research and explore pathways to graduate studies at the inaugural Exploring Innovation in Appalachia: an Undergraduate Research Symposium. This fully online event is hosted by the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences at West Virginia University.

The symposium invites sophomores, juniors and rising seniors conducting research in the fields of astronomy, biology, chemistry, communication studies, environmental geoscience, geography,  geology,  history, mathematics, physics or world languages, literatures and linguistics to present research, connect with fellow students across Appalachia and beyond, meet world-class faculty and graduate students, and learn about WVU's research facilities.

Symposium Awards

We were very fortunate to see dozens of incredible undergraduate research projects at the event. Listed here are especially noteworthy projects that received an award for their contribution to their field. The number next to the name reflects the order of the prize they received:


  1. Lisa Smith (Curtin University) - Testing the Circularity of the Carousel of PSR B0818-41
  2. Mattias Lazda (McGill University) - CHIME/FRB Outriggers: Improving FRB Localization Using Measured Geometric Delay Rates
  3. Connor Donovan (Ursinus College) - Towards the Homotopy Type of the Morse Complex

Honorable mention: 

Elizabeth Chouinard (University of Dallas) - Determining Neutron Scattering Cross Sections of Carbon-12


  1. Keefer Li (University of Massachusetts Amherst) - Quantification of protein translation in developmentally arrested Caenorhabditis elegans using O-propargyl-puromycin fluorescent imaging.
  2. Jordyn Markle (Gettysburg College) - Effect of membrane environment on PrP(106-126) and the first 17 amino acids of huntingtin protein
  3. Racheal Lee (Alderson Broaddus University) - Therapeutic Evaluation of Fasudil for Sepsis-Associated Intestinal Dysbiosis: A Pilot Study. 

Honorable mention:

Alix Wagner/Whitney Bennett (/University of North Carolina at Greensboro) - Using Physiologically Based Pharmacokinetic Modeling to Study the Gender Differences of Perfluoroalkyl and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances

Social Sciences/Humanities

  1. Dylan Walczak (Denison University) - Historical Time's Perception and Manipulation in the Case for Reparations
  2. Kailee Sites (Ohio University) - Appalachian Infant Mortality in the Early Twentieth Century
  3. Math Rowe (University of Virginia at Wise) - James A. Bland: Working Toward a National Register of Historic Places Nomination

Honorable mention:

Lizzie Shuga (Ohio University) - Ethnographic Study of Mental Health in Athens, Ohio from 1918 to 1920.

About West Virginia University

WVU is committed to inclusive excellence in research and mentoring. We're an R1 institution — a national designation of highest research activity given to the top 3% of colleges and universities by the Carnegie Classifications. We're also a leader in student success and professional development, recognized by the Brookings Institute and others for the exceptional upward mobility of our graduates. Contributions by departments in the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences are key to these continued successes.