Graduate Research Symposium


 The Graduate Research Symposium, sponsored by the Graduate School and Research, the Office of the Provost and the Graduate Student Association as a part of WCU’s campus-wide Research and Scholarship Conference, provides graduate students the opportunity to showcase their scholarly research and projects.

The Graduate Research Symposium highlights some of the remarkable academic research WCU students pursue during their time at Western Carolina University. Explore research poster presentations, oral presentations, the 2024 3MT competition, the third annual Faculty 3MR competition, and Faculty Scholarship Celebration.

Welcome Note

Dr. Jeffrey Lawson, Dean of the Graduate School and Research, sets the tone for this years’ Graduate Symposium.

Discover the Symposium


Oral Presentations

This annual symposium provides graduate and undergraduate students with the opportunity to present their research and academic work to an engaged audience.

In a conference style, on March 20, 2024, graduate and undergraduate participants will present their research. View the oral presenters and their titles here.

Poster Presentations

Poster presentations were collected virtually and participants are able to attend the Poster Celebration held on March 20, 2023 on the Ramsey Center Concourse from 6:15 pm – 7:30 pm.

Preview graduate posters by clicking on project titles.

Graduate 3MT®

The 3MT competition is a presentation that lasts literally 3 minutes and highlights a student’s thesis, dissertation, business plan, or scholarly project.

Watch the winners from the WCU 2024 3MT®


Awards Ceremony

 The Graduate Research Symposium hosts a celebration of the accomplishments of graduate students, faculty, staff and others who value the mission and vision of graduate education at WCU.

Graduate School and Research Dean, Dr. Jeffrey Lawson will announce poster winners at 6 pm in the Ramsey Arena.

Schedule At-A-Glance

Wednesday, March 20th 

Undergraduate Expo and Graduate Research Symposium at the A.K. Hinds University Center and the Ramsey Regional Activity Center 

  • 9:00 am – 3:00 pm – Undergraduate and Graduate Oral and Performance Presentations in the A.K. Hinds University Center. Sponsored by the Graduate Research Symposium and the Undergrad Exposition.
  • 3:05 pm – 4:55 pm – Preliminary Faculty 3-Minute Research Talk 
  • 4:55 pm – 6:00 pm – The Research and Scholarship Conference Keynote Event. Sponsored by the Graduate Research Symposium and the Undergraduate Exposition, and will be held in the Ramsey Center Arena.
  • 6:00 pm – 6:15 pm – Award Ceremony. Sponsored by the Graduate Research Symposium. 
  • 6:15 pm – 7:30 pm The Undergraduate Exposition and Graduate Research Symposium Poster Presentations and Reception, to be held on the Concourse Level of the Ramsey Center.


Thursday, March 21st

The Faculty Scholarship Celebration in the A.K. Hinds University Center 

  • 11:00 am – 12:00 pm – The 3rd Annual Faculty 3-Minute Research Talk Competition in the A.K. Hinds University Center’s Grandroom 
  • 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm – Faculty Scholarship Celebration Luncheon in the Grandroom (reservation only event)
  • 1:00 pm – 1:30 pm – Award Celebration of the WCU Million Dollar Circle, Hunter Scholar, and Provost’s Scholarship Development Awardees for 2023-2024 will be included.








The Research and Scholarship Conference would not be possible without the leadership and support of so many from across Western’s campus. We wish to extend our gratitude to those who have made this event possible.

The 2024 Research and Scholarship Conference Leadership Team:

  • Carmen Huffman, Associate Provost for Academic Affairs
  • Jeff Lawson, Dean, The Graduate School and Research
  • Joy Bowers-Campbell, Associate Dean, Graduate School and Research
  • John Hildreth, Associate Dean, Office of Research Administration, Graduate School and Research
  • Kloo Hansen, Director, Office of Research Administration, Graduate School and Research
  • Suzanne Melton, Research Programs Coordinator, Office of Research Administration, The Graduate School and Research
  • Jill Granger, Dean, The Brinson Honors College
  • Chuck Thomas, Dean, Hunter Library 

The 2024 Research and Scholarship Conference Undergraduate Exposition, Graduate Symposium, and Faculty Scholarship Celebration Organizing Team:

  • Dana Boyer, Business Officer, Hunter Library
  • Heidi Buchanan, Associate Dean, Hunter Library
  • Holly Vaughan, Graduate Recruiting and Communications Director, Graduate School and Research
  • Joshua Everhart, Administrative Support Associate, Hunter Library
  • Kate Roche, Student Services Specialist, Graduate School and Research
  • Mariah Nehus, Executive Assistant, Hunter Library
  • Roxane Stiles, Executive Assistant, Graduate School and Research
  • Samantha Ellithorpe, Pre-Award Manager, Office of Research Administration, Graduate School and Research
  • Todd Lawing and the Ramsey Center Arena Staff
  • The A.K. Hinds University Center Staff
  • The WCU Print Shop
  • University Marketing
  • Aramark Catering