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 academic research WCU students pursue during their time at Western Carolina University. Explore research poster presentations, oral presentations, an academic paper competition, and the 2020 3MT competition.

Welcome Note

Dr. Brian D. Kloeppel, Dean of the Graduate School and Research sets the tone for this years’ Graduate Symposium.


Discover the Symposium


Graduate 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.

Associate Provost Dr. Brandon Schwab, Graduate School Dean, Dr. Brian Kloeppel and Graduate School Associate Dean, Dr. Joy Bowers-Campbell will host the virtual event.  



Poster Presentations

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

This year preview graduate posters by clicking on project titles. 

Oral Presentations 

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

This year pre-recorded graduate oral presentations are available by clicking on project titles. 



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 form the WCU 2020 3MT®

Graduate Academic Paper Competition

Each year at this event the Graduate School hosts an academic paper competition. Students are judged by a panel of expert faculty. 

Explore the literature reviews and research papers submitted for award and consideration.


Schedule At-A-Glance

Wednesday, March 24th

Undergraduate Exposition and the 2021 RASC Featured Presentations 

All day. Debut of the Graduate and Undergraduate Student 2021 Featured Presentation Winners  

6:00PM – 7:30 p.m. Virtual Faculty Roundtable Discussion: Sustainability and Progress in the Midst of a Pandemic 


Thursday, March 25th

The Graduate Research Symposium Oral Presentation Live Q & A Sessions 

9:00AM – Biology/Chemistry/History 

1:00PM – English/Psychology 

1:00PM – Technology/ Elementary Education/MFA

 1:00PM – Physical Therapy 

2:00PM– Educational Leadership



Friday, March 26th

The Graduate Research Symposium 

Graduate Research Symposium Virtual Awards Ceremony 

Hosted by Associate Provost, Dr. Brandon Schwab | Dean, Graduate School and Research, Dr. Brian Kloeppel | Graduate School  

11:30am – 12pm – Via Zoom



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 2021 Research and Scholarship Conference Organizing and Leadership Team:

  • Jill Granger, Dean, The Honors College 
  • Brian Kloeppel, Dean, Graduate School and Research 
  • Joy Bowers-Campbell, Associate Dean, Graduate School and Research
  • Brandon Schwab, Associate Provost
  • Suzanne Melton, Administrative Support Specialist, Office of the Provost
  • Kloo Hansen, Undergraduate Research Coordinator, Office of the Provost 
  • Jan Stanfield, Student Services Specialist, Graduate School and Research 
  • Don Strickland, Computer Support Technician, Graduate School and Research 
  • Amelia Bryan, Public Communications and Marketing Specialist 
  • Samuel Wallace, Visual Art and Marketing Specialist
  • John Ballentine, Visual Art and Marketing Specialist
  • Scottie Kapel, Outreach and Scholarly Communications, Hunter Library
  • Josiah Buchanan, Graduate School Intern, Higher Education Student Affairs
  • Dixie Laws, Brinson Honors College
  • The Graduate Student Association

The 2021 Research and Scholarship Conference Faculty Roundtable Participants and Panel Judges for the Featured Presentation Competition:

  • Dr. Nelson Granda-Marulanda, Assistant Professor, School of Engineering and Technology (2021 Roundtable host and Featured Presentation Competition chair)
  • DrAimee Rockhill, Assistant Professor, Department of Geosciences and Natural Resources 
  • Erin Adams, Professor,  School of Art and Design 
  • Dr. Jennifer Schiff, Associate Professor, Department of Political Science and Public Affairs 
  • Dr. Channa De Silva, Associate Professor, Department of Chemistry and Physics 
  • Heather Mae Erickson, Associate Professor, the School of Art and Design 
  • Dr. Sara Duncan, Assistant Professor, School of Health Sciences