23rd Undergraduate Research Exposition

 The Undergraduate Research Exposition, part of WCU’s campus-wide Research and Scholarship Conference, provides students with the opportunity to work with faculty to present their research to an engaged audience on campus.   

Opening Remarks
Dr. Brandon Schwab, Associate Provost for Academic Affairs

Discover the Undergraduate Exposition

The 2020 Summer Undergraduate Research Program

The 2020 Summer Undergraduate Research Program was hosted as an entirely virtual experiential learning opportunity for a select group of research students and their faculty mentors. Preview their projects, a panel discussion, and so much more! 



Undergraduate Exposition Presentations

The 23rd Annual Undergraduate Exposition features research poster presentations, oral presentations, and performance and fine arts exhibits. This annual conference provides undergraduate students with the opportunity to present their research to an engaged audience. 

2021 Featured Presentations 

The 2021 Featured Presentation Competition accepted abstracts and artists statements in three thematic areas related to the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Graduate and Undergraduate students participated by providing  abstracts and artist statements to a panel of experts. Explore the projects and winners!



Academic Project Grants

The Office of the Provost sponsors Undergraduate Academic Project Grants (APGs) each year to support students with the opportunity to work on research or creative activities with faculty.  Projects are reviewed by a committee of faculty from across WCU’s colleges and the Hunter Library.

2021 NCUR Accepted Projects

Western Carolina University has established itself as a national leader in undergraduate research having ranked in the Top 10 for the number of projects accepted to the National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR) annually since 2006. This year we had 25 student projects accepted for presentation. Congratulations to these students!

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  

6:00 PM – 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