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WVU Student Researchers Present at 2024 URDC

orty-nine West Virginia University students representing the Morgantown and Beckley campuses have been invited to participate in Undergraduate Research Day at the Capitol on Thursday, February 22, 2024 from 8:00 am to 11:00 am in Charleston.

Undergraduate Research Day at the Capitol provides students the opportunity to present their original scholarly works during a poster session and to talk with legislators about their findings. Nearly 100 student researchers from nine institutions will present in the areas of creative arts, education, health sciences, humanities, STEM and social and behavioral sciences.

“As an R1 institution and a land grant university, WVU is a leader in high-impact research projects that benefit the state of West Virginia - and undergraduate student researchers are integral in the research process,” Amy Hessl, director of the Office of Undergraduate Research, said. “Undergraduate Research Day at the Capitol is a great opportunity for students to share their findings and experiences with lawmakers, to learn about the legislative process and see how research can affect policy decisions.”

This year, students were mentored by faculty from the Benjamin M. Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources, College of Applied Human Sciences, College of Creative Arts, Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design, Eberly College of Arts and Sciences, School of Dentistry, School of Medicine and School of Public Health.

In addition to WVU, other institutions participating include: Concord University, Marshall University, Shepherd University, University of Charleston, West Virginia State University, West Virginia Wesleyan College.

Below is a list of WVU student participants, along with their institutional campus, town of residence, research disciplinary focus, research poster title and research mentors:

West Virginia University (32 Presenters)

Laura Alcalde, Morgantown , WV, “The Impact of Cultural Values, and Ethnic Identity on Anxiety in Latino/a/x adults”, (Psychology), West Virginia University, Shari  Steinman, Research Mentor

Samantha Antol, Weirton, WV, “The influence of androgen receptor signaling on male sex-bias in HNSCC”, (Immunology and Medical Microbiology), West Virginia University, Jennifer Franko, Research Mentor

Aimee Ballard, Harpers Ferry, WV, “Associations Between Binge Drinking and Sleep on Various Age Groups and Rural Backgrounds”, (Psychology), West Virginia University, Amy Fiske, Research Mentor

Kamea Barker, Charleston, WV,  “An Analysis of Age, Sex, and Mental Health as Predictors of Employment Status”, (Psychology), West Virginia University, Julie Patrick, Research Mentor

Ethan Boddy, Charleston, WV , “The Benefits of Higher Education Can Last a Lifetime”, (Psychology), West Virginia University, Julie Patrick, Research Mentor

Janella Camp, Washington, WV, “Race and Ethnicity as Predictors of Breast Health Abtract”, (Psychology), West Virginia University, Julie Hicks Patrick, Research Mentor

India Chahar, Princeton, WV, “Place-based health disparities are exacerbated by poor health behaviors”, (Psychology), West Virginia University, Julie Patrick, Research Mentor

Laasya Chennuru, Kearneysville, WV, “Mitochondrial Protein MitoNEET as a Novel Therapeutic Target for Alzheimer’s Disease”, (Neuroscience), West Virginia University, Werner Geldenhuys, Research Mentor

Cooper Coursey, Morgantown, WV, “Culture Microscopy Advancements to Characterize Nematode Parasitism in Multicellular Organisms at the Molecular Level”, (Biology), West Virginia University, James Kotcon, Research Mentor

Kaelye Crook, Weston, WV, “Social Determinants of Health: Disparities in West Virginia”, (Psychology), West Virginia University, Julie Patrick, Research Mentor

Sophia DeLeon, Morgantown, WV, “Factors Affecting Mason Bee Propagation and their Agricultural Implications”, (Environmental Studies), West Virginia University, Yong-Lak Park, Research Mentor

Allison Dunn, Akron, OH, “Nanomaterial Inhalation During Gestation Results in Reproductive Dysfunction Due to Xanthine Oxidoreductase Elevation”, (Pharmaceutical Sciences), West Virginia University, Elizabeth Bowdridge, Research Mentor

Michael Elkins, Mullens, WV, “The role of human brain pericytes in cerebrovascular damage in ischemic stroke”, (Biomedical), West Virginia University, Moriah Katt, Research Mentor

Natsumi Furuya, Nerimaku, Tokyo, “Reconstruction of The Power Dynamic: Politics, Religion, and The Saloon Culture in West Virginia”, (History), West Virginia University, Corey Colyer, Research Mentor

Jessica Fuss, Shepherdstown, WV, “Characterization of novel ergot alkaloid-producing fungi”, (Biochemistry), West Virginia University, Daniel Panaccione, Research Mentor

Owen Gerdes, Morgantown, WV, “Membrane Reactor Applications for Methane and Water Production in Spacecraft Travel”, (Engineering), West Virginia University, Fernando/Oishi (Coadvised) Lima/Sanyal (Coadvised), Research Mentor

Annabel Goddard, Bridgeport, WV, “Patient Perceptions of Injectable Semaglutide Multidose Pen”, (Pharmaceutical Sciences), West Virginia University, Dr. Angela Goodhart, Research Mentor

Rebecca Hall, Morgantown, WV, “Identity-based Bullying and Associations with Depressive and Anxiety Symptoms among Adolescents”, (Psychology), West Virginia University, Amy Gentzler, Research Mentor

Christian Harris, East Liverpool, OH, “Impacts of Hemlock Woolly Adelgid and Harvest Configuration on Eastern Hemlock Associated Bird Species”, (Environmental Studies), West Virginia University, Christopher Lituma, Research Mentor

Madyson Kimble, South Charleston, WV, “Contributors to Place-based Health Disparities in West Virginia”, (Psychology), West Virginia University, Julie Hicks Patrick, Research Mentor

Ian Long, Greencastle, PA, “Adaptive Locomotion for Planetary Exploration Robots”, (Other Disciplines), West Virginia University, Cagri Kilic, Research Mentor

Brianna Myers, Parkersburg, WV, “WEST VIRGINIA: ALMOST HEAVEN, BUT NOT FOR MOUNTAIN MAMAS: In The City”, (Psychology), West Virginia University, Julie Hicks Patrick, Research Mentor

Victoria Nist, Massillon, OH, “ The Transgenerational Effects of Maternal Nano-TiO2 Inhalation”, (Biomedical), West Virginia University, Elizabeth Bowdridge, Research Mentor

Bernardo Pacheco Pereira, Morgantown, WV, “Loss of endothelial cell tissue-nonspecific alkaline phosphatase exacerbates cerebral edema and behavioral deficits post-stroke”, (Neuroscience), West Virginia University, Candice  Brown, Research Mentor

Chelsea Pack, Morgantown , WV, “A Novel Device to Measure the Force Required to Administer an Eye Drop”, (Biomedical), West Virginia University, Stephen Cain, Research Mentor

Nathaniel Palmer, Clarksburg, WV, “Spiritual Well-Being in Appalachian Family Caregivers”, (Disability Research), West Virginia University, Ubolrat Piamjariyakul, Research Mentor

Alexander Pfeffer, Morgantown, WV, “Application of the Novel Expert Algorithm for Substance Identification (EASI) to n-Alkanes”, (Chemistry), West Virginia University, Glen Jackson, Research Mentor

Christopher Smith, Morgantown, WV, “Dielectric Characterization of PBMCs from murine PyMT+/- models for breast cancer”, (Biomedical), West Virginia University, Soumya Srivastava, Research Mentor

Thisali Wadunambu Arachchige Dona, Morgantown, WV, “Model-based analyses of fertilizer nutrient recoveries from wastewater”, (Engineering), West Virginia University, Yuhe Tian, Research Mentor

Kayla Wagner, Buckhannon, WV, “Dielectric characterization of Vero cells infected with R. Montanensis”, (Biomedical), West Virginia University, Dr. Soumya Srivastava, Research Mentor

Ashlee Woldman, Avon, IN, “The Use of Hydrogels in Creating an In Vitro Model of the Neurovascular Unit”, (Biomedical), West Virginia University, Moriah Katt, Research Mentor

Natalie Wonsettler, Morgantown, WV, “Introducing a narrative medicine workshop to assess pediatric providers' perceptions of treating foster children”, (Sociology and Social Work), West Virginia University, Pamela Woodman-Kaehler and Andrea Labus, Research Mentors