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Students Present Original Scholarly Work at Wheeling University’s Research Symposium

WHEELING, W.Va., April 17 — Wheeling University’s annual Student Research and Scholarship Symposium showcased the scholarly work of students from a variety of academic disciplines where 50 presentations or posters were on display.

For more than 20 years, undergraduate students have been conducting research and presenting it each year before their peers and the University community each Spring. This is a day to highlight the scholarly work of students across several academic programs. 

“The vibrant undergraduate research opportunities offered at Wheeling University enhances the educational experience for our students, while helping them build valuable skills they can take with them in graduate school or the workplace. Studies show students who participate in research earn better grades, are more likely to graduate and are better equipped for graduate school or careers,” said Dr. Sarah Pettit, assistant professor of Exercise Science and chair of the 2024 Research Day Committee.

More than 80 students gave oral presentations and displayed posters of their research on April 10th.  Students from Biology, Business, Education, English, Exercise Science, Psychology, and Physical Therapy participated in this year’s event.

Research was conducted in areas of athletic performance, entrepreneurship, the impact of stress, and marketing strategies as well as many other topics. 

“The research opportunities offered to students at the University are uncommon for an institution our size. Faculty are engaged and work one-on-one with students to explore topics related to their majors. The ability to take part in research as an undergraduate is a real plus and enriches our students’ undergraduate educational experience,” said Teresa Busick, instructor in Psychology and Research Day Committee member. 

At Wheeling University, some majors require students to begin conducting research alongside faculty members as freshman and sophomores. Many colleges and universities don’t offer such opportunities until a students’ junior or senior years. 

It is also noted that conducting research as undergrads gives students the opportunity to explore an academic discipline more fully and expands their academic experience.

“Research Day offers our students the chance to present, either individually or as a team, their projects before classmates, faculty and administrators. This experience helps grow their confidence because they are giving a presentation before a large group, something many have never done before,” Dr. Pettit added.

In addition to Pettit and Busick, Heather Kiblinger, instructor in Nursing and Fr. Freddie D’Souza, director of Campus Ministry, served on this year’s organizing committee.