WJU Students Prepare to Unveil Research at Symposium

WHEELING – This year marks the 15th anniversary since Wheeling Jesuit University students began showing off their research and scholarship abilities to the public at the Student Research and Scholarship Symposium.

Students in all majors will spend Tuesday, presenting their work.

Opening ceremonies will begin at 9 a.m. in Troy Theater, located inside Swint Hall, where keynote speaker James Paulick, Esq. ’01 will talk.

Then, students will break away to various classrooms on campus to make presenations.

“What began as a two-hour poster session in the hallways of Donahue Hall back in 1999 has since flourished into a full day’s event encompassing the best that WJU has to offer in terms of student research and scholarship. This year will feature over 100 presentations from over 120 students, which is a record breaker for our 15th anniversary,” said WJU Director of Undergraduate Research Bryan Raudenbush.

From 10-11:45 a.m. the first of two oral presentations sessions will take place.

One project discussed will be “Service Immersion Portal: A Virtual Experience” by Amanda Agdeppa.

According to the research, the total number of WJU student volunteers who participate in service immersion trips has been low for the past few years with less than 10 percent involvement; however, the presentation will show there is great opportunity for growth.

After a break for lunch, poster presentations will get underway from 12:30-3:45 p.m. Students will discuss a wide variety of topics like “Treatment of Acid Mine Drainage with Liquid Cheese Whey as a Sulfate Reducing Bacteria Stimulant,” and “Risk Assessment: A Closer Look at the Proposed Concentration of Bromide in the Ohio River After a Barge Collapse” and “Psychological Relationship between the Improper Use of Football Helmets and Frequency of Concussions.”

The final day event will conclude with the second portion of oral presentations from 4-5:30 p.m. “RA Buddy” by Joe Amsler, Pat Ammar and Kevin Frantz is a project is to develop a system that will allow security and R.A’s to work at a more efficient level.

Plus, a presentation on “WJU Mobile Tour” by Cody Konecy, Michael McGilton, and Michael McGrail is a project that aims to digitally enhance the tour experience by offering visitors a mobile website, accessible from a smartphone, to view various information and media for campus buildings and departments.

The Symposium will end with an evening presentation by three seniors competing for the prestigious Rev. Frank R. Haig, S.J. Science award, to be announced at commencement.

Haig served as WJU’s third president from 1966-72.

Moderated by James Coffield, assistant professor of chemistry, the Haig competition is the pinnacle of the Symposium event.

Students vying for the award are Erin Sheplavy, psychology major, Anthony Schnelle, chemistry major and John Pennaccio, biology major.

Haig recipients receive a medal along with a $2,500 prize.

Undergraduate student research is the hallmark of the Jesuit tradition of academic excellence. More than 50 percent of WJU undergraduates participate in research with faculty members compared to fewer than 20 percent nationally.

For more on the Symposium, call 304-243-2330 or visit wju.edu/academics/symposium.