Research and Scholarship Celebration

The Research & Scholarship Celebration at Western Carolina University Combines The Undergraduate Expo and the Graduate Research Symposium

The Research & Scholarship Celebration (RASC) will be held April 3 - 4, 2019 in the Ramsey Center and A.K. Hinds University Center

Western's showcase academic event is hosted by The Office of the Provost, The Graduate School and Research, and the Honors College. The Undergraduate Research Exposition, part of WCU’s campus-wide Research and Scholarship Celebration, provides students with the opportunity to work with faculty to present their research to an engaged audience on campus. The annual expo features over 200 student presenters working with more than 60 faculty sponsors.

Any graduate or undergraduate student engaged in scholarly inquiry, creative projects, or research is welcome to register for this event. Graduate students interested in registering for the Graduate Research Symposium should contact Jan Stanfield in the Graduate School for more information and how to register. All undergraduate students who wish to register for the Undergraduate Expo should complete the registration form available on this page. Registration will open in January, 2019.

April 3: Ramsey Arena

Poster hanging period: 9:00 AM – 2:00 PM (All posters must be up no later than 2:00 pm)

Poster Preview: 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM (Browse posters created by your peers).

Welcome Address: 4:00 – 4:05 PM

Faculty Panel: 4:05-4:55 PM (including Q & A)

Introduction of Keynote Speaker: 4:55-5:00 PM

Keynote Address: 5:00 – 6:00 PM

Reception & Celebration: 6:00 PM – 7:30 PM

Undergraduate & Graduate Posters: 6:00 PM – 7:30 PM

April 4: A.K. Hinds University Center

Graduate Research Symposium
10:00 AM – 6:30 PM

Various locations throughout the University Center
Participants will be notified of the time and location of their presentations

5:00pm - Reception and Awards in the Blue Ridge Conference Room

Exemplary undergraduate abstracts will be selected to be presented orally on March 22 at the Graduate Research Symposium. Primary abstract authors will be notified of decisions by catamount email. Please share decisions with your faculty sponsors. You will receive an email notification with your entry information.


View the 2018 Graduate Research Symposium Program


The Research and Scholarship Celebration is an event that would not be possible without the dedication and service of Western Carolina University Faculty and Staff Members. The RASC Committee is made up of Faculty and Staff representatives from all colleges and the Office of the Provost. Committee members collaborate through the academic year to organize, create, and facilitate the combined event.

College of Arts and Sciences

  • Robert Youker (co-chair)
  • Munene Mwaniki

College of Business

  • Grace Allen

College of Education and Allied Professions

  • Lihua Xu

College of Engineering and Technology

  • Bora Karayaka
  • Ahmed Al-Bayati

College of Fine and Performing Arts

  • Mary Kay Waters

College of Health and Human Sciences

  • Susan Braithwaite

Honors College

  • Jill Granger

Hunter Library

  • Scottie Kapel

Office of the Provost

  • Kloo Hansen (chair)
  • Suzanne Melton
  • Brandon Schwab

The Graduate School

  • Brian Kloeppel
  • Sharon McGee
  • Jan Stanfield

Mr. Gene Nichol provided the 2018 Research & Scholarship Celebration Keynote Address. Mr. Nichol presented his speech titled, Engaged Scholarship at Public Universities.

Mr. Gene Nichol, distingushed professor at the University of North Carolina


Gene Nichol is Boyd Tinsley distinguished professor at the University of North Carolina. He was director of the UNC Poverty Center (2008-2015) until it was closed by the Board of Governors for publishing articles critical of the governor and General Assembly. Since 2015, his research has been supported by the N.C. Poverty Research Fund.

Nichol was president of the College of William & Mary (2005-2008), law dean at the University of Colorado (1988-1995), and dean at UNC from 1999-2005.Nichol is author of FEDERAL COURTS (West, 2015) and SEEING THE INVISIBLE: Putting a Face on Poverty in North Carolina (2015). He’s published articles in the Harvard, Yale, Chicago, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Duke, California, and Virginia law reviews.

He’s been an op-ed columnist for the Raleigh News & Observer for fifteen years. He’s also executive producer of the documentary, “A Generation of Change: Bill Friday, Terry Sanford and North Carolina” (UNC-TV, 2016). In 2003, Nichol received the ABA's Edward Finch Award for delivering the nation's best Law Day address. In 2004, he was named Carolina’s pro bono professor of the year. The next year, he was inducted into the Order of the Long Leaf Pine, North Carolina’s highest civilian honor; and Equal Justice Works named him Pro Bono Dean of the year. In 2008, he received Oklahoma State University's Distinguished Alumnus Award; the "Courage to do Justice Award" from the National Employment Lawyers Association; and the Thomas Jefferson Award for defense of religious liberty from the Military Religious Freedom Foundation. In 2013, the NC Council of Churches gave Nichol its Faith Active in Public Life Award; the NC-ACLU named him its W.W. Finlator Award winner; and UNC gave him its Thomas Jefferson Award – the university’s highest faculty honor. In 2014, he received the McCall Teaching Award from the UNC Law School and the University of Colorado’s Joanne Arnold award for courage in defense of civil liberty.

Nichol attended Oklahoma State University, receiving a degree in philosophy and playing varsity football. He obtained his J.D. from the University of Texas, graduating Order of the Coif (1973).

Undergraduate Expo Registration Directions

All Undergraduate Students who are interested in participating in the Undergraduate Expo (April 3) will need to submit their abstracts using the Qualtrics form, provided below. The registration form will be available in January, 2019. More information and guidelines for abstract submissions are provided below.

Instructions for registration

A registration form will be available beginning in early January, 2019, and close in early February, 2019.
The registration form is to be completed by the undergraduate student (graduate students should apply via the Graduate School).

Before you begin registering for the Undergraduate Expo, please be sure to have the following finalized and approved by your faculty mentor, and ready to enter into the registration form:
1. A complete project title, italicized, and in sentence case (ex: Flipping the classroom in an undergraduate social work research course).
2. An abstract (</= 300 words) in Microsoft Word format. Please include the title of the project in italics and sentence case on the abstract, but no names, please.
3. If you are doing an oral presentation, have a location, time and date set up to enter into this form. It is the student and faculty mentor’s responsibility to arrange locations ahead of time.
4. Spell all names correctly, including your faculty sponsor(s) and co-presenters, if applicable.
5. Complete only one registration per project (unless presenting in 2 different formats, for example, both an oral and poster presentation). 

Students who do not register via this registration form will not be permitted to present at the event.

Abstracts can describe expected results if the results of the study are not complete at the time of registration.

Abstracts will be reviewed according to the rubric document available at HERE.

Exemplary abstracts will be selected to be presented orally on March 22 at the Graduate Research Symposium. Primary abstract authors will be notified of decisions by catamount email. Please share decisions with your faculty sponsors. You will receive an email notification with your entry information.

REMINDER: The text you enter will be the exact text in the program booklet, so make sure your registration is accurate.

Registration Form

The Registration Form will open in early January, 2019. If you need assistance or questions about an abstract you'd like considered, please email Kloo Hansen at, or call 227-2010.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The text you enter in the registration form will be the exact text in the program booklet. Please make sure your registration is accurate.

abstract rubric

All abstracts submitted by students will be evaluated using the same assessment rubric document.
Feel free to preview the rubric to assist you in the construction of your abstracts (note: the rubric document includes 2 rubric tables, both of which are designed to meet the organizational needs of diverse discipline expecations in abstract construction).

Exemplary abstracts by undergraduate students will be selected, using the rubric provided, and will be asked to present orally on April 4th at the Graduate Research Symposium. Primary abstract authors will be notified of decisions by catamount email. Please share decisions with your faculty sponsors. You will receive an email notification with your entry information.

Poster Workshops

Before you register, consider joining us for an a poster and abstract writing workshop!
In an effort to support students in the construction of the abstract, poster, and/or oral presentation, the Office of the Provost and the Graduate School will host two RASC workshops for students. Hunter Library's Scottie Kapel will host the poster writing workshop.

Workshop Dates are forthcoming for 2019.


Volunteer For RASC

We need student volunteers to help coordinate and facilitate the RASC event! If you would like to volunteer, and be part of the RASC event please complete the volunteer sign-up form linked below. Volunteer service for RASC can be included in your Lily Points. If you have questions about volunteering contact Kloo Hansen at

The 2019 Volunteer Sign-up Form is forthcoming.

National Conference for Undergraduate Research (NCUR) 

2016 NCUR Group

2018 NCUR Students

The Honors College and the Office of the Provost coordinate Western Carolina University's annual participation in this national conference. Students' proposals from over 300 colleges and universities nationwide were accepted for the conference. NCUR 2019 will be held at the Kennesaw State University from April 11-13.

Online Abstract Submissions Opens October 2018
Abstract Submission Deadline December 2018
Find out more at

WCU students interested in getting travel and registration support for the conference should list Kloo Hansen as the Undergraduate Research Office Coordinator (UROC) in their Abstract Submission, using the following contact information: and 828-227-2010.  WCU will only be able to support registration and travel expenses for first authorsIf departments would like to supplement the fund in order to take additional co-author students, on a space-available basis, department heads may contact Kloo Hansen to make arrangements.  Students attending NCUR, with travel and registration support from WCU, are expected to attend the ENTIRE conference (April 11-13, 2019).  Please keep this mind, as students will be away from campus and will be missing classes. 

All students who would like travel support funding for NCUR 2019 will need to complete the NCUR Travel Support Funding Request Form. The form will be open to students in October, 2018. 

Expo Archives

Download the 2017 RASC Program HERE

In 2015, the Expo featured the work of over 290 student presenters with 67 faculty sponsors.
Download the 2015 Program

In 2014, the Expo featured the work of over 240 student presenters with 61 faculty sponsors.
Download the 2014 Program

In 2013, the Expo featured the work of over 280 student presenters with 81 faculty sponsors.
Download the 2013 Program

In 2012, the Expo featured the work of over 260 student presenters with 65 faculty sponsors.
Download the 2012 Program

In 2011, the Expo featured the work of over 280 student presenters with 77 faculty sponsors.
Download the 2011 Program

In 2010, the Expo featured the work of over 190 student presenters with 68 faculty sponsors.
Download the 2010 Program

In 2009, the Expo featured the work of over 200 student presenters with 72 faculty sponsors.
Download the 2009 Program

In 2008, the Expo featured the work of over 220 student presenters with 64 faculty sponsors.
Download the 2008 Program

In 2007, the Expo featured the work of over 200 student presenters with 57 faculty sponsors.
Download the 2007 Program

Learn More

Explore Imagine Magazine to see featured research projects conducted by WCU students.

For more information on the Research and Scholarship Celebration, email Kloo Hansen at or call 828.227.3016.

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