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Research and Scholarship Celebration

April 3 - 4, 2019 in the Ramsey Center and A.K. Hinds University Center

The Research & Scholarship Celebration at Western Carolina University is made up of the Undergraduate Expo and the Graduate Research Symposium. This showcase academic event is hosted by The Office of the Provost, The Graduate School and Research, and the Honors College.

Undergraduate Research Exposition

Student performing research


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 undergraduate student engaged in scholarly inquiry, creative projects, or research is welcome to register for this event.

Learn more about the Undergraduate Research Exposition

Graduate Research Symposium

Student performing research


The Graduate Research Symposium is made up of three parts, research poster presentations, oral presentations and an academic paper competition. 

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 November 30, 2018.

Learn More about the Graduate Research Symposium 

 Additional Information

April 3: Various Locations Across Campus & Ramsey Arena

Defining America Featured Presentations

11:00 am - 2:00 pm in Blue Ridge Conference Room

Join Undergraduate Students and their Faculty Mentors for a series of oral presentations, sponsored by the 2019 Defining America Campus Theme Committee. 

  • 11:00 am - 12:30 pm: Department of Parks & Recreation Management Featured Undergraduate Student Presentations; Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Callie Schultz
  • 12:45 pm - 2:00 pm: Department of Anthropology & Sociology Featured Undergraduate Student Presentations; Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Katie Zejdlik-Passalacqua 

Undergraduate Expo at the Ramesy Arena

Poster Hanging Set-up times:

  • 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).

The 21st Annual Undergraduate Exposition:

  • 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


*Note: Undergraduate Oral Presentations will be held all day (April 3 & 4) at various locations across campus. Check the Campus Map under special events for a complete listing of locations. For a  most up-to-date detailed list of the presentations and their locations check the Undergraduate Expo and the Graduate Research Symposium program booklets.

April 4: A.K. Hinds University Center

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

Various locations throughout the A. K. Hinds University Center


2019 Graduate Student Panel

11:00 am - 11:45 am in the UC Theater

Interested in attending graduate school or a post-graduate program of study? Join current WCU graduate students in the a panel discussion of how to consider the right graduate school and/or program of study. Get an opportunity to ask questions about applying, interviewing, and succeeding in graduate school. 


2019 Graduate Research Symposium's Keynote Speaker

Dr. Laura Wright, Department of English at Western Carolina University

12:00 pm - 1:00 pm in the UC Theater

Join Dr. Laura Wright in the UC Theater for her Keynote Address at the 27th Annual Graduate Research Symposium.


2019 Exemplary Undergraduate Oral Presentations

At various locations in the A.K. Hinds University Center. Please see the 2019 Graduate Research Symposium Program for details on locations and times.

*Note: Exemplary Undergraduate Oral Presentations will be selected to be presented on April 4, 2019 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. Exemplary undergraduate presenters will be notified of the time and location of their presentations in advance of the date.


Graduate Research Symposium Reception 

5:00pm - Reception and Awards in the University Center Grand Room 

Graduate Research Symposium

The 2019 Research & Scholarship Celebration is joining with the campus theme of DEFINING AMERICA

defining america 

This year we hope to bring together participants from across the colleges to share in how WCU defines research and creative inquiry, and to highlight the contributions that students and faculty have made in their fields.  

RASC will feature several events over the 2-day period that students, faculty, and the community can attend to connect with this campus theme. And, for undergraduate students, many of the events featured will be designated for Degree Plus.

See the list of Defining America and Degree Plus tagged events for the 2019 Research and Scholarship Celebration below, and check out our more detailed schedule on this page.

April 3, 2019:

  • Defining America Featured Oral Presentations from Parks & Recreation Management and Anthropology & Sociology
  • The 2019 Undergraduate Exposition Faculty Panel and Keynote Address by Dr. Mary C. Waters of Harvard University
  • The 2019 Undergraduate Exposition Poster Celebration, featuring both Undergraduate and Graduate Poster Presentations

April 4, 2019:

  • The 2019 Exemplary Undergraduate Oral Presentations in the A.K. Hinds University Center
  • The 2019 Graduate Student Panel in the UC Theater
  • The 2019 Graduate Research Symposium Keynote Address by Dr. Laura Wright of Western Carolina University

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 2018 - 2019 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
  • Katie Zejdlik-Passalacqua

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
  • April Perry
  • Jan Stanfield

The Research and Scholarship Celebration and Defining America Committees Welcome the 2019 Kenynote Speaker:

Dr. Mary C. Waters

John L. Loeb Professor of Sociology, Harvard University

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


Immigrants generally do very well in the United States, integrating faster than European immigrants did a century ago, but immigration policy debates and deadlocks are still creating large problems not only for immigrants but for our economy and society. Immigration research can lead to better solutions and outcomes for immigrants in the United States.

To learn more about this topic join Dr. Mary C. Waters, the John L. Loeb Distinguished Professor of Sociology at Harvard University, for a talk on Immigration to the US: Integration Success and Policy Failures, during the 2019 Research and Scholarship Celebration.

Ramsey Arena

April 3, 2019

5:00 – 6:00 PM

MARY C. WATERS is the PVK Professor of Arts and Sciences and the John L. Loeb Professor of Sociology at Harvard University. Her work has focused on the integration of immigrants and their children; the transition to adulthood for the children of immigrants; intergroup relations; the measurement and meaning of racial and ethnic identity; and the social, demographic, and psychological impact of natural disasters.  The author or co-author of 11 books and over 75 articles, she is an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences, a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Philosophical Society. Learn More.

Listen to a recent radio boradcast featuring Dr. Waters:

What Does it Mean to Assimilate in a Nation of Immigrants?
Source: The Takeaway, New York Public Radio Boradcast on January 30, 2019

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