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Research and Scholarship Conference combines Undergraduate Exposition and Graduate Research Symposium

More than 130 poster presentations will be on display at this year's Undergraduate Exposition.

While there is a slight name change, the event remains the same. The Research and Scholarship Conference (formerly known as the Research and Scholarship Celebration) combines Western Carolina University’s 22nd annual Undergraduate Exposition and the 28th Graduate Research Symposium.

The event will be held Wednesday, March 25, and Thursday, March 26. The RASC is WCU’s largest showcase for both graduate and undergraduate academic, research and creative work for the year. The conference brings together students, faculty and staff, as well as the broader community, to engage in peer-to-peer discussions while also allowing students the opportunity to present their research and scholarship in a professional setting.

The RASC is a DegreePlus event as well as part of the Chancellor Installation events. It is sponsored by the Office of the Provost, Graduate School and Research, the Honors College and Graduate Student Association.

A record number of presentations will be featured across the two-day event. The Undergraduate Exposition will take place March 25 on the concourse level the Ramsey Regional Activity Center. More than 130 poster  presentations will be featured by undergraduate and graduate students. Also included in the exposition will be 15 fine arts exhibits.

Diane Styers, WCU associate professor of geosciences and natural resources, will give the keynote address on March 25 – “See the Forest for More Than Trees: Exploring the Benefits of Trees on WCU’s Campus.” Her talk will be at 5 p.m. in the Ramsey Center.

Undergraduates will present oral and performance presentations at various locations across campus both days. A complete listing of the presentations can be found by visiting

This year’s exposition has partnered with the university’s campus learning theme, Sustainability and Environment. The event at the Ramsey Center will be the largest ‘Zero Waste Event’ in WCU history. More information on the collaboration can be found at

The Graduate Research Symposium will take place March 26 at the A.K. Hinds University Center. Graduate students will present orally from a wide array of graduate programs. Nine undergraduate students were invited to present as exemplary undergraduates. Twelve graduates will compete in the Academic Paper Competition, and more than 40 participants will compete in the first-ever Campus Theme Graduate Award. Winners in each category of presentation (oral, poster, and academic research paper) will receive a $500 prize. The symposium will conclude with a formal reception and awards ceremony.

Alvin Malesky, WCU psychology professor, will be the keynote speaker March 26. His address it titled “Sustainability of the Self” and will be at noon in the UC theater.

Other events include a presentation on “Predator Dynamics in the Face of Environmental Change” from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. March 25 and “LivLab and No New Plastics” from 12:45 to 2 p.m.  in the Blue Ridge Conference Room; and a faculty panel discussion on Sustainability and Environment at 4 p.m. March 25 in the Ramsey Center.


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