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[COVID-19 RESEARCH CONDUCT RESOURCES CAN BE FOUND HERE

The Office of Undergraduate Research is open, but our staff members are teleworking. We are available for student advising and meetings using Zoom, Google Hangouts, or by phone. Please continue to use our contact form to set up an appointment or email undergradresearch@mail.wvu.edu to contact our staff. We are here for you!

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About Us

The Office of Undergraduate Research enhances academic excellence through undergraduate research and creative endeavors. We connect undergraduate students who have strong and committed interests in research and creative endeavors to faculty members, programs, and research-related opportunities that are aligned with their interests.


For Undergraduate Students, the Office of Undergraduate Research:

  • offers on-campus programming (e.g., SURE), career mentoring speakers, and coordinated workshops (e.g., responsible conduct of research, preparing a scientific poster);
  • connects students with on-campus research opportunities;
  • connects students with off-campus/external research opportunities;
  • offers advice on applying for undergraduate research opportunities (on-campus and off-campus);
  • offers advice on enhancing your application for undergraduate research opportunities;
  • offers advice on finding travel funding and preparing your research for presentation;
  • connects students with opportunities to present their research (e.g., URDC and Posters on the Hill); and
  • connects student researchers with faculty.

For Faculty Mentors, the Office of Undergraduate Research:

  • connects faculty with student researchers;
  • aids faculty members in supporting undergraduate research activities;
  • provides budgetary templates and language for inclusion of undergraduate researchers in proposals;
  • aids faculty in writing proposals to support undergraduate research sites (e.g., NSF  REU Siteproposals);
  • offers on-campus programming (e.g., SURE), career mentoring speakers, and coordinated workshops for undergraduate researchers; and
  • acts as a resource for undergraduate research activities across WVU.

Administration

  • Michelle Richards-Babb

    Michelle Richards-Babb, Ph.D.

    Professor, Chemistry & Director, Office of Undergraduate Research

    Michelle Richards-Babb did not attend college immediately upon graduation from high school. Instead, she worked within the equine industry. Eventually, she earned a B.S. in Chemistry from Ursinus College and a Ph.D. in Chemistry from Lehigh University. Currently, Richards-Babb is a Professor within the WVU C. Eugene Bennett Department of Chemistry where she teaches and carries out research on chemistry education. As an undergraduate senior, she performed research on the solution thermodynamics of polymers. She clearly remembers her mother typing her final undergraduate research report on a manual typewriter. Richards-Babb, a first generation college student, credits her undergraduate research experience with giving her the confidence to apply to and attend graduate school.

  • Cinthia Pacheco

    Cinthia Pacheco, Ph.D.

    Assistant Director, Office of Undergraduate Research

    Cinthia Pacheco has a Bachelor’s degree in Dentistry and Master’s and Ph.D. degrees in Pharmacology, all of them from the Federal University of Minas Gerais in Brazil. She was also a visiting scientist at the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Pittsburgh. Her interest in research started early in her life, when she was still an undergraduate student and participated in a scientific initiation program. As a professor at Newton Paiva University Center in Brazil, she gave similar research opportunities to many students, while she was directing the university efforts on undergraduate research. Along the years, Cinthia had witnessed the beneficial impact that research has in the life of the students and how it can open opportunities in their future careers. Currently, as an Assistant Director of the UGR, Cinthia is committed to continuously increase the participation of students and faculty mentors in undergraduate research.

  • Kevin Walden

    Kevin Walden

    Program Coordinator, Office of Undergraduate Research

    Kevin is from the home of Mother’s Day: Grafton, West Virginia. Kevin has many interests across the arts, humanities, and social and behavioral sciences. While attending WVU as undergraduate, he earned a bachelor’s in English and biology. At WVU, he served as a research assistant studying Appalachian language diversity and change at the West Virginia Dialect Project under the direction of Dr. Kirk Hazen. After a gap year working as a cast member at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Orlando, Florida, Kevin continued research as a graduate student at the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education in Philadelphia. There he studied academic identity development in high school students and earned a Master’s in human development. His favorite role in graduate school was serving as Graduate Associate in Rodin College House, where he supported the development and enrichment of students living in college housing. Now, at the WVU Office of Undergraduate Research, Kevin hopes to introduce WVU undergraduates to the life-changing experiences of engaging in disciplinary research while also continuing to learn from students in all majors across the university. Kevin is most at peace when he is physically active, designing visual art projects, discussing 20th century pop culture, or promoting self-care and wellbeing in others. 

  • Paige Zalman

    Paige Zalman

    Program Coordinator, Research Apprenticeship Program, Office of Undergraduate Research

    Paige Zalman grew up in North Carolina, where she earned a Bachelor of Music degree in Music Performance from the University of North Carolina Wilmington. As an undergraduate student, she had the privilege of conducting music history research on musical theater, opera, and musical borrowing with an amazing faculty mentor. This experience ultimately inspired her to pursue graduate studies at West Virginia University, where she later received a Master of Arts degree in Musicology. As a graduate student at WVU, Paige expanded her research interests to include popular music, the intersection of music and contemporary politics, and musical exoticism. She also worked in the Research Services department of the Downtown Campus Library, where she helped undergraduate and graduate students with their library research and also taught a ULIB course, College Research Skills. She currently works as the Program Coordinator for the Research Apprenticeship Program.

  • Graduate Assistants

  • Cari Ferguson

    Carinna Ferguson

    Graduate Assistant, Research Apprenticeship Program

    Cari Ferguson was raised in Belington, West Virginia. While pursuing her B.A. in psychology at WVU, she worked in a research lab studying individual differences in emotions, college student retention, and academic persistence. Her undergraduate research spurred her to continue her studies at WVU, where she earned an M.A. in Research and Program Evaluation. Cari is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Learning Sciences and Human Development. Her research interests include high-impact practices, program evaluation, and the impact of undergraduate research experiences across disciplines. She is engaged in several ongoing projects examining undergraduate research, adult learning, and mentorship. She currently works as a Graduate Teaching Assistant for the Research Apprenticeship Program at WVU.


  • Morgan Simpson

    Morgan Simpson

    Graduate Assistant, Research Apprenticeship Program

    Morgan Simpson is from Summit Point, West Virginia. She earned her B.S. in psychology from West Virginia University while working in Dr. Cheryl McNeil’s Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) research lab. PCIT is an evidence-based practice for families with oppositional children aged 2-7. The lab works to further the dissemination and application of PCIT methods to diverse communities. Morgan served as the undergraduate research coordinator, contributed to the advancement of Parent Child Interaction Therapy across West Virginia, and provided childcare to families. Morgan’s undergraduate research experience allowed her to discover her passion for working with children, and she is now pursuing a M.A. in Elementary Education. She currently works as a Graduate Teaching Assistant for the Research Apprenticeship Program at WVU.

  • Stephanie Augustine

    Stephanie Augustine

    Graduate Assistant, Research Apprenticeship Program

    Stephanie Augustine hails from eastern Pennsylvania, and completed her BS in Biodiversity and Conservation Biology at Cedar Crest College, where her undergraduate research on plants and soil was an integral part of her studies. After graduation, she worked as a Zookeeper and Conservation Educator for two years, caring for native and exotic wildlife and teaching groups of all ages, then continued her career with two years of bird banding and butterfly tagging field jobs in Costa Rica, Texas, and New Jersey, and a semester of recruiting students for her alma mater. Stephanie is now pursuing her M.S. with WVU in Wildlife and Fisheries Resources, studying Canada Warblers in the Monongahela National Forest.

  • Teaching Assistants


  • Kallie's Headshot

    Kallie Schafner

    teaching assistant 

    Kallie is a sophomore undergraduate student studying chemistry from Cleveland, Ohio. She is a RAP graduate and currently completes her research under Tim Nurkiewicz in the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology. Her research passion is inhalation toxicology which her research fulfills where she focuses on the inhalation of electronic cigarettes on rats during maternal gestation. Through research, Kallie has won the Society of Toxicology RC4 award and will present her research at the Society of Toxicology’s annual meeting this March. Her expected graduation date is May 2023. After completing her undergraduate degree, Kallie plans on pursuing a graduate degree in toxicology.


  • Smiling woman

    Cassidy Kidwell

    teaching assistant 

    Cassidy is a sophomore undergraduate student studying Music Education from Shady Spring, WV. While in RAP this past year, she researched under Dr. Travis D. Stimeling, Professor of Musicology at WVU. Their focuses included Appalachian music, artists, history, and zine making, and they will be continuing their research throughout the next year. Also during this past year, Cassidy participated in WVU Women's Choir and Mountaineer Choir. This summer, she worked as a New Student Orientation Leader for West Virginia University's incoming students. Her expected graduation date is May 2024, and after completing her
    undergraduate degree, she plans to start teaching in public schools or continue her education in graduate school.


  • Smiling man

    YJ Arciaga

    teaching assistant 

    Yaronn James C. Arciaga, aka YJ, is a senior Mathematics Major, who originated from Davao City, Philippines, and resides in Hedgesville, West Virginia. YJ has an Associates of Arts in Civil Engineering and Mathematics from Potomac State College, where he served as peer tutor in mathematics, physics, and economics. In addition, he was a program coordinator of mathematics workshops for Potomac State’s remedial students. He is a RAP Graduate and continues to research on the perceptions of facilitators in dual enrollment courses, under the direction of Dr. Laura Pyzdrowski. Through his research, YJ was the winning presenter for the Human Engagement Poster category of the 2021 WVU Undergraduate Spring Symposium. Inspired by his research, YJ plans to pursue a Master’s in Mathematics and Statistics, and a Ph.D. in Mathematics Education.


  • Smiling man

    Michael Fiala

    teaching assistant 

    Michael grew up in Uniontown, Pennsylvania. As a non-traditional second-year student, Michael is pursuing a B.S. in Environmental Microbiology and participating in the WVUteach program to develop a path in secondary education and mentorship. After completing RAP during my first year at WVU, Michael's goal is to continue building undergraduate research experience to prepare for graduate studies in Ecology and Environmental Biology. Michael's research passions are related to the ecology of freshwater ecosystems and water quality management. His aim to develop future projects concerning the effects of stormwater runoff and other anthropogenic influences on soil, plants, and water microbial diversity and health. In addition to assisting RAP, he will be engaging in activities as a WVU Presidential Student Ambassador and a volunteer for World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Panda Ambassador’s to begin working on leadership roles and community engagement.

OUR Location & HOURS

Phone

(304)-293-9354

Spring 2020 Semester Hours 

Monday-Friday: 9:00a.m.-5:00p.m.

Mailing Address 

Office of Undergraduate Research 
Arnold Hall  
PO Box 6702  
West Virginia University 
Morgantown, WV 26506-6702 

Physical Address (for package delivery) 

Office of Undergraduate Research 
Arnold Hall 
650 Price Street  
West Virginia University 
Morgantown, WV 26506-6702 

Arnold Hall

Arnold Hall, Rooms 228-235

NOTE: Arnold Hall is located on the corner of Price and Prospect Street on the WVU Downtown Campus. Come in through the main Price Street entrance (the glass doors in the above picture).

If you have any questions, not answered by the information on the UGR website, or would like to make an appointment to discuss undergraduate research opportunities, please do not hesitate to contact the Office of Undergraduate Research by email (undergradresearch@mail.wvu.edu) or telephone at 304-293-9354.