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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 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.


  • 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 Walden was raised in Grafton, West Virginia and earned a B.A. in English and biology from WVU. At WVU, he served as an undergraduate research assistant for the West Virginia Dialect Project examining linguistic features throughout the state. For his graduate studies, he attended University of Pennsylvania's Graduate School of Education and earned an M.S.Ed. in interdisciplinary studies in human development. At GSE he served as a research assistant looking into the impact of a civic engagement curriculum, Facing History and Ourselves, on academic identity development in high school students. In addition, he worked as a Graduate Associate in College Housing, where he programmed events to support the social, professional, and academic development of undergraduate residents.

  • 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 Specialist for the Research Apprenticeship Program.

  • RAP Graduate Teaching Assistants

  • Cari Ferguson

    Carinna Ferguson

    Graduate Assistant, Research Apprenticeship Program

    Cari Ferguson grew up in West Virginia and got her B.A. in psychology at West Virginia University. While pursuing her undergraduate degree, Cari worked in a research lab studying individual differences in emotions and adjustments, particularly in high school students. She also studied variables contributing to college retention and academic persistence, which spurred her to study Educational Psychology in graduate school. Cari is currently pursuing an M.A. in Educational Psychology with an emphasis in program evaluation and research. Her research interests include evaluation of curriculum and impacts of undergraduate research experiences across disciplines. She currently works as a Graduate Teaching Assistant for the Research Apprenticeship Program at WVU.

  • Madison Brooks

    Madison Brooks

    Graduate Assistant, Research Apprenticeship Program

    Madison Brooks is from Martinsburg, West Virginia. She earned her B.A. in psychology from West Virginia University. As an undergraduate student, she worked in Dr. Natalie Shook’s research lab, which broadly studies attitude formation and how attitudes affect behavior. Madison was able to contribute towards various studies examining mindfulness and negativity biases, the relationship between the behavioral immune system and disgust, and the relationship between the behavioral immune system and the formation of political attitudes. Through her undergraduate research experience, Madison enjoyed the opportunity to participate in multiple literature reviews and guide participants through studies conducted in the laboratory. Madison is pursuing an M.A. in Counseling with an emphasis in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. She currently works as a Graduate Teaching Assistant for the Research Apprenticeship Program at WVU.

  • Alexandra Davidson

    Alexandra Davidson

    Graduate Assistant, Research Apprenticeship Program

    Alexandra "Alex" Davidson, a Master of Accountancy- Taxation graduate student from Upper Saint Clair, PA completed her undergraduate studies at WVU, as well, Majoring in Accounting and Minoring in Equine Studies. She served as the Vice President of Finance for Alpha Kappa Psi, the Executive Financial Officer for the Mountaineer Maniacs, was a member of the National Society for Collegiate Scholars, and is a former member of the WVU English Equestrian team. She is the recipient of the Ramsburg Family Business Scholarship, and a four-time recipient of the West Virginia University Blue & Gold Scholarship. Davidson is also the two-time recipient of the Robbins Study Abroad Scholarship, and has had the opportunities to study abroad in England and India. She served on the 2019 WVU Homecoming Court.

  • 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.

  • Student Facilitators

  • Kayla Tokar

    Kayla Tokar

    RAP Student Facilitator, undergraduate research ambassador, ugr monthly editor

    Kayla Tokar is from Uniontown, Pennsylvania and is in her final year of earning a B.A. in Music at WVU. In her three years of undergraduate research, she has completed both the RAP and SURE programs through the Office of Undergraduated Research. Her current research addresses how the music of enslaved Africans in Colonial America is discussed in music history literature. Kayla is a student worker and ambassador for the Office of Undergraduate Research and also works at the Art Museum of WVU.

  • Kaley Vestal

    Kaley Vestal

    RAP student facilitator, undergraduate research ambassador

    Kaley Vestal is from Rainelle, West Virginia and a junior earning a B.A. in English at WVU. Over the last few years here she has completed the RAP program and works as an Undergraduate Research Ambassador through the Office of Undergraduate Research. Her current research is on commonplace books and autoethnography in 21st century classrooms. Kaley will be presenting at the 2020 Conference on College Composition and Communication in Wisconsin on her research in March.


OUR Location & HOURS



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 ( or telephone at 304-293-9354.