Skip to main content


The Office of Undergraduate Research is open: 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!

Background Image for Header:

Research Ambassadors

Research Ambassadors

If you are an ambassador and need to report time worked, please click here: Biweekly Reporting page.
  • quinn ambassador.

    Quinn Hopen

    Undergraduate REsearch ambassador, Social media Specialist

    Major/Minor: Immunology and Medical Microbiology

    Graduation Year: 2021
    Hometown: Sutton, WV
    Student Organization Involvement:I currently act as the President of Remote Area Medical Volunteer Corps (RAM), Vice President of American Association of University Women (AAUW), I am a member of SGA’s Health Committee, and of the American Society for Microbiology (ASM).
    Interest and Hobbies: I love marveling at my houseplants, reading, spending time outside, and drinking chai lattes!
    Fun Fact: My favorite bacteria is Salmonella typhi!
    Research Area: My area of research is in immunology, specifically focusing on gut immune health. I work with human and murine intestinal epithelial cells lines to determine the role they play in the leakage of pathogens out of the gut and how short-chain fatty acids can affect their barrier functionality.
  • annalisa

    Annalisa Huckaby

    Undergraduate REsearch ambassador

    Major/Minor: Chemistry and Biology

    Graduation Year: 2020
    Hometown: Morgantown, WV
    Student Organization Involvement:American Chemical Society club and LSAMP club treasurer.
    Interest and Hobbies: I enjoy playing cards, soccer, volleyball, and hanging out with my friends!
    Fun Fact: I have two turtles!
    Research Area:I currently do research in the Vaccine Development Center in the Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Cell Biology over in health sciences.
  • quinn

    Janna Kleinsasser

    Undergraduate REsearch ambassador

    Major/Minor: Biology; Chemistry/Microbiology

    Graduation Year: 2021
    H ometown: Rifton, New York
    Student Organization Involvement:Plant and Soil Science Club, Collegiate Farm Bureau
    Interest and Hobbies: Painting, hiking, discovering new music, reading, skating, and camping.
    Fun Fact: I have such a long bucket list, I'd have to live 300 years to get through it.
    Research Area: Plant molecular biology, soil microbiology, and biochemistry.
  • o

    Oriana Ovide

    Undergraduate REsearch ambassador

    Major/Minor:Chemistry and Forensic Science

    Graduation Year: 2020
    Hometown: Columbia, Maryland
    Student Organization Involvement:I am part of the Alpha Omega Epsilon Sorority, the forensic science club, and Student Government
    Interest and Hobbies:I love running, swimming, and being outdoors.
    Fun Fact: I can quote all of Johnny Depp's lines from the first "Pirates of the Caribbean" movie.
    Research Area:I currently do research in the forensic science area. I specifically focus on studying gun-shot residue and glass. I started doing research as part of the SURE program and then spent a summer doing research in the NIST SURF program.
  • Trinity

    Trinity Shaver

    Undergraduate REsearch ambassador 

    Major/Minor: Psychology and Multiple-Disciplinary Studies

    Graduation Year: 2020
    Hometown: Seneca Rocks, West Virginia
    Student Organization Involvement: Service Chair of WVU's Psychology Club, Eberly College of Arts and S ciences Ambassador, member of the McNair Scholars Program,  Secretary of WVU's Neuroscience Club, and Psi Chi Honorary scholar.
    Interest and Hobbies: I enjoy playing guitar, traveling, learning Slovak, spending time with friends/family, watching game shows, and photography!
    Fun Fact: During the Spring 2019 semester, I had the opportunity to study abroad in Bratislava, Slovakia! I was enrolled in cultural/sociological courses, made friends from all over the world, and traveled to 23 countries.
    Research Area: My research investigates behavioral processes in rats and how they are affected by brain injury in order to better understand the injury and recovery process in humans. I serve as an undergraduate research assistant in Dr. Cole Vonder Haar's laboratory.

  • Kayla Tokar

    Kayla Tokar

    RAP Student facilitator, UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH AMBASSADOR, Ugr Monthly Editor 

    Major: Music

    Graduation Yea r: 2020
    Hometown: Uniontown, PA
    Student Organization Involvement: Secretary- Mountaineer Musicological Community
    Interest and Hobbies: I like to cook, kayak, and play board games!
    Fun Fact: I work at the Art Museum of WVU!  
    Research Area : I am currently working on two really exciting projects! In one, I am diversifying college-level music history curriculum, and in the other, I am studying saxophone pedagogy and creating a new method book and video guide to help beginner saxophonists who do not have access to lessons. I have also done research about enslaved African music in Colonial America.
  • Colt

    Colter Uscola

    Undergraduate REsearch ambassador

    Major/MinorSociology/Statistics minor

    Graduation Year: 2020
    Hometown: Park Rapids, MN
    Student Organization Involvement: Officer- WVU Global Medical and Dental Brigades, Phi Theta Kappa
    Interest and Hobbies:I enjoy learning, cooking, reading, rock-climbing, biking, meditating, fishing, traveling, problem-solving, and helping others.
    Fun Fact: I'm from the land of 10,000 lakes. However, Minnesota actually has 11,842.
    Research Area: I am currently engaged in sociological research analyzing perceptions of occupational status, morality, power, and trust/trustworthiness and the degree to which individuals allocate positive/negative rewards based on these perceptions.
  • mya

    Mya Vannoy

    Undergraduate REsearch ambassador

    Major/Minor: Immunology and Medical Microbiology

    Graduation Year: 2020
    Hometown: Cross Lanes, WV
    Student Organization Involvement: LSAMP WVU Student Org and Minorities Aspiring to Health Professions (MAHPs)
    Interest and Hobbies: I love to visit new places and to cook!
    Fun Fact: My favorite Lana Del Rey song is Cherry.
    Research Area:I work in a molecular genetics lab in the Health Sciences Center. My research focuses on extracellular vesicles, small membrane-enclosed particles released from various cell types, and how they can potentiate symptoms of Alzheimer's disease and their role in sepsis by carrying DNA methyltransferases, enzymes involved in epigenetics.

  • kaley

    Kaley Vestal

    RAP Student facilitator, Undergraduate REsearch ambassador

    Major/Minor: English/ Political Science minor

    Graduation Year: 2020
    Hometown: Rainelle, WV
    Student Organization Involvement:I have completed RAP and am currently serving as an Ambassador for the office of undergraduate research.
    Interest and Hobbies:My hobbies include cooking, watching Gordon Ramsey yell at others cooking, reading, and playing with my cats.
    Fun Fact: My very first day on campus my freshman year my appendix ruptured and I spent my first night in Ruby Hospital instead of my dorm.
    Research Area:I am researching commonplace books to help define our research identities and become experts on topics of interest or profession/education. Our group hopes that using this note taking technique from the Renaissance will once again become popular due to its practicality for students and professionals.