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MURR Cover Art Contest Winner Announced

MURR Cover Art Contest Winner Announced

The Mountaineer Undergraduate Research Review (MURR) editorial review board is pleased to announce the winner for its annual cover art contest, Kirsten Roys. 

Kirsten is a junior majoring in civil and environmental engineering. When asked about her decision to submit to the cover art contest, Kirsten said, "I grew up surrounded by both art and engineering, and when it was time to decide on which to pursue, I chose the latter.  I haven’t had a lot of time for art over the past several years. When I received the email about the cover art contest for MURR, I decided to go for it.” 

Kirsten’s artwork will be featured as the cover for MURR, Volume 5 this fall semester, and she will be receiving a prize of $120 in Amazon gift cards from the Office of Undergraduate Research. The fifth volume of MURR marks the return of West Virginia University’s original student-led undergraduate research journal since its lapse in 2014. 

Kirsten Roys
Junior civil and environmental engineering major, Kirsten Roys, was selected as the winner of the MURR 2020 cover art contest by the MURR Editorial Review Board.

“MURR was the perfect opportunity for me to get back into art, mostly because research has a special place in my heart.  Someone important to me has Multiple Sclerosis—MS. There is no cure for it, and the research towards finding a cure for MS means a lot to me.  MS affects the neurons, hence the neuron constellations in my piece.  Being able to submit to MURR allowed me to find my way back to art, and at the same time gave me purpose in it," Kirsten said in describing what inspired her artwork.

MURR Cover Art
Kirsten's cover art (above) will be featured on the front of MURR, Volume 5 this fall.

Runners up include second place winner and senior majoring in art education, Mauren Budka, followed by third place winner and senior majoring in aerospace engineering, Muriithi-David Kem. Their artwork will be published in the journal and featured among other cover art submissions.

This year’s cover art contest ran from May 22 to September 28, 2020 and the editorial review board solicited artwork and written synopses from across campus. Artists were asked to address prompts about how their artwork reflected the mission of undergraduate research at WVU.

Editor-in-Chief Jeffrey Petty was pleased with the range of submissions received saying, "We at MURR would like to thank all the artists who participated in this year’s cover art contest for submitting their original artwork. We are very happy with the quality and variety of cover art submissions we received."

Jeffrey emphasized the role an undergraduate research journal plays in showcasing all research and creative pursuits of students at WVU adding, “We hope that this year’s contest is the beginning of a continuing connection with creative arts students at WVU, not only for future cover art contests, but also future creative arts publication opportunities." 

Jeffrey is a senior majoring in biochemistry who, along with senior history, Latin American Studies, and Spanish triple major, Zachary Gilpin, chose to revitalize MURR as their Honors EXCEL project. Honors EXCEL is the upper-division Honors program open to WVU students eager to develop a project in line with the university’s mission of service.

MURR, Volume 5 is entering is final stages of electronic publication and will be made available first on the Research Repository @ WVU alongside previous volumes. It will be followed by a limited print run shortly after its debut online. 

Students of any major interested in submitting research articles to MURR, Volume 6 are encouraged to visit the MURR webpage or email with any questions. The editorial review board is accepting manuscripts on a rolling basis. The cover art contest for MURR, Volume 6 is slated to begin May 2021.