Concord University has a rich culture of research and scholarly inquiry in disciplines across the University. Students have the opportunity to engage in original research in their fields, collaborating with faculty members both in and out of the classroom.

Students benefit by gaining a deeper understanding of the material and an appreciation for what it means to work in their field. They also benefit from working closely with faculty members and other students on the problems and challenges of the research environment. Our students present their work at conferences in their field, West Virginia's Undergraduate Research Day at the Capitol, and our own Undergraduate Research Day and Pre-Professional Day. Additionally, for many students, participating in research as an undergraduate student has become an important part of gaining admission into graduate and professional programs. 

At Concord, there are diverse opportunities for collaborating in student-faculty research. Here are just a few of the current student-faculty research projects at Concord:

  • An investigation of the way storm events affect dissolved organic carbon in freshwater streams.

  • Potential discrimination based on sexual orientation in the hiring process.

  • Exploration of the history of medical and biological illustration.

  • Examining the effects of incorporating different kinds of technology into preschool classrooms using developmentally appropriate techniques.

  • Investigations into the issues surrounding retention at Concord.

  • Study of metal enhancement using electron beam lithography patterned surfaces and DNA origami structures.

  • An investigation of the education and occupation aspirations of teens in a coal economy.

  • A collection of studies investigating deception in everyday communications.


Student-Faculty Research Spotlight

Mary Beth Ryan - Geography

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Tom Saladyga

Mary Ryan

"Hemlock Establishment and Vigor in Twin Falls Resort State Park, West Virginia"

Project Description: I took tree rings samples from Twin Falls Resort State Park and looked for patterns within the data. I also looked at the health of the trees, concerning the Hemlock Woolly Adelgid infestation along the establishment of eastern hemlock. I found that the trees are mostly in a moderate decline and that many of the trees had an inner ring date within the 1920's and 1930's, due to the logging that took place before the 1920's.

I have really appreciated the experience of being able to work on this project. It has given me the opportunity to learn and study things I never would have had the opportunity to otherwise. It has given me a good insight for what graduate work would be like.

I will graduate with degrees in History and Geography, and I plan to apply for graduate school next year.

Josh Beverly, Mariah Farley, and Felicia Stover - Mathematics

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Christopher McClain

Apollonian Networks

"The Porous Exponential Domination Number of Apollonian Networks"

Project Description: We studied topic called Porous Exponential Domination and its effects on Apollonian Networks. This is a graph theory topic underneath the overall field of mathematics. It has a number of applications in networking, transportation, and distribution.

This research has really enhanced our college experience. It was a lot of fun and a challenge that we all really enjoyed working on. It was a good change from just taking class after class and it will definitely help us in the job and grad school markets.