On Tuesday, Nov. 10, WCU students and faculty presented research from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Sykes Student Union for fall Research Day.

From 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., 20 students displayed scholarly posters in the Sykes ballroom. Topics in the poster session included science, English, math, and more.

Kelsey Davis, a first year graduate student studying K-12 school counseling in the Department of Counselor Education, had a poster titled “Counselor Facilitated, Gender Role Sensitive, Peer Mediation Strategies for Conflict Resolution among Middle School Students.”

“I participated in Research Day because I wanted to emphasize the importance of qualitative research in the field of counseling,” said Davis.

In addition, Davis said, “For example, my research compiles empirically supported strategies for conflict resolution within middle school settings to be published as an easily accessible resource for school counselors currently in the field. So much great research is being done at West Chester in all fields, and I wanted [to] contribute on behalf of the Department of Counselor Education.”

There were also table displays of research. Faculty and students also participated in a networking event, in which students could ask faculty questions about conducting research.

From 10:45 a.m. to 11:45 a.m., 14 speakers did oral presentations on their research in meeting rooms on the second floor of Sykes.

From 12 p.m. to 1 p.m., Dr. Rebecca Chancellor and Dr. Aaron Rundus presented “Studying Chimpanzees Living on the Edge in Gishwati Forest, Rwanda” in the Sykes Theater.

Dr. Gautam Pillay, the Associate Vice President for Research and Sponsored Programs, encouraged students to conduct research.

“It’s important for students in all fields, at all levels, whether undergraduate or graduate, to participate in research and creative activities outside of the classroom,” said Dr. Pillay. “If you can apply what you learn in class to something real, you can create something new and contribute something different to your field. Potential employers and graduate schools will definitely take notice of what you accomplish.”

Dr. Pillay continued to speak positively about Research Day.

“It’s valuable for students to hear what students and faculty in other fields are working on, because, in the real world, graduates will be working with people from all sorts of backgrounds, academic training, and experiences,” said Dr. Pillay. “A student can experience what it’s like to work with teams of people from all disciplines while at WCU, and the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs can help by organizing events like Research Days, seminars, and offering one-on-one consultation for students who want to work on research projects.”

Theresa Kelly is a fourth-year student majoring in English literature secondary education. She can be reached at TK780615@wcupa.edu.

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