Wheeling Jesuit University

Students Show the Importance of Research at Annual Legislative Day

Wheeling Jesuit student Jude Almeida and Professor Bryan Raudenbush were recognized in the senate chamber.

WHEELING, WV, Feb. 4, 2008 - Six students and four fascinating research projects mean that Wheeling Jesuit University can boast a 100 percent acceptance rate at the 2008 Research Day at the Capitol in Charleston on Jan. 31.

Held at the Capitol Rotunda, the annual scholarly event highlights undergraduate research as it offers West Virginia college students a chance to interact with government officials and other students from other schools as they share their research publicly. The format includes a poster session featuring research conducted by undergraduate students under the guidance of faculty mentors from colleges and universities across the state.

(Student researchers Kristen Koval and Justin Schmitt meet with member of the W.Va. House of Delegates, Orphy Klempa D-Ohio County.)

At noon, West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin presented grants to recent award winners including those in the Instrumentation, Innovation, International Innovation and SURE grant programs.

Students also attended a 1 p.m. session with Gov. Manchin, followed by a reception.

Wheeling Jesuit students researched the popular topics of smoking, chocolate, coffee and video games. Students and titles are:

Jared Bloom, son of Arleen Bloom of Rayland, Ohio and Carl and Nicolle Bloom of Yorkville, Ohio: The effects of peppermint scent on diminishing smoking cravings and withdrawl symptoms.

Justin Schmitt, son of Thomas and Sarah of Annandale, Va. and Kristen Koval, daughter of Lawrence and Margaret Koval of Euclid, Ohio: The differential effects of chocolate and coffee scents on augmenting clerical office work performance and cognitive performance.

Ryan Hunker, son of Robert and Patricia Hunker of Martins Ferry, Ohio: The effects of video game play on snacking behavior: Implications for overeating during game play and subsequent weight and nutritional ramifications.

(Students gather near the W.Va. State Capitol statue honoring United States Sen. Robert C. Byrd, the longest serving Senator in the history of the Republic. From left: Jude Almeida, Ben Wershing, Kristen Koval, Justin Schmitt, Ryan Hunker and Jared Bloom.)

Ben Wershing, son of Gary and Ann Wershing of Barnesville, Ohio and Jude Almeida, son of Bridget Almeida of Wheeling, W.Va.: The effects of peppermint scent on curbing hunger ratings and promoting weight loss.

All the students are psychology majors at the university and mentored by Dr. Bryan Raudenbush, director of undergraduate research.

The students had the opportunity to present their work to senators and congressional representatives as a way of sending a dynamic message that research in the state of West Virginia is an important adjunct to a quality education. Wheeling Jesuit alumni in the Charleston area were also invited to stop by and greet the students, from 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. during the poster session. Vice President of Advancement Brent Bush and Alumni Director Kelly Klubert, along with Director of University Relations Maureen Zambito were also on hand to greet alumni, legislators and students.

“This is a great opportunity for our students to show our state representatives how unique the Wheeling Jesuit University experience is and how important research funding is today,” said Raudenbush, who has led the undergraduate research efforts at the University for the past 10 years.

Undergraduate Research Day is under the auspices of the West Virginia EPSCoR Office, which is responsible for development, administration, management and implementation of the state's experimental research improvement program. It is now in its fifth year.

One of 28 Jesuit colleges and universities in the United States, Wheeling Jesuit University offers students a high-quality private education. Since 1995 U.S. News & World Report has ranked Wheeling Jesuit University among the top institutions in its “Best Master's Universities in the South” category.

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