Examples of undergraduate research

Want to know what kind of projects happen through undergraduate research at VCU? See below for just a few examples of the work our students do.

‘She’s really come into her own’: How Glynis Boyd Hughes disrupted her story, and found her voice
Her UROP project is an intricate comparison of the works of Zora Neale Hurston and Flannery O’Connor, two of her favorite authors. In particular, Hughes examines their views on religion and personal responsibility, noting differences and similarities that she has never seen addressed before.

Want to predict real estate market activity? Chris Morris has an approach for that
Morris, a financial technology student, has developed a pluralistic method to apply math to real estate industry predictors.

Double major Caroline Meyers makes art from art history
“The Biography of Marilyn Stokstad: Generating Radical Future Art Histories” chronicles the feminist contributions that Stokstad — an art historian and author of art history textbooks who died in 2016 — made to the survey of historic art inventory through a multimedia exhibition comprising art historical writing, sculpture and performance.

Vanessa Oppong studies the importance of ethnic identity in promoting sexual health
The senior in VCU’s Department of Kinesiology and Health Sciences is passionate about reducing health disparities, particularly those affecting African Americans.

An aspiring dentist discovers a passion for ecology
Drashty Mody is examining saltwater intrusion in wetlands — and the James River's water quality — as an undergraduate researcher.

This VCU student is researching a poorly understood gene that might help treat ALS
Richard Albright came to VCU to study music. Now he continues his passion for guitar as he pursues a degree in biology.

Celebrating Creative Thinkers
From students doing research in women’s health to engineering students designing the next new gadget, from student artists exhibiting their work to business students pitching a new company, VCU was overflowing with displays of student talent, ingenuity and creativity at the 4th annual Student Research Weeks.

True Detectives
Highlighting five undergraduate researchers who, thanks to fellowships from VCU’s Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program and guidance from faculty mentors, have been able to do very real, very hands-on research on projects they’re passionate about.

Student’s Civil War Music Ready for the Spotlight
Allen Wittig received a grant from the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program that allowed him to research music of the Civil War era up to the Battle of Gettysburg.

Virus Fighters
Joanna Kettlewell a biology major and chemistry minor has explored what it means to be a scientist by studying one of the enzymes that gives HIV its bite.

Alien Invasion of the Trees
Stephanie Roddy has been studying gypsy moth pupae at six locations across Virginia.

Overcoming Barriers
Yeimarie Lopez examines the needs of non-English speaking cancer patients.

Becoming the Researcher
MARC research training program offers Nisan Hubbard intensive research experience.

Mark Making Techniques in Indigenous Peoples
Art, indigenous peoples and their cultures have always held a strong interest for Tobias Wilbur.

Smile, Pass it On
Laura Peters is conducting a two-part, cross-cultural study on the facial feedback hypothesis.

Sharing the Joy of Art
Victoria Hribar creates a device to give the visually-impaired a more personal experience of art.

Bringing Communities Together Through Art
As long as she's teaching art in some fashion or another, Virginia "Ginnie" Driggers says she'll be extremely satisfied with wherever her career takes her.

English Major Creates 'Zine Honoring Richmond's Poetry Past and Present
Addison Herron-Wheeler thought combining a verse miscellany with a 'zine would create a compelling product

Jazz Studies Major Alters his Perspective after Research Project
When Samuel Sherman traveled to Brazil last summer to experience that country's music, he was surprised to discover that Brazilian music was more varied and less rigid than he had imagined.

Manipulating Mold
"The best thing about research," said Krystina Cocco, "is that you're going to get an answer either way. Maybe you're not doing well as far as your hypothesis is concerned, but you're still going to get answers."

Solving Complex Problems Using Math
Undergraduate student researcher Garrett Howe puts math skills to use to predict and solve homeland security problems