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Gloria Negrete-Lopez: Changing perceptions of migrants through art

Gloria Negrete-Lopez, assistant professor of women’s and gender studies at the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences, is taking a hard look at art and how it colors perceptions of Latin American migrants. Her work addresses a range of topics including gender and feminist studies, Latinx/e studies, migration, queer and trans of color critique and culture studies. At present, she’s working on a book about the artistic and cultural work of migration activists.

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Margaret Bennewitz: Diagnosing breast cancer sooner and more safely

Margaret Bennewitz doesn’t like unanswered questions––certainly not those of people worried about whether or not they have breast cancer.

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Tobi Odeleye: Reminding students STEM is cool

Oluwatobi (Tobi) Odeleye is a chemical education researcher with a passion for inspiring a love of STEM fields in students. An assistant professor at the Department of Chemistry at Eberly College of Arts and Sciences, she studies the factors that influence student attitudes toward chemistry. To that end, she authored an American Chemical Society eBook, “Chemistry Student Success” and hopes to continue engaging students in the classroom.

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Amirah Mitchell: Intersecting AI with human emotion

In the summer of 2022, Amirah Mitchell started working on developing an artificial intelligence program that would understand human emotion, using deep learning approach. This was after she was given the opportunity to be a part of WVU’s Summer Undergraduate Research Experience. The biomedical engineering undergraduate researcher used the opportunity to start her project on how the technology could predict the emotional state of humans, whether happy, sad, angry, etc.

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Christopher Arnold: Regenerating Research

While many researchers work with animal models like mice, Christopher Arnold, assistant professor in the Department of Biology at the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences studies planarians. These unique creatures, also known as flatworms, have regenerative abilities that make them ideal subjects for investigating the basis of animal regeneration.

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Jennifer Sano-Franchini: Rhetoric, Writing and Racialization

Jennifer Sano-Franchini grew up in Hawai‘i—not a bad place to call home. The new West Virginia University Gaziano Family Legacy Professor of Rhetoric and Writing and associate professor of English completed her bachelor’s and master’s degrees at the University of Hawai‘i. She left the tropics and went on to pursue a doctorate in Rhetoric and Writing, with a concentration in Cultural Rhetorics, at Michigan State. From there, she took a tenure track position at Virginia Tech. In Fall 2022, she began her first semester at Eberly College of Arts and Sciences.

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Jessica Morgan: Advancing the theatrical art of faking it

She choreographs breaths around kisses so actors can sing while they smooch. With costumers, she ensures bucket skirts or cowboy hats don’t impede onstage embraces. And she workshops intensively with cast and directors to establish boundaries for everyone involved in intimate scenes.

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Katelyn Best: The sign is the song and the song is the dance

Have you ever wondered how you’d describe music to a person who is deaf? According to West Virginia University ethnomusicologist Katelyn Best, these days Deaf artists are the ones teaching everyone what music is and what it can be.

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Teagan Kuzniar: Supporting Appalachia through microbiology

As a senior in high school, Teagan Kuzniar began her research journey after joining a West Virginia University environmental engineering lab. It was here that Kuzniar developed her passion for environmental microbiology.

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Steve Davis: Headbangin’ to Harm Reduction

Steve Davis may be a metalhead, but the West Virginia University Health Sciences Center researcher approaches public health with gentleness. His work deals with harm reduction, a strategy that minimizes the negative effects of drug use rather than insisting on abstinence from it.

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Moriah Katt: Breaching the barricade

Moriah Katt’s artificial model of the blood-brain barrier’s cells and vessels is like an ant farm. A working replica of the vascular system separating the brain from the body, Katt’s model allows her to see and manipulate the inner processes of that almost impermeable membrane.

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Katherine Goodrich: Conducting out-of-this-world research

In 2019, NASA chose to fund the Tandem Reconnection and Cusp Electrodynamics Reconnaissance Satellites (TRACERS), which will study the interactions between the magnetic fields of the sun and Earth. Katherine Goodrich is helping with this mission, which will launch in 2024.

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Erienne Olesh: Spurring Innovation

A familiar face in the research and innovation circles of West Virginia University has been named executive director of student and faculty innovation.

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Aamer Mahmood: A new journey as Shared Research Facilities director

In summer 2021, Aamer Mahmood joined the Mountaineer family as the new director of the Shared Research Facilities at West Virginia University.

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Joy Edwards: The Conflict of Interest Office Director

Every researcher at West Virginia University has filled out a research conflict of interest form at some point before starting their projects or studies. This means that every single researcher at WVU has either indirectly or directly encountered Joy Edwards.

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Denzel Middleton: From Manhattan to the sheep farms

Across the United States, a blood-feeding parasite preys on sheep. In order to figure out the cause, West Virginia University Ph.D. candidate Denzel Middleton is monitoring two things: how parasites affect a more susceptible breed of sheep (Suffolk) and how sheep native to the U.S. Virgin Islands (St. Croix) are able to build their immune systems against parasites.

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Geah Pressgrove: The communicator

Before the COVID-19 vaccine rollout in West Virginia, Geah Pressgrove pondered two questions: “What is the perception of the vaccine? How can we use these perceptions to ensure all residents get vaccinated?”

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Joseph Malcolm: Leading step-by-step through the IRB

The Institutional Review Board is a step that every researcher at West Virginia University needs to take when conducting certain studies. Joseph Malcolm can help you up that step.

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Minh Do: Out of her Element

As a global collective, many different industries are looking at clean alternatives. Here at West Virginia University, Ph.D. candidate Minh Do, along with her colleagues in the lab of Carsten Milsmann, are working to find a cleaner approach in chemistry.

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