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SURE Grant

SURE Program- Application due March 9 (2020 SURE application)

Do you want to be involved in a long-term research project that has the potential to transform the way you think about science and your future career as a researcher?


West Virginia Wesleyan College is excited to host a Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE) program during summer 2020 to offer extended research experiences in the STEM areas (science, technology, engineering, and math). The SURE program will run for 8 weeks between May-July and is available to students from WVWC and other institutions around the state. Students will earn a stipend of $3,500 with free on-campus housing. Students will also be required to present their research at a state or regional scientific meeting (travel funds available).

Interested?  Apply!

  1. Consult the list of faculty involved in the SURE program to see if any research interests you (below).
  2. Have a discussion with the faculty member of interest to see if they are willing to serve as your mentor.
  3. Submit the application which will include your resume, a personal statement, and transcripts (unofficial is acceptable) as an email attachment to
  4. Application deadline is March 9. Successful applicants will be notified by March 31.


Biology and Environmental Science:

Drs. Kim Bjorgo-Thorne and Melanie Sal– “The Tick Team”:  We will study the distribution of tick populations in the Buckhannon area, as well as examining ticks for DNA pointing to Borrelia Burgdorferi, the bacteria responsible for Lyme Disease.

Dr. Kathy Gregg-  Three possibilities:  (1) Identifying, listing, and learning the plants that occur in one or two of the communities that exist in an ecologically diverse 48-acre property in southern Upshur County, WV; (2) Identifying, listing and learning the plants of Buckhannon’s Nature Park and Learning Trail; and (3) GIS mapping and planning for enhancement of the Buckhannon Nature Park and Learning Trail.

Dr. Luke Huggins– Disease monitoring in local West Virginia honey bee populations



Dr. Bruce Anthony– Our lab studies the alterations in proliferation and differentiation of stem cells in the limbic system of the brain after alcohol or drug insult.  Addiction is a growing concern especially here in West Virginia.  Understanding how addiction alters the brains chemistry and the natural ability of the stem cells to remodel learning behavior will assist in better treatment programs and improved outcomes for patients with addiction problems.


Dr. Caleb Gibson- Using the tools of synthetic organic chemistry and mass spectrometry, I synthesize standards of small molecule metabolites and construct tailored analyses for their detection and quantitation. This allows the “biochemical fingerprinting” of various phenotypes across health and disease. Once such class of metabolites, N-acyl amino acids (N-AAAs), are small endogenously-produced lipids possessing great therapeutic potential. My goal is to build synthetic library of pure N-AAA standards and construct a method to measure their abundance with gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). Given the likelihood that N-AAAs have important regulatory roles in cellular processes, a reliable way of quantitating them could become a valuable phenotyping tool with ample interest from the biomedical community.



Dr. Joseph Wiest –Project 1: Multi-photon excitation of atoms with tunable solid-state diode lasers, Project 2: The study of shapes of nuclei and rotational angular momentum (spin) of nuclei using tunable solid-state diode lasers.