GSC News

GSC Student Wins Science Award


For more information:
Bob Henry Baber
Public Relations Specialist
Glenville State College
(304) 462-6390

GSC psychology junior Judith Urbanic received the prestigious “Best Undergraduate Oral Presentation” at the 89th annual meeting of the West Virginia Academy of Science held at Shepherd University.  Urbanic’s presentation was titled “To Bee or Not to Bee: That is the depression.”  She presented three experiments that she performed under the guidance of GSC Department of Social Science Assistant Professor of Psychology Dr. Alan Daniel who also attended the event.

“My experiments showed ways you can use bees to model depression; two of them demonstrated ways you can protect against depression, and the third revealed for the first time that bee depression-like behaviors share the same neurochemistry as depression in mammals, including humans,” said Urbanic, who resides in Chloe (Calhoun County), West Virginia.

GSC student Judith Urbanic (left) receives her award from West Virginia Academy of Science President Jason Best

GSC student Judith Urbanic (left) receives her award from West Virginia Academy of Science President Jason Best

“For months prior to the event, students and faculty engaged in scientific research on campus and met every Wednesday evening for several hours, with the goal of strengthening student research and presentation skills. Many of the students and faculty that attended were supported by the NASA West Virginia Space Grant Consortium (WVSGC), the mission of which is to further science, mathematics, technology education and aerospace science,” Daniel stated.

“Dr. Kevin Evans has done a fantastic job of building and organizing the Wednesday group, and as it grows, so does GSC’s presence and reputation in the regional scientific community. The more we attend events like WVAS, the more we show to the region that our programs are capable of generating top-class scientific research, and preparing undergraduate students for careers in STEM disciplines. Our students were more prepared than some of the other WVAS graduate presenters,” added Daniel.

Urbanic was in good company at the WVAS meeting, with a total of 12 students and six faculty members from three GSC departments in attendance.  In all, GSC was among the top presenting institutions even though Glenville State is substantially smaller than many of the other participating colleges and universities.

In addition to Urbanic’s award-winning report, Adam Wilson, a senior majoring in natural resource management,  from Weston (Lewis County), presented ‘Transport of glutaraldehyde in packed and undisturbed soil columns’ and was advised by Department of Science and Mathematics Associate Professor of Chemistry Dr. David O’Dell; senior chemistry major Dennis Harvey of Mill Creek (Randolph County) presented ‘Quantitative extraction and analysis of glutaraldehyde in soil’ and was also advised by Dr. O’Dell; senior behavioral science major Samuel A. Brooker of Clarksburg (Harrison County) presented ‘Isopod learning: you’re going to need a smaller maze’ and was advised by  Department of Social Science Assistant Professor of Psychology Dr. Alan Daniel; junior psychology and sociology major Adam Fuller of Durbin (Pocahontas County) presented ‘ Isopods and invertebrate anxiety’ and was also advised by  Dr. Daniel; senior biology major Emily Ramezan of Glenville (Gilmer County) presented ‘The effects of water temperature on early response gene, c-Jun, in the sea anemone Aiptasia pallida’ and was advised by Department of Science and Mathematics Associate Professor of Biology Dr. Sara Sawyer;  senior biology major Aesha Peters of St. Thomas, Virgin Islands presented ‘Investigating the timing of the onset of apoptosis and the alteration of integrin distribution during heat stress in the sea anemone, Aiptasia pallida’ and was also advised by Dr. Sawyer; senior biology and chemistry major Randy Smith of Grantsville (Calhoun County) presented ‘Determining if AHR regulates histone 3 methylation in breast cancer cells using immunoblot analysis’ and was advised by Dr. Gary Morris; senior chemistry/physics education major Stephen Pifer of Hedgesville (Berkeley County) and senior chemistry major Nathan Lilly of Lewisburg (Greenbrier County) jointly presented ‘Novel synthesis of alkyl bromides’ and were advised by Dr. Kevin Evans; junior natural resource management major Jonathan Rhodes of Leroy (Jackson County) presented ‘Assessment of carbon storage in different forest cover types’ and was advised by Department of Land Resources Associate Professor of Forestry Dr. Rico Gazal; junior natural resource management major Chad Ingram of Moundsville (Marshall County) presented ‘The effect of precipitation on diameter growth of tree-of-heaven in an oak history forest’ and was also advised by Dr. Gazal.

Professor of Physical Science Dr. Joe Evans also went to support students and faculty.  Several GSC faculty members served as moderators and judges in categories in which GSC did not compete.  In addition, two GSC faculty members serve as officers in the academy; Dr. Gary Morris is secretary and Dr. Kevin Evans is president-elect.  Dr. Morris was re-elected to another two-year term at this meeting.

WVAS presentations covered a broad range of disciplines, including organic chemistry, molecular biology, biochemistry, environmental science, soil science, zoology, and neuroscience.  The organization has bought together professional associates in biology, chemistry, computer science, engineering, geology, mathematics, mining, physics, psychology, education, history, philosophy, science and social science for 89 years.  It is a corporation chartered by the authority of the West Virginia legislature for the advancement of scientific knowledge and the promotion of scientific work in West Virginia. Their website is:

For more information about GSC’s participation in the West Virginia Academy of Science, contact Daniel at or call (304) 462-6275.

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