FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 7, 2023
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Glenville State University
Public Relations Department
Glenville State University Students Excel in Research Grant for Appalachia
This past week the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) hosted 130 students from 13 Appalachian colleges and universities for the 23rd annual Appalachian Collegiate Research Initiative (ACRI) symposium at the Renaissance Arlington Capital View in Arlington, Virginia.
Supported by ARC and organized by the Center for Appalachian Studies and Services at East Tennessee State University (ETSU), participating schools offer a for-credit seminar during the fall semester to help students develop and execute field-based research projects that address the unique economic development needs of their communities and align with ARC’s investment priorities.
As a capstone, students will present their work to other student delegations from participating institutions, ARC leadership, and community leaders in a formal peer-to-peer conference setting hosted by ARC and the Consortium of Appalachian Colleges and Universities.
“Appalachia’s young leaders play an integral role in our region’s future success through their hard work, optimism, and willingness to collaborate,” said ARC Federal Co-Chair Gayle Manchin. “I’m impressed by the forward-thinking young leaders who participated in this year’s Appalachian Collegiate Research Initiative and am excited to see the ways they will continue to positively impact their own futures and economic development throughout Appalachia’s 13 states.”
Since 2001, nearly 3,000 college and graduate students from 31 colleges and universities across Appalachia have participated in the Appalachian Collegiate Research Initiative. Many have gone on to careers in economic and community development across the region, applying what they learned in ACRI to strengthen the region.
Ashley Nicholas is majoring in management at Glenville State University. Her group’s affordable housing research found challenges in filling job openings in Gilmer and Calhoun Counties. Nicholas said they found faculty and staff vacancies at Glenville State University and job openings at the Federal Corrections Institute and Hamilton Hospital related to a lack of working-class housing.
“There’s a lot of dilapidated housing, land hoarding issues that just need to be cleaned up,” Nicholas said. “So that we have the moderately priced income housing that these professionals need to come to the area.”
Other symposium issues under discussion deal with agriculture, tourism, health care and accessibility.
Glenville State’s delegation spoke with Sen. Joe Manchin about the jobs and housing problems. He said he would review their research and asked them to take things a step further.
“He recommended we create a community committee when we get back,” Nicholas said, “So it’s not just Glenville State University’s project, it’s a community project.”
ACRI is one of ARC’s four academies and institutes, offering experiential learning opportunities where participants build collaborative networks, hone skills, and foster an enduring commitment to Appalachia’s future.