Sarah M. Pritchett
Concord University
Office of Advancement
PO Box 1000, Athens, WV 24712
(304) 384-6312,

After 4 p.m.
Office: 304-384-5211
Cell: 304-320-6405

March 28, 2022


ATHENS, W.Va. – A popular event at Concord University that spotlights student research is being expanded for 2022 and given a new name. Undergraduate Research Day is now the CU Research Festival and will include not only research conducted by undergraduates, but graduate students as well. The format is moving from a one-day program to an event spanning two days.

The CU Research Festival will be held on Thursday, April 21 and Friday, April 22 in the Ballroom of the Jean & Jerry L. Beasley Student Center on Concord University’s Athens campus. Concord’s McNair Scholars Program and the Psychology Department are joining to host the event. Concord students representing academic disciplines across campus will participate along with McNair Scholars from Concord University, West Virginia State University, and Bluefield State College.

“The McNair and Psychology Programs are extremely excited to be able to host the CU Research Festival again after not being able to for the past two years due to the Covid-19 pandemic,” stated Dr. Rodney Klein, Director of the McNair Scholars Program. “The event provides an opportunity for the students to shine – to present their research, to share their work with their fellow students, and for the entire Concord community to see what our students and faculty are doing.”

“”The event will also include a presentation by our keynote speaker, Dr. Robert Astur, an Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of Connecticut, who does exciting work using virtual reality.  In addition, the event will also have a Graduate School Fair, providing the students an opportunity to begin the process of making connections and allies at potential graduate programs,” Dr. Klein said.

The agenda on April 21 begins with the welcome, introductions, and student oral presentations from 9:30 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. Additional student oral presentations will be held from 11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. and from 12:30 p.m. to 1:45 p.m.

Dr. Astur’s keynote presentation is scheduled from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. on April 21. He received his PhD in Behavioral Neuroscience at the University of New Mexico, and he completed his postdoctoral training at Caltech and at Yale.  His research focuses on memory, addiction, and anxiety disorders, and throughout the years in his research, he has worked with many different species including monkeys, chimpanzees, orangutans, elephants, dogs, rodents, and humans.

Dr. Astur is an international leader on using virtual reality to examine complex behaviors. He is an author of 200+ papers and presentations, and has received millions of dollars in grants to fund his research.  Recently, he has been conducting research to examine how destroying addictive stimuli in virtual reality might result in decreases in addictive behaviors in real life.

The CU Research Festival continues with Poster Sessions on April 22. Students who have conducted the research outlined on the posters will be available to discuss their findings. Poster Session I runs from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. and Poster Session II is being held from noon to 1 p.m. The Graduate School Fair will take place in the Ballroom from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

An Academic TikTok Party is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. and will feature submissions by students and faculty. “Whether you give an oral presentation, poster presentation, or no presentation at all, we encourage you to participate in this event,” Dr. Klein told the campus community. “We hope that it will be fun, creative, and informative. “

For additional information about the CU Research Festival please contact the McNair Scholars Program or the Psychology faculty.

Dr. Robert Astur, Keynote Speaker

Please note that the state of the COVID-19 pandemic and Concord’s adherence to CDC guidelines
 could impact how and if events are held. For the most up-to-date information, always check

Masking will be optional in all Concord University facilities as long as Mercer County remains in the Green or Yellow on the CDC’s COVID-19 community level map, and the on-campus cases remain low in number.
This reflects the latest guidance by the CDC.

We appreciate your compliance as we do our best to keep students, employees and visitors to campus safe.

Persons with disabilities should contact Nancy Ellison, 1-304-384-6086 or 1-800-344-6679 extension 6086, if special assistance is required for access to an event scheduled by the University on campus.


CU Research Festival logo