Meet OUR Staff

The OURS Office is located in Whitt Hall 118-126! If you have any questions regarding undergraduate research, or any of the services that OURS provides, you can contact!


Dr. Joe Wirgau is the founding Director of the Office of Undergraduate Research & Scholarship (OURS) and a Professor of Chemistry at Radford University. He has over two decades of experience innovating to  empower students to reach their potential. He led the efforts to create OURS and many successful programs including the Sumer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) program, and multiple student symposia. He has mentored over 100 student presentations in the areas of coordination chemistry and pedagogy. He is a recipient of the Radford University Foundation Distinguished Service Award and is a member of the American Chemical Society, the Council on Undergraduate Research, Sigma Xi, and Phi Betta Kappa.





Dr. Jennifer S. McDonel is Associate Director of the Office of Undergraduate Research & Scholarship (OURS), Associate Professor of Music,  and Director of Music Education at Radford University. She has over three decades of teaching/mentoring experience with students from birth to adulthood and is a recipient of the Radford University Donald N. Dedmon Distinguished teaching Professor award. She has mentored several students in music education research both locally and abroad in Nepal. She is a teacher-trainer for the Gordon Institute for Music Learning (GIML), a member of the National Association for Music Education, Virginia Music Educators Association, and the Council on Undergraduate Research.





Grace Bryant is the Administrative Assistant of the Office of Undergraduate Research & Scholarship (OURS) at Radford University. She is a Radford University Alumni, and she earned the Research Scholar Designation for her analysis of the influence of water and religion in Studio Ghibli films.







Kate Mullins is a recent graduate of Radford University, receiveing her B.S. in Communications Sciences and Disorders in Spring 2022. Kate has clinical experience working with both pediatric and adult populations and is now a graduate student in the Speech Language Pathology program at Radford University. She is a Graduate Assistant in the Office of Undegraduate Research and Scholarship, as well as an active member in Phi Kappa Phi and National Student Speech Language Hearing Association (NSSLHA).






Anna Ruff grew up in Colorado Springs, but graduated last May from Penn State Harrisburg where she majored in biobehavioral health and played volleyball. She loves the Virginia mountains because they remind her of home! She is a first-year graduate student in the occupational therapy program at Radford University.







Cora Burt is an Executive Student Assistant for the Office of Undergraduate Research and Scholarship (OURS) at Radford University.  In collaboration with OURS, she uses her creativity for the development of public relations materials. Cora also utilizes her communication skills for the recruitment of incoming undergraduate students for programs such as Highlander Research Rookies. Her current research is on the development of Career Readiness skills in undergraduate students through experiential learning, such as Undergraduate Research Experiences (URE's) outside of the classroom. She is also a current member of the Highlander Research Rookies program and a new member of Radford University's Mock Trial team.





As a math major at Radford, Abbi Green uses her computational and statistical skills to look at biological problems through her research in computational biology. When not in class or doing research, she spends much of her time in the OURS office helping mentor the students in the Research Rookies program, analyzing data on the impacts of research experiences on undergraduates, helping plan dissemination events, printing many posters, and more. She is also highly involved across campus including being on the honors student council, leading the RU Math Club as its President, teaching group fitness classes at the SRWC, and receiving the Outstanding Student Worker award for 2023.





Lily McConkey is a new freshman at Radford University who is working in the Office of Undergraduate Research & Scholarship. Lily is a Psychology Major who enjoys art and the outdoors.