Hundreds of students present research work at Winter CARD


About 400 Radford University students delivered just over 200 presentations at this year’s Winter Creative Activities and Research Days (CARD) event.

Sponsored by the Office of Undergraduate Research and Scholarship (OURS), and now in its fourth year, Winter CARD offers scholars the opportunity to share the research projects they’re working on and engage in discussions, often with spectators beyond their target audiences.

“There’s just something about knowing that people you’ve never seen before are going to come up and ask you about your project,” said OURS Director Joe Wirgau, Ph.D.

“The vast majority of students, in particular the new presenters, get the chance to basically tell their research story … six, seven, eight, nine, 10 times in a row,” he said. “And the ones I talked to, they were universal; they said it wasn’t as scary as they thought it’d be and was actually kind of fun. And it was really a conversation.

“That, to me, was a huge win,” Wirgau added. “And the hope is that this energizes them, inspires them to either take on their own project or continue with what they're working on. Or, if they presented a classroom project, that this provides the inspiration to go deeper, to further continue in that realm.”


Winter Card spanned four full days, from Nov. 29 to Dec. 2, 2022, and was held at about half a dozen locations around campus. The expansive program of events included interdisciplinary gatherings and forums that specifically focused on art history, rural sociology and sports and health education, among other topics. Winter CARD also provides faculty members a venue through which to showcase the project-based learning that occurs in their classes.                                                                                         
Victoria Ralph, a senior from Newport News, Virginia, presented her geological research – a comparison of diabase dikes from Amherst County, Virginia, via thin section analysis. It’s a project she said she’s been working on since May.

“From my perspective, Winter CARD is an opportunity for someone to gain not only public speaking skills but the ability to potentially network with professors they don’t usually work with,” Ralph said. “It’s something to beef up your resume, and it also just makes me more comfortable and interested in problem-solving and comprehension.

“It was definitely challenging, but overall a positive experience,” she said. “I learned a lot about what I’m good at and what things I would like to improve on before I continue on to, say, a master’s degree.”

Winter CARD’s seasonal older sister, the 32nd Annual Student Engagement Forum, allows similar exposure at the end of the spring semester. It’s open to students from all disciplines, and OURS is accepting submissions for it until March 17, 2023. It will be held in person from April 18 to April 20, 2023, and virtually on April 24 and April 25, 2023.

Dec 12, 2022
Neil Harvey
(540) 831-5150