Research Experience for Undergraduates

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Why Research at CCU?

Exploring God's creation through hands-on investigation is a privilege bestowed upon a researcher. At CCU, students have the opportunity to participate in a multitude of research projects, spanning across several disciplines. Students work closely alongside their faculty mentor for an engaging and challenging research experience. Working with faculty in this capacity allows for maximum student involvement in academic research. Many student successes have stemmed from these opportunities. Research students have used their experiences at CCU to present their work at national conferences, to publish their results in peer reviewed journals and other public forums, to compete for research fellowships, and for successful entrance into graduate programs.

Research Opportunities

Biomedical Research

After completing Molecular Biology Laboratory (BIO 216), the student may request a faculty mentor to allow them to enroll in Biomedical Research (BIO 480). The course may be taken for 1-3 credit hours, advised by the faculty member who will lead the research effort. BIO 480 may be taken multiple semesters if the student wishes to continue the research. After at least one semester of BIO 480, students may also opt to register for Senior Thesis (BIO 470) in which they would continue their research efforts and write a senior thesis. The student would then present and defend this project at the end of the semester. Current faculty research interests can be found on the Biology Research website.

Faculty Biomedical Research

Students interested in current faculty research areas of focus are encouraged to contact the faculty member directly.

Bryan Crutcher
Sleep health in college student-athletes.
Leontine Galante
Cancer Gene Regulation; Genetic Predispositions to Autism, Depression, and Neurotic Tendencies; Bioethics Related to Public Health
Mark Parker
Genetic Polymorphisms Related to Impulsive Behavior; Faith Integration into Science Research Programs
Julie Woodman
Chromosomal Dynamics; Chromosome Segregation Defects; STEM Outreach in Middle Schools; and the Microbiome


Students who are interested in research opportunities should have sophomore or junior standing in the School of Education. Students will complete an application process and meet with a faculty advisor to determine the area of focus and responsibilities within the research project. Students are encouraged to register for Education Research Seminar (EDU 300), for 1 credit hour. The course may be repeated for credit. With supervision from a faculty member, students will develop a research proposal and plan for data collection. Students who enroll in the research seminar will be expected to present their research at a local conference.

Faculty Research in Education

Students interested in current faculty research areas of focus are encouraged to contact the faculty member directly. 

Debora Scheffel
Education Reform Policy; Brain-Behavior Relationships / Cognition and Learning; Oral and Written Language Disabilities
Priscilla Wright
Literary Analysis; Birth Order Characteristics; Child Development; Analysis of a Reading Clinic Intervention with Concurrent Content Course
Renee Lizcano
Gen Z and Higher Education; Technology and Education; Child Development; Science, technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) Education

Engineering and Technology

There is currently no course associated with engineering faculty research. Students are encouraged to engage in these research opportunities as an extra curricular activity. These experiences allow for additional learning of research methods and techniques and are a fantastic addition to building one’s resume for post-graduate work. Interested students should contact the faculty member directly.

Faculty Research in Engineering and Technology

Students interested in current faculty research areas of focus are encouraged to contact the faculty member directly. 

Cory Hixson
The intersection of technology, ethics, and faith


All students majoring in music complete two significant research/performance projects. These include the Junior/Senior recitals and Senior Thesis (MUS 470). The recitals and performance projects require the assembly of creative programs, including research leading to academically viable and artistically compelling performances and written program notes. Senior Thesis involves research guided by a faculty advisor in the School of Music and defended before a committee comprised of faculty members from within and outside the School of Music.

Other significant opportunities for research within the School of Music involve the writing/directing/producing courses and the annual One-Act Festival under the leadership of Professor Jenny Stafford and composition lessons, taught by Professor Charles Denler, with the opportunity for premiere performances by the CCU School of Music's ensembles.

Faculty Research in Music

Students interested in current faculty research areas of focus are encouraged to contact the faculty member directly.

Charles Denler
EMMY AWARD Winning Fusion of Classical and Modern Composition
Jenny Stafford
Lyricist and Playwright
Aaron Stampfl
Pianist; Multi-Genre Performer
Steve Taylor
Richard Niezen
Transformational Learning; Phenomenology and Communities of Practice
David McNeil
Music of the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries; Vocal Pedagogy in the Choral Rehearsal; Promoting and Performing the Compositions of CCU Students


Students who wish to become involved in research in psychology and/or interdisciplinary labs are encouraged to first sign up for Research Methods (PSY 408) and Statistics (MAT 212). Following the successful completion of these courses, students may register for Research Internship (PSY 452). In some circumstances, students may be selected for the internship without having completed the prerequisite courses. The Research Internship can be pursued with permission of the faculty supervisor and the dean, following an interview by the faculty internship supervisor. Students who pursue PSY 452 can expect to devote six hours per week to research during the semester in which they are registered. Most studies build on existing projects housed in the program. Interns are strongly encouraged to develop a proposal and present research, either at the RMPA annual conference or at the Rocky Mountain Undergraduate Research Conference at CCU. Other possibilities for presenting research could include the American Psychological Association (APA) conference, Christian Association for Psychological Studies (CAPS), or the Western Psychological Association Conference. Students who wish to pursue research at CCU are strongly encouraged to join the Research Club, eventually seeking positions of leadership within this organization.

Faculty Research in Humanities and Social Sciences

Students interested in current faculty research areas of focus are encouraged to contact the faculty member directly.

Diane Badzinski
Topics related to Faith, Interpersonal Relationships, and Social / Evangelical Media Messaging
Ryan Hartwig
Leadership and Ministry Teams; Small Group Leadership and Facilitation; Collaborative Organizational Design; Qualitative Research Methods
Nahanni Freeman
Psychology of Religion, Creativity and Aesthetics; Sport Psychology; Social Cognition, Neuropsychology and Relationships between Personality and Genetic Polymorphisms; The Psychology of Gender and Relationships; Juror Decision Making and Memory Bias


After meeting with the professor and confirming the type of work in and area of research for academic credit, the student will work with the professor to determine the best course prefix for registration. Options include Senior Thesis (BIB/THE 470) or Direct Study (BIB/THE 390 or BIB/THE/PHL 490). The course can be 1-3 credit hours. It may also be repeated for credit. A student will obtain and fill out the paperwork with the assistance of the research professor. Paperwork will be submitted to the registrar prior to the add/drop date for the corresponding semester.

Faculty Research in Theology

Students interested in current faculty research areas of focus are encouraged to contact the faculty member directly. 

David Kotter
Areas of Intersection between Theology and Economics
Ian Clary
Christian Interpretation of History: Early-Modern British evangelicalism; Reception History of Patristics into the Post-Reformation period with a focus on Christology
Megan DeVore
Early Christian theology and practice; intersection of material culture and theology; theological anthropology; historic spirituality and liturgical practices.
David Bosworth
Impact of Short-Term Missions

What CCU Alumni Say

CCU alumni with research experience
Zoey Fountain ’17

“The research experience I had at CCU provided me insight to future career opportunities in the sciences, more specifically laboratory work, I never considered before. I pursued my Medical Laboratory Sciences (MLS) certification after graduation and love going to work in a clinical laboratory each day.”

ccu alumni with research experience
Cristiana Edwards ’19

“My research experience at CCU helped me grow in critical thinking, learn good research skills, and develop a strong relationship with my research mentor. I am very thankful for research experience prior to grad school! The experience both at CCU and at a summer internship served as formative experiences that helped me learn what I wanted to pursue (and what I did not want to pursue) in my career. It paved the way for the next step, the pursuit of a Ph.D. in Nutrition Science. I highly recommend being involved in CCU's research opportunities! I believe that the mentorship you receive and skills will develop are useful whether or not you ultimately pursue a career in research.”

ccu alumni with research experience
Alise Murray ’16

“Throughout my junior and senior year at CCU I spent countless hours in the lab working on a research project on varicella zoster virus. During this time I had the opportunity to build great friendships, learn about the research process, and present the results at several scientific meetings. These experiences gave me an excellent foundation that I leaned on while conducting my graduate thesis and still look to in the research I conduct today as a pediatric oncology genetic counselor at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. I learned that I loved conducting research while I was at CCU and I plan to carry that love with me throughout the rest of my career.”

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