AB’s Ledford Scholars Present Research at Annual Summit

Two among Alderson Broaddus University’s ranks have distinguished themselves, again, as Ledford Scholars. The Appalachian College Association (ACA) announced in March that Levi Summe and Jasmine Kyle would each be awarded funding to support and enable them to work on a significant research project during the summer of 2019. Their research projects came to fruition with a presentation of their research findings during the ACA Annual Summit in September.

Levi Summe is a biology major at Alderson Broaddus University, an ACA affiliated institution, and two-time Ledford Scholar. Summe received more than $3,000 to continue his research project on Northern saw-whet owls. During the summer of 2018, Summe built 216 nesting boxes and placed them throughout the Monongahela National Forest. His work this summer focused on nest box monitoring and habitat characterization at all the box locations. Summe chose to continue his research for a second year and presented his findings on “assessing nesting box location preferences to improve conservation of Northern saw-whet owls (aegolius acadicus) in the Highlands of West Virginia.”

Two-time Ledford Scholar Jasmine Kyle was awarded $4,500 from the ACA for her senior research project on the bat population of the Monongahela National Forest. Kyle is a dual environmental science and natural resource management major and a senior at Alderson Broaddus. Kyle spent nearly a month camping throughout the Monongahela National Forest and working in tandem with Sanders Environmental, Inc. During her data collection, Kyle compared both stationary acoustic and mobile acoustic recordings to determine the best methods for detecting certain species of bats.

“Alderson Broaddus offered me the opportunity to get out in the field and pursue my research interests,” said Kyle. “My professors gave me the skills to be successful and inspired me to pursue exactly what I was interested in.” Kyle presented her research on “comparison of bat detection methods in the Monongahela National Forest” at the ACA Annual Summit in Tennessee during the Ledford Scholars poster presentation and has plans to continue her study as part of her senior research symposium in December.

This year, the Appalachian College Association recognized 32 undergraduate students as the 2018-2019 ACA Ledford Scholar Recipients. The purpose of the scholarship is to provide financial assistance for students enrolled at ACA member institutions with summer research in the fields of laboratory and fieldwork, interviews, special collections, and participant observation. The program culminates with the Ledford Scholars making a public presentation of their research findings at the ACA’s Annual Summit.

About the Appalachian College Association

The Appalachian College Association is a non-profit consortium of 35 private four-year liberal arts institutions located in the central Appalachian Mountains in Kentucky, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia.

The mission of the Association is to serve Appalachian communities through the transformational work of its faculty, staff, and students. Programs offered by the Association are designed to promote cooperation and collaboration among member institutions and to support scholarly and creative activities of faculty and students.

About Alderson Broaddus University

Alderson Broaddus (AB) University is an independent institution of higher learning, committed to serving the region as an academic, cultural, and religious resource, with programs based on a liberal arts foundation.

The mission of AB is to provide students with the highest quality education, striving to prepare students to succeed in their chosen disciplines and to fulfill their roles in a diverse society as well-rounded and responsible citizens.