It may have seemed quieter at West Virginia University during the summer, but a different kind of noise permeated the labs and offices in Morgantown and places around West Virginia.

Click below to hear Jonathan Cumming, associate provost for graduate academic affairs, discuss WVU's graduate education.

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For weeks, Eric Merriam, a Ph.D. student in the Wildlife and Fisheries Resources Program, has been collecting water and aquatic life samples from rivers and creeks in Southern West Virginia while investigating the effects of mine runoff in watersheds.

He’s one of the thousands of graduate students at WVU who are furthering research while transforming into the next generation of researchers and faculty.

Merriam and Ben Cieply, a Ph.D student in the Cancer Cell Biology Program, want to continue researching after they get their degrees. Jerry Carr, who is earning his Ph.D. in the field of plasma physics, wants to use his career to bring education to those with few resources and advantages.

And Melissa Morris, who is receiving her Ph.D. in mechanical engineering, will be starting her first semester as a faculty member this fall at WVU.

They all took different paths to researching at WVU under the leadership of their faculty advisers and in preparation for their own careers. They will all have different outcomes that further our knowledge and give them a deeper understanding of our world.

And it’s a journey that for them would have been so much harder without the support of their families, faculty advisers and the financial support they found at WVU.


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