Undergraduate Research

Wells College has a long and distinguished history of involving its students in undergraduate research.

Working side by side with professors on original research projects enhances the educational experience for Wells students and gives them an edge in graduate school and professional advancement. At Wells, all students, not just a select few, work on research projects or participate in Capstone Experiences leading to a senior thesis.

Undergraduate research at Wells has led students to participate in local and national disciplinary conferences and to co-author papers for publication in scholarly journals. For over twenty years, Wells students have been selected to present their research findings at the annual National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR). The Wells students who presented their work at the 31st National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR), held April 5-19, 2017 at University of Memphis, Tennessee. Those students, their area of study, the title of their presentation, and their Wells faculty sponsor(s) are:

 Meredith Kadjeski, Biology, Dissolved Organic Matter Structure Quality Across a Gradient of North Temperate Lakes (Schnurr).
Mikaela Mehlrose, Visual Arts/Art History, An Exploration of the Intersections of Artistic and Gender Marginalization through the Works of L.J. Roberts (Demerdash-Fatemi).
Anastasia Toumpas, Biology, Factors Affecting Super-Spreading of Epidemics: A Study of Infection in Peromyscus (Schnurr).


The Senior Project

All students produce a senior essay or project during their last year of study at Wells. The senior thesis crystallizes the college experience and provides excellent training for graduate-level studies. It also provides students with the unique experience of completing a thoughtful, in-depth analysis of a topic that is of importance to them.

Senior Theses – Examples from recent Classes

Biological and Chemical Sciences

  • “The Effects of Competitive Swimming on the Human Shoulder”
  • “The Pathogenic Characteristics of HPV and its Synergistic Effects on the Adaptive Immunity”
  • “An Application of the Diels-Alder Reaction in Natural Product Synthesis”
  • “The Energy Overconsumption Hypothesis: A Comparative and Experimental Study of the Fate of Energy and Protein by Cedar Waxwings and American Robins”

Business and Entrepreneurship

  • “Overcoming the Impact of Lockouts in Professional Sports on Small business and Local Economies”
  • “Central New Your Cities are Primed to Become a Strong, Lean, Manufacturing Power”
  • “Hyundai: The Cadillac of Luxury Cars: Brand Perception Trumps Quality in Automobile Purchasing Decisions”
  • “Using Soccer’s Premier League Transfer System to Improve the National Basketball Association’s Team Value and Competitiveness”
  • “Small Companies Can Create More Secure Jobs than Larger Companies”


  • “Sevilla: No Es Solo un Lugar, Es Mi Hogar”
  • “If You Ever Come by Here”

Environmental Science

  • “Controlling and Eradicating Hydrilla in Cayuga Lake”
  • “Reducing the Impacts of White Nose Syndrome in Bats in the Northeast U.S. and Canada”
  • “Invasive Plant Species in Cayuga Lake”


  • “The Europeanization of Chocolate”
  • “Black Power’s Influence on Civil Rights Activists”
  • “Religion, Diversity, and Politics in Dutch New Netherland”
  • “Learning About America’s Past through Analyzing Superhero Comic Book”
  • “The Unwinnable War: The Inevitability of American Defeat in Vietnam”
  • “The Revolutionary Generation: Shaping the Children of Liberty”

Individualized Major

  • “Calling All Foreign Language Teachers: Awakening to the Power of the Net Generation”

International Studies

  • “Japan in Asia: An In-depth Examination of 20th Century Japan’s Relations with China and Western Imperialism”
  • “The Possibility of a Peaceful Reunification of Korea within Twenty Years: If Not, then Why Now?”
  • “Maternal Mortality in Nigeria: An Ongoing Crisis”


  • “The Funding of Charitable Choice and the Defunding of Planned Parenthood: Morally and Legally Relevant Differences”


  • “An Exploration of the Personality Aspects and Correlates of Positive and Negative Self-Evaluations”
  • “Becoming Us through Exposure to Media: Fictional Character Influence on Personality Development”
  • “Endocannabinoids on Cognitive Functioning; Does Cannabis Induce or Relieve Anxiety?”
  • “Effects of Music Therapy on Alzheimer’s Disease”
  • “Deviation from and Conformity to a Campus Pet Policy”
  • “Eating Disorders: Current Research on Causes and Treatment”
  • “PTSD, Addiction and Integrated Treatments”
  • “Understanding the Relationship between Depression and Parkinson’s Disease”
  • “Effective Interventions in Residential Treatment Facilities for Comorid Adolescents”
  • “Adolescent Risks, Involvement, and Interventions for Gang Members”
  • “The Context of Drug Use in a College Setting: Relationships Between Drug Use, Academic Achievement, and Social Intelligence”
  • “‘My Therapist Has a Tail’: Benefits and Benefactors of Animal-Assisted Therapy”
  • “Demographics, Motives, and Treatment Options for the Use and Abuse of Marijuana”
  • “Police Officer Health: Using Counseling to Counter Key Issues”
  • “Perceptions of Gender in Sports: Femininity, Masculinity, and Sexuality”
  •  “Could Man’s best Friend Also Be Man’s Best Medicine? An Inside Look at Animal-Assisted Therapy”
  • “Serial Killers in American Media: Reactions, Interactions, Fan Clubs, and Murderbilia”


  • An American Hybrid: An Exploration of the Biracial Identity”
  • “When the Dust Settles: A Visual Ethnography of the Wells College Men’s Lacrosse Team”
  • “Assisting Human-Species Well-being: Lessons Learned From the Fallacy of Social Progress”
  • “Division One & Division Three Student-Athletes: Identity, Perception, and Experience in College”
  • ” ‘Public’ Commercial Service Announcement: Diversity, Family, Health, and Class in Disney”
  • “Identity of Sexting”

Women’s Studies

  • “The Little Things You Give Away”
  • “Midwifery and Medicalized Birth: A Comparison of Two Models of Pregnancy and birth”
  • “A Web of One’s Own: Creating an Online Sisterhood During the SOS Protest”