VIENNA, W.Va. – On Feb. 28, approximately 100 undergraduate students from across the state will gather at the Capitol in Charleston, W.Va., to present their own original research to W.Va. legislators as part of the 10th annual Undergraduate Research Day.
Among those students will be Ohio Valley University junior, Ethan Ash. His research, “An Uncomfortable Crossroads: Quantitative Data and Qualitative Expression,” explores the gap between data and expression of data and how it can hinder clear communication. Ash used financial statements and accounting to demonstrate this concept. The goal of his research was to describe and demonstrate ways an author can create documents that are meaningful for everyone, even those who are not experts in a particular field.
Ash began his research last year but has been intrigued by the idea for some time. His inspiration came in part from his dual majors of accounting and English.
“I was inspired to do this research because of my odd pair of majors. I frequently see a disconnect between individuals who communicate differently, especially when it’s crucial that data be shared between parties of different levels of expertise, whether in a research setting or even in the writing of a textbook,” Ash said. “Using the example of financial statements to illustrate composition techniques seemed like a perfect fit for me.”
There is a selection process to be invited to participate in this day. Both Ash and OVU adjunct literature instructor, Melissa Bannister, were involved in the process. Ash had to submit an abstract explaining his work. The submissions are reviewed and then students are invited to participate. It is an honor to be invited and Ash hopes that he sees some positive responses to his research.
“I'd love to see my ideas provoke consideration among my peers at the Capitol. Addressing the presentation of quantitative data is a highly pertinent topic at an academic conference like this. If other authors contemplate the points I’ll be presenting, it’s my hope that they can examine the documents comprising their own academic research and adapt the techniques I suggest for broader use in a variety of disciplines,” Ash said.
Ash is from Massillon, Ohio. He is actively involved in OVU campus life, including serving as a resident assistant, vice president of Student Government Association, and as a member of Alpha Chi Honor Society and Delta Social Club. He is proud to represent OVU at this special event.
“I’m thrilled to represent OVU at URDC. It’s something that I think reflects well on the institution even more than it says something about me. It’s only because of the support, encouragement, and expertise of the faculty here that such opportunities are possible,” Ash said. “On a personal note, however, I do take great pride in the work I’m doing and truly believe that the final product will be something that I can talk about with pride as I pursue my goals in life.”
Chartered in 1958, Ohio Valley University is a residential faith-based Tier I institution with four colleges offering 35 undergraduate degrees and a master of education degree to students from 28 states and 14 nations. To learn more about the university, visit www.ovu.edu.