VCSU student Ernst presents research in D.C.

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Niklas Ernst, a VCSU social science student, participated in the Council on Undergraduate Research’s 21st annual Posters on the Hill eventin Washington, D.C. April 25–26.Ernst’s research project, “The Unfinished Presidencies: Why Incumbent Presidents Lose Their Reelection Campaigns,” was one of 60 projects nationwide selected for Posters on the Hill. Ernst looked at the failed reelection bids of Presidents Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter and George H.W. Bush to determine why the incumbent’s typical election advantages did not play out for them.His research, mentored by Luis da Vinha, Ph.D., VCSU professor of social science, was part of VCSU’s Student Opportunities for Academic Research (SOAR) program. The Posters on the Hill session, held in the Rayburn House Office Building on Capitol Hill, was attended by members of Congress, congressional staff and representatives of multiple federal agencies and organizations. Ernst also met with North Dakota Senator John Hoeven and staff from Senator Heidi Heitkamp’s and Representative Kevin Cramer’s offices.Ernst was accompanied to D.C. by David DeMuth, Ph.D., VCSU director of undergraduate research and professor of mathematics.The 2017 Posters on the Hill program can be found online at