SAFE Grant Student Spotlight: Charles Fennell ’20, Psychology

SAFE Grant Student Spotlight: Charles Fennell ’20, Psychology

Charles Fennell was an undergraduate student from Charlotte, N.C.

Student and Faculty Excellence (SAFE) fund recipient

Project: “IMPULSE allows undergraduates to experience neuroscience publishing from submission through manuscript publication”

SAFE grant funding allowed Fennell to attend the 2019 Society for Neuroscience meeting in Chicago where he presented posters to an audience of over 30,000 academics. There, he also had the opportunity to explore graduate school options.

“This experience was valuable not only on my resume, but it was of value to refining my career goals. I was exposed to many different avenues to fulfill my goals in neuroscience. The SAFE grant helped to make that possible,” said Fennell.

His posters included information on experiments he conducted at school as well as IMPULSE-The Premier Undergraduate Neuroscience Journal which has been hosted by Appalachian State University since 2008. The journal is the first international, online neuroscience journal for undergraduate publications which Fennell served as Editor and Chief of from 2018-20. IMPULSE functions as a teaching and research tool as well a platform for undergraduates to publish research articles or literary reviews in neuroscience.

“IMPULSE allows undergraduates to become familiar with the process of scientific publishing early in their educational careers. Including IMPULSE in undergraduate curricula provides the opportunity to effectively prepare students for success in graduate and professional education by allowing practice and development of writing skills as well as an introduction to the process of submitting neuroscience literature to a scientific journal,” said Fennell.

Mark C. Zrull, professor in the Department of Psychology, and faculty advisor of IMPULSE commented on Fennell’s experience with the journal, “Charles did an excellent job as Editor of IMPULSE; he made my job as faculty advisor easy. He was an excellent spokesperson for the journal. What I really love about IMPULSE is that students gain in many ways from being involved.”

Fennell additionally summed up his experience with IMPULSE in the “goodbye” section of the journal’s 2020 editorial, “The exposure I have gotten from my years of involvement and the lessons this journal has taught me will live on within me for as long as I continue down this path of academia.”


About The SAFE Fund
Initially endowed by Hughlene and Bill Frank, the College of Arts and Sciences Student and Faculty Excellence (SAFE) Fund provides resources that can be used to support undergraduate, graduate and faculty experiences. The SAFE Fund provides funding for college priorities and opportunities that arise throughout the year. These unrestricted funds support student and faculty travel, publication support for faculty and student research opportunities. Learn more at:

About the Dr. Wiley F. Smith Department of Psychology
Appalachian’s Dr. Wiley F. Smith Department of Psychology serves more than 1,000 undergraduate majors seeking the Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree in psychology, as well as 80 graduate students in three master’s programs (experimental psychology, school psychology, and industrial-organizational psychology and human resource management) and the clinical psychology (Psy.D.) doctoral program. Learn more at

Compiled and written by Sophia Woodall 
September 21, 2021


Caption: SAFE student recipient Charles Fennell, Psychology. Photo submitted.
Published: Sep 21, 2021 1:43pm