posted April 13, 1999

NSF Graduate Fellowship

Hope College senior Kevin Paulisse of Grandville, Mich. has received a Graduate Fellowship from the National Science Foundation (NSF), the third year in a row that a Hope student has been recognized with one of the highly-competitive awards.

          The fellowships are awarded to students pursuing
  doctorates in the sciences, and Paulisse received one of
  approximately 900 awarded nationwide, of which only 63 were
  in chemistry.  The fellowships pay tuition and fees of up to
  $10,500 and a stipend of $15,000 each year for three years.
          Paulisse is a chemistry and mathematics major.  He
  plans to pursue a doctorate in physical chemistry at the
  University of Wisconsin-Madison.
          "Kevin is not only exceptional in the classroom,
  but he's truly a star in undergraduate research," said Dr.
  William F. Polik, associate professor of chemistry, with
  whom Paulisse has conducted research since 1996.
          "One strong point is the depth of his analysis in
  understanding a problem fundamentally," he said.  "His
  thorough approach to every problem he's looked at has been
  very impressive."
          "In addition to solving fundamental problems, he
  looks for practical applications in his work," Polik said.
          One practical application that Paulisse and Polik
  have created together falls outside of chemistry research
  specifically, although it is an outgrowth of their interest
  in fostering discussion in their discipline.  They have co-
  written "Discus," a computer program for hosting discussion
  on the World Wide Web.  There are more than 5,000
  installations on the Internet of the program, which was
  originally developed for use at Hope.
          Paulisse and Polik have conducted research
  together during both the school year and summer.  Their work
  uses computational chemistry computer programs to predict
  properties of molecules, and comparing the predicted
  properties to the results that are obtained through
  experiment.  Their experiment uses a laser to study how
  molecules interact with light.
          In the summer of 1998, Paulisse held one of only
  23 Pfizer fellowships awarded nationwide in chemistry by
  Pfizer Inc. of Groton, Conn., in support of summer research.
  In the spring of 1998, he received one of only 316 Goldwater
  Scholarships awarded nationwide in support of undergraduate
  students for the 1998-99 school year based on academic
  merit.
          Paulisse was recently named to the college's
  chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, and has consistently been named
  to Hope's dean's list.  In the spring of 1998 he received
  the college's Junior Chemistry Journal Award, and he
  received the college's Organic Chemistry Book Award in the
  spring of 1996 for his performance in Organic Chemistry.
          He is the son of Marilyn Paulisse of Grandville
  and the late Wayne Paulisse, and is a 1995 graduate of Grand
  Rapids Christian High School.
          Also receiving one of the fellowships was 1998
  Hope graduate Elayne Provost, a biology major currently
  doing graduate work at Yale University.  Provost had
  received "Honorable Mention" from the fellowship program
  last year.
          This year, Hope seniors Benjamin Messer of
  Stilwell, Kan., and James Vanderhyde of Comstock Park
  received "Honorable Mention."  Messer is a chemistry and
  mathematics major, and Vanderhyde is a computer science and
  mathematics major.
          Several graduating Hope seniors have received the
  fellowships through the years.  Those honored in the current
  decade include Katherine Drake in 1998, Joshua Levy in 1997,
  Rychard Bouwens in 1994, James Loats in 1991 and Thomas
  Prins in 1990.