posted April 11, 2005

Soc. and Soc. Work Students to Present Work in D.C.

Out of only 60 undergraduate students nationwide, three students from Hope College will be among the presenters during the "Posters on the Hill" event sponsored by the Council on Undergraduate Research in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, April 19.

The 60 students were competitively chosen from among hundreds of applicants. They will display their research posters to members of Congress, federal agency funding officers and invited guests in rooms 338-B to 340-B of the Rayburn House Office Building from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

The participating Hope students are seniors Jenelle Dame of Holland, Audra Jobin of Spring Lake and Jeffrey Seymour of Holland. Their presentation will focus on research they conducted during the summer of 2004 with Dr. Deborah Sturtevant, who is a professor of sociology and social work as well as chairperson of the department at Hope and will also be attending the event.

While in Washington, the presenters will also be meeting with Senators Carl Levin and Debbie Stabenow of Michigan, and Congressman Pete Hoekstra, Representative of the 2nd District of Michigan.

Through the research project, the students and Sturtevant organized several focus groups comprised of service providers and those who had received services, and asked questions relating to the participants' opinions of community health. The research, according to Sturtevant, indicated the need for preventative measures to promote good health, such as good nutrition, exercise, social connections, spirituality and appropriate medical care, and barriers including lack of time, money and transportation.

The research was the focus of the local "Community Collaboration Conference" organized by the Holland Community Hospital Foundation and held at Hope on Friday, Feb. 18. The students had previously made a presentation concerning the results to the foundation's board in August. Sara Armstrong of the foundation will also be participating in the Washington, D.C., trip.

The Hope research project was funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the Holland Community Hospital Foundation and the Hope College Frost Center.

CUR is a national professional association representing faculty and administrators at nearly 1,000 academic institutions. CUR, along with governmental and private partners, facilitates collaborative research by students and their faculty mentors. CUR works to provide students with a wide range of opportunities to learn science by doing it, and provides faculty with opportunities to integrate research into their teaching.