posted May 15, 2007

Students Receive Hope Summer Research Awards

A total of eight Hope College students have received Dean's Science Division Research Awards from the college.

The students who have been honored are Jon Barrus, Tim Boman, Amanda Brisbin, Emilie Dykstra, Justin Mark Lunderberg, Chelsea Schrotenboer, David Visser and Timothy Wahmhoff.

Inaugurated this year and presented by the division of natural and applied sciences, the awards provide stipends for summer research at the college. A recipient has been named for each department within the division.

Considerations for the $3,600 awards include interest in science, promise of research and scientific accomplishment, academic standing and departmental endorsement. The recipients are also eligible for a subsidy for summer housing on campus.

"My goal for creating this award is part of our 20/20 vision plan, which is to take the level of our academic program to 'uncharted' excellence," said Dr. Moses Lee, who is dean for the natural and applied sciences and also a professor of chemistry.

"For us, undergraduate research is paramount," he said. "Through the student research awards we are hoping to encourage a strong intellectual standard for our program and ultimately to empower our students and ignite their passion to pursue science education and careers."

Barrus is a junior chemistry major from Midland. He is conducting research with Dr. Elizabeth Sanford, associate professor of chemistry, on the synthesis of new polymers with applications for light-emitting devices.

Boman is a junior mathematics and engineering major from Rochester Hills. He is working with Dr. Tim Pennings, professor of mathematics, on refining the system of differential equations being used to model the interaction between grass, army worms and wasps in an interdisciplinary project with Dr. Tom Bultman, professor of biology and chairperson of the department.

Brisbin is a senior geology major and environmental science minor from Grant. She is working with Dr. Ed Hansen, professor of geology and environmental science, conducting research on the history of the development and migration of sand dunes in the region.

Dykstra is a senior nursing major from Zeeland. She is working with Dr. Susan Dunn, associate professor of nursing and chairperson of the department, on a project relating to the understanding of hopelessness.

Lunderberg is sophomore from Grandville and interested in chemistry and physics. He is working with Dr. Graham Peaslee, professor of chemistry and geology/environmental science, and Dr. Paul DeYoung, who is the Kenneth G. Herrick Professor of Physics, on an interdisciplinary project using the college's Pelletron particle accelerator to study thin films of electropolymer produced by the research group of Dr. Ken Brown, associate professor of chemistry.

Schrotenboer is a junior biology and English major from Zeeland. She is working with Dr. Gregory Fraley, assistant professor of biology, and Dr. Kathy Winnett-Murray, professor of biology, on the project "Hormonal Influences over Aggressive Nestbox Defense in the Eastern Bluebird (Sialia sialis)."

Visser is a senior from Creswell, Ore., who is interested in engineering. He is working with Dr. Jeff Brown, assistant professor of engineering, conducting experimental research on fiber reinforced composites.

Wahmhoff is a sophomore computer science student from Gobles. He is working with Dr. Matt DeJongh, assistant professor of computer science and Towsley Research Scholar, on a project to develop software to map genomes.