posted January 16, 2006

Research and Fieldhouse to Be Celebrated Together

A long-standing academic tradition and Hope College's newest academic building will be celebrated together.

The dedication activities for the Richard and Helen DeVos Fieldhouse and the college's annual Celebration of Undergraduate Research and Creative Performance will both be taking place at the fieldhouse throughout the afternoon of Friday, Jan. 27.

The public is invited. Admission is free.

An open house and tours of the building will take place from noon to 1:30 p.m., with a ribbon-cutting scheduled for 1:45 p.m.

Dr. Douglas McKeag of Indiana University will deliver the keynote address for the Celebration of Undergraduate Research and Creative Performance at 2 p.m., presenting "Musings of an Academic Boomer: Medicine, Research and Sports." McKeag is chairperson of the Indiana University School of Medicine's Department of Family Medicine; the OneAmerica Professor of Preventive Health Medicine and the director of the IU Center for Sports Medicine. In addition, he is a consultant to the Indianapolis Colts Football Club and head team physician for IUPUI athletic teams and Zionsville High School teams.

Following the keynote, some 200 students will present the results of research they have conducted at Hope on 138 projects. The students will be available to discuss their work and their displays will be featured from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Additional tours of the building will also be conducted from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Light refreshments will be served throughout the afternoon.

Although the arena portion of the fieldhouse debuted on Saturday, Nov. 19, with men's and women's basketball games, construction of the building was ongoing through the conclusion of the college's fall semester. In addition to the arena, the $22 million fieldhouse includes two classrooms, a dance studio, an exercise physiology laboratory, a weight room, the athletic training program and offices for the department of kinesiology. The building is named in honor of a $7.5 million leadership gift from the Richard and Helen DeVos Foundation.

The research celebration, first presented in 2001, is designed to spotlight the quality and importance of student-faculty collaborative research at Hope, a teaching model used at the college for several decades. The students and their projects will represent all of the college's academic divisions: the arts, humanities, social sciences, and natural and physical sciences.

Past departments and programs with projects highlighted include accounting, art, biochemistry, biology, chemistry, communication, computer science, education, English, geological and environmental sciences, kinesiology, mathematics, modern and classical languages, music, nursing, physics and engineering, psychology, sociology and social work, and women's studies. The projects also include cross-disciplinary research, such as between communication and sociology and social work, and biology and engineering.

Hope has received recognition in a variety of ways for its emphasis on undergraduate research. For the past four years, since the category debuted, the "America's Best Colleges" guide published by "U.S. News and World Report" has included Hope on its listing of institutions that are exceptional for their emphasis on undergraduate research and creative projects. Hope ranked fourth in the nation when the category debuted in 2003; the institutions are no longer ranked, but only 36 are on the list in the 2006 edition. The guide also includes Hope among the top 100 national liberal arts colleges in the U.S.

Among other indicators, Hope regularly holds more summer research grants through the National Science Foundation's "Research Experiences for Undergraduates" program than any other liberal arts college in the country. In 1998, Hope was one of only 10 liberal arts institutions nationally recognized for innovation and excellence in science instruction by the NSF with an "Award for the Integration of Research and Education" (AIRE).

The fieldhouse is located facing Fairbanks Avenue between 9th and 11th streets.