/ Celebration of Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity


Abstracts from the Celebration are published in the annual abstract book and on Digital Commons. 

Please use the following guidelines to format your abstract. After you submit your registration, you will be able to edit your abstract in an automatically generated Google Doc. You will need to finalize your abstract by the abstract deadline

Workflow – How to Create and Edit Your Abstract

CreatiNG your Abstract

When you register, your registration information will be used to create an editable abstract in a Google Doc. The student submitting the registration and the mentor for the project will recieve an email with a link to that Google Doc. If you do not recieve a link within an hour after submitting your registration form, contact celebration@hope.edu.

Editing your Abstract

Click on the Google Doc link at the bottom of the email to open the Google Doc file created specifically for your project. If there are multiple student researchers, go to the "share" button in the upper right corner of Google Doc and enter their 1.hope email addresses. All student researchers should proof-read the abstract details, checking for formatting, proper spelling of names, titles and funding information (if applicable).

Once your abstract is ready, ask your mentor to approve the document. (See below.)

Mentor Approval

Your mentor will have access to the document through the “shared with me” section of their Google Drive, or you can send them a link.

The abstract must completed by February 9, 2024. When your document is ready for approval, click File > Approvals and send an approval request to your mentor and celebration@hope.edu. Mentor approvals are due by February 14, 2024.

Format – Guidelines

About the Name Of Your Abstract Google Doc file

Your abstract will be automatically named as such: yourlastname_dept_timestamp

For Example: boehme_history_2017.0113.1627

You will see the name of your abstract in the upper left corner of the Google Doc. For the sake of record keeping, please do not change the name of the abstract. If the department name in the title is incorrect, contact Maricela Mireles at celebration@hope.edu.

How to Format Your Abstract

Research Title (Capitalize first letter of each main word, prepositions are not capitalized.)

Author(s) (Use a comma between each author and “and” before the final name. List all authors of the project, including co-authors not present at the Celebration event.)

Mentor: Dr(s). or Professor (First and last name, use a comma between each and “and” before the last name. Use “Professor” if mentor does not have a PhD.)

Department(s) of XXXX and XXXX

Body of Abstract (No more than 300 words; no paragraph indents; use only one character space after each period)

This material is based upon work supported by the xxxx (list federal or private agency) under grant No. xxxx.


This research was supported by the xxxx.

How to insert special characters

If you enter your abstract into Google Forms during the registration process, text will be preserved, but special characters and typesetting (bold, italics, etc.) will not carry over. These may be edited or entered in the Google Doc prior to final submission and approval.

To insert equations, use LaTeX.

Sample Abstracts

Objects of Desire: Mimetic Theory in Middle-earth

Anna Goodling
Mentor: Dr. Curtis Gruenler
Department of English

Twentieth century author J. R. R. Tolkien permanently impacted the world of fantasy with his work in Middle-earth. Countless aspects of his legendarium have been examined by readers, scholars, and critics, who view them through widely-varying lenses of literary theory and criticism in an attempt to interpret the ideas central to Tolkien’s universe. However, few scholars have explored the relationship between Tolkien’s works and literary theorist René Girard’s concepts of mimetic desire and scapegoating, leaving this relatively untraversed field ripe for study. Girard’s mimetic theory offers insight into Tolkien’s understanding and portrayal of power by providing a method of interpreting his use of objects of power to demonstrate the corruptive nature of such items and the rivalry they incite. This research examines Girard’s theories, applying his ideas of triangular, imitative desire for an Object to the texts of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.

From Satire to Struggle: An Analysis of Changing American Identity Using Our Show; a Humorous Account of the International Exposition

Hope Hancock
Mentor: Dr. Jeanne Petit
Andrew W. Mellon Scholars Program and Department of History

In 1876, Philadelphia hosted the Centennial Exhibition to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. The Exhibition operated as a platform for the United States to showcase all of its innovations and demonstrate how far the young nation had come in 100 years. The Exhibition quickly gained international popularity and attracted 10 million visitors over the span of the six months it was open. However, not all Americans took the Exhibition so seriously. Our Show; a Humorous Account of the International Exposition, co-written by Philadelphians David Solis Cohen and Harry B. Sommer, is a satirical book that was published in 1875, prior to the opening of the Exhibition. In Our Show, Cohen and Sommer poked fun at everything from the building materials used to the members to the Centennial Board. The authors used Our Show to provide a platform for Americans to grapple with the fluctuating identity of the United States. Relying on ambiguity and wit, Cohen and Sommer discuss ways that United States’ society was changing in terms of women’s roles in society, the rise of industrialization, and the growth of an excessive culture. This project explores how historians can use humorous and satirical publications to understand the impact of social change in American society.

This project was supported by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Scholars Program in the Arts & Humanities at Hope College.

Long Term Trends in Size Distribution of Eastern Hemlocks in West Michigan Dune Forests

Andrew Gomez-Seoane and Eric Hederstedt
Mentor: Dr. K. Greg Murray
Department of Biology

Size distributions of trees often yield valuable clues about changing environmental conditions and the responses of populations to them. In a recent study, the size distribution of Eastern Hemlocks was measured in several forests near Lake Michigan to determine whether active recruitment into the population was taking place at a similar rate as in the past. The diameter at breast height as well as cores samples were taken for all hemlocks present in selected stands. Analysis found that the size distribution was strongly skewed toward the intermediate and larger tree size classes suggesting a failure of recent recruitment relative to that in the past. Experimental transplantation of hemlock saplings in select stands has yielded a possible link with herbivory due to the gradual increase of white tail deer populations as the primary cause of decline among hemlocks. Other studies in the Lake Michigan region, both inland and coastal, have documented a perceived decline in hemlock populations based on sample data and paleoecological trends. If the observed trend continues into the future, Eastern Hemlock will most likely continue to decline in density in these forests over the long term.

Photographic Representations of Happiness in USA and Japan

Elizabeth Reynolds, Nicole Demikis-Bayron, and Erika Ryan
Mentors: Dr. Deirdre Johnston1 and Dr. Rika Hanamitsu2
1Department of Communication, Hope College and 2Waseda University, Tokyo, Japan

Happiness is a universal emotion, but how people construct the meaning of happiness may be culturally determined. The study explores a cross-cultural comparison of the awareness, photographic representation of, and feelings associated with, experiences of everyday happiness. The research question examines whether there are differences in the construction of the meaning of happiness by American and Japanese college students. An ethnographic design was used to collect happy experiences through photographs. The sample of 200 was stratified by age range (student, young adult, middle-age, and elderly), culture and sex, with 60 college students as the sub-sample. Participants completed a pre-test employing Deiner’s Flourishing Scale (2009). A packet including a disposable camera, a Photo Release Form, and Photo Response Cards were disseminated, instructing participants to take 5 photographs during moments of happiness, over a 24-hour period. The post-test included the Flourishing Scale and questions regarding how comprehensive and typical their photos were in representing their happiness. Researchers qualitatively analyzed 300 photographs and narratives for cultural themes and dimensions by which happiness experiences vary. Coding categories were then developed and inter-rater reliability was assessed. Participant narratives were coded for emotional complexity according to the Levels of Emotional Awareness Scale (Lane, Quinlan, Schwartz, Walker & Zeinlin, 1990). A ANOVA was conducted to compare pre- and post-test flourishing scales to find whether reflecting on happiness significantly impacted respondents’ reported happiness. Researchers found cultural differences in Japanese and American students’ reporting of source of happiness, meaning of happiness, arousal level of happiness, awareness and cognitive processing of happy experiences, what kinds of satisfied needs engender happiness, and the impact of reflecting on happiness on one’s overall level of flourishing. 

This material is based upon work supported by the Frost Research Center at Hope College