The 20th annual Celebration of Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity (CURCA) at Hope College was held on our virtual platform, allowing guests to visit different rooms (see links below) showcasing the accomplishments of our student researchers and artists.

2021 Celebration was Friday, April 30, 2021

The scholarship of discovery and application are both highlighted through the works of faculty-student collaborations across all four divisions at Hope: Arts, Humanities, Social Sciences, and Natural & Applied Sciences. Thanks for your support and participation in CURCA 2021.

How to Participate (click to expand)

Below you'll find a list of this year's presentations, offered in an online format. Presentations are broken into virtual rooms. Students will take turns giving a brief (7–9 minute) summary of their research and then take questions. Each poster will be presented only once.

  • To find a student's presentation time and virtual breakout room, see the index of student presenters. Students are listed alphabetically by last name. 
  • To view the presentation list for a room, select a room title or select "Expand All."
  • To join a room, select the "Visit Room" button that is visible when the presentation list is expanded. This will open up a Google Meets or Zoom link. All times listed are in Eastern Daylight Time (EDT,UTC-04:00). You may also call in to most rooms. If you dial in, you will be able to hear all presentations, but will miss out on visual content and chat links.
    • Please join with a muted microphone.
    • If you are joining a Google Meets room and are not signed in to Google with a Hope College account, there may be a brief delay as you are accepted into the video meeting.
    • If your device does not have a speaker or you cannot connect to the meeting, use the phone number listed in "join by phone" to dial in to the event.
  • You can ask questions and reference links in the "chat" section of the room.
  • Want to know more about the projects before joining a room? To view students' abstracts, click on the corresponding presentation title. You'll be able to read a short description of the project. Some projects also have a link to "additional asynchronous material," viewable before and after the presentation.
  • All rooms will have captioning capability. Once you have joined a Google Meets virtual room, click on the screen to pull up the bottom bar, then click the "CC" icon near the center of the screen to activate captioning for yourself. In Zoom virtual rooms, live transcripts are enabled by the room moderator beforehand and will be visible to all once the moderator has activated the captions. If you do not see captioning, send a message in the chat to the room moderator and they will be able to toggle on automated captioning.

We are grateful to the students and mentors of over 100 projects who will be presenting at this year's Celebration of Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity. To read more examples of student research and creative activity at Hope College, view our Abstract Book.

   The green leaf icon indicates sessions with a special focus on sustainability and are thus celebrated by the Hope College Sustainability Institute.
 The asterisk indicates the presenter is a member of Sigma Xi, the international honor society of science and engineering.

Friday, April 30, 2021
Session One: 2:30–3:30

Room 1A: Political Science and CommunicationModerator: Dr. Marsely Kehoe

Visit Room 1A (2:30-3:30) 

Thanks to mentors: Drs. Annie Dandavati, Sarah Kornfield & David Ryden

Room 1B: Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, Neuroscience, and BiologyModerator: Dr. Leah Chase

Visit Room 1B (2:30-3:30) 

Thanks to mentors: Drs. Leah Chase, Laura Hurley (Indiana University), Jianhua Li & Kelly Ronald

Room 1C: KinesiologyModerator: Dr. Mark Northuis

Visit Room 1C (2:30-3:30) 

Thanks to mentors: Dr. Maureen Dunn, Professor Tonia Gruppen and Dr. Olufemi Oluyedun

Room 1D: Neuroscience and PsychologyModerator: Dr. Carrie Bredow

Visit Room 1D (2:30-3:30) 

Thanks to mentors: Drs. Gerald Griffin, Lindsey Root Luna and Charlotte Witvliet

Room 1E: EconomicsModerator: Dr. Sarah Estelle

Visit Room 1E (2:30-3:30) 

Thanks to mentor: Dr. Sarah Estelle

Room 1F: Engineering and ChemistryModerator: Dr. Megan Elinski

Visit Room 1F (2:30-3:30) 

Thanks to mentors: Drs. Natalia Gonzalez-Pech and Matthew Smith

Room 1G: Chemistry and Geological & Environmental SciencesModerator: Professor Suzanne DeVries-Zimmerman

Visit Room 1G (2:30-3:30) 

Thanks to mentors: Professor Suszanne DeVries-Zimmerman and Drs. Jason Gillmore, Jeffrey Johnson, Jonathan Peterson and Michael Philben

Room 1H: Biology and Biochemistry & Molecular BiologyModerator: Dr. Thomas Bultman

Visit Room 1H (2:30-3:30) 

Thanks to mentors: Drs. Maria Burnatowska-Hledin and Joseph Stukey

Session Two: 3:30–4:30

Room 2A: Philosophy and ReligionModerator: Dr. Kevin Kambo

Visit Room 2A (3:30-4:30) 

Thanks to mentors: Drs. Kate Finley, Jack Mulder and Jared Ortiz

Room 2B: Biology and Biochemistry & Molecular BiologyModerator: Dr. Phillip Rivera

Visit Room 2B (3:30-4:30) 

Thanks to mentors: Drs. Kristin Dittenhafer-Reed and Phillip Rivera

Room 2C: KinesiologyModerator: Dr. Brian Rider

Visit Room 2C (3:30-4:30) 

Thanks to mentors: Drs. Maureen Dunn, Scott Conger (Boise State), Alex Montoye (Alma College), Olufemi Oluyedun and Brian Rider

Room 2D: PsychologyModerator: Dr. Daryl Van Tongeren

Visit Room 2D (3:30-4:30) 

Thanks to mentor: Dr. Daryl Van Tongeren

Room 2E: EconomicsModerator: Tori Longfield

Visit Room 2E (3:30-4:30) 

Thanks to mentor: Dr. Sarah Estelle

Room 2F: Music and TheatreModerator: Dr. Jordan VanHemert

Visit Room 2F (3:30-4:30) 

Thanks to mentors: Reagan Chesnut, Dr. Sarah Southard and Dr. Jordan VanHemert 

Room 2G: Chemistry, Explore Hope, Nursing, and EducationModerator: Professor Susan Ipri Brown

Visit Room 2G (3:30-4:30) 

Thanks to mentors: Drs. Sophia D'Agostino, Emilie Dystra Goris, Laura Pardo, William Polik, Vicky Voskuil, and Professors Susan Ipri Brown and Clayton Piehl

Room 2H: Chemistry and PhysicsModerator: Dr. Brent Krueger

Visit Room 2H (3:30-4:30) 

Thanks to mentors: Drs. Jennifer Hampton, Brent Krueger and Paul DeYoung

In warm rememberance of Dr. Jennifer Hampton, 1972–2021. Dr. Hampton enjoyed facilitating student research experiences at Hope College. The Celebration of Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity was one of her favorite Hope events. She is missed.

Session Three: 4:30–5:30

Room 3A: Art & Art History, History, Mellon Scholars, and Political Science Moderator: Dr. Curtis Gruenler

Visit Room 3A (4:30-5:30) 

Thanks to mentors: Professor Lisa Walcott, Drs. Lauren Janes, Curtis Gruenler, Tatevik Gyulamiryan and Joel Toppen

Room 3B: KinesiologyModerator: Dr. Maureen Dunn

Visit Room 3B (4:30-5:30) 

Thanks to mentors: Drs. Maureen Dunn and Mark Northuis

Room 3C: PsychologyModerator: Dr. Mary Inman

Visit Room 3C (4:30-5:30) 

Thanks to mentors: Drs. Alyssa Cheadle, Lindsey Root Luna and Daryl Van Tongeren

Room 3D: PsychologyModerator: Dr. Andrew Gall

Visit Room 3D (4:30-5:30) 

Thanks to mentors: Drs. Andrew Gall, Sonja Trent-Brown and Charlotte Witvliet

Room 3E: EconomicsModerator: Dr. Steven McMullen

Visit Room 3E (4:30-5:30) 

Thanks to mentor: Dr. Sarah Estelle

Room 3F: Sociology & Social Work and NursingModerator: Dr. Anita Esquerra-Zwiers

Visit Room 3F (4:30-5:30) 

Thanks to mentors: Drs. Emilie Dykstra Goris, Anita Esquerra-Zwiers, Aaron Franzen, Deborah Sturtevant and Vicki Voskuil

Room 3G: ChemistryModerator: Dr. Michael Philben

Visit Room 3G (4:30-5:30) 

Thanks to mentors: Drs. Mary Elizabeth Anderson (Furman University), Kenneth Brown, Jason Gillmore, K. Greg Murray and Elizabeth M. Sanford

Room 3H: Engineering and PhysicsModerator: Jeffrey Christians

Visit Room 3H (4:30-5:30) 

Thanks to mentors: Drs. Jeffrey Christians, Michael Misovich, Brooke Odle and Stephen Remillard