Two Hope College philosophy majors have received external recognition for the quality and promise of their scholarship.

A paper by Nicholas Engel of Grand Blanc, who graduated from Hope in May, won the "Best of Conference" award during the first annual Undergraduate Philosophy Conference held at The Ohio State University in Columbus on Friday and Saturday, May 9-10.  Robin Litscher, a senior from Lebanon, Ind., has received one of only nine "Earhart Emerging Scholar" awards statewide from the Earhart Foundation of Ann Arbor through the Michigan Colleges Foundation (MCF).

Engel was honored for his paper "Jade and Twin Water:  Joseph LaPorte's 'Jade' Case Study and What It Means for Externalism," which he had prepared through a class at Hope taught by LaPorte, who is an associate professor of philosophy at the college.  The conference was hosted and organized by the university's Undergraduate Philosophy Club and featured approximately a dozen papers on a wide range of philosophical thinkers and topics as well as a keynote address by two members of the OSU faculty.

Litscher's award is providing support as she conducts original research at Hope this summer concerning Gabriel Marcel's and Martin Heidegger's views on technology.  The $675 research awards were available to juniors or seniors enrolled full-time at MCF-member institutions for projects in anthropology, communication/journalism, economics, history, language, philosophy, political science, religion/theology or sociology.

Engel's post-Hope plans include teaching and doing campus ministry at St. Martin de Porres High School in Cleveland, Ohio, as part of "Jesuit Volunteer Corps: Midwest," a Catholic volunteer program.  A philosophy major at Hope, he is the son of Richard and Sandra Engel of Grand Blanc and a 2004 graduate of Grand Blanc High School.

Litscher is majoring in philosophy and German, and after Hope intends to pursue graduate studies and teach at the college or university level.  She is the daughter of Christian and Beverly Litscher of Lebanon, and completed her home school program in 2006.