Hope College senior Tracy DeKoekkoek of Martin has won first place in the undergraduate research poster competition of the 36th Annual Midwest Nursing Research Society (MNRS) conference, held in Dearborn.

She received the award on Friday, April 13.  Approximately 75 students from more than 100 colleges and universities were participating in the competition.

DeKoekkoek was honored for her research project “Relationship of Activity Status Prior to Experiencing a Cardiac Event and Levels of State and Trait Hopelessness,” which she conducted mentored by Hope nursing faculty members Dr. Susan Dunn and Dr. Barbara Vincensi.  The study surveyed 520 cardiac patients to determine how patients’ activity levels relate to their emotional health following a cardiac event.  Analysis of the data is ongoing.

DeKoekkoek plans to pursue a career in acute care nursing and has additionally applied for graduate school study with a goal of becoming a nurse educator in the future.  She is a 2008 graduate of Kalamazoo Christian High School, and the daughter of Gary and Joyce DeKoekkoek of Martin.

The MNRS, established in the middle 1970s, focuses on improving the quality of nursing research.  The society has approximately 1,300 members from both within and outside the its 13-state region, which includes Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota and Wisconsin.