Hope was again well represented at the annual National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR), held this year on Thursday-Saturday, April 6-8, at the University of Memphis in Tennessee.

A total of 27 Hope students, representing departments campus-wide, made presentations regarding their original research which they had conducted at Hope either mentored by or collaboratively with members of the faculty.  They were selected by NCUR on the basis of their projects, which explored topics ranging from Italian ceiling art, to alternative high schools, to Alzheimer’s disease.

The annual conference, which is dedicated to promoting undergraduate research, scholarship and creative activity in all fields of study, regularly hosts 3,000 students and their faculty mentors from around the country to present their research through posters, oral presentations, visual arts and performances.  Hope has consistently had students chosen to be presenters since the annual event began in the latter 1980s, with an acceptance rate of 98 percent.

The student presenters and the programs they represented 

Kirstin Anderson, art and art history, Mellon Scholars Program

Jonathan Bading, music, Mellon Scholars Program

Ellee Banaszak, art and art history, Mellon Scholars Program

Barbara Bollhoffer, education

Elizabeth Ensink, art history, Mellon Scholars Program

Mikayla Freyling, education

Irene Gerrish, Mellon Scholars Program

Savannah Girmscheid, education

Hannah Jacobs, art and art history

Jamie Johnson, nursing

Joshua Chun Wah Kam, English, history

Sarah Lundy, Mellon Scholars Program

Mary Magan, Spanish

Ellen Messner, music, Mellon Scholars Program

Jean Luc Miralda, communication

Courtney Myers, engineering

Anne Neumann, education

Kelsie Nyhuis, communication

Miriam Roth, education, Mellon Scholars Program

Allison Schultz, communication

Olivia Skatrud, communication

Cullen Smith, English, Mellon Scholars Program

Elizabeth Tally, education

Nathan R. Vance, chemistry

Bethany Vaughan, education

Parker Weaver, communication

Michael Wurster, education         

In addition, another six students were accepted but unable to attend.  Hayley Schultz, who has been off-campus in Philadelphia this semester, was to be one of the presenters but was prevented from participating when severe storms disrupted her flight to the event.  The other five students who were accepted, but could not attend due to scheduling conflicts, were Jorge Benitez, Nicolette DeSantis, Margaret Dickinson, Anna Jones and Emily Martin.

The students were accompanied by Dr. William Polik, who is associate dean for research and scholarship and the Edward and Elizabeth Hofma Professor of Chemistry, and Rajean Wolters, who is the college’s NCUR coordinator and administrative assistant in the Office of the Dean for the Arts and Humanities.

Established in 1987, NCUR is dedicated to promoting undergraduate research, scholarship, and creative activity in all fields of study by sponsoring an annual conference for students. Unlike meetings of academic professional organizations, the gathering of young scholars welcomes presenters from all institutions of higher learning and from all corners of the academic curriculum. Through the annual conference, NCUR creates a unique environment for the celebration and promotion of undergraduate student achievement, provides models of exemplary research and scholarship, and helps to improve the state of undergraduate education.