Original research by students on topics ranging from the historical roots of the Black Lives Matter movement, to monitoring of the Lake Macatawa watershed, to changes in political trust in the United States will be highlighted during the annual Celebration of Undergraduate Research and Creative Performance at Hope College on Friday, April 21, from 2:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Richard and Helen DeVos Fieldhouse.
The public is invited. Admission is free.
The event will feature 226 research projects conducted by 358 Hope students in collaboration with peers and faculty mentors. The presentations will feature posters illustrating the projects, with students on-hand to discuss their work. The displays fill the basketball and volleyball courts and concourse of the fieldhouse.
The students and their projects will represent all of the college’s academic divisions: the arts, humanities, social sciences, and natural and applied sciences.
The research and performance celebration, first presented in 2001, is designed to spotlight the quality and importance of student-faculty collaborative research at Hope. Undergraduate research is a hallmark experience for many Hope students and has been a teaching model used at the college for several decades. During the summer of 2016, 147 science, 32 social science, and 14 arts and humanities students participated in faculty-mentored research, making Hope’s summer research program among the largest in the nation at a liberal arts college. Since faculty are active in scholarship year-round, many more students engage in research during the academic year.
Research has a long and storied history at Hope College. More than 100 years ago, biologist Dr. Samuel O. Mast designed research laboratory space for the college’s Van Raalte Hall, which opened in 1903. The late Dr. Gerrit Van Zyl, who taught chemistry at the college from 1923 to 1964, is widely recognized for developing research-based learning at Hope in its modern sense.
Hope has received recognition in a variety of ways through the years for its success in teaching through collaborative faculty-student research, and for the high quality of the research itself. Based on the college’s proven history of excellence, the Washington, D.C.-based Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR) chose Hope to present the national webinar “Transformational Learning through Undergraduate Research and Creative Performance” in April 2011.
For the past 15 years, since the category debuted, the “America’s Best Colleges” guide published by “U.S. News and World Report” has included Hope on its listing of institutions that are exceptional for their emphasis on undergraduate research and creative projects. Hope is one of only 36 institutions of all types, and one of only 10 national liberal arts colleges, on the list in the 2017 edition.
The fieldhouse is located at 222 Fairbanks Ave., at Fairbanks Avenue between Ninth and 11th streets.