Original research by students on topics ranging from the preservation of relics, to multiple studies of the Macatawa Watershed, to the impact of immigration on wages in the U.S., to disability in black women’s speculative fiction will be highlighted during the annual Celebration of Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity at Hope College on Friday, April 12, from 2:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Richard and Helen DeVos Fieldhouse.
The public is invited. Admission and refreshments are free.
The celebration, which is the largest and broadest of any similar event at an undergraduate college, will feature 202 research projects conducted by 327 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. Approximately 900 visitors attended last year.
The students and their projects will represent all of the college’s academic divisions — the arts, humanities, social sciences, and natural and applied sciences — and a total of 27 departments and programs.
The celebration, first presented in 2001, is designed to spotlight the quality and importance of student-faculty collaborative research at the college. “Collaborative research is a high-impact Hope distinctive, as it weds teaching, scholarship and faculty-student relationships,” said Dr. Cady Short-Thompson, provost at Hope. “Our bright students learn from conducting research with their faculty mentors, growing knowledge and confidence as they discover new findings together.”
According to Dr. William Polik, associate dean of research and scholarship, approximately 200 students conduct faculty-supervised independent research over the summer, making Hope’s summer research program among the largest in the nation at a liberal arts college. And since Hope faculty are active in scholarship year-round, many more students engage in research during the academic year.
Hope College is nationally recognized for the extent and quality of its undergraduate research program. Students regularly present their research at regional and national conferences and publish their research as co-authors with their faculty mentors. Hope’s Office of Research and Scholarship reports that Hope students made 153 presentations at off-campus conferences and submitted or published 28 journal articles during calendar-year 2018. Hope College currently receives over $12 million in active external grant funding that supports 69 research and educational projects.
Among other acclaim for Hope’s program, in the fall of 2017 the Council on Undergraduate Research presented the college with one of only three campus-wide Awards for Undergraduate Research Accomplishments. And this past fall, for the 17th consecutive year (since the category debuted), the Best Colleges guide published by U.S. News & World Report included Hope on its listing of institutions that are exceptional for their emphasis on undergraduate research and creative projects.
Research has a long and storied history at Hope. 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.
The fieldhouse is located at 222 Fairbanks Ave., between Ninth and 11th streets.