A total of 18 Hope College students will be presenting their collaborative faculty-student research during this year’s National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR), being held as a virtual gathering on Monday-Wednesday, April 12-14.

NCUR is dedicated to promoting undergraduate research, scholarship, and creative activity by sponsoring an annual conference for students.  Unlike meetings of academic professional organizations, the gathering of student-scholars welcomes presenters from all institutions of higher learning across all disciplines.

NCUR is the largest undergraduate research conference in the country, and each year brings together nearly 4,000 undergraduate students from across the globe to present their research through posters, oral presentations, visual arts, and performances.  The event is being held virtually this year because of the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic.

The 18 Hope students will be presenting 12 individual and group projects.  The research abstracts are available online, although the presentations themselves will be open only to those who have registered for the conference.  The Hope participants, and their academic disciplines, research projects and faculty mentors, are:

  • Abigail Wallar: art and art history, “Materiality in Art” (Prof. Lisa Walcott);
  • Emma Wabel: biology, “Identification of Chromatin Modifiers That Play a Role in Restricting Stem Cell Gene Expression During Neural Lineage Development” (Dr. Cheng-Yu Lee)
  • Nathan Koorndyk, Eliese Moelker and Mikaela Stephan: biology, “Optimizing Protein Precipitation Methods in Human Nail Samples” (Dr. Phillip Rivera);
  • Erick Alvarado, Paulina Kozan, Vanessa Sauer and Mikayla Zobeck: biology, “Sex Differences in Ethanol Addiction Using a Novel Self-Administered Behavioral Paradigm in Mice” (Dr. Phillip Rivera);
  • Makena Mugambi: communication, “Uncovering the Path to Reparation” (Dr. Deirdre Johnston)
  • Kaelyn Poirier: communication, “Understanding Afrikaner’s Perceptions of Affirmative Action” (Dr. Dede Johnston);
  • Michael Bonagura and Adolfo Magarin: education, “What alternative schools get right: Lessons from the field” (Dr. Laura Pardo);
  • Caroline Burkhardt: engineering, “Exploration of Sustainable Concrete with Waste Products” (Dr. Courtney Peckens);
  • Kworweinski Lafontant: kinesiology, “The Effect of Cadence on Total Push-up Repetitions in College Students” (Dr. Olufemi Oluyedun);
  • Samuel Vokal: kinesiology, “The Effects of Caffeine on Vertical Jump” (Dr. Olufemi Oluyedon);
  • Jessica Robinson: nursing, “Use of Electronic Health Record and Care Plan During Nursing Handover: An Observational Study” (Dr. Emilie Dykstra Goris);
  • Jamie Breyfogle: world languages and cultures, “Courage and Fear in Don Quixote” (Dr. Tatevik Gyulamiryan).