Several Hope College projects have received grants from the Michigan Space Grant Consortium.

A total of 17 projects from Hope received funding from the consortium through its 2021-22 grant period. The awards to Hope projects, which total $77,000, include 14 fellowships for students conducting collaborative research with members of the faculty, a “seed grant” for faculty research, and two awards for programs focused on improving math, science, engineering and technology education and teacher training.

Hope will provide additional support, including stipends for students as they conduct research during the summer, and matching funds for the faculty and institutional projects.

The students receiving fellowships were: Lindsey Boltz, for “Design of Nanomaterials for Enhanced Sensing, Extraction, and Recycling of Lithium in Extraterrestrial Environments,” with Dr. Natalia Gonzalez-Pech, assistant professor of chemistry; Lauren Bryan, for “Mechanisms of carbohydrate and uronic acid degradation in Sphagnum (peat moss),” with Dr. Michael Philben, assistant professor of geological and environmental science; S. Charles Davenport, for “Synthesis of Titanium Dioxide Nanoparticles for Solar Disinfection from Aqueous Solutions,” with Gonzalez-Pech; Liam Diephuis, for “Synthesis of Zirconium Oxide-Based to Catalyze Oxygen Reduction in PEM Fuel Cells,” with Gonzalez-Pech; Bridget Gagnier, for “Developing and Validating a Sensor Fusion Algorithm,” with Dr. Brooke Odle, assistant professor of engineering; Blake Harlow, for “Streamlining and Validating Algorithms for Constructing Digital Elevation Models of Lake Michigan Dune Imagery,” with Dr. Darin Stephenson, professor of mathematics; Jacob Kowalski, for “Alignment studies of liquid crystal elastomers functionalized with custom cinnamate derivatives,” with Dr. Matthew Smith, associate professor of engineering; James Mandeville, for “Improving Design Rules for Stable Halide Perovskite Materials,” with Dr. Jeff Christians, assistant professor of engineering; Molly McLinden, for “Ecotoxicity of the Nanoparticle: Changes in the behavior and physiology of the house sparrow (passer domesticus),” with Dr. Kelly Ronald, assistant professor of biology; Anna Molloy, for “Synthesis of nanomaterials for urea removal from aqueous solutions,” with Gonzalez-Pech; Tristan Porter, for “Synthesis of ZnO and Fe2O3 nanomaterials as Antibacterial Agent,” with Gonzalez-Pech; Rachel Shaw, for “Determination of the Bioavailability of Organic Nitrogen in the Decomposition of Peat Moss,” with Philben; Morgan Sherrard, for “Chromatic contrast of avian plumage is altered in forests subjected to increased deer browsing,” with Ronald; and William Vance, for “Developing efficient code for computing spin-dependent Compton cross section in magnetar magnetospheres,” with Dr. Peter Gonthier, professor of physics.

The faculty member who received a seed grant is Dr. Meagan Elinski, assistant professor of chemistry, for “Improving Design Rules for Stable Halide Perovskite Materials.”

The program support was awarded to Susan Ipri Brown, who is director of ExploreHope and assistant professor of engineering instruction, and Carrie Dummer, assistant professor of chemistry instruction.  Ipri Brown will lead “Preparing STEM Teachers” which will expand the mentoring and training aspect of the ExploreHope summer camps to better prepare future science and math teachers.  Together, Ipri Brown and Dummer will lead “Engineering the Future Academies,” partnering with Holland Public Schools to provide teacher training and a week of environmental science-focused camps for fifth graders.

The Michigan Space Grant Consortium, which is part of the National Space Grant Consortium, seeks to foster awareness of, education in, and research on space-related science and technology in Michigan, and is part of the National Space Grant College and Fellowship Program.  In addition to Hope, the consortium includes Calvin University, Eastern Michigan University, Grand Valley State University, Michigan State University, Michigan Technological University, Oakland University, Saginaw Valley State University, Wayne State University, Western Michigan University, the University of Michigan and the Ann Arbor Public Schools.