Topics ranging from Black American music, to the role of accountability in civic life, to the presence of heavy metals in catfish and perch in Lake Macatawa will be highlighted during the annual Celebration of Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity at Hope College on Friday, April 30, from 2:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Because of the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic, the event is being held exclusively online for the second year in a row, in virtual rooms made possible by Google Meets and Zoom.  The rooms will be accessible at

First held in 2001, the annual celebration features original research and creative endeavors that have been pursued by students with faculty mentors.  This year’s celebration will feature more than 100 presentations.  All of the college’s academic divisions — the arts, humanities, social sciences, and natural and applied sciences — and a total of 24 departments and programs will be represented.

The presentations will take place in three one-hour blocks, which will start at 2:30 p.m., 3:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.  Each block will have eight online “rooms” grouped by similar themes, which in turn will include four or five projects.  The students in each session will take turns giving brief (seven- to nine-minute) summaries of their research and then will take questions through the “chat” section of the room.

The complete schedule is available on the website, as are descriptions of all of the projects.

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.

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.  The Best Colleges guide published by U.S. News & World Report ranks Hope 37th nationwide among only 55 colleges and universities recognized for providing outstanding undergraduate research/creative project opportunities, counted among universities like Yale, Harvard, Stanford, MIT, Princeton and Northwestern.

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.