The award is supporting DeGroot as she conducts collaborative research with Dr. Jason Gillmore, who is a professor of chemistry and Schaap Research Fellow at Hope. It is providing funding for her to work full-time with Gillmore for 10 weeks both this summer and next summer as well as part-time during the forthcoming school year.
DeGroot is pursuing the college’s American Chemical Society (ACS)-certified chemistry major leading to a Bachelor of Science degree. She joined Gillmore’s research group this past January as a freshman, and is synthesizing, purifying and studying the spectroscopy of novel long wavelength azo dyes. A 2021 graduate of Northville High School, she is also a member of the college’s women’s cross country and track and field teams.
Hope is the only college or university in the nation to have had an active award from the foundation since the grant program began in 1998. DeGroot is the second of four students who will be supported through the current grant, which Hope received in 2021. She was selected based on an application and subsequent interview with a committee of the program’s faculty mentors led by Dr. Jeff Johnson, who is director of the Hope Beckman Scholars Program and a professor of chemistry.
The Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation supports leading-edge research, in the fields of chemistry and life sciences, broadly interpreted, and particularly to foster the invention of methods, instruments and materials that open up new avenues of research and application in those sciences and related disciplines. The Beckman Scholars Program provides support for stipends and supplies for select students at recipient institutions to engage in in-depth research with designated faculty members in bio-medically relevant science disciplines. The foundation also hosts an annual research symposium for the program’s student scholars from across the nation each summer.
Since the program began, Hope has named 32 students as Beckman Scholars including DeGroot. The recipients have subsequently received a variety of major external honors through the years, including Goldwater Scholarships and Honorable Mentions; Department of Defense National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowships; and National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships. A total of 19 have continued to Ph.D. programs, six to medical school and three to MD/Ph.D. programs.
The college’s Beckman Scholars are among hundreds of students who conduct mentored collaborative research campus-wide at Hope each year. Approximately 150 engage in research full-time during the summer, and about 350 participate in research alongside their coursework during the school year.