Two recent Hope College graduates, Sarah Grimes and Charles Soucey, have received honorable mention recognition through the prestigious Graduate Research Fellowship Program of the National Science Foundation (NSF) this year.

Grimes, a 2023 graduate who majored in biology and psychology, is pursuing a Ph.D. in forestry and natural resources at Purdue University, where she is studying the use of acoustic detection tools to monitor biodiversity across different landscape systems.  While at Hope, she conducted collaborative research as a freshman through the Day 1: Watershed program, a residential program which combines coursework along with research experiences focused on the Macatawa Watershed, under the mentorship of Dr. Aaron Best, who is the Harrison C. and Mary L. Visscher Professor of Genetics. From her sophomore year onward, she worked with Dr. Kelly Ronald, assistant professor of biology, examining the propagation of bird songs across an urbanization gradient.  She also received honorable mention through the NSF program last year.

Soucey, a 2022 graduate who majored in geology, is pursuing a Ph.D. in hydrogeology at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, where he is studying the groundwater transport properties of nitrate and saltwater contamination in southeast Minnesota.  While at Hope, he conducted collaborative research on drinking water resource degradation across the U.S. with Dr. Jonathan Peterson, who is dean of natural and applied sciences and a member of the geological and environmental sciences faculty; Best; and Dr. Brent Krueger, professor of chemistry.  He also conducted research on shale deformation modeling with Dr. Sarah Dean, assistant professor of geological and environmental sciences.

Hope students or graduates have received fellowships or honorable mention through the program every year for more than 30 years.  The NSF awarded 2,037 of the fellowships nationwide this year, and recognized another 1,788 applicants with honorable mention.  The awards are for graduate students pursuing a research-based master’s or doctoral degree in a STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) field.