Chris Turlington awarded Discovery Institute grant

Dr. Chris Turlington, Associate Professor of Chemistry, was awarded $5,720 in funding from the Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture (CSC) to synthesize water-soluble polymers that increase oxygen solubility in water, with the long-term goal of making artificial blood which would ease the dependence on donations and prevent blood shortages.

The Discovery Institute is a non-profit, non-partisan organization focused on research, education, action and cultural renewal and sponsors research in the sciences, humanities and public policy. The CSC specifically seeks long-term scientific and cultural change through cutting-edge scientific research and scholarship; education and training of young leaders; and advocacy for scientists, teachers, and students.

Congratulations on the award, Chris!

CASA and Step Up awarded United Way grant

Kate Lozon, Director of CASA and Step Up, was successful in receiving a $6,970 award from United Way for CASA and Step Up educational outreach programming. CASA and Step Up are after-school educational programs that provide academic assistance for underrepresented elementary and middle school students in the greater Holland area. Reaching between 100-130 students annually, the programs have close connections to local schools and Hope College, and work with schools and parents to strengthen the success of children.

Heart of West Michigan United Way (HWMUW), the award sponsor, is deeply rooted in local communities and invests in understanding the complex needs of people in need. Through partnerships with a diverse network of local agencies and by collaborating with the local business community, HWMUW works to improve educational outcomes, address food insecurity, enable housing solutions, and support job training simultaneously.

Congratulations Kate and the CASA / Step Up teams on your award!

Gina Kling awarded MAA – Neff Outreach Fund grant

Dr. Gina Kling, Assistant Professor of Mathematics, was awarded a $6,000 grant from the Mathematical Association of America (MAA) – Neff Outreach Fund. Dr. Kling’s project, Hope College Family Math Festivals: Building Positive Mathematical Dispositions for K-8 Students and their Caregivers, includes two community Family Math Nights, inclusive of activities, games and a welcome environment. The events aim to provide high-quality, fun mathematical experiences and opportunities for students and their families to experience the joy, playfulness and curiosity high-quality mathematics can stimulate.

The John and Mary Neff Foundation provides funding to support projects designed to encourage students to study and persist in their interest in mathematics. Through their partnership with MAA, MAA strives to offer faculty support for math education projects to elementary, middle school, high school and early college students to promote further study in mathematic education.

Congratulations and well done, Gina!

#MAAGrants #MAA #NeffOutreachFund

Kester Ighodalo receives MRFN Faculty Fellowship

Dr. Kester Ighodalo, Assistant Professor of Physics, was awarded a Materials Research Facilities Network (MRFN) Faculty Fellowship. The Materials Research Facilities Network is a nationwide partnership of National Science Foundation (NSF) supported Materials Research Science and Engineering Centers (MRSEC), designed to provide support to researchers in the broad area of materials research in academic, government, and industrial laboratories.

Dr. Ighodalo’s research proposal, The effect of annealing and A-site cation engineering on the properties of Perovskite Light Emitting Diodes (PeLEDs), was accepted by Penn State University’s MRSEC, under their MRFN Faculty Fellowship Program. At Penn State, the MRSEC partnered with the Materials Research Institute to establish the program, which targets the establishment of relationships between Penn State and faculty from Primarily Undergraduate Institutions in relatively nearby regional areas who are engaged in an existing research effort.

Congratulations on your fellowship, Kester!

Faculty-led undergraduate research receives AOS award

Dr. Kelly Ronald, Assistant Professor of Biology, and undergraduate student, Natalie Leake-Jara, received an American Ornithological Society (AOS) award for $2,033 in support of their project “Effects of urbanization on stress levels, auditory and visual processing of the house sparrow (Passer domesticus)”. The study aims to uncover how house sparrow influences functions like hearing and vision in urban versus rural birds, contributing to our understanding of wildlife communication amid urbanization.

The American Ornithological Society, the world’s largest international ornithological society, is a diverse, global network working together to advance the scientific study and conservation of birds. AOS bestows a range of awards and grants that recognize excellence in ornithology and honors outstanding service to the society.

Congratulations Kelly and Natalie on the award!

Aaron Best receives award continuation for MDHHS grant

Dr. Aaron Best, the Harrison C. and Mary L. Visscher Professor of Genetics in the Biology Department, received an official notice of continuation for the project titled “SARS-CoV-2 Epidemiology – Waster Evaluation and Reporting (SEWER) Network for FY 2025 by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS). The project will receive an additional $1,926,441 of funding for October 1, 2024 – September 30, 2025 (FY 2025).

Through the SEWER Network project, the Global Water Research Institute (GWRI) provides wastewater monitoring of SARS-CoV-2 and variants of concerns for communities and congregate living facilities in Southwest Michigan. The grant was initially awarded in 2021 and is led by Dr. Best (PI), Dr. Brent Krueger (Co-PI), Dr. Benjamin Kopek (Co-PI) and Dr. Michael Pikaart (Co-PI).

Congratulations on continuation of the award!

NSF Award Terms and Conditions updated

The National Science Foundation (NSF) announced it has updated the Award Terms and Conditions to be consistent with the Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide 24-1 (PAPPG 24-1), effective May 20, 2024. The revised award terms and conditions will apply to all new NSF awards and funding amendments to existing NSF awards made on or after May 20, 2024.

NSF’s Summary of Changes can be reviewed here. Please contact Sponsored Research & Programs at with any questions.

Spring 2024 Grants Conference Reminder!

NSF’s Spring 2024 Grants Conference will be held June 3-5, 2024. Virtual and in-person attendance options available. Registration is open!

A. Paul and Carol C. Schaap Celebration of Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity

Hope College is renaming its most important research event of the year to honor the extraordinary generosity of Paul ’67 and Carol Schaap, who have long been ardent supporters of Hope College and the sciences.

The newly re-named A. Paul and Carol C. Schaap Celebration of Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity (CURCA) will showcase more than 100 student research projects conducted in partnership with faculty mentors. The event will be held from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday, April 12 in DeVos Fieldhouse.

“I am very thankful for Paul and Carol Schaap’s generosity, commitment and engagement that has facilitated faculty-student collaborative research and creative activity across the college,” said Provost Gerald Griffin. “I am delighted to join in the honoring and celebrating of the Schaaps as we recognize the excellent work of our students, faculty and staff.”

As a chemistry major at Hope and Ph.D. chemist, professor and entrepreneur, Paul naturally became a champion of the natural and applied sciences at Hope. Along with Carol, known for her philanthropic heart, they have provided countless students educational and research opportunities that have inspired the future course of their lives.

The renaming is a fitting tribute to Paul and Carol because student-faculty collaborative research has long been a hallmark of Hope’s academic program, a distinction that has garnered national recognition. U.S. News and World Report ranks Hope College #27 in undergraduate research and creative projects ahead of Dartmouth College, University of Chicago, Vanderbilt University, University of Pennsylvania and many other noteworthy schools.

The A. Paul and Carol C. Schaap CURCA celebrates the scholarly accomplishments of student-faculty research collaborations across all four Hope College academic divisions. For more than two decades, CURCA has been the culminating event every spring for students to showcase their research and creative activities to hundreds of fellow students, faculty members, families and the community. This showcase of talent has become a symbol of collaboration, excellence and the vibrant spirit of intellectual curiosity — all characteristics that have defined the Schaaps.

Collaborative research has had a far-reaching impact on students at Hope. Jolie LaBarge, a senior double majoring in exercise science and psychology, said her research experience at Hope has meant more than she ever imagined. She will present her findings on three different research projects at the A. Paul and Carol C. Schaap CURCA.

“These opportunities have meant a lot to me over my time at Hope,” LaBarge said. “ They have helped me learn a variety of skills ranging from communication, to scheduling, to editing, etc. These opportunities brought me new friends and faculty members that I knew I could depend on.

“Having these experiences on my résumé also provided me with a variety of advantages when applying to graduate school programs,” LaBarge added. “Last but not least, it gave me confidence in myself to trust my abilities and grow as a person and as a student.”

LaBarge is one among a countless number of students impacted by the Schaaps’ generosity. Their matchless gifts to Hope College span decades and have transformed every area of campus including academics, co-curricular experiences, faith formation and scholarships. The A. Paul Schaap Science Center and the Carol C. Schaap Chapel stand as a testament to their desire to provide students with life-changing educational opportunities.

“They deeply deserve this honor,” said Griffin.

Step Up program receives CFHZ mini-grant award

The Community Foundation of the Holland/Zeeland Area, a local foundation that support high-impact projects and community-level initiatives, awarded a $750 mini-grant in support of the 2024 Summer Step Up College Visit Program. This program introduces Step Up middle school students to different types of college experiences through visits to a community college offering two-year and technical degrees, a regional public university and a private liberal arts college. Parents are encouraged to attend to support parent-led conversations regarding the college bound journey within families and the greater-Holland community.

Hope College’s Step Up program helps middle school students succeed in school and develop their future potential by caring for their social, emotional and academic needs within a mentoring context. The program provides academic support, mentoring relationships, enrichment programming, a summer program, and parent support and involvement. Learn more about Step Up and other educational outreach programming.

Congratulations Kate and the Step Up team on your award!

Hope receives multiple Michigan Space Grant Consortium awards

Congratulations to the 11 Hope College awardees for the 2024 Michigan Space Grant Consortium (MSGC) cycle! The awards include four Research Seed grants and seven Faculty-Led Undergraduate Fellowships, totaling $48,000. The awarded projects involve faculty research and collaborative faculty/student research across the departments of Biology, Chemistry, Geological & Environmental Sciences, Mathematics & Statistics and Physics. Information about the awards can be found at MSGC and via Hope’s Campus News.

MSGC fosters awareness of, education in, and research on space and Earth-related science and technology in Michigan. MSGC Grant and Fellowship Programs are regionally competitive among 11 universities and colleges in Michigan. Awards supported by MSGC are made possible by funding provided by NASA.

Congratulations to all award recipients, well done!