Today, Natalie Dykstra of our English Department received a National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Public Scholar Fellowship for 2019. This is an impressive accomplishment for Natalie and the Hope community, as Public Scholar Fellowships are highly competitive–less than 10% of applicants receive an award. Natalie’s award demonstrates the high value of her humanistic work on the general public.
Natalie is under contract with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt to publish a book on Isabella Stewart Gardner (1840-1924) by 2022. Gardner was a woman whose personal story had been eclipsed by the fame of her eponymous museum in Boston and its many masterpieces. But Gardner’s life was one of dramatic adventure, high stakes, world-wide travel, unlikely twists, taste-making, and passionate relationships during the turn of the century America. Though Gardner has been written about in art histories and histories of collecting in America, there has not been a serious biography of her in over 50 years.
Congratulations on your NEH fellowship, Natalie!
Stephen Remillard of our Physics Department was the recent recipient of a $142,902 grant from the Department of Energy for the project titled Generating and sustaining microplasma with microwaves. This is a three year project that will run through 31 July 2021.
This project will engage undergraduate students in leading edge microplasma science. Undergraduate students will assume leadership roles in the project, developing technical expertise to design experiments, contribute to peer-reviewed publications and other technical reports, and present results at conferences. Not only will this project support the development of the next generation of scientists and educators, but also will support research which will lead to advances in the use of microplasma for commercial and biomedical purposes.
With this latest award, Dr. Remillard has been awarded over $1 million in external funding during his career at Hope College. Congratulations, Dr. Remillard, on your accomplishment and your commitment to undergraduate research and mentoring!
Jeffrey Johnson, Professor of Chemistry, received a new National Science Foundation award in the amount of $273,855 for a project titled RUI: Carbon-carbon single bond activation as a route to new organic transformations. The award period is 1 September 2018 through 31 August 2021.
The purpose of this project is to develop a broad understanding of transition metal-catalyzed carbon-carbon bond activation and to use this mechanistic information to guide the development of new organic transformations. These methods promise previously unknown avenues for the transformation of simple molecules into more complex species as well as the controlled fragmentation of larger molecules. Dr. Johnson will develop a general methodology for the activation and functionalization of carbon-carbon single bonds, which may provide an inexpensive and easy way to produce synthetically-relevant complex molecules.
A primary impact of carrying out the proposed research at an undergraduate institution is the professional development of undergraduate student researchers. Undergraduate students will have the opportunity to extend their classroom experiences with organic and inorganic chemistry, explore new subjects such as organometallic chemistry and catalysis, and also hone their oral and written communication skills.
Congratulations, Dr. Johnson, on your new NSF award!
Peter Gonthier, Professor of Physics, recently received a three year, $222,730 award from the National Science Foundation to study neutron stars. Dr. Gonthier will collaborate with Dr. Matthew Baring at Rice University on this project.
“This proposal aims to develop state-of-the-art models for the atmospheric emission of magnetars, focusing on what observers can detect with current telescopes and planned facilities,” Dr. Gonthier said. “The prime objective is to deliver a suite of observable signal predictions to enhance interpretation of data from X-ray telescopes.”
Congratulations, Peter, on your NSF award!
Kristin Dittenhafer-Reed received a new National Science Foundation award in the amount of $207,901 for a project titled RUI: Mechanisms of regulation of mitochondrial DNA transcription. The award period is 1 August 2018 through 31 July 2021.
This project will explore how mitochondria work and provide significant advances related to genetic and epigenetic mechanisms that control mammalian cell function. This work will have an impact on researchers examining certain diseases in which mitochondria cells are not functioning properly, including researchers examining neurological disorders, certain types of cancer, and rare genetic disorders involving mitochondrial DNA damage.
Not only will this project involve scientific advances in the fields of biology, biochemistry, and genetics, the project also will engage Hope students in undergraduate research experiences. Each year, three undergraduate students will engage in summer research assistantships, with a special emphasis in placing women, first year undergraduate students, and underrepresented students in these positions each year.
Please join me in congratulating Kristin on her new NSF award and accomplishment!