Charlotte vanOyen Witvliet to collaborate with Baylor University on new Templeton Religion Trust award

Charlotte vanOyen-Witvliet, Professor of Psychology, recently received a three year, $343,445 award from Templeton Religion Trust to study accountability.  Dr. vanOyen-Witvliet will collaborate with C. Stephen Evans, Byron R. Johnson, and Sung Joon Jang at Baylor University, which serves as the lead institution on the $2 million project.  Researchers from Havard Medical School and the University of St. Andrews are also participating on the project.

The project will seek to understand how accountability is embodied as a virtue, its relation to other human characteristics, and how people can show virtue within a wide variety of supervisory, supervised, and peer relationships.  One of the key outcomes of the project is being able to measure virtue empirically–which has the potential to impact a number of academic disciplines and applied settings.

Congratulations, Charlotte, on your new award!

Apply now for Michigan Space Grant Consortium grant and fellowship programs

The Michigan Space Grant Consortium (MSGC) creates, develops, and promotes programs that support research and educational activities focused on space-related science and technology in Michigan.  MSGC projects reflect NASA strategic interests and encourage cooperation between academia, industry, and state and local government on space-related topics.

MSGC provides funding for several grant and fellowship programs:

  • Undergraduate Fellowships:  These Fellowships offer $2,500 to students pursuing projects directly related to NASA strategic interests, including aerospace, space science, and Earth system science; other STEM fields; and educational research topics in STEM.
  • Educational Program Support:  These grants support activities which promote, encourage, and enrich the study of STEM for K-12 students; conduct public outreach related to STEM topics, with a special emphasis on aerospace, space, or Earth system science; and pre-service and in-service teacher training on STEM topics in aerospace, space science, or Earth system science.
  • Research Seed Grants: These grants are designed to support junior faculty members or senior faculty members initiating a new area of research.  Projects should develop research expertise that will allow grant recipients to further develop research areas/topics for submission to other federal or non-federal sponsors.

Proposals for all programs are due to MSGC Wednesday 14 November 2018; all projects will run 1 May 2019 through 30 April 2020.  All grants require 1:1 cost-share.

If interested in a proposal submission or need assistance assembling the required cost-share, please contact Ron Fleischmann, Director of Sponsored Research and Programs (

Natalie Dykstra receives National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship

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 receives new Department of Energy award

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 receives new NSF award

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 to collaborate with Rice University on 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 receives new 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!