Anna-Lisa Cox receives the Archie Green Fellowship Award

Anna-Lisa Cox, Visiting Scholar in the Department of History, recently received the prestigious Archie Green Fellowship Award through the Library of Congress.  The Fellowship supports research documenting occupational folklife in contemporary America and to generate new and significant digital archival collections.

Anna-Lisa will pursue original fieldwork and research on the project titled Multigenerational and First-Generation African-American Farmers of the Midwest.  She will complete approximately 25 multi-generational oral history interviews to document family histories and contemporary work experiences of African-American farmers that established farms in Ohio, Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin in the 1790s.  This works builds upon Anna-Lisa’s recent book, The Bone and Sinew of the Land: America’s Forgotten Black Pioneers and the Struggle for Equality, one of Smithsonian’s Best History Books of 2018!

Congratulations, Anna-Lisa, on your new award!

Barbara Vincensi receives new Perrigo Company Charitable Foundation award

Barbara Vincensi, Associate Professor of Nursing, recently received a $2,500 grant award from the Perrigo Company Charitable Foundation for the project titled Hope College Nurse Managed Wellness Center.

The purpose of this award is to support nursing care through health promotion and wellness through regular drop-in health clinics and health promotion activities at Waverly Meadows, a low-income, vulnerable senior housing community.

Congratulations, Barbara, on your recent award!

Daryl Van Tongeren receives new award from the John Templeton Foundation

Daryl Van Tongeren, Associate Professor of Psychology, recently received a $234,699 grant from the John Templeton Foundation for the project titled Using Intellectual Humility to Navigate Existential Challenges.  The project will run from 1 July 2019 through 30 June 2021.

The purpose of this project is to explore how intellectual humility in the face of existential issues enables individuals to adapt to existential concerns and integrate these experiences into their schemas of self and world in ways that are open, authentic, and growth-focused.  The project also involves collaborations with researchers at the University of North Texas, Georgia State University, and the University of Kentucky.

Congratulations, Daryl, on your achievement!

Michelle Gibbs and Susan Ipri Brown receive new PepsiCo Recycling Zero Impact Fund Award

Michelle Gibbs, Director of the Office of Sustainability, and Susan Ipri Brown, Director of ExploreHope and Instructor of Engineering, recently received a $9,979 grant from the PepsiCo Recycling Zero Impact Fund!  The project is titled Hope College Hope Advocates for Sustainability: Changing Waste Habits.

This award will support several sustainability efforts on campus, including additional recycling stations, information on recyclable and compostable materials, and education on the importance of incorporating environmentally friendly decisions into everyday life.

Congratulations on your accomplishment, Michelle and Susan!

Robert Hunt receives new Eaton Conservation District – Michigan Arbor Day Alliance Award

Robert Hunt, Grounds Manager, received a new Eaton Conservation District – Michigan Arbor Day Alliance award of $2,000 to support tree plantings here on the Hope College campus.

This project will result in 33 new tree plantings on campus.  These tree plantings will represent approximately 20 different species of trees, and all will be planted along Columbia Avenue.

Congratulations on your new award, Bob!

Hope students and alumni receive prestigious fellowships!

One Hope student and two Hope alumni received National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowships in 2019: Garrett Fogo, Rebecca Johnson, and Philip Versluis were selected to receive fellowships in this highly competitive programs–less than 20% of applicants are selected to receive an award.

Additionally, five Hope students and alumni received “honorable mentions” for their submissions to the Graduate Research Fellowship Program: Brandon Derstine, Jason Gombas, Max Huffman, Sarah Peterson, and Meghanne Tighe.  While “honorable mentions” do not include funding, it is recognition that these students’ applications were of high quality and merit.

Additionally, Amanda Gibson, a Hope alum and first-year graduate student at the University of Michigan, received a National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowship.  These Fellowships are designed to support individuals with significant ability and special aptitude for advanced training in science and engineering in disciplines of importance to the Department of Defense.

Congratulations to our students and alumni for their accomplishments in these programs for 2019!

Strategies for Successfully Mentoring Undergraduate Researchers

A recent article in Ecology and Evolution highlights successfully strategies for successfully mentoring undergraduate researchers.  While this appears in an ecology journal, the strategies proposed apply to most academic disciplines that involve faculty-student research experiences (whether in STEM, arts, or the humanities).

For example, faculty interested in fostering interest in traditionally underrepresented students in their fields can consider a host of strategies to increase participation, such as:

  • Specifically targeting these students and encouraging them to apply;
  • Holding open, informational meetings where students can learn about various research opportunities;
  • Understanding our own biases and how they may impact the mentoring process;
  • Including current research students in the hiring and selection process to provide additional perspective and feedback on the prospective student; and
  • Developing a list of research topics/experiences that vary in terms of skills necessary and student time commitment to allow students with various academic and work commitments to participate in a meaningful research experiences.

For those of you seeking more opportunities to enhance your undergraduate mentoring skills and experiences, the article is worth a read.  It also serves as great source material for those of you interested in developing proposals with an undergraduate research component (NSF RUI and NIH AREA, for example).

Tips to Craft Your Proposal Need Statement

The Need Statement of your proposal is the most important sections of your grant–it justifies why you need to complete your project.  That’s why it’s so important to get it right–it sets the stage for the remainder of your proposal. has developed an excellent blog post about developing a Need Statement.  While it features an Institute of Museum and Library Services proposal and funding opportunity, the lessons learned here can be applied to both federal and non-federal proposals.

It’s worth a read for those that may struggle with writing a highly effective Need Statement, or for those that are looking to become more effective writers.

The Office of Sponsored Research and Programs also has other resources available to support grant writers.  Please contact Ron Fleischmann, Director of Sponsored Research and Programs (, to discuss other resources available to support your efforts.

Congratulations to our undergraduate researchers!

On 12 April 2019, Hope College hosted its annual Celebration of Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity at the DeVos Fieldhouse.  This year, 327 students from 27 departments and programs presented 202 posters!

Of course, our Celebration of Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity is only a piece of the overall dissemination plans of our students’ work.  During calendar year 2018, our students made 153 presentations at off-campus conferences and submitted or published 28 journal articles. Many of students currently are engaged in the $12 million in active external funding that supports 69 research and educational projects.  So while we celebrate our student researchers today, their work continues year-round and we are all grateful for their work!

Congratulations to our undergraduate researchers and their faculty and staff mentors on their impressive work!

Virginia McDonough receives new NIH award

Virginia McDonough, Professor of Biology, received a new National Institutes of Health (NIH) award of $246,972 for a project titled Regulation of the stearoyl-CoA desaturase by dietary fatty acids.  The award period is 1 April 2019 through 31 March 2022.

This project will determine some of the normal mechanisms of regulation of gene expression of a key player in unsaturated fatty acid biosynthesis, the stearoyl-CoA desaturase.  Examining these processes may give researchers a better understanding of how uptake and metabolism of fatty acids from the diet can lead to insight and improved treatment of common chronic disorders such as heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and certain cancers.

Congratulations on your accomplishment, Virginia!