Among institutions across the nation, Hope College has received recognition and high rankings for the research opportunities that the College offers students. For instance, Hope “is one of only 54 colleges and universities including Yale, Harvard, Stanford, MIT, and Michigan, recognized for providing outstanding undergraduate research/creative project opportunities.” 

For me, participating in research has bolstered my undergraduate experience. From receiving mentorship from professors to working closely with a team of peers to employing hands-on skills, research has strengthened both my understanding and my passion for my areas of study. It has fostered an environment of inquiry, curiosity, and excitement all the while forging an engaging and collaborative academic community outside of the classroom. 

As a student combining studies in both biology and business, I have been able to experience research within both disciplines during my time at Hope. For example, I am a student researcher within the biology department where I work within a team of five other students that is led under the mentorship of a professor in the department. As such, we get the opportunity to directly impact and assist in the research path of our professor. In doing so, our work seeks to extend and contribute to the biological community. Not only do we work within the lab, but we also get the opportunity to present our research at conferences, including one hosted by the College called the A. Paul and Carol C. Schaap Celebration of Undergraduate Research & Creative Activity (CURCA). Students can even choose to dedicate a portion of their academic credits toward research, and they can work over the summer too in the department. 

Through my involvement in Hope College’s Center for Leadership consulting, I’ve had the opportunity to tap into research through an economics and business lens. The program is designed for students to work within a team of four peers with a student lead and a coach with a background in the industry. Some projects even include a subject matter expert. Together, the team serves a paired client that is a current operating company within the industry. As a result, I’ve been able to gain new professional and research skills through this program, serving in a similar way to business internships. Interestingly too is that many of my projects with clients have even incorporated both of my majors, enabling me to employ my holistic research formation and passions in both biology and business.    

These are just a few of the ways to become involved in research on campus. I am grateful for the unmatched formation I have received by partaking in research experiences across my diverse areas of study. 

Published by Madeline Kenney

Class of 2025 Hometown: Livonia, MI Majors: Biology and Business Minor: Classical Studies

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