Anyone who walks the halls of Hope College’s academic buildings and takes the time to glance at the data-filled posters knows the important role research plays in the academic experience. Research topics ranging from the quality of water in Lake Macatawa to the factors that play a role in body image dissatisfaction can be found posted around campus. Students have the invaluable opportunity to get involved with faculty- led research in practically all disciplines of study.
To celebrate the diversity of exciting research that is constantly underway within our labs and offices, Hope recently published the inaugural edition of “Spera,” a publication featuring Hope faculty research. This publication is open to anyone interested in what our faculty are up to behind the scenes. You can access the online version of the publication at hope.edu. You can also find information on the many books that faculty published at the online Spera website.
Dr. Mary Inman, a social psychologist here at Hope, offered her wisdom on the invaluable experience of participating in research, saying, “Students who engage in ongoing research with a professor learn many skills. College graduates say that engaging in research over a long time is one of the most meaningful experiences they have in college. Students learn to commit to a long-term project where no one knows how the data will turn out. Hope professors want to help students discern (identify) their strengths, prepare for work by developing job-related skills, and pursue their dreams. One of the best ways to know what stirs your passion is to get hands-on experience. Students publish papers with professors and present their research at regional, national and international conferences.”
In addition to gaining experience with presentation and defense of ideas, many students choose to become involved in a research lab to further develop the skills they learn in class and supplement them with hands-on learning.
Anne Sangliana (’19) is a biochemistry and molecular biology major who participates in biology research with Dr. Tom Bultman and biochemistry research with Dr. Maria Hledin. Reflecting on her experience, she said: “Doing research has helped me become aware of all of the amazing things people are looking into. It also has made me aware that while we have discovered so much, there is so much more to be learned.”
To explore and learn more about the exciting research underway, Hope students and community members are encouraged to attend the Hope Celebration of Undergraduate Research and Creative Performance on Friday, April 13 from 2:30-5:00p.m. in the Richard and Helen DeVos Fieldhouse. This is a culminating event for many students to showcase their work to students, faculty, family and community members.
If you are a Hope’s student interested in becoming involved with a research topic or lab, ask your professors! There are endless opportunities to display your love of learning and research and help prepare yourself for future graduate programs and careers.