The annual Celebration of Undergraduate Research and Creative Performance is coming up quickly here at Hope College. This year’s event will be held on Friday, April 21, from 2:30 p.m. until 5 p.m. at the Richard and Helen DeVos Fieldhouse. Every one is invited to the event, yes even the public and parents, and it’s completely free to get in.
This year’s event will show off the hard work of 358 Hope College students who worked alongside their peers and faculty members to produce 226 different research projects including everything from the Black Lives Matter movement’s historical roots to the way that the Lake Macatawa watershed is monitored. Be prepared for a packed house as these projects, along with the posters that students have made to illustrate their work, and the students them selves will line the basketball and volleyball courts as well as the concourse of the fieldhouse. These projects and the students who made them will represent all of the college’s academic divisions, including arts, humanities, social sciences and natural and applied sciences.
Now in its 17th year, the Celebration of Undergraduate Research and Creative Performance was first presented in 2001 and was designed to show case the quality and importance of collaboration in research be tween students and faculty at Hope. Undergraduate research is important in the experience for many of the students at Hope College and has had a place here for years longer than the celebration has been going on. Not only is it a major part of the fall and spring semesters, but last summer, 146 science, 32 social science and 14 arts and humanities students participated in research mentored by faculty, thus causing Hope’s summer research program to be one of the largest in the nation for liberal arts colleges. These numbers skyrocket during the fall and summer semesters.
When Van Raalte Hall opened in 1903, there was already an emphasis for research at Hope when biologist Dr. Samuel O. Mast specifically designed a research laboratory in that hall. More modernly however, the late Dr. Gerrit Van Zyl, a professor of Chemistry at Hope from 1923 to 1964, is the one widely recognized for creating the research based learning that we all think of today.
Based on Hope’s history of excellence, the Washington, D.C. based Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR) chose the college to present the national webinar “Transformational Learning through Under graduate Research and Creative Performance” in April of 2011, showing the recognition Hope has already received for its successful student and faculty collaborative research. Hope has been on the list of “America’s Best College’s” published by “U.S. News and World Report” since the group began posting the guide 15 years ago, and as one of only 36 institutions total, as well as one of only 10 liberal arts colleges in 2017.