WMU News

Honors students earn summer research grants

May 8, 2002

KALAMAZOO -- Eleven students (listed below) in the Lee Honors College at Western Michigan University to earn a $2,500 stipend to conduct research this summer.

The Dean's Summer Research Grant provides financial assistance to students who wish to begin research on their thesis, a requirement of the Lee Honor College program, between their junior and senior year. To be eligible, juniors in the honors program must have at least a 3.25 grade point average and must have completed all honors requirements through the junior level along with at least 85 hours of credit by the time of the proposed research. Some sophomores and seniors are eligible to apply as well.

Each applicant submits a two-page description of the proposed thesis project. Projects are judged on the basis of feasibility, the student's background knowledge and recommendation by a faculty member. Grant recipients, who work with faculty mentors to complete the thesis project, are expected to devote 25 to 30 hours each week to their research.

"The honors thesis is the ultimate discovery project for our students," says Dr. Joseph G. Reish, dean of the Lee Honors College. "By the end of their junior year, honors students have a certain expertise in the knowledge base of others. The honors thesis is an opportunity for them to take that shared knowledge, explore it and make it their own--to discover, invent and create. These grants are given to encourage students to get a jump start on their projects with an intensive two-month study phase during the summer."

Mindy M. Beauchamp of Pleasant Lake, Mich., will explore "The Dual Self: A Collection of Unit Plans for Studying Characters in American Fiction and How Their Attempts to Find Self-Identity Conflict With Their Attempts to Define Themselves Within Society." A senior majoring in secondary education, English and psychology, she is a 1998 graduate of Pinckney High School. Her parents are Jeff and Denise Beauchamp of Pleasant Lake.

Nicole K. Bohach of Sterling Heights, Mich., will explore "Enhancing Alternatives to the Traditional Birth Model." She will undertake an internship at Birthing the Future in Bayfield, Colo., under the tutelage of renowned natural birthing and midwifery advocate Suzanne Arms. A junior majoring in biomedical sciences and women's studies, Bohach is a 1999 graduate of Henry Ford II High School. Her parents are David and Debra Bohach of Sterling Heights.

Reed M. Bonner of Berkley, Mich., will undertake "A Review and Comparison of Four Outstanding Trumpet Artist/Teachers." A junior majoring in music education, he is a 1999 graduate of Berkley High School. His parents are Paul and Gail Bonner of Berkley.

Keely S. Brent of Grosse Pointe Park, Mich., will undertake a project is titled "Environmental Landscapes for Learning: A Key Resource for Methods and Curriculum Integration Through Creating and Developing School Communities." She'll conduct her research in London and in Edinburgh, Scotland. A senior majoring in elementary education, she is a 1999 graduate of Grosse Pointe South High School. Her mother is Karole Steen and her stepfather is Thomas Steen of Grosse Pointe Park.

Lisa M. Rasmussen of Lansing, Mich., will undertake "Personal and Social Development and Religious and Moral Education in Scotland and Michigan: A Comparative Study." She will examine the standards of public schools in both Scotland and Michigan, and survey teachers in both locations. A junior majoring in elementary education, Rasmussen is a 1999 graduate of Lansing Eastern High School. Her parents are Richard and Jeanette Rasmussen of Lansing.

Jamie Roberts of South Haeven, Mich., will undertake "Investigations of Faunal Material from a Late Woodland Site." A senior majoring in anthropology, she is a 1999 graduate of South Haven High School. Her parents are Janet and William Roberts of South Haven.

Scott B. Sandusky of Canton, Mich., will undertake a project titled "Habitat Restoration Potential Evaluation Model for Golf Courses in Kalamazoo County." A junior majoring in geographic information processing, he is a 1999 graduate of Plymouth Canton High School. His parents are James and Karen Sandusky of Canton.

Laura A. Schnurstein of Saginaw, Mich., will undertake a project titled "Renewal." It is an art exhibition project that will incorporate elements of painting, performance and installation. A senior majoring in painting and art education, she is a 1997 graduate of Arthur Hill High School. Her parents are Dr. Gerald R. and Gail E. Schnurstein of Saginaw.

Lauren M. Sheill of Clinton Township, Mich., will research "Distribution of Wolbachia in Fire Ants." She will sequence the DNA of 500 fire ants to determine the percent infected by the Wolbachia bacteria and identify where the infection occurs across North and South America. A sophomore majoring in biomedical science, she is a 2000 graduate of Chippewa Valley High School. Her parents are Robert and Jeanette Sheill of Clinton Township.

Elizabeth M. Weiss-DeBoer of Lawton, Mich., will explore "T6 P13K Pathway Involvement in Abnormal Fibroblast Cell Growth." A sophomore majoring in biomedical sciences and psychology, she is a 2000 graduate of Lawton High School. Her parents are Richard and Linda DeBoer of Lawton.

Heidi M. Wilhelmi of Paw Paw, Mich., will research "Changes in Students' Perceived Communication Competence: An Experimental Investigation of the Impact of an Interpersonal Communication Course." She will explore the extent to which a basic interpersonal communication course aids students in becoming competent communicators. A junior majoring in organizational communication, Wilhelmi is a 1999 graduate of Paw Paw High School. Her parents are Wayne and Judith Wilhelmi of Paw Paw.

Media contact: Jessica English, 269 387-8400, jessica.english@wmich.edu

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