Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Students study a diverse range of topics this summer with the Maple Scholars program


GOSHEN, Ind. – From studying a wetland, to analyzing radiation effects from liver cancer therapy, to conducting a demographics study of the Hispanic population in Elkhart County and surrounding areas, 16 Goshen College students are spending the summer doing intense study and research during the college’s eight-week Maple Scholars program.

The Maple Scholars program is a summer program that gives students the opportunity to participate in independent research projects alongside Goshen College faculty of various disciplines. Each scholar is paired with a faculty member who serves as both colleague and supervisor.

The 2008 Maple Scholars:

Nicole Bauman (2008 graduate, Shakespeare, Ontario, Canada), a Bible and religion major, is working on a project titled, “Restorative Justice and Its Contemporary Applications,” with Associate Professor of Peace, Justice and Conflict Studies Carolyn Schrock-Shenk.

Erin Boers (2008 graduate, Elkhart, Ind.), a peace, justice and conflict studies and social work double major, is working on a project titled, “A Preliminary Needs & Feasibility Assessment for an Ecumenical Peace & Justice Center in Elkhart County Including Conflict Mediation & Legal Advocacy Services,” with Associate Professor of Social Work Jeanne Liechty

Katie Coleman (Soph., Goshen), a biology major, and Trevor Kauffman (2008 graduate, Tiskilwa, Ill.), an environmental studies major, are working on a project titled, “The Efficiency of a Constructed Wetland for the Removal of Triclosan,” with Merry Lea Environmental Science Educator Lisa Zinn.

Kelsey Eldredge (Soph., Abington, Pa.), a biology major, is researching the color genetics of domestic pigeons, with Professor of Chemistry Dan Smith.

Rebecca Friesen (Sr., Newton, Kan.), a physics and English double major, is studying sterol microstructures in biological membranes, with Professor of Physics Carl Helrich.

Matthew Harms (Sr., Ephrata, Pa.), a physics and history double major, and Jonny Meyer (2008 graduate, Millersburg, Ind.), a Bible and religion and history double major, are researching the history and practice of 20th century Mennonite youth ministry, with Campus Pastor Bob Yoder.

Russell Horst (Soph., Dillon, Mont.), a physics major, is studying the acoustics of handbells, with Professor of Physics John Ross Buschert.

Peter Koontz (2008 graduate, Goshen), a history major, is a working on a national register application for Stump Homestead, with Professor Emeritus of English Ervin Beck.

Ben Noll (Sr., Lancaster, Pa.), a sociology and theater double major, and Kelly Shenk (2008 graduate, Goshen), a history major and social policy minor, are doing a demographics study of the Hispanic population in Elkhart County and surrounding areas through the college’s Center for Intercultural Teaching and Learning (CITL), with CITL Director of Research Robert Reyes.

Gina Richard (Soph., Goshen), a mathematics major, and Jason Yoder (2008 graduate, Scottdale, Pa.), a mathematics and computer science double major, are working on a project titled, “Fair Allocation,” with Professor of Mathematics and Computer Science David Housman.

Kathryn Schlabach (Soph., Turner, Ore.), a molecular biology/biochemistry major, is working on a project called, “Ultrastructural Analysis of Radiation Effects from Liver Cancer Therapy,” with Professor of Biology Stan Grove.

Jennifer Speight (Soph., Cleveland, Ohio), an English major, is researching African-American writers and the New York Times Book Review from 1967 to 2002, with Professor of English Ann Hostetler.

Professor of Physics Carl Helrich, who has been the director of the Maple Scholars program since it began in 1998, believes the program is a unique opportunity for students to work directly with a professor or faculty member. Unlike undergraduate research projects at larger universities, students are not working with graduate students, but with professors who can answer their questions and guide them in their research and learning.

Students also get the chance to take a break from their research each Friday and split up into groups to share their project and engage other students across disciplines.

– by Tyler Falk

Editors: For more information about this release or to arrange an interview, contact Goshen College News Bureau Director Jodi H. Beyeler at (574) 535-7572 or



Goshen College, established in 1894, is a residential Christian liberal arts college rooted in the Anabaptist-Mennonite tradition. The college’s Christ-centered core values – passionate learning, global citizenship, compassionate peacemaking and servant-leadership – prepare students as leaders for the church and world. Recognized for its unique Study-Service Term program, Goshen has earned citations of excellence in Barron’s Best Buys in Education, “Colleges of Distinction,” “Making a Difference College Guide” and U.S. News & World Report’s “America’s Best Colleges” edition, which named Goshen a “least debt college.” Visit

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