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Four Hope College students and alumni receive NSF Program recognition | Arts & Culture

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Four Hope College students and alumni receive NSF Program recognition
Four Hope College students and alumni receive NSF Program recognition

HOLLAND – A total of four Hope College graduating seniors or recent graduates have received recognition through the prestigious Graduate Research Fellowship program of the National Science Foundation.

Senior Caitlin Ploch of Redford received a fellowship through the program. In addition, 2013 graduate James Bour and 2012 graduate Hilary Bultman also received fellowships, and 2013 graduate Meagan Elinski received an honorable mention.  Bour and Bultman had each received honorable mentions last year.

Hope students or graduates have received fellowships or honorable mentions through the program every year for more than 20 years, and this is the seventh consecutive year that multiple graduating seniors or recent alumni have been recognized.  The NSF awarded 2,000 of the fellowships nationwide this year.

The awards are for students pursuing a research-based master’s or doctoral degree in NSF-supported science and engineering disciplines.  The fellowships are for up to three years, and pay a $32,000 annual stipend and a $12,000 cost-of-education allowance.

Ploch is majoring in mechanical engineering and physics.  At Hope, she has conducted collaborative research with Dr. Maria Burnatowska-Hledin, who is the Frederich Garrett and Helen Floor Dekker Professor of Biology and Chemistry, and Dr. Stephen Remillard, who is an associate professor of physics.  She also conducted research at Johns Hopkins University, in the field of computational sensing and medical robotics.  She intends to pursue graduate study in mechanical engineering with a biomechanical emphasis at Stanford University.

Among other recognition during her time at Hope, she received honorable mention in the 2013 program of the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation, and was part of a four-student team named a semi-finalist in the 2013 Walt Disney Imagineering ImagiNations Design Competition.  She was named to Phi Beta Kappa earlier this spring, and was inducted into the college’s chapter of Mortar Board in 2013.  Her activities at Hope have also included the Union of Catholic Students, Physics Club and Society of Women Engineers.

She is a 2010 graduate of Marian High School, and the daughter of Joseph and Sharon Ploch of Redford.

Bour graduated from Hope with a chemistry major.  He is pursuing graduate study in chemistry (chemical catalysis) at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor.  While at Hope, he conducted collaborative research with Dr. Jeffrey Johnson, who is an associate professor of chemistry and Towsley Research Scholar.  He is the son of Dr. John Bour of Kalamazoo, and a 2009 graduate of Hackett Catholic Central High School.

Bultman graduated from Hope with a biology major.  She is pursuing graduate study in the life sciences (ecology) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  While at Hope, she conducted collaborative research with Dr. Kathy Winnett-Murray, professor of biology, and during two summers away, in Costa Rica and Iceland.  She is the daughter of Dr. Thomas and Judy Bultman of Hamilton, and a 2008 graduate of Hamilton High School.

Elinski graduated from Hope with the college’s American Chemical Society-certified chemistry major.  She is pursuing graduate study in chemistry (surface and nanochemistry) at Texas A&M University in College Station.  While at Hope, she conducted collaborative research with Dr. Mary (Beth) Anderson, assistant professor of chemistry and Towsley Research Scholar.  She is the daughter of Randall and Beth Elinski of Jackson, and a 2009 graduate of Lumen Christi High School.

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