Celebrating Summer Research and Nishimura

Tjitske Veldstra explains her research project to professor Russell Howell

Tjitske Veldstra explains her research project to professor Russell Howell

Westmont students will exhibit their summer research projects Thursday, Sept. 5, from 3:30-5 p.m. in the Winter Hall rotunda. “A Celebration of Summer Research at Westmont” is free and open to the public.

Students Elizabeth Grossman (chemistry), Eric Zuidema (psychology), Jake West (Biology), Sierra Garrett (physics) and Jennifer Sanchez (education) will explain their research and discuss collaborating with faculty at 4:15 p.m. in the Darling Foundation Lecture Hall. The panel discussion, hosted by Provost Mark Sargent, will include a celebration of Allan Nishimura’s milestone 100th research paper with students. Nishimura, the first recipient of the Faculty Research Award in 1984 and Teacher of the Year in 1998 and 2011, has retired after teaching at Westmont for more than three decades.

Students have conducted research in a wide variety of areas, including the garter snake’s blood glucose response to stress, the lymphopenia and homeostatic expansion in mice with inherited inflamed joints, charged particle trajectories with the Large multi-Institutional Scintillator Array (LISA) at the National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory at Michigan State, distinguishing the best neutral prime for research on biculturalism, and examining the Greek text of Revelation.

Westmont has a long tradition of providing opportunities for students to partner with their professors on cutting-edge research. Some of the college’s current faculty are products of this tradition, including Niva Tro and Kristi Lazar Cantrell.

“Just as internships in fields like business or medicine give students real-world experience that prepares them for future study or careers, research with faculty gives them a taste of collaborating with peers to solve real problems that matter to their disciplinary communities,” says Patti Hunter, who chairs the Westmont Mathematics and Computer Science Department. “The skills they develop equip them to work in teams, talk with others about their ideas and tackle unsolved problems.”