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Class of 2014 Honors Program graduates begin new adventures

Posted: May 23, 2014


Dr. Charles Carrigan, director, (front row, left) with Olivet’s 2014 Honors Program graduates (L-R): (front row) Lacey Austin, Kaitlin Carlson, Jessica Sturgeon, Breanne Bambrick; (middle row) Lorisha Riley, Molly Koleczek, Kelsey Steins, Emily Borger, Rebecca Busler; (back row) Brian Ginn, Treavor Dodsworth, Logan Smith, John Hall, Ryan Kee

Olivet’s fourth cohort of Honors Program students graduated as part of the Class of 2014 during the 101st Commencement Convocation on Saturday, May 10, 2014.

As their time at Olivet came to a close, these fourteen graduates presented their required honors research projects during Scholar Week 2014, April 22 to 26. Now, they are beginning the next chapter in their personal and professional lives.

Lacey Austin (Glenmont, Ohio), B.S., English education
Project: “Rationales for the Use and Pairing of Young Adult Literature and Classic Novels in the Secondary English Classroom”
She is pursuing plans for a teaching career in Ohio.

Breanne Bambrick (Washington, Illinois), B.S.W., social work
Project: “The Collaboration of Faith and Social Work in Creating a Gateway of Helping”
She will be pursuing her master’s degree in social work (M.S.W.) at Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri.

Emily Borger (South Elgin, Illinois), B.S.. dietetics
Project: “The Effect of Direct Human Service on Volunteers' Self-Perceived Generosity and Expected Appreciation, Satisfaction, and Value of Work”
She has been accepted into an internship and master’s degree program in dietetics at Northern Illinois University.

Rebecca Busler (Maryville, Illinois), B.S.N., nursing
Project: “Effectiveness of Wellness and Life Skills Education for Adolescent Females of Inner-City East St. Louis”
She is pursuing plans for a nursing career in women’s health.

Kaitlin Carlson (Washington, Illinois), B.S., education
Project: “Writing a Reading and Language Arts Unit Designed to Motivate Elementary School English Language Learner (ELL) Students of Poverty”
She has accepted a position as a language arts and social studies teacher for sixth grade students in Morton, Illinois.

Treavor Dodsworth (Vernon, Colorado), B.S., accounting/economics/finance
Project: “Trading Intraday Volatility: Basic Futures Trading Strategy”
He has accepted a position with Northwest Financial, Indianapolis, Indiana. Investment News, a financial planning magazine, will be blogging about him as he begins his career in the financial planning industry.

Brian Ginn (Bourbonnais, Illinois), B.S., biology
Project: “Genetic Determination of ABO Genotype from Buccal Cells: Incorporating PCR, Gel Electrophoresis, and ABO Genotyping into Undergraduate Study”
He is the recipient of Olivet’s Robert M. Milner Award as the outstanding male graduate in the Class of 2014. Currently, he is considering acceptances from medical schools and will be entering medical school this fall.

John Hall (Tinley Park, Illinois), B.S., mathematics education
“Implementing Common Core State Standards for Mathematics”
Selected as the Department of Mathematics’ outstanding graduate, he is currently applying for a teaching position.

Ryan Kee (Bourbonnais, Illinois), B.S.E., engineering
Project: “Detection Systems for Airbag Deployment”
He has accepted a position as an electrical engineer with DRS Technologies in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Molly Koleczek (Tinley Park, Illinois), B.S., zoology
“A Survey of the Ratio of Melanistic to Gray Squirrels (Sciurus carolinensis) on five Midwestern College Campuses”
She has accepted an internship in the Department of Stranding Investigations at Mote Marine Laboratory, Sarasota, Florida.

Lorisha Riley (Kankakee, Illinois), B.S., mathematics
Project: “Relationships Between Elements of Leslie Matrices and Future Growth of the Population”
She has been accepted into a doctorate degree program at the University of Florida.

Logan Smith (Ridge Farm, Illinois), B.S., chemistry
Project: “Exploring Cycloaddition Reactions for the Synthesis of Novel Organic Compounds, Including Microwave Promotion”
He has accepted a laboratory research position with Bunge North America in Bradley, Illinois.

Kelsey Steines (Mount Vernon, Iowa), B.S., business administration
Project: “An evaluation of Youth In(VOL)ved: Impact on participants' attitudes toward volunteerism”
She is pursuing plans for a career in nonprofit development.

Jessica Sturgeon (Chillicothe, Illinois), B.S.N., nursing
Project: “An Exploration of the Relationship Between Religiousness and Treatment Seeking Trends Among College Students”
She has accepted a nursing residency at Carle in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois.

The mission of Olivet's Honors Program is to encourage and nurture academically gifted students, helping them to believe in their possibilities, preparing them to become the Christian scholars and servant leaders they were meant to be. Dr. Charles Carrigan, geoscience professor in Olivet’s Department of Chemistry and Geosciences, is the program’s director.

To enter the program, a student must have a composite ACT score of at least 30 or a Math and Critical Reading combined SAT score of at least 1330, and be interviewed by the program committee.

In addition to fulfilling the requirements for their respective majors, Honors Program students take four interdisciplinary, team-taught classes covering an intriguing topic. Then, they complete a substantial, faculty-mentored research project during their last two years, doing one-on-one mentored research with a professor of their choice with funding provided. They may also choose to study abroad during junior year.

Intramural sports in which Olivet students can participate, ranging from basketball and soccer to euchre and dodgeball