Scholar Week 2021 Showcases Student’s and Faculty’s Distinguished Work

Presentations on campus and online featured undergraduate students, doctoral candidates and faculty research.

April 23, 2021 Academics

Each spring, as an annual celebration of academic success and scholarship of faculty and students, Olivet Nazarene University hosts Scholar Week.

With months, and sometimes years, of preparation preceding, this interdisciplinary event allows many within the Olivet community to showcase their research and achievements for a campus-wide audience. This year’s Scholar Week spanned April 12-19, 2021.

Dr. Lisa McGrady, dean of assessment, teaching and learning, coordinates the programing of this event each year. She said of the importance of an annual scholar week, “There’s so much amazing work that goes on all over campus. Often the Olivet community doesn’t get to see that work.” She continued, “I always come away from Scholar Week impressed with our students and faculty.”

Throughout the week 86 students and 18 faculty members presented on topics of all disciplines. There were engineering teams solving real-world problems; chemists, zoologists and biologists conducting studies with medical or environmental implications; artists, musicians and writers sharing original work; teachers studying best practices and sharing their experiences; criminal justice and social work students debating important social and political; historians, philosophers, theologians, accountants, social scientists, mathematicians and psychologists asking important questions about the human experience and sharing their findings.

Seniors in Olivet’s University Honor’s Program demonstrated their depth of knowledge within their fields of study. 

Honors projects included: 

Bethany Weaver (Dr. Ryan Himes, mentor) Finding the Balance: The Effects of α-Cyclodextrin, 2-Hydroxypropyl-β-Cyclodextrin, and Cholesterol Bacteroides Vulgatus and Clostridium Bolteae

Elizabeth R. Kijowski (Prof. William Greiner, mentor) Hesed: Discovering Redeeming Brokenness in a Retelling of the Biblical Story of Ruth

Jason Tolley (Dr. Bruce J. Heyen, mentor) Measuring the Decrement Times of Volatile Anesthetics in Drosophila Melanogaster Using Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry

Nicole Samuelson (Dr. Brian Stipp, mentor) Essential or Optional? Effects of Creative Writing on Expository Skills and Attitude in Middle School Students

Haley Mitacek (Dr. Neal Woodruff and Prof. Josh Ring, mentors) Harmonic Function and Progressions Through Rodgers and Hammerstein Musicals 1940-1960

Brian Bowen (Dr. Kevin Mellish, mentor) Mothers and Sons: Queen Mothers of Judah and the Religious Trends that Develop During Their Sons’ Reign

Hannah Lewis (Dr. Karen Knudson and Dr. Andrew Hoag, mentor) Gender Roles Reviewed through Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night with 21st Century Applications

Anthony Fund (Dr. Gregory J. Long, mentor) Restoration of β-Hexosaminidase A Deficiency Through the Use of Protein Chaperones

Zachary Monte (Dr. Mark Frisius, mentor) Augustine of Hippo: A Historical Theology Evaluation

Natalie Bardwell (Prof. April Kamba, mentor) ACL Injury Prevention Participation Amongst Collegiate Female Athletes

Madeira Sherwood (Dr. Lynda Allen, mentor) A Self-Study of FRN Olivet: A Student-Led Food Recovery Model on a University Campus

Timothy Steininger (Dr. Kristian Veit, mentor) Religiosity and Relational Anxiety: A Cross-Denominational Study

Kayleigh Kastelein (Dr. Kristian Veit, mentor) The Reliability and Validity of the Open Enneagram of Personality Scales

Anna Waldron (Dr. Kristian Veit, mentor) Time to Stop Worrying: A Correlational Study on Individualist Versus Collectivist Time Perspectives and Anxiety

Ten members of the Doctor of Education in Ethical Leadership (Ed.D) class of 2020-2021 also presented their dissertation projects on April 17, during the Ethical Leadership Colloquium. Topics included racial and family dynamics and relationships, academic assessments of students, and behavioral studies and qualities of effective leaders.

More information about the featured presentations can be found at

To learn more about the Honors Program and additional research opportunities at Olivet, contact the Office of Admissions at or 800-648-1463.

Published 4/23/2021

Student on main campus wearing pink sweater and holding water bottle.

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