Summer 2020 Devoted to Research for Six Olivet Students

Recipients of Pence-Boyce research grants pursue intensive projects.

Lauren Beatty

April 21, 2020 Academics, Research

This summer, six Olivet Nazarene University students and their faculty mentors will pursue intensive research projects funded by grants from the University’s Pence-Boyce Research Committee and ONU Catalyst. 

Students and faculty will receive generous stipends to support their research over a ten-week period during the summer of 2020. The Pence-Boyce scholarship allows students to focus their summer exclusively on experiments and other hands-on research, which supplements the lecture-based learning during the school year.


The recipients for the 2020 summer Pence-Boyce research experience at Olivet Nazarene University have been selected:   

Anthony Fund and Dr. Greg Long, Department of Biological Sciences: “Restoration of β-Hexosaminidase A deficiency through the use of molecular chaperones.” Anthony is a junior studying biology.

Brianna Munnich and Dr. Willa Harper, Department of Chemistry and Geosciences: “Investigation of the uncoupled eNOS pathway using tetrahydrobiopterin and nitric oxide donor drugs to promote proper levels of nitric oxide in bovine endothelial cells.” Brianna is a junior studying chemistry with a concentration in biochemistry.

Drew Schaffner and Dr. Justin Brown, Department of Mathematics: “Harmony and Chaos.” Drew is a junior studying mathematics.

Jason Tolley and Dr. Bruce Heyen, Department of Chemistry and Geosciences: “Determining the decrement times of isoflurane in Drosophila melanogaster using gas chromatography/mass spectrometry.” Jason is a junior studying chemistry with a concentration in biochemistry.

Adam VanHaitsma and Dr. Nick Troendle, Department of Biological Sciences: “Impact Analysis on the invasive oriental weather loach (Misgurnus anguillicaudatus) in the Grant Creek and Prairie Creek Watersheds at Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie.” Adam is a junior studying zoology. 

Bethany Weaver and Dr. Ryan Himes, Department of Biological Sciences: “Finding the right balance: The effects of α-cyclodextrin, 2-hydroxypropyl-β-cyclodextrin, and cholesterol on Bacteroides vulgatus and Clostridium bolteae.” Bethany is a junior studying chemistry with a concentration in biochemistry.

Students and faculty will work together over a ten-week period during the summer of 2020, receiving a stipend. “We continue to receive many high-quality proposals, and I am excited that we have several departments represented pursuing independent research. This program is an excellent teaching and learning opportunity for both students and faculty. In addition, we are blessed to have generous donors that underwrite the expenses for this program, and we are also grateful for support from the ONU Catalyst initiative,” says Dr. Bruce Heyen, chair of the Pence-Boyce Research Committee. 

An alumni couple, dedicated to STEM excellence at Olivet, has financially underwritten Pence-Boyce for many years. Through Pence-Boyce grants, the couple honors two outstanding former faculty members who exemplified integrity, dedication and spirit in pursuit of academic excellence in STEM industries.

Elbert Pence was a professor of physics at Olivet from 1962 to 1969. His extensive experience with the U.S. Navy provided valuable background for his students. His energy and enthusiasm were driving forces in developing the physics major at Olivet. He exemplified excellence in higher education in physics and engineering. Professor Pence passed away in 2016.

Fanny Boyce was a professor of mathematics at Olivet from 1963 to 1970. She came to Olivet after many years of service at Wheaton College. Her high standards and teaching performance served as inspiration to those she taught. Dr. Boyce passed away in 1986.

To learn more about Olivet’s areas of study in the sciences and engineering, contact the Office of Admissions at or 800-648-1463.

Published 4/22/2020

Lauren Beatty

Lauren Beatty ’13 is a freelance writer, author, editor, artist and an adjunct professor in the Department of Communication at Olivet. She earned a Master of Arts degree in cross-cultural and sustainable business management from the American University of Paris in 2014. Her thesis explored the evolution of socially responsible business practices in America.

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

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