Summer 2021 Devoted to Research for Five Olivet Students

Recipients of Pence-Boyce research grants pursue intensive projects.

June 4, 2021 Academics

This summer, five 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 2021. 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 2021 summer Pence-Boyce research experience at Olivet Nazarene University have been selected: 

Tyler Alt with Dr. Bruce Heyen, Chemistry: “Utilizing point mutants of Malate Dehydrogenase in Escherichia coli to elucidate the role of arginine 81 in catalytic specificity”

Jonathon Kane with Dr. Douglas Armstrong, Chemistry: “The Synthesis of a Novel Cyclopropylamine as a Potentially Medicinally Active Compound”

Lauren Kee with Drs. Willa Harper & Bruce Heyen, Chemistry: “Analysis of Botulinum Toxin A and Interacting Proteins in Skeletal Muscle Cells: An Investigation into the Mechanisms behind Botulinum Toxin A as a Treatment for Chronic Exertional Compartment Syndrome”

Joshua Megchelsen with Dr. Dale Hathaway, Mathematics: “Using an Alternative Technique to Estimating Population Parameters in Statistical Distributions”

Rachel Meyer with Dr. José Manjarrés, Engineering: “Preprocessing Asteroid Survey Images with Machine Learning”

Students and faculty will work together over a ten-week period during the summer of 2021, receiving a stipend. 

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

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 6/4/2021

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

Where Your Future Begins

We Believe. You Belong Here. Discover why Olivet is a place where faith meets calling. Take the first step today.

Plan a Visit Start my Application