Elon names 2011 Lumen Scholars

Fifteen rising juniors at Elon have been named recipients of the 2011 Lumen Prize, the university’s premier award that comes with a $15,000 scholarship to support and celebrate their academic achievements and research proposals.

Lumen Scholars will work closely with their mentors over the next two years to pursue and complete their projects. Efforts will include course work, study abroad, research both on campus and abroad as well as during the regular academic year and summers, internships locally and abroad, program development, and creative productions and performances.

The name for the Lumen Prize comes from Elon’s historic motto, “Numen Lumen,” which are Latin words meaning “spiritual light” and “intellectual light.” The words, which are found on the Elon University seal, signify the highest purposes of an Elon education.

The 2011 winners include the following:

Jamie Albright
Human Services Studies
Charlotte, N.C.
Project title: Reproductive decisions among women with perinatal HIV infection: The influence of messages given and received from medical providers
Mentor: Cynthia Fair

Elizabeth Capel
Art History
Raleigh, N.C.
Project title: Exploring Gender’s Effects on Collecting Narrative and Behavior
Mentor: Kirstin Ringelberg

Alison Deatsch
Elmhurst, Ill.
Project title: Optimizing Heating Efficiency of Magnetic Microspheres for Magnetic Hyperthermia Treatment of Malignant Tumors
Mentor: Benjamin Evans

Brett Evans
Religious Studies
Purcellville, Va.
Project title: Nonviolence and the Hierarchy of Life: The Function and Ethics of Contemporary Jain Animal Homes
Mentor: Amy Allocco

Sarah Kowalkowski
Political Science
Lewisburg, W.V.
Project title: The Perceived Effects of Curricula on Developing Authentic Leader Lawyers
Mentor: Chris Leupold

Sarah Lentz
Hudson, Ohio
Project title: “Short-cut to the Heart:” A Historical Analysis of Men’s Courtship Letters in Jane Austen’s Fiction
Mentor: Janet Myers

Kirsten McCormick
Port Orange, Fla.
Project title: The effects of Cayaponia tayuya on inflammatory pathways in immune cells
Mentor: Tonya Train

Caitlin O’Donnell
Communications & History
North Charleston, S.C.
Project title: The Media of White America: Press Coverage and Treatment of Historically Outcast Members of Society
Mentor: David Copeland

Thomason Price
Computer Science
Chapel Hill, N.C.
Project title: Engineering on the Go: Building a ‘Serious Game’ to Make Games on the Android Platform
Mentor: Joel Hollingsworth

Julie Ronecker
St. Louis, Mo.
Project title: Folate-Conjugated Magnetic Microspheres for Targeted Cancer Cell Treatment
Mentor: Benjamin Evans

Erica Schenhals
Carlisle, Pa.
Project title: Effect of Oxytocin on Immune Cell Function
Mentor: Tonya Train

Cameron Shirley
Apex, N.C.
Project title: Scholars vs. Sites: Analyzing Interpretations of Revolutionary America at Historic Sites in Boston and Philadelphia
Mentor: Jim Bissett

Cecilia Smith
Raleigh, N.C.
Project title: Development of a New Method for Measuring Explosives at Crime Scenes
Mentor: Karl Sienerth

Logan Sutton
Wendell, N.C.
Project title: “Everyday Odyssey”: The composition and staging of a play that explores the struggles of Odysseus’s family in his absence
Mentor: Fred Rubeck

Kelsey Van Dalfsen
Brier, Wash.
Project title: Mechanisms of apoptosis in diabetic cardiomyopathy
Mentor: Victoria Moore

Scholarship recipients were chosen through a two-step process. Candidates submitted applications with background statements and research proposals, a letter of nomination from a faculty mentor, and an additional letter of recommendation. The second stage consisted of an interview.

The selection committee considered several criteria for choosing the winners: clarity and scope of intellectual inquiry, intellectual curiosity and critical reflection, distinctiveness, and feasibility.

“The excellence of the applications we received certainly made these selections challenging,” said Paul Fromson, a psychology professor and chair of the selection committee. “As I stand back and look at this cohort of recipients, I see a reflection of the variety and vitality of the intellectual work Elon students are engaged in all across the university.

“These 2011 Lumen Prize winners are exceptional examples of the passionate and engaged inquiry, and the rich and demanding relationship with a faculty mentor that are hallmarks of an Elon education.

A dinner in honor of this year’s Lumen Prize recipients will be held May 10 at the Alamance Country Club.

Members of the selection committee for 2010-2011 include:

Janna Anderson, Communications
Wally Bixby, Exercise Science
Ann Cahill, Philosophy
Ben Evans, Physics
Victoria Fischer-Faw, Music
Neeraj Gupta, Finance
Greg Haenel, Biology
Ken Hassell, Art
Terry Tomasek, Education
Janet Myers, English & Director of National Fellowships