Elon names 2012 Lumen Scholars

The university's top award comes with $15,000 to support and celebrate academic and creative achievements.


Fifteen rising juniors at Elon have been named recipients of the 2012 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 2012 winners include the following:

Colleen Brockmyre
Math / Computer Science
Amesbury, Mass.
Project title: Accurate and Timely Absolute Location for Augmented Reality Mobile Applications
Mentor: Joel Hollingsworth

Alexander Bruch
Chemistry / Biochemistry
New Canaan, Conn.
Project title: Determining the Mechanism of Pattern Formation in Periodic Precipitation (Liesegang) Reactions
Mentor: Joel Karty

Cleo Dan
International Studies
Midlothian, Va.
Project title: Abandoning the Bomb and Embracing the Pen: How and Why Ethnonationalist Terrorist Organizations Adopt Non-Violent Tactics
Mentor: Sean Giovanello

Andrew Fischer
Biochemistry / Psychology / Math
Stevensville, Md.
Project title: Mechanism of neurotoxic α-synuclein oxidation by dopamine in Parkinson’s disease
Mentor: Kathryn Matera

Ashley Fowler
Political Science / International Studies
Mount Pleasant, N.C.
Project title: Human Rights Norm Change: LGBT Rights in a Wider Europe
Mentor: Safia Swimelar

Sarah Holland
Religious Studies / Philosophy
Lexington, Ky.
Project title: Religion in the Shadow of the Shoah: Exploring the Social Dimensions of Religion
Mentor: Jeffrey Pugh

Gregory Honan
Political Science
Wellesley, Mass.
Project title: Welfare Narratives In United States Political Rhetoric: Stories, Power, and Contestation in Central Appalachia
Mentor: Laura Roselle

Leigh Iler
Middle Grades Education / Elementary Education
Cary, N.C.
Project title: Response to Intervention Techniques as Applied to Sixth Grade Math Content to Promote Student Success
Mentor: Stephen Byrd

MacKenzie Mann
International Studies
Attleboro, Mass.
Project title: A Façade of Calm: Everyday Resistance and Expression in the Ecuadorian Sierra of the 1960s and 70s
Mentor: Michael Matthews

Claire Mayo
History / French
Knoxville, Tenn.
Project title: The Evolution of Charles de Gaulle as France’s Wartime Leader in Great Britain during World War II (1940-1942)
Mentor: David Crowe

Cara McClain
Psychology / Environmental Studies
Durham, N.C.
Project title: Outdoor explorations with preschoolers: The role of nature experiences in young children’s psychological development and environmental awareness
Mentor: Maureen Vandermaas-Peeler

Michelle Nussbaum
Glenelg, Md.
Project title: The Caulfield Effect: An Interdisciplinary Examination of Adult Identification in Young Adult Literature
Mentor: Scott Proudfit

Kelsey O’Connell
Broadlands, Va.
Project title: Community Discourse and Rhetorical Strategies in the Development of the New Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5)
Mentor: Rebecca Pope-Ruark

Wesley Rose
Music Education
Rocky Mount, N.C.
Project title: “The Real Father of Modern Music:” Death and the Diabolical in the Music of Franz Liszt
Mentor: Victoria Fischer Faw

Jeffrey Stern
Information Sciences / Media Arts & Entertainment
East Setauket, N.Y.
Project title: Exploring user engagement with interactive media through design and analysis of digital magazines
Mentor: Duke Hutchings

Scholarship recipients were chosen through a two-step process. Candidates submitted applications with background statements and project 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.

“I am delighted to see how this cohort of recipients reflects a broad cross-section of the university,” said Professor Paul Fromson, director of the Lumen Prize program. “Once again, winners represent different schools and colleges, from an array of majors, and from various Fellows programs.

“I was also struck by how the projects reflect numerous concerns – diversity, environmental stewardship, religious tolerance, poverty, technology – addressed in The Elon Commitment strategic plan, including, of course, our ongoing commitment to engaged, high-order undergraduate scholarship.”

A dinner in honor of this year’s Lumen Prize recipients will be held May 2 at the Maynard House. Members of the selection committee for 2011-2012 include:

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