Elon names 2015 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 2015 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 traditionally include course work, study abroad, research both on and off campus, internships locally and overseas, 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 2015 winners:

Nicole Ackman
Strategic Communications, History
Project title: “The Salonnières: Women, the Public Sphere, and Education in Enlightenment-Era Paris”
Mentor: Michael Carignan

Brianna Birchett
International Studies
Project title: “Praise, Pity, and Persecution: The Effects of 20th Century Political Reformists on Modern Conceptions of Devadasis”
Mentor: Brian Pennington

Benjamin Bridges
Project title:
“Navigating Globalization through Myth in Quechua Communities of Southern Peru”
Mentor: Tom Mould

Leena Dahal
International Studies and Strategic Communications
Project title: “Chatting With My Best Friends: Intergenerational Responses to ‘Communication for Development’ Strategies in Rural Nepal”
Mentor: Mussa Idris

Nicole Doolen
Exercise Science
Project title: “Examining the third pillar of exercise prescription: ratings of pleasure-displeasure”
Mentor: Wally Bixby

Jessica Graham
Project title: “It’s a No-Brainer: Effects of Exposure of Methylphenidate on Neural Growth and Function”
Mentor: Tonya Train

Peter Jakes
Mathematics and Statistics
Project title: “Opening new avenues in STEM research and education: Increasing Accessibility for Solving Higher Degree Polynomials with Galois Groups”
Mentor: Chad Awtrey

Ashley King
Exercise and Dance Science
Project title: “The Effect of Chronic Knee Injury on Kinematic Knee Performance for the Saut de Chat in Collegiate Female Dancers”
Mentor: Joyce Davis

Beth Lester
Independent Major – Industrial Design Studies
Project title: ​
“Designing a Smart Mobility Product for an Elderly Population”
Mentor: Scott Wolter

Kate Levenberg
Public Health
Project title: “The Impact of the Bupropion on Insulin Resistance”
Mentor: Tonya Train

Justin Morin
Economics, Finance
Project title: “The Relationship Between Income Disparities and Hospitalization Rates of Ambulatory Care-Sensitive Conditions”
Mentor: Katy Rouse

Michelle Reissig
Public Health Studies (Socio-Cultural Context)
Project title: “Childbirth Self-efficacy and Birth Experiences of Primiparous African-American Women: The Influence of Birth Stories Heard during Pregnancy”
Mentor: Cynthia Fair

MaryClaire Schulz
Strategic Communications
Project title: “International Corporate Social Responsibility and Female Stakeholder Entrepreneurship: The Case of Coca-Cola’s 5by20 Initiative”
Mentor: Lucinda Austin

Alex Vandermaas-Peeler
Political Science and International Studies
Project title: “Analyzing Women’s Post-War Narratives in Bosnia and Rwanda: Implications for Peacebuilding”
Mentor: Safia Swimelar

Carly Weddle
Project title: “Quantification of the Chemical Markers of Melanin to Enhance Early Diagnosis of Melanoma”
Mentor: Keely Glass

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.

Members of the faculty selection committee for 2014-2015:

Wally Bixby, Exercise Science
Aunchalee Palmquist, Sociology and Anthropology
Ben Evans, Physics
Victoria Fischer-Faw, Music
Andrew Greenland, Economics
Young Do Kim, Art and Art History
Yuko Miyamoto, Biology
Lucinda Austin, Communications
Scott Morrison, Education
Janet Myers, English Director of National and International Fellowships

Ann Cahill, Chair, Philosophy