Elon names 2016 Lumen Scholars 

The university’s top award for undergraduate scholars comes with $15,000 to support and celebrate academic and creative achievements. 

Fifteen rising juniors at Elon have been named recipients of the 2016 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 2016 winners:

Mary Alice Allnutt
Project title: “The Importance of Neurotransmitter-Stabilized Amyloid Beta Oligomers in the Cell Death Mechanisms of Alzheimer’s Disease”
Mentor: Kathy Matera

Alexander Ball
Project title: “Using a zebrafish model to study the gut microbiota’s effect on the developing brain’s neurochemistry and structure”
Mentor: Jennifer Uno

Sara Corning
Exercise Science
Project title: “Striking down barriers, striking out the ‘fix’ mentality: Impact of sport on children with special needs and their support team”
Mentor: Caroline Ketcham

Emily DeMaioNewton
English with Concentration in Creative Writing
Project title: “We Tell Stories in Order to Live: Building Women’s Shame Resilience Through Narratives”
Mentor: Jean Schwind

Anya Fredsell
Religious Studies and Public Health Studies
Project title: “Constructing and Performing Authority in Yoga Traditions: An Ethnographic Approach”
Mentor: Amy Allocco

Samantha Friedman
History and Special Education
Project title: “Investigating the Effects of Outdoor Learning Environments on Children with Autism”
Mentor: Scott Morrison

Sarah Holdren
Anthropology and Public Health Studies
Project title: “Narratives of NEC: The Impact of NICU Feeding Practices on Parent Decision-Making”
Mentor: Aunchalee Palmquist

Mariana Kneppers
Biology, Environmental and Ecological Science
Project title: “Life and Death of Atlantic Coastal Marshes: Can Pre-Acclimation to Salt Increase Plant Tolerance to Climate Change?”
Mentor: Brant Touchette

Bethany Lake
Biostatistics and Public Health
Project title: “The Migrant Health Experience in Alamance County: Provider Perspectives on Innovation in Community-Based Health Care”
Mentor: Katherine Johnson

Sara Machi
Project title: “An International Transformation of Produce: The Marketing of Imperfect Produce in France and the United States”
Mentor: Alicia Horky

Amy Mullan
Public Health and Policy Studies
Project title: “Newcomers and Nursing: Infant-feeding beliefs and practices of resettled refugee and asylum seekers in North Carolina”
Mentor: Aunchalee Palmquist

Grace O’Hara
International Business
Project title: “Can microfinance help families in a high inflation environment? Field Research in South Sudan”
Mentor: Steven DeLoach

Samantha Perry
Human Services
Project title: “The role of Ethiopian midwives in the prevention of mother-to-child-transmission of HIV: A human rights framework”
Mentor: Cynthia Fair

Cassandra Tumasz
Dance Science, Dance Performance, Choreography
Project title: “Is Anatomical or Metaphorical Imagery More Effective in Releasing Physical and Psychological Stress in a University Dancer?”
Mentor: Lauren Kearns

Alexis Williams
English and Spanish
Project title: “The Perfect “Black” Play: How themes, structure, and plot determine the success or failure of plays by African Americans”
Mentor: Scott Proudfit

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 2016-2017:

Wally Bixby, Exercise Science

Aunchalee Palmquist, Sociology and Anthropology

Andrew Greenland, Economics

Lucinda Austin, Communications

Scott Morrison, Education

Chris Richardson, Physics

Yuko Miyamoto, Biology

Lauren Kearns, Performing Arts

Lynn Huber, Religious Studies

Sarah Lentz, Associate Director of National and International Fellowships

Ann Cahill, Chair, Philosophy