Fifteen students selected as 2020 Lumen Scholars

The university's top undergraduate research award comes with $20,000 to support and celebrate academic and creative achievements.

​Fifteen rising juniors at Elon have been selected to receive the 2020 Lumen Prize, the university’s premier award that comes with a $20,000 scholarship to support and celebrate their academic achievements and research proposals.

Lumen Scholars will work closely with their mentors during the next two years to pursue and complete their projects. Efforts traditionally include coursework, 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.

For the first time ever, one student has been named the recipient of The Daniel Cavarretta Award, an annual award gifted by senior Lumen Scholars to a rising junior or senior outside the Lumen program in support of their undergraduate research and scholarly development. The award is given in memory of Daniel Cavarretta ’19, who was a member of the Lumen Scholar Class of 2017. This year’s Cavarretta Award recipient is international business and finance double major Meghan Murray ’21, whose research is titled “Leadership and corporate responsibility: The role of spiritual intelligence.”

2020 Lumen Prize Winners

Hannah Allen

Project title: “Cultural differences in positive psychology as moderators of the relation between positive parenting and child outcomes”
Mentor: Anne-Marie Iselin

Sarah Austin

Environmental Studies
Project title: “El Mundo Está Ardiendo: Exploring the links between cattle ranching in the Amazon, forest fires, and children’s health”
Mentor: Mark Weaver

Hayley Clos

Project title: “Assessing the effects of climate change on the release of metals into agricultural products”
Mentor: Dan Wright

Ashlyn Crain

Project title: “Mitigating carbon emissions: Four strategies for sequestering atmospheric CO2 in trees”
Mentor: David Vandermast

Melissa Denish

Project title: “Manipulating the molecular basis of Tay Sachs Disease using a neuronal cell model”
Mentors: Tonya Train, Kathy Matera

Trinity Dixon

Human Service Studies

Project title: “The Reclamation: Stories from the margins and the LGBTQIA+ communities in El Salvador”
Mentor: Nina Namaste

Deena Elrefai

International and Global Studies
Public Health Studies
Project title: “The Latinx reproductive experience: Barriers and facilitators towards positive engagement”
Mentor: Stephanie Baker

Katherine Fulks

Dance Performance and Choreography
Arts Adminstration
Project title: “The politics of dancing: A study of ballet as a political tool”
Mentor: Jennifer Guy

Jacob Hyle

Adventure-Based Learning
Project title: “Access is not enough: Supporting people of diverse backgrounds, beliefs, and cultures in outdoor experiential education”
Mentor: Scott Morrison

Natalie Ivanov

Project title: “An evaluation of the European Central Bank’s policies on living standards: The impact of negative rates on restricted capital flows and trade patterns”
Mentor: Vitaliy Strohush

Eukela Little

Project title: “Strong, Black, and selfish: Re-framing the strong Black woman persona to include self-care through a mobile health intervention”
Mentor: Buffie Longmire-Avital

Amy Moore

Applied Mathematics

Project title: “Measuring gerrymandering: Investigating the distributions of party ratios for districting techniques”
Mentor: Todd Lee

Cassidy Perry

Dance Performance and Choreography
Project title: “Creating an Optimal Performer: A Body Composition and Performance Analysis”
Mentors: Renay Aumiller, Titch Madzima

Carolyn Vaughan

Project title: “NUT Carcinoma: Investigating drug synergy and the molecular mechanism of drug resistance”
Mentor: Victoria Moore

Kristina Woodis

Project title: “Investigating the link between the gut microbiome and epilepsy in zebrafish”
Mentor: Jennifer Uno