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2013 Honors Program graduates continue to excel in their chosen fields

Posted: May 09, 2013


2013 Honors Program graduates are (front to back, left to right): (row 1) Dr. Carrigan, program director; Nicole Parsons, McKenzie Fritch, Rose Zell, Rachel Groters, Erin Kennell; (row 2) Kelly Carey, Elise Rivett, Rachel Von Arb, Stacey Gerstung; (row 3) Sarah Jensen, Bethany Addington, Kelsey Watson, Lauren Beatty, Autumn Keiss; (row 4) Ryan Shrout, Sam Craven, Martha Arntson, David Parker

Olivet’s third cohort of Honors Program graduates, part of the Class of 2013, received their degrees during the 100th Commencement Convocation on Saturday, May 4, 2013. Although this ends part of their education, they are already pursuing the next phase of preparation for their chosen careers.

As their time at Olivet came to a close, Honors students presented their required research projects during Scholar Week 2013, April 15 to 20.

Bethany Addington (pastoral ministry major, Selma, Ind.)
Research presentation: “His Highest Glory, My Deepest Joy: Discovering Satisfaction at Its Source”
Post-graduation plans: This summer, she will be interning with Rev. Judy Davenport at Macomb Church of the Nazarene, Macomb, Ill., to gain more full-time ministry experience. In the fall, she will attend Asbury Theological Seminary, Wilmore, Ky., on a full-tuition Presidential Scholarship to earn a Master of Divinity degree.

Martha Arntson (math education major, Antioch, Ill.)
Research presentation: “Slicing a Puzzle and Finding the Hidden Pieces: A Deeper Look into the Color Cube Puzzle and the Groups Hidden Within”
Post-graduation plans: This summer, she will be working at a day camp in Arizona. She will continue to search for a teaching position in middle school or high school. In October, she and Ben Heller ’13 (psychology major, Whitewater, Wisc.) will be married.

Lauren Beatty (international business and political science major, Kankakee, Ill.)
Research presentation: “Capitalism for the Common Good: Exploring Corporate Social Responsibility in the One-for-One Movement”
Post-graduation plans: She is applying to graduate programs for studies in cross-cultural and sustainable management.

Kelly Carey (English education major, Peotone, Ill.)
Research presentation: “Exploring Children's Literature through Writing”
Post-graduation plans: She is currently searching for a position as a high school English teacher.

Sam Craven (biochemistry major, Frankfort, Ill.)
Research presentation: “Locating the Modifier of Segregation Distorter in Drosophila melanogaster”
Post-graduation plans: He has been accepted into the biochemistry graduate program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

McKenzie Fritch (English, art and Spanish major, Cedar Rapids, Iowa)
Research presentation: “La Familia: Biblia y Inmigracion”
Post-graduation plans: She will be pursuing freelance opportunities in writing, editing and photography.

Stacey Gerstung (social science education major, Parma, Mich.)
Research presentation: “Teaching Social Justice to Middle School Aged Children”
Post-graduation plans: She will be relocating to Wisconsin and pursuing a career in education.

Rachel Groters (corporate communication and business major, Lombard, Ill.)
Research presentation: “Meeting the Predeparture and Reentry Needs of ONU Spanish Students who Study Abroad”
Post-graduation plans: She is considering possibilities for graduate studies.

Sarah Jensen (English and social science major, Dubuque, Iowa)
Research presentation: “Teaching the Northern Ireland Troubles through History and Literature”
Post-graduation plans: She is currently job hunting in her fields of interest.

Autumn Keiss (psychology major, Goehner, Neb.)
Research presentation: “Going Public: Writing and Revising Memoir”
Post-graduation plans: In summer 2013, she will be working as assistant manager at a state park in the Black Hills area of South Dakota. She will be getting married in December. For her master’s degree, she will study counseling psychology at Southern Nazarene University, Bethany, Okla.

Erin Kennell (elementary education major, Eureka, Ill.)
Research presentation: “Library Selection: Are Newbery Winners Worthwhile Purchases?”
Post-graduation plans: She is applying for teaching positions and is interested in teaching grades 4 through 8.

David Parker (accounting major, Peotone, Ill.) 
Research presentation: “The Relationship between Tax Structure and the Lives of Individuals: Who Wins and Who Loses”
Post-graduation plans: He will be doing an internship with CSL Behring, Kankakee, Ill.

Nicole Parsons (fashion merchandising major, Kimball, W.Va.)
Research presentation: “The Eden Project: Citywide Youth Conference and Fashion Show”
Post-graduation plans: She will be serving as a full-time missionary in McDowell County, W.Va., working as a parent educator through the Parents as Teachers program. She is also the activities coordinator for an adolescent girls’ youth group.

Elise Rivett (biochemistry major, Howell, Mich.)
Research presentation: “Synthesis and Polarographic Analysis of A2E”
Post-graduation plans: She will be entering a doctoral program in biochemistry at Michigan State University.

Ryan Shrout (engineering major, Jacksonville, Fla.)
Research presentation: “Advanced Analysis of Curved and Corrugated Titanium Aluminide Metal Intermetallic Laminates Utilizing Multi-Dimensional Finite Element Analysis”
Post-graduation plans: His immediate plans include a backpacking trip through Europe. He is also seeking full-time employment in his field.

Rachel Von Arb (mathematics and actuarial science major, Lisle, Ill.)
Research presentation: “Predator Prey Models in Competitive Corporations”
Post-graduation plans: She has been accepted to a graduate degree program in mathematics at Purdue University.

Kelsey Watson (dietetics major, McCordsville, Ind.)
Research presentation: “To What Extent Does Posted Nutrition Information in Fast Food Restaurants Influence Consumer Food Choices?”
Post-graduation plans: She is one of only eight students accepted to a prestigious graduate program in dietetics at Tufts University, Medford, Mass.

Rose Zell (psychology major, Morton, Ill.)
Research presentation: “Marriage and Religion: The Effect of Religious Study Materials on Marital Happiness”
Post-graduation plans: Later this year, she will be relocating to southern California to enter the master’s degree program in marriage and family therapy at Fuller Theological Seminary.

The mission of Olivet's Honors Program is to encourage and nurture academically gifted students, helping them to believe in their possibilities, preparing them to become the Christian scholars and servant leaders they were meant to be.  Dr. Charles Carrigan, geoscience professor in Olivet’s Department of Physical Sciences, is the program’s director.

To enter the program, a student must have a composite ACT score of at least 30 or a Math & Critical Reading combined SAT score of at least 1330, and be interviewed by the program committee.

In addition to fulfilling the requirements for their respective majors, Honors students take four interdisciplinary, team-taught classes covering an intriguing topic. Then, they complete a substantial, faculty-mentored research project during their last two years, doing one-on-one mentored research with a professor of their choice with funding provided. They may also choose to study abroad during junior year.


Cadets enrolled in Olivet's Roaring Tiger ROTC Battalion