Maple Scholars anticipate summer research

While most students don’t see Goshen during its most beautiful time of year, 16 students will get to experience a Goshen summer as they stay on campus to participate in the Maple Scholars program.

This program is an opportunity for students to research and study an area of interest in-depth. Aside from researching, students participate in a weekly seminar, an opportunity to share their progress, and at the end of the eight-week program, each person prepares a final paper and display.

This summer’s batch of scholars will be studying projects that vary from organizing and evaluating a children’s fitness and nutrition camp to studying the reflectivity of crystals.

Cassie Greives, a senior, will be working with Jewel Lehman, associate professor of physical education, to lead the Goshen Heart Camp. This three-week program is designed to help teach 8-10 year-olds about fitness and nutrition. Greives’ job will include developing a curriculum for the program, teaching the kids, and then evaluating the effectiveness of the program.

While Maple Scholars functions primarily to offer students the opportunity to delve into a subject of their interest, it also lets professors work on projects that they’ve always wanted to do, but never had the time for.

For example, Lehman is finally able to run the Goshen Heart Camp that has been on her mind.

“I’ve wanted to run a program like this but while I was coaching it was hard to find the time,” said Lehman.

Ben Baumgartner, a junior, will work with Paul Keim, professor of Bible and Religion, to study Muslim-Mennonite interactions from the last 50 years.

“Mennonites have been relating with Muslims for a time now,” said Keim, “and it’s worth looking back at the ways that Mennonites have sought out and encountered Muslims to see what it tells us of the goals and strategies for the future.”

Baumgartner will be collecting and reviewing written documents as well as conducting interviews.

“Part of the research will be interviewing Mennonites who’ve had experience serving in countries with Muslim populations,” said Baumgartner. “I’m excited to hear these people’s stories.”

By the end, he will have written a paper for possible publication and compiled a database that could be submitted to the Global Anabaptist Wiki.

Ted Maust, a junior, and Jan Shetler, professor of history, will focus on organizing the information that Shetler has collected while researching in Tanzania. The sources include audio, video, photo, text and map materials that tell the oral traditions of the ethnic groups. Maust will take the information and put it together into a template for a database that will allow for further study by both English and Swahili speakers.

“I’m really excited to work with both Jan and Peter and be able to maybe practice some Swahili on them,” said Maust, who just returned from Study-Service Term in Tanzania. “It’s also really thrilling to be able to apply my experience of village life from SST to an academic context and kind of continue my service.”

One of the special aspects of Maple Scholars is the opportunity for scholars of diverse fields to commune and share the research experience. Looking towards the summer, Lisa Weaver, a junior, said, “I’m excited about focusing on a specific project while living in community with others doing the same thing.”

Other Maple Scholars include: Andrea Detweiler, working on “Painting Explorations in Surface and Scale”; David Harnish, working on “Empower”; Lynn Weaver, Josh Yoder and Lisa Weaver working on “Alcohol and Bees”; Daniel Fecher, Julia Stoltzfus and Kristin Martin working on “Membrane Transport”; Ruth Wiens working on “Membrane Biophysics”; Bruck Mulat working on “X-Ray Studies of Calcite Growth”; John Miller working on “Musician Maker”; Chaim Hodges working on “Fair Allocation”; and Micah Miller-Eshleman working on “Informatics I.”

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Written by Sara Alvarez

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