By: Lexi Kantz
Goshen College offers many unique programs for students to excel. One of the most in-depth programs offered is the summer Maple Scholars Program. This program allows students to work on a summer project alongside a professor, who serves as both a colleague and a supervisor. During that time students perform intense studies and research for eight weeks.
Each December, faculty proposals are posted for students to see descriptions of the projects that will be offered for the next summer, and students are then able to apply accordingly. Scholars are announced in late February or early March for the following summer’s projects after directors John Ross Buschert, physics department chair, and Paul Keim, professor of Bible and religon, confirm their student choices with Maple Scholar Faculty.
This past summer Twila Albrecht and Carina Zehr worked alongside Goshen College Sociology Professor David Lind on a project about transitioning worldviews in regard to environmental and sustainable living.
“This program was an excellent way for me to get my foot in the door of the sociology department. After the program I really felt that I had a better understanding for how to do social research and to begin thinking as a sociologist would,” said Albrecht of her summer experience with Maple Scholars.
During the eight week program students are given a stipend of $2,500 for their work and housed in small group campus housing, with food as their only expense. This living arrangement is designed to create a strong sense of community.
Each Friday morning in the summer, all faculty and student participants gather for a Colloquium where both faculty and students take turns describing their work for that week. At the end of the eight weeks, public presentations are given by students with an evening banquet to follow for faculty and their guests.
“The Maple Scholars Program is a great experience. It’s not only for the so-called ‘smart’ students, but for every student who thinks they can,” said Oscar Joses Kirwa, who worked alongside Professor Jan Bender Shetler on putting together a database for Shetler’s collection of primary sources of the Mara Culture.
If you are interested in the Maple Scholars Program you can visit the section on Goshen College’s website that describes the program more in depth at http://www.goshen.edu/maplescholars/ or email professor directors John Ross Buschert or Paul Keim.