New Kindschi Fellowship offers unique research opportunity for GVSU students

By Megan Webster | 2/26/17 9:45pm

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GVL/Kevin Sielaff - Former dean of math and sciences, P. Douglas Kindschi, speaks before the Kindschi Hall of Science. Grand Valley celebrates the P. Douglas Kindschi Hall of Science with a dedication ceremony Friday, August 28th, 2015. The dedication recognized both Grand Valley and state officials that made the realization of this building possible.

by Kevin Sielaff / Grand Valley Lanthorn

A new opportunity is available to science majors who wish to pursue a unique research opportunity at Grand Valley State University: the P. Douglas Kindschi Undergraduate Research Fellowship in the Sciences.

This year marks the first year where students in certain majors will be able to pursue a research opportunity during the school year. The Kindschi Fellowship is a $1,500 fellowship that allows undergraduates to pursue research while under the mentorship of a faculty member.

Kevin Sielaff

GVL/Kevin Sielaff - Former dean of math and sciences, P. Douglas Kindschi, speaks before the Kindschi Hall of Science. Grand Valley celebrates the P. Douglas Kindschi Hall of Science with a dedication ceremony Friday, August 28th, 2015. The dedication recognized both Grand Valley and state officials that made the realization of this building possible.

Kevin Sielaff

GVL/Kevin Sielaff - Former dean of math and sciences, P. Douglas Kindschi, speaks before the Kindschi Hall of Science. Grand Valley celebrates the P. Douglas Kindschi Hall of Science with a dedication ceremony Friday, August 28th, 2015. The dedication recognized both Grand Valley and state officials that made the realization of this building possible.

Susan Mendoza, director of the Office of Undergraduate Research and Scholarship (OURS), said the Kindschi Fellowship is the first opportunity for students to conduct research, either of their own choosing or in cooperation with a faculty member, during the academic year and alongside their classes.

“There’s not as many offerings or many programs for students who are doing research during the academic year,” Mendoza said. “Students might take independent study, a 499 credit, they may volunteer in a lab, some students may be working with a faculty member who has funding through the National Institute of Health or Natural Science Foundation, but there wasn’t really anything offered during the academic year.”

Mendoza was quick to point out not all students have the availability to spend 12 weeks, 40 hours per week, doing research in the summer. A lot of students, she said, have to work or go back home where they are needed. Students with those restrictions are now able to conduct research during the school year thanks to the Kindschi Fellowship.

Robert Smart, vice provost for research administration and executive director of the Center for Scholarly and Creative Excellence, said this fellowship is a great example of GVSU’s dedication to its student’s education.

“The fellowship allows the university to really accelerate our pledge to engage our students through mentored graduate research and our students’ opportunities,” Smart said.

Doug Kindschi himself is funding this new opportunity for undergraduate science students. Kindschi has spent the last 40 years at GVSU fulfilling different roles, including professor of mathematics and dean of science and mathematics. He is currently the director of the Kaufman Interfaith Institute.

Smart said Kindschi loves to provide students with as many opportunities as possible in order for them to excel in their time here at GVSU.

“This fellowship is his gift to the university and is almost a continuation of what Doug has done, and that is just a different way to support our students in engaged work with faculty,” Smart said.

With this being the first year of the Kindschi Fellowship, the faculty and organizers of this opportunity are excited for what this fellowship can do for students in their school lives and future endeavors.

“It’s something that we are super excited about,” Mendoza said. “It’s unique and unusual and needed because it’s funding for the academic year.”

The application deadline for the 2017-18 Kindschi Fellowship is Monday, May 1. The fellowship is open to a wide variety of undergraduates whose majors are science-related and who wish to pursue a rigorous and independent research opportunity during the academic year.

For more information about the Kindschi Fellowship, visit www.gvsu.edu/ours/kindschi-fellowship-860.htm.

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