Elon names 15 rising juniors the recipients of the 2016 Lumen Prize. This is the university's premier award for undergraduate research that comes with $15,000 to support their academics and research scholarship. Lumen Scholars work closely with their faculty mentors to conduct in-depth research on their projects.

Winners were selected through a two-step process. Candidates submitted applications and project proposals and two letters of nomination. Candidates then interviewed before being selected by a faculty selection committee.

Here is a full list of the 2016 winners:

Mary Alice Allnutt


Project title: "The Importance of Neurotransmitter-Stabilized Amyloid Beta Oligomers in the Cell Death Mechanisms of Alzheimer's Disease"

Mentor: Kathy Matera

Alexander Ball


Project title: "Using a zebrafish model to study the gut microbiota's effect on the developing brain's neurochemistry and structure"

Mentor: Jennifer Uno

Sara Corning

Exercise Science

Project title: "Striking down barriers, striking out the 'fix' mentality: Impact of sport on children with special needs and their support team"

Mentor: Caroline Ketcham

Emily DeMaioNewton

English with Concentration in Creative Writing

Project title: "We Tell Stories in Order to Live: Building Women's Shame Resilience Through Narratives"

Mentor: Jean Schwind

Anya Fredsell

Religious Studies and Public Health Studies

Project title: "Constructing and Performing Authority in Yoga Traditions: An Ethnographic Approach"

Mentor: Amy Allocco

Samantha Friedman

History and Special Education

Project title: "Investigating the Effects of Outdoor Learning Environments on Children with Autism"

Mentor: Scott Morrison

Sarah Holdren

Anthropology and Public Health Studies

Project title: "Narratives of NEC: The Impact of NICU Feeding Practices on Parent Decision-Making"

Mentor: Aunchalee Palmquist

Mariana Kneppers

Biology, Environmental and Ecological Science

Project title: "Life and Death of Atlantic Coastal Marshes: Can Pre-Acclimation to Salt Increase Plant Tolerance to Climate Change?"

Mentor: Brant Touchette

Bethany Lake

Biostatistics and Public Health

Project title: "The Migrant Health Experience in Alamance County: Provider Perspectives on Innovation in Community-Based Health Care"

Mentor: Katherine Johnson

Sara Machi


Project title: "An International Transformation of Produce: The Marketing of Imperfect Produce in France and the United States"

Mentor: Alicia Horky

Amy Mullan

Public Health and Policy Studies

Project title: "Newcomers and Nursing: Infant-feeding beliefs and practices of resettled refugee and asylum seekers in North Carolina"

Mentor: Aunchalee Palmquist

Grace O'Hara

International Business

Project title: "Can microfinance help families in a high inflation environment? Field Research in South Sudan"

Mentor: Steven DeLoach

Samantha Perry

Human Services

Project title: "The role of Ethiopian midwives in the prevention of mother-to-child-transmission of HIV: A human rights framework"

Mentor: Cynthia Fair

Cassandra Tumasz

Dance Science, Dance Performance, Choreography

Project title: "Is Anatomical or Metaphorical Imagery More Effective in Releasing Physical and Psychological Stress in a University Dancer?"

Mentor: Lauren Kearns

Alexis Williams

English and Spanish

Project title: "The Perfect "Black" Play: How themes, structure, and plot determine the success or failure of plays by African Americans"

Mentor: Scott Proudfit