Every year, 15 rising juniors win $20,000 for research through the Lumen Prize. Established in 2007 by former Elon president Leo Lambert, the goal of the Lumen Prize is to give students an opportunity to pursue research and support other experiences such as international travel, service projects and workshops. For the next two years, the Lumen Scholars will work closely with their mentors to complete their research.

These are this year’s Lumen Scholars:

Abigail Hobbs | Elon News Network

Lauren Beuerle 

Major: Applied Mathematics and Data Analytics

Project: Mathematical Modeling of COVID-19 Transmission with Focus on Asymptomatic Carriers and Vaccination Schedules

Mentor: Karen Yokley

“I'm very passionate about it because I've wanted to do this since COVID happened. I had all these questions about it, and there weren't any answers to it because we were living through it. … It's something that I've really wanted to pursue because I find it incredibly interesting.’”

Abigail Hobbs | Elon News Network

Coral Clark

Major: Public Health Studies and Strategic Communications

Project: Silenced and Sidelined: Examining the Intersectional Impact of Ableism and Racism on Maternal Health

Mentor: Yanica Faustin

“This research means a lot to me because it's studying a population that I'm a part of. So I'm studying the intersection of racism and ableism on maternal health outcomes, so this will basically inform what I will experience in my future as a disabled burning person in the United States. … I'm looking forward to actually be able to analyze the data and bring some answers to people who are similar to me.”

Abigail Hobbs | Elon News Network

Gabby Conover

Major: Biology

Project: Interactions Between the Blood Brain Barrier and the Gut-Brain-Axis and its Impact on Brain Development and Behavior in Zebrafish

Mentor: Jen Uno  

“​​I've always been a really curious person and fascinated by the way the world around me works. Being able to engage in these projects will allow me to hands on and discover what's happening in the world, which is really exciting.”

Abigail Hobbs | Elon News Network

Ryan Gibbons

Major: Environmental & Ecological Science and Cinema & Television Arts

Project: Soil Carbon Sequestration in Elon Forest: Role of Past Land Use, Forest Age, and Landscape and Soil Characteristics

Mentor: Kelsey Bitting

Quote: “It's just another look at ways we can lower our impact on the environment and lower the threat of climate change. … I value the world we live in, and I value the both natural beauty and the resources that it gives us so that we can live as society. And so this is just a way for us to understand how our world works and perhaps I find ways to save it.”

Sarah T. Moore | Elon News Network

Samantha Hinton

Major: Public Health Studies and Political Science

Project: Policy & Discrimination: Service Provider Perspectives on Barriers to Healthcare Utilization of Latinx Immigrants in Post-ICE Alamance County

Mentor: Molly Green

“This project is really, really close to my heart. My goal as a researcher and as a person is to make a tangible difference in the world around me, and I feel like this project will give me the ability to really make a difference in people's lives. And that's what I have to do. … I'm also excited to get into the community and start volunteering. That's kind of what it's all about for me.”

Abigail Hobbs | Elon News Network

Olivia Lancashire

Major: Psychology

Project: Intersections Between Christian Ideas of Hell and Religious Trauma

Mentor: Lynn Huber

“As someone who has grown up Christian, I never had these ideas forced onto me by my parents, but I did kind of experience on a smaller scale of what these ideas can kind of manifest as in someone and so I'm really passionate about kind of helping people that adopted this topic in early age, because I can't imagine what even just experienced on a small scale how that would kind of translate on a much larger scale. … I think it's a great opportunity for me to not only grow academically, but also kind of take something that's on an academic scale, and then also be able to apply that to the real world and have a chance to actually make an impact on people.” 

Sarah T. Moore | Elon News Network

Corey McCall

Major: Biology

Project: Assessing the Effects of Covid and the Covid Vaccine on the Cardiac Health of the General Population: A Heart Rate Variability Study

Mentor: Robert Vick

“I actually was diagnosed with myocarditis in February so the project became really personal after that, taking on like a whole different meaning because the way it started and the way it is now is completely different to me. ... Hopefully I can get my research out there and show other people what I'm studying.” 

Abigail Hobbs | Elon News Network

Sam Perri

Major: Chemistry

Project: Shedding Light on the Surface Composition of Aqueous Aerosols

Mentor: Anthony Rizzuto

“This research is an incredible opportunity to just get started in the whole world of research because it is a huge world and so many moving pieces and it's a big part of my future, I know already. So it's also an amazing opportunity to take ownership of my own project and call the shots which is not really what you can, what you usually can do at an undergraduate level.”

Abigail Hobbs | Elon News Network

Bailey Reutinger

Major: Statistics and Biology

Project: Increasing the Accuracy of Tree-Ring Data Processing to Improve Models for Predicting Future Climate

Mentors: Nicholas Bussberg and David Vandermast

“I've known I want to do research for quite a while and that's part of the reason I came to Elon as part of the Honors Program, and so just being able to continue that and take it to the next levels. … I think a few of the things that I'm really looking forward to are like some supplemental activities, like experiences and coursework.”

Abigail Hobbs | Elon News Network

Aniya Scott

Major: Biology

Project: Centering the Black Community in the Pittsboro, N.C. Water Crisis

Mentor: Jessica Merricks

“This project actually means a lot to me because I do identify as a member of that community, so knowing that I am actually giving back to them and helping them in terms of their health is something that really brings joy.”

Abigail Hobbs | Elon News Network

Henry Searle

Major: Psychology and Biology

Project: Who Is Being Real Versus Who Is Not: Correlates, Cues, and Accuracy of Perceptions of Others’ Authenticity

Mentor: Katrina Jongman-Sereno

“I've had a kind of a complex relationship with authenticity, never really understanding. People always say, ‘Be authentic, be yourself.’ That's what people are looking for. But no one ever says what that means. … It's important for me to understand what cues are people are using when they're perceiving my own authenticity.”

Jackson Spaeth

Major: Biochemistry

Project: Intercropping as a Method to Reduce the Concentration of Toxic Metals in Cash Crops

Mentor: Dan Wright

“I wanted to study this because I came to Elon as a biology major and chemistry was really intimidating to me at first, and through some convincing and kind of finding out that I enjoyed chemistry, and I could actually be good at it. I decided to focus on this project because it's the chemical analysis of a biological system.”

Abigail Hobbs | Elon News Network

Christina Stafford

Major: English and Political Science

Project: Abolition in the Modern U.S.: Media and Identity Influence on Perceptions of Prison Abolition

Mentor: Jessica Carew 

“I really want to be able to take this research back to my community, because I feel like a lot of where we are currently today is confusing. There are a lot of confusing concepts out there. And I feel like if we're able to understand why people are confused and what information they're getting, we can help to better inform other people and hopefully move towards progress.”

Abigail Hobbs | Elon News Network

Carter Stoke

Major: Exercise Science

Project: Exploring the Power of Theacrine: Assessing the Impact of High Theacrine Doses on Hemodynamic Measures, Cognitive Measures, and Physiological Stress

Mentor: Titch Madzima

“It's a really just an opportunity for me to get a step into the research field, I’m really excited about it. Personally, I don't drink caffeine. So I'm trying to look and see if this is something that can help people that don't drink caffeine or don't like to drink caffeine. … So trying to provide maybe an alternative, not necessarily that replace caffeine but just another choice for people.” 

Abigail Hobbs | Elon News Network

Archie Z.H. Tan

Major: Computer Science

Project: Improving Early Diagnosis of Pancreatic Cancer with Synthetic Data

Mentor: Scott Spurlock

“It's a great start of my research journal. This research is very important not only to me, I think it's also important to the other researchers in the future. It's especially using synthetic data. … I think my research will be very helpful and useful, especially to the computer science field, like people can start realize the power of synthetic data.”