Feature: McGregor Fellow Research
By Cathy Kramer
This past summer, 10 Calvin students participated in the McGregor Fellowship program. These students worked in various fields ranging from business to service learning to political science.
“Overall, it was a really great experience,” said senior Paul Dunteman, who performed market research analysis with business professor Tom Betts. “It gave me an opportunity to explore the research aspect of marketing.”
Since 1999, the McGregor Fellowship program has been supporting students like Dunteman, giving them a chance to engage in academic research in their field of study.
This is a unique opportunity in that students in the social sciences and humanities get to participate in summer research, a job typically dominated by those in scientific programs.
The Detroit-based McGregor Foundation originally funded this program at Calvin, but its continuation has been made possible through the contributions of several private donors.
For Dunteman, one of the best features of this program was getting to work one-on-one with a Calvin professor.
“Professor Betts became a mentor for me this summer,” he said. “He taught me a lot about professionalism and marketing research strategies. I used to see data as just a bunch of numbers, but we were able to take those numbers and make them into something valuable, finding and reporting on trends in the market.”
Another valuable part of the McGregor Fellowship is the weekly seminars that brought all of the program’s students together from across their varying disciplines. Each week they read articles focused on the research and would hear different professors’ views on the subject.
“Once a week we would get together over lunch and talk about life in the academy,” Dunteman said. “I loved getting to hear from professors and learn more about what their passions are.”
In addition to the seminars, the group spent time together off campus, including a barbeque at the end of the summer.
“It was great way to get to know some new people, and it was cool because we were all doing such different projects,” said Dunteman.
Of the 10 McGregors from this summer, six are participating in the poster fair. In addition to Dunteman, John Michael La Salle, Ben Bilgen, Brianne Dekker, Greg Kim and Kerrah Pyper are displaying the results of their research.