Emily Howell '12

Discover what students are doing in The Calvin Honors Program

What if you could discover and name a previously undiscovered virus?

Ask Ariangela Davis, biology major. She discovered a phage, a virus that infects bacteria, and named it “Anaya” (Hebrew for “God answered”). Now she’s studying how her phage impacts human digestive health.

Ariangela discovered Anaya during a first-semester biology research course. Professors John Wertz and Randy DeJong work with 24 first-year Calvin students doing phage research during an introductory biology course that is funded by a Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) grant. Calvin is one of 48 colleges and universities selected for HHMI’s National Genomics Research Initiative.

After graduating from Calvin, Ariangela is planning to get a PhD in either genetics or microbiology.

Recent honors thesis projects

Psychology: research examining the effect of low impact exercise in the treatment of anxiety and depression
Economics: a study outlining a theoretical restructuring of the U.S. pharmaceutical industry
English: a novel retelling the fall of angels and humans
Physics: an investigation of Brightest Cluster Galaxies—giant galaxies with connections to the history of the universe
Math and computer science: a mathematical software package
Speech pathology: a case study on the effectiveness of animal assisted speech therapy for a child with autism
Geography/urban sociology: a project examining how Rust Belt cities can shrink smartly
Civil and environmental engineering: a design plan for a nine-story building for a non-governmental organization in Phnom Penh, Cambodia

What Calvin honors students think

"The honors program places me in classes where I'm challenged, where I'm surrounded by students who have the same high expectations and work ethic as myself."—Josh deLacy

"I have really enjoyed the honors classes I have taken at Calvin, and have appreciated the small class size, close professor-student interactions, and stimulating intellectual challenges that they have provided. I enjoy being part of a group of students who have a desire to actively grow in knowledge and fully embrace the topics presented."—Christie Timmer