Amanda Witte

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