Student Research

You can sit in class and study about it elsewhere or you can come to Alma College and get to work!

American History

Maria Vostrizansky was published in Volume 12, Issue 3 of the Armstrong Undergraduate Journal of History for her work, “Standing the Ground: The Crises of the 1790s and the Philosophies of the Federalist Papers.” Vostrizansky’s paper compares the political belief presented in the Federalist Papers with the actions undertaken by authors during the Whiskey Tax’s enactment in 1791, the Genet Affair’s crisis of 1793, and the implementation of the Alien and Sedition Acts in 1798. She said the paper started as an assignment in a history class with Associate Professor of History Kristin Olbertson and thanks in part to Olbertson’s encouragement, became something much bigger.

Rocket Science

Stevie Hyde was awarded the Ronald O. Kapp Honors Day Prize in the natural sciences category for his work in creating a small rocket engine. Hyde began his project as a first-year student. It continued through an engineering workshop course supervised by Victor Argueta-Diaz, associate professor of physics and pre-engineering coordinator, as well as through an independent study course. Hyde said he was grateful to Alma College for the opportunity to conduct such research, which required the expertise of faculty from across different disciplines to complete.

Reducing Injuries in Athletes

Abby Wohlfert spent part of her summer taking a trip to the mechanical engineering department at Tennessee Tech University, which has a research partnership with Alma College’s own integrative physiology and health science (IPHS) department. While in Tennessee, Wohlfert, using materials from the Alma College cadaver laboratory, tested the durability of Achilles tendons, in the hopes of reducing injuries in athletes. Wohlfert used this research as part of her senior thesis, which she then presented at Honors Day. Wohlfert said she was grateful to Alma College for the opportunity to pursue research as an undergraduate.

Science, Technology, Engineering and Math

Alma College students don’t just observe — they innovate. At Alma, you will work with accomplished scientists and cutting-edge equipment to prepare for a rewarding life of exploration and discovery.

These are the majors of today and the careers of tomorrow. Learn, grow and experiment within our STEM majors and explore the research opportunities and hands-on learning experiences you can get from Alma.

Our small class sizes mean you will work side by side with our faculty experts to seek solutions to complex problems. Our graduates leave with a set of skills that help them understand the world and prepare for challenging and rewarding careers in the growing fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

Your liberal arts education will not only prepare you to tackle problems within your major, but will challenge you to think critically and creatively about larger world issues and how they connect with your area of study.

Want to get a taste of Alma’s amazing opportunities before you enroll? Check out some of our STEM-based summer camps and see what we’re all about.

Students in dow Alma College, 10/07/2019. Photos by Steve Jessmore, Steve Jessmore Photography,, 616-606-3451

The Dow Digital Science Center

A $5 million grant from The Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Foundation addresses the national demand for more graduates trained in the STEM fields. Since receiving the grant in 2014, Alma College faculty have been busy putting into place a variety of educational and outreach initiatives. One of the newest additions is the Dow Digital Science Center (DDSC).

The center, located within the Rollin M. Gerstacker Science and Technology Suite in the Dow Science Center, is a place for the collection and storage of data and remote sensing instrumentation. Linking data from remote sensors in the field to the DDSC provides immerses high school and college students and faculty in STEM research.

The DDSC provides space for Alma College students and faculty to analyze the environmental data. The new space also projects data from the Forest Hill Nature Center and other remote locations on multiple large-scale display monitors. In addition, the DDSC sponsors summer camps for students in grades 2-6 as well as middle and high school teachers and students.