Freshman Scholars Program

For more information

If you have questions about the Freshman Scholars Program, you can contact:

Dr. Katie Goff                            Freshman Scholars Program Director

Check out the photos from our 2nd annual Freshman Scholars Program on our Ferrum Flickr site!

WE ARE NO LONGER ACCEPTING applications for our summer 2014 program.

If you have any questions about our summer 2015 Freshman Scholars Program, please contact the program director, Dr. Katie Goff, at kgoff@ferrum.edu.

Join the Freshman Scholars!

Our Freshman Scholars Program has been a huge success!  Watch the video below to learn more about the program and to see footage from our inaugural program (2012).


New Ferrum College freshmen may be selected to partner with a faculty member on a scholarly research project before they enroll in their fall semester courses. For two weeks in August, these students will earn three college credits by participating in Ferrum's Freshman Scholars Program and working on a research project with their faculty mentor. 

Focused interaction between students and faculty is part of what sets Ferrum College apart from other colleges and universities. Most undergraduate students do not have the opportunity to be mentored by an expert on a chosen project of interest until graduate school; however, at Ferrum College, you can begin this type of experience even before your freshman year begins!

The all-inclusive fee includes housing, meals, social activities, and three credits toward your degree.

The Freshman Scholars initiative is designed to establish a community of first-year undergraduate students and faculty researchers. Each faculty member will mentor one to three students to maximize the quality of interactions throughout the two-week program.


Learn more about the Freshman Scholars Program:



Who can benefit from the Freshman Scholars Program?

Students who desire to connect individually with faculty members and get a head start on distinguishing themselves.  


What projects are available?

* The projects differ each year.  Click Here to see our past Freshman Scholars projects. 

Below are examples of program research projects offered in the past.  Click on a project title for more information. 

Origami Design

Students interested in "Origami Design" will likely have experience building or creating using their hands.  The activities included in this project will require dexterity and patience.

Instructor:  Bryan Faulkner


Population Structure of Pond Turtles in Relation to an Urbanization Gradient

Students interested in environmental science or biology.

Instructor:  Todd Fredericksen


The Effects of Timber Stand Improvement and Bioenergy Harvesting on Wildlife Species

Students interested in environmental science or biology.

Instructor:  Todd Fredericksen


The Graceful Labeling Conjecture: A Programming Approach

Students interested in mathematics, computer science, or computer information systems.

Instructor:  Carlos Nicolas


Harry Potter and the Scrupulous Editor

Students interested in Harry Potter, literature, writing, editing, and research.

Instructor:  Lana Whited


Alteration of Flavor and Metabolite Profile of Tomatoes Infected with Root-Knot Nematodes

Students interested in chemistry, biology, or agriculture.

Instructor:  Laura Grochowski


Surface Skeletal and Buried Body Remains Recovery

Students interested in criminal justice and forensic science.

Instructor:  David Nicholson


Exploring Makerspaces Through Robotics and Electronics

Students interested in computing, design, electronics, libraries, robotics, programming, gaming, or Arduino.

Instructor:  Heather Wilson


Impact of Brassinosteroids and Biostimulants on Greenhouse and Field Performance of Select Crops

Students with a background or interest in agriculture, horticulture, plant/microbe interactions and ecology, plant hormones, plant physiology, field and/or greenhouse cropping, ecological and alternative/organic farming, or biostimulants.

Instructor:  Tim Durham


Millennial Undergraduate Research Strategies of Incoming Freshmen at Ferrum College

Students should have excellent communication skills, enjoy doing research, have a fondness for libraries and should be detail-oriented and savvy with technology.

Instructor:  Brandi Porter


Interrogating Data Through Graphical Summary and Statistical Modeling

Students interested in finding quantitative answers to the questions raised by the world around them.  They should be comfortable with interacting with a computer by typing commands at a prompt rather than clicking on options from pull-down menus. A strong background in high school math and science is preferred, but more importantly, applicants should have a strong interest in math and science.

Instructor:  Dan Bowman



Who is eligible for the program?  

Newly accepted freshmen students who have paid their $250 deposit may apply to participate.

How much does the program cost?

The all-inclusive fee for all program participants for the 2015 program is TBD.  The fee includes housing, meals, social activities, and three credits toward your degree.  The deadline to pay this program fee is TBD. 


How do I apply to the program?

How to apply:

  1. Apply for admission to Ferrum College and be accepted. The $250 Ferrum College tuition deposit will be required before enrolling in the program.

  2. Complete the Online Freshman Scholars Application or Download the application to send it by mail or email! 
    Check back again later to apply to participate in the summer 2015 Freshman Scholars Program. 
    Your application should include the following:

    •  A statement explaining why you are interested in participating as a freshman scholar.
    •  A prioritized list of the project(s) on which you would be interested in working and the reason(s) for your interest.
    •  A detailed statement of your qualifications to work on the project(s) you selected.

The Program Director and participating faculty mentors will review the applications to determine the student’s eligibility. A telephone interview or email correspondence may be required for additional screening.




How will I spend my time? 

•  Most of your time will be spent with your faculty mentor.
•  You will receive training and instruction on tools related to your scholarly work including library and information resources.
•  You will have the opportunity to participate in planned and informal social interactions, including:

      º  The Ferrum Outdoors ropes course
      º  Intramural sports
      º  Movie night
      º  Local music and culture

•  You will have the chance for scholarly interactions with faculty and peers and to conduct research presentations.



Where will I live?

Participating students will live with another scholar in one of the residence halls on the Ferrum campus.