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Waldorf College Students Awarded $500 Research Grants

Jason Eck

Two Waldorf College students have won $500 grants from the Alpha Chi Honor Society chapter for undergraduate research.

Senior Adam Herrick of Charles City, Iowa, and senior Lauren Trembath-Neuberger of Clear Lake, Iowa, both Alpha Chi members, won the annual awards. They were among four Waldorf students who submitted applications. The competition was open to Alpha Chi members and nonmembers.

Adam HerrickHerrick, who is majoring in biology, will use the grant to help cover costs for his research of a molecule in a Chinese tea and the effect it may have on advancing the treatment of medical conditions. He will apply for the help of the National Cancer Institute, which will test the effect of the molecule on 60 different types of cancer and send results to Herrick for analysis.

“I was really excited to have won the grant,” said Herrick, who has been an Alpha Chi member since his sophomore year. “As an undergraduate, research grants are hard to come by, so this will hopefully give me the edge I need to do some great work. The money will be spent on materials for experiments we will perform as well as to pay for expenses to travel to larger universities to access more specific equipment.”

Herrick’s adviser, assistant professor of biology Gary Coombs, added, “It is a great achievement to be able to put on his resume or medical school applications,” Coombs said. “The project will fulfill his senior research requirement.”

Herrick is active in many areas on campus. He is the current president of the student body and student senate, and vice president of the Biology Club. He has served as a resident assistant for the past three years and is an active member of ACTS (Active Catholics to Serve), a worship group on campus. Herrick also works as a tutor in the Academic Achievement Center for Excellence (AACE) and has competed in cross -country and wrestling.

Lauren Trembath-NeubergerTrembath-Neuberger, who is double majoring in creative writing and English, will use the grant toward her study of creative writing this summer. She hopes to return to the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference in Vermont or an artists’ colony .

“I’m honored to win the award, and excited about the possibilities that it has opened for me,” Trembath-Neuberger said. “I will be able to travel farther or stay longer at colonies or conferences than I otherwise would have.”

Trembath-Neuberger was selected to attend the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference in August and had the opportunity to work one-one-one with top authors and to connect with editors and publishers. The conference is considered the oldest and most prestigious writers’ conference in the United States. 

Joe Wilkins, director of creative writing and assistant professor of English and adviser, said, “She knows writing is about craft and lots and lots of practice, and she’s always willing to learn,” Wilkins said. “That’s why it’s been so wonderful for her to have this relationship with Bread Loaf – which, by the way, is wildly hard to get accepted into, and here’s Lauren getting in as an undergrad.”

In addition to her involvement with Alpha Chi, Trembath-Neuberger is the editor of the Crusader, the Waldorf College literary magazine. Trembath-Neuberger joined Alpha Chi in the fall.

Grant money comes from the Alpha Chi general fund. The grants are available each year to help students pay for costs related to an undergraduate research-related expense.

Alpha Chi is a national college honor society that admits students from all academic disciplines. Membership is limited to the top 10 percent of the juniors, seniors and graduate students of an institution. To learn more, e-mail Suzanne Falck-Yi at, call Ext. 8218 or visit

Waldorf, a four-year liberal arts college founded in 1903, delivers engaging experiences through innovative classroom instruction. The college offers residential and online bachelor’s degree programs such as music, theater, sociology, physical education, fire science administration and criminal justice administration.