At Knox, research and creative work are celebrated year-round, culminating into our annual signature Horizons event during Founders Week in February. The Horizons celebration has included poster presentations, an art show, theatrical performances, dance and choir concerts, multimedia displays, and sharing off-campus and internship experiences.
In 2012, its inaugural year, Horizons was presented by The Gerald and Carol Vovis Center for Research and Advanced Study and contributed to Knox's 175th anniversary celebration, as well as the installation of Dr. Teresa L. Amott as the 19th president of Knox College.
| 2nd Annual Horizons Celebration|
Celebrated February 14, 2013
History of Undergraduate Research at Knox
Knox is a recognized pioneer in the promotion of undergraduate research, scholarship, and creative work. The earliest recorded example of in-depth undergraduate research was conducted by Ella Devenny '23 under the mentorship of Professor of Biology George Hunter. The project, titled “A Preliminary Report on a Sanitary Survey of Galesburg, Illinois,” was published by the Illinois State Academy of Science and, it can be argued, prompted Galesburg to launch a major municipal sewage control project.
By the 1950s, independent student research, scholarship, and creative work were common, with the best work formalized and recognized in the College Honors Program. During this same period, a strong faculty-student research culture within the natural sciences developed and was sustained by research grants from such organizations as the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health.
During the 1980s and ’90s, Knox responded to growing national concerns over the declining number of college graduates pursuing doctoral degrees by broadening the scale of student involvement in research and creative work. Grants from the Ford Foundation and The Pew Charitable Trusts provided funds to expand structured programs of student research into the junior year, and the inception of the College's McNair Program supported students from underrepresented populations in the attainment of doctoral degrees.
By the early 1990s, the number of students graduating with College Honors, or undertaking full-scale independent projects in other ways, had significantly expanded. Such efforts enabled us to participate early in national organizations such as the Council on Undergraduate Research, Project Kaleidoscope, and the National Conference on Undergraduate Research.
Most recently, Knox College has established The Gerald and Carol Vovis Center for Research and Advanced Study to create a permanent structure to support and enhance our longstanding culture of undergraduate research, scholarship, and creative work. A grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation in 2007 provided the start-up funds for the Center, which was renamed in 2011 in recognition of a substantial gift from Knox Trustee Gerald ’65 and Carol ’65 Vovis toward the renovation of Alumni Hall -- a historic 122-year-old building on our campus that will house the Vovis Center upon its completion.
2013 Horizons Student Presenters (read their bios)
Music and writing students collaborated and performed with renowned bassist and composer Ben Allison, as jazz fans got a live, free preview of Allison's new album, during Knox's inaugural Mirza Jazz Residency.
Knox's Team X-Ray places second among 15 liberal arts colleges that competed in an intense regional contest involving programming teams from colleges and universities in five states.
Finals and term projects can be more than tests and papers, as Knox College faculty make engaging assignments and exams -- including design your own superhero -- to evaluate student academic achievements.