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Hendrix Odyssey Program Announces Latest Project Funding

October 2023 funding cycle distributes more than $58K across 10 projects

CONWAY, Arkansas (November 13, 2023) — The Committee on Engaged Learning is pleased to announce $58,659.43 in Odyssey funding to 10 projects. These projects range from artistic explorations in weaving, murals, museums and galleries, poetry, music, fashion, and public art installation to exploring the connections between environmental and human wellness and more. Since 2005, the Committee on Engaged Learning has awarded more than $5 million – $ 5,087,907.51 to be exact – in competitive Odyssey grants to support 1,547 projects by Hendrix students and faculty.

Artistic Creativity

Alyssa Chaffin ’25 and Savannah Loving ’26

A Change of Scenery: A Mural Project

Supervisor: Matthew Lopas

During Winter Break, Alyssa and Savannah will draw, digitally design, and paint a mural in the Art Department’s painting studio, under the direction of Professor Lopas; an unveiling will take place when campus re-opens for the spring semester.

Global Awareness

Faustine Neema ’26 and Jaden Wilber ’25

An Expression through Artistry (with an emphasis on Poetry, Fashion, and Music)

Supervisor: Karisa McAlister

Neema and Jaden will explore how artists in Kigali, Rwanda, express themselves through spoken word poetry, streetwear fashion, and popular music, investigating how the three areas are interconnected.

Jennifer Penner

Returning to Nature: Nature, Identity, and Human & Environment Well-Being in Costa Rica

In May 2024, Dr. Jennifer Penner and a group of students from various disciplines will spend nearly two weeks exploring the intersection of nature, identity, conservation, and human well-being in the Bellbird Biological Corridor of Costa Rica.

Service to the World

Gaelle Agahozo ’24, Ketsia Dusenge ’25, Jean Claude Ntambara ’24

Career Development Boot Camp

Supervisor: Anne Goldberg

Over Winter Break, Gaelle, Ketsia, and Jean Claude will work with the Born2Serve nonprofit organization to support a four-week professional readiness and mentorship program for secondary students in Rwanda.

Special Projects

Isabel Bieligk ’24

Carceral State: Cops and Lawyers

Supervisor: Delphia Shanks

Isabel will further explore her interest in police reform through select readings and meetings with staff from the American Civil Liberties Union and police departments in Little Rock, New Orleans, and Washington, D.C.

Avery Cagle ’26, James McQuiston ’26, Lathan Smalley ’26

Joint Mathematics Meeting

Supervisor: Lars Seme

In early January, Mathematics majors Avery, James, and Lathan will explore how math research is done at the professional level by attending presentations at the Joint Mathematics Meeting, one of the two major national mathematics conferences.

Melissa Gill

ARTS 497 Practicum: Studio NYC Research Trip

In February, Professor Gill and two senior Art majors, Nic Curtis and Kobi Greer, will visit galleries and museums in New York City to gain a contextual understanding of contemporary and historical artworks which will contribute to the students’ research capstone projects and senior art exhibition on campus.

Melissa Gill

Big Paste Prints Public Art Installation

In the spring semester, Professor Gill and her Intermediate Printmaking students will participate in a national print exchange program culminating in the installation of a public exhibition in downtown Conway.

Chaney Goggans ’25

Weaving New Threads of Understanding

Supervisor: Andy Huss

Using a loom recently gifted to the College, Chaney will explore the craft of weaving and the life of a professional artist under the mentorship of a renowned Arkansas weaver, work to catalog loom dressing information and prepare samples that will be useful to future Hendrix weaving students, and create four, gallery ready, woven sculptures.

Undergraduate Research

Jonathan Hancock

Digital Arkansas History: Mapping Civil War Violence and Locating Slavery’s Legacies

Dr. Hancock and three students will engage in substantive historical research and technical training to contribute to two major digital history projects.

About Hendrix College

Founded in 1876, Hendrix College is featured in Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About Colleges and celebrated among the country’s leading liberal arts colleges for academic quality, engaged learning opportunities and career preparation, vibrant campus life, and value. The Hendrix College Warriors compete in 21 NCAA Division III sports. Hendrix has been affiliated with the United Methodist Church since 1884. Learn more at   

“… Through engagement that links the classroom with the world, and a commitment to diversity, inclusion, justice, and sustainable living, the Hendrix community inspires students to lead lives of accomplishment, integrity, service, and joy.” —Hendrix College Statement of Purpose