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Ripon College Summer Opportunities for Advanced Research logo

The Summer Opportunities for Advanced Research (SOAR) program provides hands-on research and professional development activities to encourage exploration and enhance critical-thinking skills among Ripon College students. Each participating student will be mentored by a faculty member in pursuit of their identified research or creative interests, completing 400 hours of research and/or artistic activities on campus and attending weekly professional development seminars. This paid one-on-one mentorship program culminates in a poster presentation of findings to campus leaders and often reaches far beyond campus to publication in relevant industry journals.

  • Who is the SOAR program for?
    Anyone interested in engaging in advanced techniques and development within your field of interest. This opportunity allows you to learn the skills that are used to create scholarship and gain in-depth experience.
  • Do I have to be a science major?
    No. While there are great research opportunities for science majors, the SOAR program has provided many successful projects in areas such as anthropology, history, mathematics, museum studies, philosophy, psychology and more. If you are passionate about pursuing advanced professional development in any area, complete the interest form to see if we can accommodate your interests.
  • Will I get paid for my research?
    Yes. You will earn $3,500 for your efforts in the form of biweekly paychecks (i.e., five paychecks for 80 hours of work over two-week periods). The 400 paid hours must be completed after Commencement Weekend and before Convocation Weekend (i.e., the summer months). The $3,500 is pre-tax, and tax withholdings, FICA, etc., will be withheld. On-campus housing will be available without direct charge to you. Note that it is considered a $725 taxable fringe benefit.
  • How much time do I have to commit to the program?
    400 hours in the summer months, starting after Commencement Weekend and concluding before Convocation Weekend.
  • Is student housing available in the summer?
    Yes. You will qualify for on-campus housing without direct charge to you. See payment information for additional details.
  • When is the application due?
    Applications for the 2023 SOAR program are closed.


  • “#HerQuarter: “Pocket Monuments” and the Depiction of Women on U.S. Coinage” | Gemma Koester-Jess ’23 and Ursula Dalinghaus


  • “Floral preference and tongue length in bumble bee species: categorizing floral species and corolla tube length” | Lily Lustig ’23 and Benjamin R. Grady
  • “Factors affecting the presence of federally endangered pollinator species on Wisconsin prairies” | Julia R. Scharinger ’23 and Benjamin R. Grady
  • “Wren Guards Obstruct House Wren Nest Destruction Behavior” | Zach Rowling ’24, Natalie Davies ’24 and Memuna Khan
  • “Something Fishy: Rho kinase 2 expression patterns and craniofacial cartilage development in zebrafish embryos” | Ofome Omosotome 23 and Barbara Sisson
  • “The Interactions of fzd7a, fzd7b, and gpc4” | Inesha Wiseman ’23 and Barbara Sisson
  • “Comparison of Colony Formation in Two Sessile Rotifers” | Natalie Davies ’24, Alex LaFleur ’24 and Bob Wallace
  • “Preliminary report: The effect of litter composition, sex and order of encounter on juvenile play behavior in rats” | Elizabeth A. Stanfield ’23, Anna P. Meixensperger ’24 and Robin M. Forbes-Lorman


  • “Synthesis of 4-Quinolones from Benzyne en Route to the Synthesis of the Waltherione C” | Jacob J. Abraham ’25 and Patrick H. Willoughby
  • “Evaluation of sp-Relay Substrates for the Rapid Generation of Molecular Complexity” | Kyle R. Koss ’25 and Patrick H. Willoughby
  • “Determining Chemical Runoff Contamination in Ripon Area Waterways” | Roberth U. Flores ’24, Than Thar Su ’25 and Colleen M. Byron
  • “Efforts Toward the Synthesis of the Waltherione C Using the Hexadehydro-Diels–Alder Reaction” | Jacob J. Oppeneer ’24 and Patrick H. Willoughby


  • “Optimizing Immunohistochemistry in the Rat Brain” | Anna Meixensperger ’24 and Robin Forbes-Lorman

Exercise Science

  • “Effects of quadricep dominant versus functional training programs on functional movements and motor unit recruitment” | Tamera M. Holland ’23, Larissa L. Rowley ’23 and Brittany N. Followay
  • “Effects of a quadricep dominant versus functional training program on balance, activities of daily living, and motor unit recruitment” | Larissa L. Rowley ’23, Tamera M. Holland ’23 and Brittany N. Followay


  • “Rethinking Liberal Arts Education at Ripon College in the Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Century” | Olivia Robinson ’24 and Brian Bockelmann


  • “Stabilization of Proteins Against Thermal Denaturation” | Benjamin Hildebrand ’24 and Christina Othon

Political Science

  • “Outside Money in New York City and Los Angeles: Can City Council Elections Be Bought?” | Aaron M. O’Halloran ’24 and Henrik M. Schatzinger


  • “A Helping Paw: Factors Influencing Empathy-like Behaviors” | Olivia R. Mandel ’22 and Julia E. Meyers-Manor

If you are interested in learning more, we invite you to contact a program advisor or current student who has participated in the past for additional details. You also can complete the application/interest form to see if we are able to accommodate your interests.

SOAR Program Advisors