Undergraduate Research

Cal Lutheran students are actively engaged in important research projects every term, conducting scholarship with real-world implications for the health and well-being of all people. Some of this research is funded by the Office of Undergraduate Research.




Festival of Scholars

The Festival of Scholars showcases scholarly work of undergraduate and graduate students from the College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Education and the School of Management.

Festival of Scholars »


Student Research Symposium

This annual event serves to showcase the work of CLU's top students. Most of these students have spent their entire summer working full-time side-by-side with a faculty mentor on their project. The original results that are shared at this venue are often also presented at discipline-specific professional conferences throughout the region and country.

Student Research Symposium »


Cal Lutheran students regularly combine personal passion with intellectual curiosity to work toward improving the world around them.


Kristen Keough

Majors: Economics & Political Science
Hometown: Phoenix, AZ

How Fair is Fair Trade?

Funded with a Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship

"In 1995, coffee became the world's most popular beverage, yet supply has grown faster than demand, causing prices to plummet and leaving growers in poverty. As fair trade beans become more prevalent, more growers are being helped, but it is creating a large subsidy in the coffee market. I analyzed fair trade on the personal level of averageprices paid to individual growers, as well as the broader coffee market. It was fun to learn that Starbucks gives customers a cup of fair trade coffee upon request, knowledge I now exploit whenever I go."






Travis Hayden

Major: Exercise Science
Hometown: Mission Hills, CA

The Influence of Walking Grade on Muscle and Bone Health in Older Adults

Funded with a Swenson Fellowship

My research project involved recruiting 31 older adults walking regularly for exercise on either predominately flat terrains with little to no elevation gains, or on hilly terrains with more significant elevation. The purpose of the study was to determine the effect of walking over various grades on bone density, muscle mass, strength and physical function. I learned numerous things about how to conduct research using tests with sound physiological rationale and, maybe most importantly, how much work goes into proving ideas and hypotheses scientifically."






Jennifer Arceo

Majors: Chemistry & Environmental Science
Hometown: South Gate, CA

Isolation and Characterization of Humic Acids by Multiplexed Capillary Electrophoresis

Funded by a grant from the Environmental Protection Agency

"I'm performing research on humic and fulvic acids which cause black foot disease in underdeveloped countries with high concentrations in their water. However, these acids are known to have therapeutic properties in low doses. I am working on optimizing the separation of the humic acids on the Capillary Electrophoresis instrument. My research will eventually lead to the extraction of humic and fulvic acids from water bodies and soils. Working with the EPA, I was placed into an organic lab and treated as a fellow analyst. I was surprised at the knowledge I was able to offer their lab."




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