Research Puts Mental Training to the Test
Strike Zone Metric Makes the Grade
Researching Addiction Science in the Holy Land
We Place a High Value on Research
A hallmark of Westmont’s outstanding undergraduate liberal arts education is providing opportunities for students to conduct significant research with faculty.
Approximately 1,350 undergraduates (including 150 in off-campus programs) enjoy a student-to-faculty ratio of 11 to 1 and an average class size of 18, which allows them to develop close relationships with outstanding faculty who are committed to teaching, scholarship, research, service and involving undergraduates in research.
Student Research Opportunities
Each summer, approximately 30 students from STEM fields work as full-time research assistants, collaborating closely with professors on cutting-edge projects. Many of these research projects extend into the school year. Some students even co-author scientific papers with their faculty.
Major Honors Projects
Students from any major may choose to replace their senior capstone experience with a Major Honors project. These year-long research opportunities take various forms, but they each involve extensive independent research into a topic of the student's choice.
Student Research Symposia
Every semester, students present their research to the Westmont community through posters and short presentations. The projects range from novels to psychology research to chemical bonding studies.
See examples of recent research in the 2022 Celebration of Summer Research Program.
Sara Johnson '05, triple board certified in Emergency Medicine, Preventive Medicine and Public Health, and Lifestyle Medicine, earned a Doctor of Medicine from the Keck School of Medicine at USC. Her work as an emergency physician in one of the nation’s largest safety-net hospitals allowed her to experience the epidemic of chronic disease we face in our country as well as to learn how ineffective our standard treatments for these diseases often are. "My liberal arts education at Westmont helped pave my path to medicine and then course-correct toward the emerging field of lifestyle medicine," she says. "Beyond the scope of my biology books, I gained valuable skills and traits from my Westmont experience that too many of my colleagues in medicine lack: strong and broad scientific understanding; critical thinking skills; empathy and compassion; willingness to challenge dogma; holistic approach to knowledge; appreciation for multiple perspectives; all-encompassing, restorative stewardship of God’s creation.
Lexy Gillette '21 chose Westmont over a large research institution after seeing the beautiful campus and earning an Augustinian Scholarship. “My studies at Westmont have given me a more solid foundation in my faith, and I know how to think about my faith intellectually. I’ve asked some of the hard questions," she says. Lexy, who double majored in biology and chemistry at Westmont, is earning a doctorate at the University of Oxford. “Westmont faculty pose questions without telling you what to believe," she says. "They give you a bunch of resources and encourage you to read and think about issues from multiple sides and then let you decide what to think based on the evidence, which I really appreciate. I’ve absolutely loved it here.”
Premature infants face an increased risk for cerebral palsy (CP), and detecting the condition early can lead to better treatment and outcomes. Don Patterson, Westmont professor of computer science, has patented a limb-motion monitor that may identify preterm babies most likely to be diagnosed with CP.
Professor Enrico Manlapig and his students in Westmont’s Applied Management Science course offer their expertise in analytic decision-making to the local community. Recently, they acted as the Westmont Decision Lab and assisted the Santa Barbara Zoo in making some decisions about its future.