Lauren Wallem was honored with the 2011 Outstanding Major in Religious Studies Award during Honors Day May 17 at North Central College.
Wallem is a graduating senior double-majoring in religious studies and political science. She has been accepted to the master of divinity program at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in Evanston, Ill.
As a student at North Central, Wallem conducted research and presented her findings at the College's Rall Symposium for Undergraduate Research. Her work, "Beyond Blending: Finding a Space for Authentic Native American Christian Expression" explored the relationship between the American Christian church and Native American nations.
"While colonization and missionary violence created a tragic cultural loss for Native Americans that still exists today, there is a space in the modern church for authentic Native American Christian expressions that do not damage cultural integrity," she wrote in the abstract about her research.
In March 2011 she was among a group of students who traveled to New Rochelle, N.Y., to build and repair homes for Habitat for Humanity as part of a spring break service trip.