Our Professors are Scholars of Renown

F&M students have remarkable opportunities to work side by side with faculty who conduct groundbreaking work in their fields of expertise. 

  • Elizabeth Lonsdorf, associate professor of psychology at Franklin & Marshall College, has long studied (and photographed) chimpanzees at Gombe Stream Research Center in Tanzania. Elizabeth Lonsdorf, associate professor of psychology at Franklin & Marshall College, has long studied (and photographed) chimpanzees at Gombe Stream Research Center in Tanzania.
  • Senior Holly Torres with Professor Lonsdorf, double checking field data sent to F&M from Gombe. Torres reviews the information for accuracy and clarity. Students say the experience is excellent preparation for graduate school. Senior Holly Torres with Professor Lonsdorf, double checking field data sent to F&M from Gombe. Torres reviews the information for accuracy and clarity. Students say the experience is excellent preparation for graduate school.
  • Religious Studies Professor SherAli Tareen's book, "Defending Muhammad in Modernity." Religious Studies Professor SherAli Tareen's book, "Defending Muhammad in Modernity."
  • Religious Studies Professor SherAli Tareen's just released first book explores "crucial intra-Muslim debates about Islamic law, theology, and ritual practice that erupted almost two centuries ago." Religious Studies Professor SherAli Tareen's just released first book explores "crucial intra-Muslim debates about Islamic law, theology, and ritual practice that erupted almost two centuries ago."

These exemplary scholars include Associate Professor of Psychology Elizabeth Lonsdorf, whose curiosity about primates led her to the famous Gombe Stream Research Center in Tanzania and the Jane Goodall Institute. She recently co-authored a fascinating study about chimpanzees and how they teach one another to use tools to gather termite snacks. 

And Associate Professor of Religious Studies SherAli Tareen, whose new book, "Defending Muhammad in Modernity," is generating thought-provoking debates among Middle East experts about Islamic law, theology and ritual practices dating back 200 years.

These are the professors of F&M—engaged, accomplished scholars who bring their vast wells of knowledge and passion to the classroom every day.

Distinctiveness Across Disciplines 

The cornerstone of the educational experience we offer is students working side-by-side with faculty who want to help them test ideas, not just talk or read about them. These are not experiences students have to wait until graduate school to pursue. It's a core part of what we do.

More than 50 percent of F&M seniors participate in an independent study or self-designed major, far more than students at other leading national liberal arts colleges. Our students develop intellectual skills and have real-life experiences that serve them well beyond graduation.

 Student Research at F&M

A centerpiece of faculty and student joint research at Franklin & Marshall is the Hackman Summer Scholars program,  funded in part by an endowment created by an alumnus, William Hackman of the Class of 1939, and his wife, Lucille.

The program involves 60 to 70 students working side-by-side each summer with more than 30 faculty members across campus in innovative projects that span the natural sciences, humanities, social sciences and the arts.

The 10-week period of intense research allows for focused attention on a problem and sometimes results in co-authorship of a publication in a peer-reviewed journal. Some students have had as many as six co-authored publications from their F&M research.

Story 1/4/2021

No Lab, No Problem: Students Share Remote Research Solutions

Despite the pandemic's disruption, 40 Franklin & Marshall students completed fall research projects.  Three Hackman Scholars share how they made it work against the odds.   

Read More
A Day in the Life of F&M in COVID | Grace Oram ’21
Story 11/16/2020

Student Biologist Takes a Walk on the Wild Side

Catch a day in the life of aspiring conservationist Grace Oram. The F&M senior is studying the impact of urbanization on native wildlife in Southeast Pennsylvania with a focus on cases of rabies in...

Read More
Story 11/10/2020

F&M Faculty-Student Research Wins HUD Grant

The research is led by Harriet Okatch and Jennifer Meyer, assistant professors of public health in the fields of biology and government, respectively. They received a three-year, $699,139 lead...

Read More