10 Under 10 Award Recipient: Xander Krieg ’12

“He developed an algorithm that allows a greater understanding of facial expressions and emotions.”

Ten Under Ten Award Recipient Xander Krieg ’12

Xander Krieg graduated cum laude with a bachelor of arts degree in Japanese studies and psychology. After his time at Hope, he continued his education at the University of Hawaii where he received a master of arts degree in clinical psychology. Krieg is currently pursuing a doctor of philosophy degree in clinical psychology at the same university.

Since graduating from Hope College, Krieg has had a multi-career track in academics, business, and clinical psychology. Krieg’s scholarship and professional work have led him to spend the past few years of his life traveling between Japan and the United States, the two countries that he calls home. During his initial graduate studies, he worked as a graduate assistant and clinical practicum student at the University of Hawaii’s Center for Cognitive Behavior Therapy.

Krieg was then selected as the Fulbright-Hays Pre-Doctoral Scholar to Japan from 2015 to 2016. He completed his dissertation work at the University of Tokyo and began working for Hitotsubashi University’s Graduate School of International Corporate Strategy as a statistics and research design consultant, where he still consults today. Krieg has also spent time as a therapist and clinical staff member at the TELL Counseling Center in Tokyo, Japan. During the continuation of his education, Krieg was a doctoral intern and clinical staff member at the Student Medical and Counseling Center at Central Washington University. Throughout Krieg’s career as a businessman and academic, he has published peer-reviewed material in academic journals and books, as well as providing workshops, training, and other professional presentations both in the United States and overseas.

Krieg considers himself both a scientist and entrepreneur. In pursuit of his endeavor “to spread the science of psychology and human behavior analysis in the various local and international contexts,” Krieg co-founded Emosta, Inc., a consulting company that provides emotion AI technology to counselors, coaches, and HR consultants. As the chief research and design officer, Krieg is responsible for the design and development of the AI software.

Xavier Krieg receives the Ten Under Ten Award presented by Professor of Sociology Roger Nemeth.

10 Under 10 Award Recipient: Travis Rieth ’10

“He travels North America as a photographer, writer, consultant, adventurer and advocate.”

Ten Under Ten Award Recipient Travis Rieth ’10

Travis Rieth, also known as Travis Wild, has lived a life of adventure, leadership, and service within numerous communities and through various roles. He says, “I am guessing why I was nominated for this award is not due [to] what has made up my professional career, but the life I’ve lived outside that as a writer, photographer, and someone who goes on adventures.” Rieth graduated cum laude with a bachelor of arts degree in psychology from Hope College.

Following his graduation from Hope College, Rieth worked as a primary counselor at the Dale House Project in Colorado Springs, where he worked with adolescent men and women who had been abused, homeless, in gangs, in juvenile detention, or in the foster care system in some capacity. After this position, Rieth lived homeless voluntarily in Denver in order to better understand how to empathize with a population few understand and for which he would focus on unconditional love. Rieth said he wanted to be “a Christian in a place it is desperately needed and living out love rather than just telling about it.”

This experience led Rieth to focus his efforts on speaking, writing, and leadership in the field of empathy. He has written two books: one about the adventure and lessons he gained leaving a life of comfort to live homeless for a short period of time, and the other is a children’s book for kids who have been abused or trafficked.

In 2011, he returned to Holland where he created a position at the Holland Rescue Mission focused on outreach and helping to build community programs to prevent recidivism. He led a few Hope College Greek Life retreats and coached varsity lacrosse at Holland Christian High School. Rieth then moved back out West where he worked as a Young Life mountain lodge caretaker just outside Lake Tahoe, California, where he coordinated the onsite activities and adventures for groups. From 2015 to 2017, Rieth worked as a travel director for PepsiCo, Marriott, Hewlett Packard, Mercedes, and New York Life.

Rieth founded Wild-Writes, a start-up company that provides photography, videography, design,  writing, digital and consulting services to brands in order to help better tell their stories. Outside of his work with his company, he is focusing on the publication of the books he has written and with aspirations to build on his work as a journalist and photographer. Find him on Instagram.

Travis Rieth receives his 10 Under 10 Award from Assistant Professor of Kinesiology and Volleyball Coach Becky Schmidt.

10 Under 10 Award Recipient: Sarah Watkins ’08 Fabian

“She creates new worlds on the stage and instructs others on how to do the same.”

Ten Under Ten Award Recipient Sarah Watkins ’08 Fabian

Sarah Fabian graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor of arts degree in theatre and studio art minor. Throughout her undergraduate studies, Fabian spent the majority of her time within the theatre department learning, researching, and practicing the art of design. Over her four years, she contributed to the set designs of many productions, including Perfect Pie, The School for Scandal and Rose and The Rime. Fabian was honored as a senior for her work by receiving the Brad Williams Memorial Award for Creativity and Excellence in Design from the Hope College Theatre Department, and the Regional Design Project Award for her scenic design of A Flea in Her Ear and a Certificate of Merit for scenic design on Rose and the Rime at the John F. Kennedy National American College Theatre Festival.

After her time at Hope College, Fabian earned a master of fine arts in scenic design at Northwestern University, then she pursued a career as a teaching artist and theatrical scenic designer, serving as an assistant professor of theatre at Northeastern Illinois University since the fall of 2016.

“I feel incredibly blessed that every day I wake up and am excited for what’s ahead because I am doing what I love, am good at, can be paid for it, and most importantly, it’s what the world needs…Hope College did for me what I get the honor and privilege to do every day at NEIU, and I am so grateful for this gift.”

Outside of her professorship, Fabian has led workshops and presentations regarding scenic design and visual storytelling at the Goodman Theatre and Steppenwolf Theatre Co., to name just a few. She has also been honored for her work in the United States of America Emerge Exhibition at the Prague Quadrennial of Performance and Design Space and in multiple See.Me Photography exhibitions in New York City.

Sarah Fabian receives her award from Professor of Theatre Richard Smith.

10 Under 10 Award Recipient: Jonas Lawson ’13

“He oversees high-profile campaign advertising at the local, state and federal levels.”

Ten Under Ten Award Recipient Jonas Lawson

Jonas Lawson began his education at Hope College with the intent on becoming a news reporter. Early on in his time at Hope, Lawson wrote his first TV commercial for a class project and fell in love with media. After four years, he graduated with a bachelor of arts degree in communication with a concentration on broadcasting.

As a senior, Lawson attended the National Association of Broadcasters Convention in Las Vegas with a class. There he was approached by Jeffery Myers, the founder of the Media Sales Institute at the Florida A&M University. Myers invited Lawson to attend the program after graduating from Hope, and in June 2013, Lawson graduated from the Media Sales Institute, a two-week intensive program for young graduates interested in pursuing a career in advertising sales.

The experience and opportunity at Florida A&M jump-started his career and landed him an offer for a position as a junior account executive from Comcast Spotlight in Houston, Texas. He began his career by building his book of clients and gaining exposure in the advertising field. In 2016, Lawson was awarded the President’s Club Award by Comcast Spotlight for his achievement as being one of the top six percent of Advertising Account Executives within the company who exceeded his yearly sales projections.

In September of 2017, Lawson took the next step in his career as a political advertising account executive with NCC Media, a television and online advertising firm in Bethesda, Maryland. He is responsible for overseeing high-profile campaigns, including candidate and issue advertisers at the local, state and federal levels.

Outside of his professional life, Lawson has maintained an active role in his community by volunteering with Comcast Spotlight on Comcast Cares Day. In 2013, he began volunteering with Star of Hope, an organization dedicated to providing resources to individuals who are homeless and mothers with young children who need shelter and assistance. He continues to support those around him by mentoring, coaching youth track, and extending support to those in need following natural disasters, such as Hurricane Harvey in Houston, Texas.

10 Under 10 Award Recipient: Maggie Mohr ’09

“She has made significant contributions in neuroscience through her research.”

Ten Under Ten Award Recipient Maggie Mohr ’09

Maggie Mohr, a young woman with a passion for science, graduated with a bachelor of arts degree in biology and psychology from Hope College. Towards the end of her undergraduate career and after making a considerable impact within the natural and applied sciences division, numerous professors encouraged Mohr to pursue graduate school.

In August of 2015, she earned a Ph.D. in neuroscience from the Michigan State University College of Natural Science Neuroscience Program focused on neuro- and gliogenesis in the pubertal rat brain and the implications for female reproduction. Mohr credits the unique and valuable research opportunities throughout her undergraduate experience at Hope College that gave her a solid foundation regarding science, learning, and service and prepared her for a career in academia and research.

As a graduate student, Mohr engaged in research, alongside Dr. Cheryl Sisk at Michigan State University, investigating cell proliferation during puberty and its consequent effects on adult behavior. After obtaining her Ph.D., Mohr received the Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Fellow within the Department of Neurobiology at the University of California, Los Angeles. There she continues her career as a scientist and researcher working on a project titled “Estrogen Responsiveness of Pubertally Born Astrocytes” within the laboratory of Dr. Paul Micevych.

Throughout her undergraduate and graduate career, Mohr received numerous awards for her contributions and research including the Travel Award (2009) and the Undergraduate Student Poster Award (2009) from the Society of Behavioral Neuroendocrinology and the Research Excellence Award (2013) from the Michigan State University Neuroscience Program. Mohr also received the Iris Cantor and CTSI Young Investigator Award (2017-2018) from the University of California, Los Angeles. In 2018, she was awarded the New Investigator Award from the Society for Behavioral Neuroendocrinology for her continued contribution to the field.

Mohr has pursued a passion for science outreach after graduating from Hope College. She has participated in various programs including the Michigan State University’s Neuroscience Outreach Team, 4H Exploration Days, Neuroscience Fair, and Brain Awareness Week. Mohr continues to contribute to the science community through her involvement in the Los Angeles Brain Bee, a program designed especially to excite high school students to learn about neuroscience.

Maggie Mohr receives her 10 Under 10 Award from Professor of Biology Greg Fraley.

10 Under 10 Award Recipient: Carl Scholten ’11

“He leads school staff and encourages academic and spiritual growth in students.”

Ten Under Ten Award Recipient Carl Scholten ’11

Carl Scholten graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor of arts degree in education with a concentration in social studies from Hope College.

“Hope College made me a lifelong learner and taught me that an education is never complete. It inspired me to go back to complete my masters and will eventually drive me to complete even further education at the doctoral level.”

Scholten continued his education at Central Michigan University where he received his master of arts degree in school principalship site-based leadership.

Scholten began his teaching career as a seventh-grade teacher with the Grand Traverse Area Catholic Schools, teaching history and literature. He transitioned to teaching at the high school level at Traverse City Central High School where he taught United States history, crime and justice, and college test prep. After the completion of his master’s degree, Scholten accepted the position of school principal at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Middle School, part of the Grand Traverse Area Catholic School system. As principal, he serves as the educational leader and chief administrator of the middle school, responsible for implementing and managing the policies, regulations, and procedures of the district. He has implemented a faith formation program for entire district staff, along with completing research on adolescent faith formation to guide curriculum and instruction of the district.

Since 2011, Scholten has served as head coach for a variety of sports teams within the Grand Traverse Area Catholic Schools system. He mentors athletes with a holistic mindset, focusing on the formation of the whole person within athletics. Scholten was a member of the coaching staff that won a Division IV MHSAA track and field state championship and has coached four conference championships and three state qualifying teams.

Outside of his professional career in education, Scholten plays an active role in his community. He volunteers as a CrossFit coach at a local gym, teaching multiple classes throughout the week. Scholten has served as a team member with Christ Renews His Parish and is a parishioner, Eucharistic Minister, and youth group leader at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church. He has also served as a high school group leader with Freedom Builders, a week-long summer mission trip program that focuses on improving local low-income housing while building relationships with God.

Carl Scholten and Chaz Shelton receive their Ten Under Ten Award presented by Associate presented by Jesus Montano on behalf of Professor of Education Baars Bultman.

10 Under 10 Award Recipient: Katherine Stritzke ’08 Simons

“She is responsible for the transformation of retail online and in stores around the globe.”

Ten Under Ten Award Recipient Katherine Stritzke ’08 Simons

Katherine Simons graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor of arts degree in management from Hope College.

“Hope College prepared me to think critically, to value the thoughts and contributions of all, and to adopt a lifestyle of continuous learning.”

The skills and experiences gained during her time at Hope prepared her for various roles within the business industry and the continuation of her education. Simons received her master of business administration from the University of Chicago in 2018. During her graduate studies, she focused on strategy, marketing, general management, managerial and organizational behavior, and entrepreneurship.

Simons believes “those with a rigorous liberal arts education are best prepared to engage and address the biggest challenges and opportunities of the day.” She utilized her undergraduate education in various roles early on in her career as a brand leader for GFS Canada, business transformation manager for Gordon Food Service Corporation, and senior manager of strategic management with Kohl’s Corporation. Following the completion of her graduate studies, Simons accepted a role as the director of marketing for Cat Footwear, a brand of Wolverine World Wide, Inc.

During her time at Gordon Food Service, Simons was honored as a member of the Gold Club and received Person of the Year for her contributions to the company. She also has played an active role in her communities, by volunteering with the Groundswell Community Farm in Zeeland and with Kohl’s Associates in Action. Simons has also given back to Hope College with the gift of her time by serving on the Hope College Veritas Forum as a planning committee member and publicity chair and as a Hope College Baker Scholar selector.

Katherine Simons receives her Ten Under Ten Award presented by Western Seminary Professor of Theology Kristen Johnson.

10 Under 10 Award Recipient: Chaz Shelton ’09

“He is focused on creating the technology of today to feed the people of tomorrow by growing food in arid climates.”

Ten Under Ten Award Recipient Chaz Shelton ’09

“Attending Hope College shaped me to be a person who asks the ‘why’ questions? The experience developed me to be someone who digs deep both professionally and personally. Above all, my experience at Hope College grew me into a person that takes personal ownership of my faith.”

Chaz Shelton graduated with a bachelor of arts degree in economics and management from Hope College. He received a certificate in economic growth and development from the University of Pennsylvania and continued his education by pursuing a master of business administration degree with a concentration in finance and entrepreneurship from the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University.

Shelton has held various professional positions within the business industry. He was a consultant for the Cerner Corporation, a senior data migration specialist for the Philadelphia Department of Public Health and a strategy and marketing manager for Xerox Healthcare.

In 2015, Shelton expressed his entrepreneurial spirit by founding Merchant’s Garden AgroTech, where he currently serves as the chief executive officer. Merchant’s Garden is an agricultural company focused on providing communities local produce through the sustainable practice of aquaponics. It is currently servicing southern Arizona and is the only Monterey Bay Sustainable Seafood Certified Farm in the state.

Shelton has been honored for his work as a graduate student and young business professional.

He received the National Social Impact Award from AmeriCorps and a graduate fellowship from both Management Leadership for Tomorrow and the Consortium for Graduate Study in Management. During his graduate studies, he was selected as the $100,000 Business Plan winner by the Indiana University.

Outside of his professional career, Shelton has volunteered with the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona and serves as a YoungLife Committee Member with the University of Arizona.

Carl Scholten and Chaz Shelton receive their Ten Under Ten Award presented by Associate Professor of English Jesus Montano.

10 Under 10 Award Recipient: Izzy Rhodes ’11

“She advocates for the de-stigmatization of mental health in the church and supports families experiencing medical trauma.”

Ten Under Ten Award Recipient Izzy Rhodes ’11

Similar to many undergraduate students, Izzy Rhodes entered Hope College as a freshman undecided on a major and no hint of what the future would hold. Rhodes graduated cum laude with a bachelor of arts degree in sociology from Hope College.

“Receiving a liberal arts education helped me to learn discernment. The supportive environment at Hope, especially from the faculty and staff, was formational as many people came alongside me to encourage and speak into my life. Hope did not just offer me an education; it enabled me to discover who I am and how I want to engage meaningfully with the world.”

Shortly after completing her undergraduate studies, Rhodes continued her education in order to equip her with the skills necessary to fulfill her calling of helping and serving people through a combination of her faith and social work. She spent the first two years of her graduate studies at Western Theological Seminary, where she received a master of divinity degree with an emphasis in pastoral care and counseling. During her studies at Western Theological Seminary, she served as a chaplain intern with the Holland Hospital, focusing on acute crisis trauma response and behavioral health.

Rhodes then continued her studies at the University of Denver where she received her master of social work degree with a concentration in health and wellness. During her time in Colorado, Rhodes held various positions providing her real exposure and experience to pair with her studies. She served as an adjunct faculty member with the Institute for Life and Care, creating  psycho-educational curriculum specific to client needs in order to prepare them to engage and fulfill their role more fully, and as a pediatric intensive care unit social work Intern, assessing needs, offering resources, navigating support systems, and addressing barriers to care for patients and families. Rhodes also served as the pastor of community engagement for the City Church of Denver, overseeing community groups, offering emotional and logistical support to neighborhood leaders, and assisting in leading liturgy and administration for worship services.

Following the completion of her graduate studies, Rhodes returned to western Michigan to pursue her career as both a chaplain and social worker. She served as the local mission program specialist for the Reformed Church in America, focusing on training and empowering churches to engage and support their local communities. Since the summer of 2016, Rhodes has served as an on-call crisis chaplain with Holland Hospital, where she works with patients and families in the emergency department and intensive care unit supporting them as they navigate critical choices in care and advocating for them within the hospital system.

Rhodes has been honored for her professional work as a social worker and pastor. She presented at the National Conference of the American Sociological Association, received the Stanley A. Rock Award in Pastoral Care and Counseling from Western Theological Seminary, and is a member of the Phi Alpha Social Work Honor Society at the University of Denver. Rhodes created an independent study called “Theology of Trauma: A Reformed Perspective” during her time at the University of Denver and is an ordained minister of word and sacrament with the Reformed Church in America.

Outside of her professional career, Rhodes has been an active member of her various communities. She participated in Community Service Days with the University of Denver, volunteers with the Animal Welfare Network in Kenya, Africa, is a member of the Mental Health Task Force with the Holland Free Health Clinic and a group leader with Engedi Church.

Izzy Rhodes receives her 10 Under 10 Award from Assistant Professor of Sociology Pam Koch.

10 Under 10 Award Recipient: Quinn Nystrom ’08

“She brings a voice of hope and knowledge to people living with diabetes.”

Ten Under Ten Award Recipient Quinn Nystrom ’08

At a young age, Quinn Nystrom spent a year meeting thousands of people with diabetes, advocating and speaking upon their behalf across the nation as the National Youth Advocate for the American Diabetes Association. During this time, Nystrom realized that if she developed her communication skills and knowledge in policy making, she would be a more impactful speaker and advocate. This passion eventually led her to attend her dream institution, Hope College, where she graduated cum laude with a bachelor of arts degree in communication.

Upon the completion of her undergraduate studies, Nystrom began a role with AmerisourceBergen as a program and account manager. In 2014, she continued her career in a new role as the Public Relations and Social Media Specialist and the Interim Marketing Manager for the Tri-County Health Care System in Wadena, Minnesota.

Living out her passion to become a full-time speaker and diabetes advocate, Nystrom founded Qspeak, which allows her to speak, advocate, write, consult, and raise funds for diabetes on a full-time basis.

“Ten years after graduating from Hope College, I’m living out my dream [of] being a full-time professional speaker and published author. I get to speak to other people with diabetes, their caregivers, as well as health care professionals about the trials and tribulations that I’ve gone through with this disease….My message is hope-filled, that regardless of life’s challenges, when we have hope, faith, and love, we can overcome any obstacle thrown our way. I’m grateful to Hope College for equipping me with a strong skill set in order to be able to impact so many lives through my God-given vocation.”

Nystrom has been honored for her advocacy and leadership locally and nationally. In 2014, she received the Dreamcatcher Award from the Minnesota Lions Diabetes Foundation and in 2015, she was recognized as one of the Ten Outstanding Young Minnesotans by the Minnesota Jaycees. Nystrom was nationally recognized by the American Diabetes Association by receiving the Advocacy Act Award in 2016. More recently, she was selected to serve as an Initiator Fellow with Initiative Foundation to help foster young entrepreneurs in Central Minnesota. Nystrom furthers her advocacy work serving as the national diabetes ambassador for the Center for Change, providing her a national platform and opportunity to speak on the high prevalence of Type 1 diabetes and eating disorders. She also serves on the Advocacy Committee and Community Leadership Board with the American Diabetes Association.

Alongside her professional career, Nystrom maintains an active role in her community as an elected council member for the city of Baxter, Minnesota. She serves as the Parks and Trails Commission, Community Behavioral Health Hospital, and Brainerd Lakes Area Sex Trafficking Task Force liaisons.

Learn more about Quinn on her website: quinnnystrom.com and follow her on these social media channels: Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn .

Quinn Nystrom receives her 10 Under 10 Award from Assistant Professor of Communication Rob Pocock.