The Hope College Connection LIVE!

We are excited for FOUR events this spring! The Hope College Connection LIVE! events bring together alumni and friends of Hope with current students for a time of networking, sharing expertise and asking/answering questions.

The Hope College Connection LIVE: Around the World

You are invited to The Hope College Connection LIVE: Around the World webinar event. Hear from alumni who are living around the world as they share their experiences, insights and advice.

WHEN: Thursday, February 16, 2023 | 11:00-11:50 am
WHERE: Virtual for alumni, Bultman Student Center Schaap Auditorium for students

Register at: hope.edu/connectworld. There is no cost to attend but registration is required for the zoom link. This event is part of Going Global Week and a collaboration between Hope College Alumni & Family Engagement, the Boerigter Center for Calling & Career, and the Center for Global Engagement.
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The Hope College Connection LIVE: Leadership

The world needs leaders! Join us at this special event designed to connect Hope College students with esteemed alumni who are successfully living out the leadership skills they began developing during their time at Hope. Refreshments and hors d’oeuvres will be served starting at 6:30pm and a short program will feature esteemed alumni leaders who will offer advice, insight and encouragement at 7:00 pm. The program will be available virtually as well.

WHEN: Tuesday, February 21, 2023 | 6:30-8:30 pm
WHERE: Hope College Learning Lab | DeWitt Lower Level
141 East 12th Street, Holland MI

Register at: hope.edu/connectleaders. There is no cost to attend but registration is requested. This event is a collaboration between Hope College Alumni & Family Engagement, the Boerigter Center for Calling & Career, and the Center for Leadership.

This event is sponsored by:


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The Hope College Connection LIVE: Washington D.C.

The Hope College Connection LIVE: Washington DC will bring together alumni and friends of Hope from different industries to network with the Washington Honors Semester students.

WHEN: Thursday, April 13, 2023 | 5:30 – 7:30 pm EST | Brief Remarks at 6:15 pm
WHERE: Volkswagen Group of America – Government Affairs Office
Washington D.C.

Register at: hope.edu/washingtondc. There is no cost to attend but registration is requested. This event is a collaboration between Hope College Alumni & Family Engagement, the Boerigter Center for Calling & Career, and the Washington Honors Semester.


The Hope College Connection LIVE: Chicago

The Hope College Connection LIVE: Chicago will bring together alumni and friends of Hope from all industries to network with students interested in living and working in the Chicago area.

WHEN: Tuesday, April 18, 2023
WHERE: Haymarket Brewery, Chicago, IL

Registration will open in March. There is no cost to attend but registration is requested. This event is a collaboration between Hope College Alumni & Family Engagement and the Boerigter Center for Calling & Career.


If you have questions about these events, please contact Amanda Root at roota@hope.edu.

If you are interested in sponsoring a future event, please contact Tricia Cranmer at cranmer@hope.edu.

10 Under 10 Alumni Award Recipient | Marco Tori ’12

In 2012 Marco graduated from Hope College with a double major in chemistry and Spanish. After graduation, Marco worked as the men’s program coordinator at Pioneer Square Transitional Housing in Seattle before starting medical school. He earned his doctor of medicine in May 2017 from Michigan State University College of Human Medicine. Then Marco moved to Boston for residency training in both internal and preventative medicine. In 2021 he furthered his education by earning a master’s in epidemiology from Boston University School of Public Health. Utilizing his skills, he is now stationed in South Carolina with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Epidemic Intelligence Service, an elite applied epidemiology fellowship. Marco joined the U.S. Public Health Service and serves as a lieutenant commander. He has deployed with the CDC to serve Afghans after many were repatriated to the United States and to Southern Africa to assist in polio eradication. “The theme of service continues to be a guiding light in my work, from a public health doctor in Boston to my work for the CDC with monkeypox in South Carolina,” Marco writes. Marco continues to serve as a light of hope as he uses his expertise across the globe.

Hope College is proud to honor Marco Tori ’12 with the 2022 10 Under 10 Award. The 10 Under 10 Award honors emerging leaders who are making significant contributions by living out their callings; engaging in the local and global community through professional and/or volunteer involvement; and using their education to think about important issues with wisdom and clarity. Award recipients also communicate effectively to bridge boundaries that divide human communities and act as agents of hope living faithfully into their vocations. Designed for alumni who are within 10 years of graduation, these awards are presented by the Hope College Alumni Association. Make a nomination today.

10 Under 10 Alumni Award Recipient | Samantha Poon ’14

Samantha Poon ’14

In 2014 Samantha graduated from Hope College with degrees in international studies and political science. Samantha went on to attend Wake Forest University School of Law where she earned her juris doctor in 2018. Following her time at Wake Forest, she became a judicial law clerk/attorney advisor at the Chicago Immigration Court for the Executive Office of Immigration Review. Most recently, she serves as general attorney for U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Department of Homeland Security. She has also used her law skills to volunteer at CARPLS, a legal aid hotline that provides free legal services for qualifying Cook County residents, and with the DePaul Asylum and Immigration Law Clinic. She currently volunteers with Soul Trak Outdoors, an organization that connects communities of color to outdoor spaces. “Being a student at Hope helped me to better understand myself in a world around me that often looked very different from me and held different values than my own,” she said. Her intelligence and understanding in her field challenge others to consider new ideas and perspectives.

Samantha Poon ’14 receives the 2022 10 Under 10 Alumni Award from Dr. Chuck Green.

Hope College is proud to honor Samantha Poon ’14 with the 2022 10 Under 10 Award. The 10 Under 10 Award honors emerging leaders who are making significant contributions by living out their callings; engaging in the local and global community through professional and/or volunteer involvement; and using their education to think about important issues with wisdom and clarity. Award recipients also communicate effectively to bridge boundaries that divide human communities and act as agents of hope living faithfully into their vocations. Designed for alumni who are within 10 years of graduation, these awards are presented by the Hope College Alumni Association. Make a nomination today.

Dr. Annie Dandavati, Samantha Poon ’14, President Matt Scogin ’02, Joshua Cooper ’17 and Dr. Joel Toppen at the 2022 10 Under 10 Soirée.

10 Under 10 Alumni Award Recipient | Alecia Ivery ’13

Alecia Ivery ’13

In 2013 Alecia Ivery graduated from Hope College with a degree in exercise science. Alecia worked at Girls in the Game from 2013 to 2022, serving in a variety of roles such as a citywide initiative manager, senior program manager, and director of training and innovation. Now she is the Midwest lead consultant and national trainer for the Center for Healing and Justice Through Sport. Outside of her career, Alecia is the apostolic expansion team director for Word Up Ministries Apostolic Church where she reintroduces church to community members. Her passion for sharing her faith was cultivated in college. “Being able to come to Hope and actively seek opportunities to learn and grow in my faith was an awesome experience,” she said. Alecia’s incorporation of her career and faith is an encouraging example for students and alumni. 

Alecia Ivery ’13 receives the 2022 10 Under 10 Alumni Award from Kristi Rosendahl.

Hope College is proud to honor Alecia Ivery ’13 with the 2022 10 Under 10 Award. The 10 Under 10 Award honors emerging leaders who are making significant contributions by living out their callings; engaging in the local and global community through professional and/or volunteer involvement; and using their education to think about important issues with wisdom and clarity. Award recipients also communicate effectively to bridge boundaries that divide human communities and act as agents of hope living faithfully into their vocations. Designed for alumni who are within 10 years of graduation, these awards are presented by the Hope College Alumni Association. Make a nomination today.

Alecia Ivery at the 10 Under 10 Soirée with Dr. Chuck Green, alumni, family and friends.

10 Under 10 Alumni Award Recipient | Eden Collins ’12

The 2022 10 Under 10 Alumni Award recipients
The 2022 10 Under 10 Alumni Award Recipients

In 2012 Eden graduated from Hope College with a degree in studio art. Her first jobs included working as a loan specialist for Wells Fargo & Company and as a program advisor for Capella University. Eden shifted her career and earned her master’s of fine arts from University of Texas at San Antonio, where she eventually worked as an adjunct faculty member in the art department. She then became an assistant professor of art at Stephen F. Austin State University where she continues to work. Outside of teaching, Eden has held numerous roles in Alpha Phi Omega, a national service fraternity. She first served as the volunteer development program chair, where she focused on developing programming to equip alumni volunteers to better support active student members with their chapter operations. Currently, she is the advisor to the Nu Sigma Chapter of Alpha Phi Omega at Stephen F. Austin State University; a Generation Jacks (GenJacks) success coach for incoming first-generation college students; and an advisor to the art alliance student organization on campus. As Eden reflects on her time at Hope she said, “It was evident that Hope not only cared about its students, but it cared about all its people.” Through her creativity and openness as an advisor, Eden exemplifies a wise and motivating leader.

Eden Collins ’12 receives the 2022 10 Under 10 Alumni Award with Katherine Sullivan, Professor of Art.
Eden Collins ’12 with family and friends at the 10 Under 10 Soirée.

Hope College is proud to honor Eden Collins ’12 with the 2022 10 Under 10 Award. The 10 Under 10 Award honors emerging leaders who are making significant contributions by living out their callings; engaging in the local and global community through professional and/or volunteer involvement; and using their education to think about important issues with wisdom and clarity. Award recipients also communicate effectively to bridge boundaries that divide human communities and act as agents of hope living faithfully into their vocations. Designed for alumni who are within 10 years of graduation, these awards are presented by the Hope College Alumni Association. Make a nomination today.

The 2022 10 Under 10 Alumni Award recipients with President Scogin.
The 2022 10 Under 10 Alumni Award recipients with President Matt Scogin ’02.

10 Under 10 Alumni Award Recipient | Joshua Cooper ’17

The 2022 10 Under 10 Alumni Award recipients
The 2022 10 Under 10 Alumni Award Recipients
Joshua Cooper ’17

In 2017 Joshua graduated from Hope College with a political science major. He has worked in a variety of roles on democratic political campaigns during the past few years. His most notable roles include: strategic communications advisor for U.S. Rep. Val Demings; deputy vetting director for the Biden-Harris White House transition; and doing research in his home state of Illinois for both U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth and Gov. J.B. Pritzker. He currently serves as the voter protection director for the Democratic Party of Illinois. As a Hope graduate, he said, “I have never once questioned whether or not I was competent, qualified or that my experience was applicable in my professional, spiritual or philanthropic endeavors.” He continues to share his experience with Hope and speaks highly of his college years. 

Joshua Cooper ’17 receives the 2022 10 Under 10 Alumni Award from Dr. Annie Dandavati, Professor of Political Science.

Hope College is proud to honor Joshua Cooper ’17 with the 2022 10 Under 10 Award. The 10 Under 10 Award honors emerging leaders who are making significant contributions by living out their callings; engaging in the local and global community through professional and/or volunteer involvement; and using their education to think about important issues with wisdom and clarity. Award recipients also communicate effectively to bridge boundaries that divide human communities and act as agents of hope living faithfully into their vocations. Designed for alumni who are within 10 years of graduation, these awards are presented by the Hope College Alumni Association. Make a nomination today.

Dr. Annie Dandavati, Samantha Poon ’14, President Matt Scogin ’02, Joshua Cooper ’17 and Dr. Joel Toppen.

10 Under 10 Alumni Award Recipient | Sara Duhr ’12 Bazydlo

The 2022 10 Under 10 Alumni Award recipients
The 2022 10 Under 10 Alumni Award Recipients

In 2012 Sara graduated from Hope College with degrees in psychology and women’s studies. She then went on to receive her master’s in social work from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Throughout her career, she has worked as an outpatient therapist, victim advocate/prevention educator and clinical social worker for a substance use disorder clinic. Currently, Sara is the program coordinator for the Intimate Partner Violence Association Program at John D. Dingell Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Working in both the micro and macro areas of social work, Sara has gained a broad range of experiences and knowledge. Her leadership in the field was developed at Hope. “My understanding of leadership shifted when I was at Hope to fostering skills as a servant leader, which are central to my job as a social worker,”  she said. Sara leads with compassion and is an excellent example of a hopeful leader. 

Sara Bazydlo ’12 receives the 2022 10 Under 10 Alumni Award from Sara Dorer, Director of Human Resources.

Hope College is proud to honor Sara Duhr ’12 Bazydlo with the 2022 10 Under 10 Award. The 10 Under 10 Award honors emerging leaders who are making significant contributions by living out their callings; engaging in the local and global community through professional and/or volunteer involvement; and using their education to think about important issues with wisdom and clarity. Award recipients also communicate effectively to bridge boundaries that divide human communities and act as agents of hope living faithfully into their vocations. Designed for alumni who are within 10 years of graduation, these awards are presented by the Hope College Alumni Association. Make a nomination today.

The 2022 10 Under 10 Alumni Award recipients with President Scogin.
The 2022 10 Under 10 Alumni Award Recipients with President Matt Scogin.

Death of DAA Recipient Douglas Neckers, Formerly of Chemistry Faculty

Dr. Douglas Neckers ’60 of Perrysburg, Ohio, a 2015 Distinguished Alumni Award recipient whose accomplished career as a photochemical scientist included several years on the Hope College faculty, died on Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2022. He was 84.

Doug Neckers ’60 receives the Distinguished Alumni Award in 2015. Pictured with Brian Gibbs ’84 (right).

He was retired from the faculty of Bowling Green State University, where he had established the Center for Photochemical Sciences. He was also the founder, and had been the longtime CEO, of Spectra Group, a photochemical sciences company specializing in materials for three-dimensional printing.

Neckers taught at Hope from 1964 to 1971, and in addition to teaching led an active research program involving students. He remained actively involved with the college and Department of Chemistry in the years that followed. In 2016, he wrote the book “Cal VanderWerf: Anchor of Hope,” celebrating Hope’s eighth president — who led the college from 1963 to 1970 — for emphasizing Hope’s academic quality and the model of collaborative faculty-student research for which the college continues to garner national acclaim.

“Doug left Hope to do big things and did, but he held Hope close to his heart as an alum and as a former faculty member,” said Dr. Elizabeth Sanford, professor of chemistry and current department chair. “He was personally invested in the Chemistry Department and the success of Hope as an institution. He loved the liberal arts and doing science in the context of the liberal arts.”

Doug Neckers in 1970

Former colleague Dr. Michael Doyle — who taught at Hope from 1968 to 1984, went on to other positions including the presidency of Research Corporation, and is now on the faculty at the University of Texas, San Antonio — credited Neckers with drawing him to the college.
“His success as a scholar at an undergraduate institution was a beaming example of the power of liberal arts colleges in using undergraduate talent to make new discoveries in science,” Doyle said. “He was a recognized national leader in the emerging field of photochemistry in the late 1960s, having not only published scientific papers in the area but also authoring a definitive book on organic photochemistry.”

Neckers, who majored in chemistry at Hope, attended the college as a third-generation student, the son of M. Carlyle Neckers ’35 and Doris Van Lente ’36 Neckers and grandson of Albert Neckers Jr., who graduated from the Hope Academy high school in 1891. He and his wife, Suzanne (Evans), a Hope classmate who majored in history, both came to Hope as transfer students, from Bucknell and Rochester, respectively.

Douglas Neckers returned to Hope as a member of the faculty after completing his doctorate in organic chemistry at the University of Kansas, He subsequently taught and conducted research at the University of New Mexico until joining the chemistry faculty at Bowling Green State University as chair of the Department of Chemistry in 1973.

He was at Bowling Green for the next 36 years, retiring as the McMaster Distinguished Research Professor emeritus in 2009. Under his leadership, the Center for Photochemical Sciences, which he founded in 1985 and directed until retiring, became the only Ph.D. program in the photochemical sciences in the United States. Across his tenure, he directly mentored 39 Ph.D. student graduates from 37 foreign countries, approximately 50 post-doctoral fellows and numerous undergraduates.

His research interests were in photochemical polymerization, additive photo assembly and three-dimensional printing. He founded Spectra Group — originally named Stereo Graphics Limited Partnership — in 1990 to develop the then-new technology of stereolithography in medical imaging. His labs were the first in the world to print MRI and CT data as 3D models using additive 3d printing. Other distinctive applications included having assembled three “near authentic” models of centuries-old mummies for the Toledo Museum of Art. He became Spectra’s CEO when he retired from Bowling Green.

Neckers won numerous awards, including several from the Inter-American Photochemical Society and Bowling Green State University. He was a Fellow of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, received a National Science Foundation Creativity Award in 1994, was Morley Medalist of the Cleveland Section of the American Chemical Society, and was an Honorary UNESCO Professor at Mendeleyev University in Moscow and a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. His work was supported at Bowling Green by the NSF; DARPA; Office of Naval Research; Petroleum Research Fund; and the State of Ohio, Office of Economic Development.

His community involvement included serving on the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors of the Toledo Symphony Orchestra and as the founder of St. Tim’s Discovers, a music series at his church, St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church, dedicated to discovering new and unknown musical talent for the Toledo community. He was also Henry T. King Fellow, and from 2015 to 2017 chaired the Board of Directors, at the Robert H. Jackson Center in Jamestown, New York. Jackson had served as United States Solicitor General, as United States Attorney General and as a Supreme Court justice, and was the chief U.S. prosecutor of the International Military Tribunal in Nuremberg following World War Two.

His research and scholarly publications included hundreds of papers, a dozen books and more than 90 patents. In recent years he began writing columns on topics including education and social issues that were printed in publications including The Blade newspaper in Toledo, Ohio, and The Holland Sentinel.

He was preceded in death by his parents, M. Carlyle Neckers ’35 (July 24, 2009) and Doris Van Lente ’36 Neckers (Nov. 20, 1996); his wife, Suzanne Evans ’60 Neckers (June 17, 2021); and a brother, Craig Neckers ’71 (Oct. 7, 2021). Survivors include his daughter, Pamela Neckers; his son, Dr. Andrew Neckers; two granddaughters; his brother and sister-in-law, Bruce Neckers ’65 and Susan Sonneveldt ’67 Neckers; and sister-in-law, Joan Hendricks ’74 Neckers.

Visitation and funeral services had not been finalized as of this writing. The family suggests tributes to either the Suzanne and Douglas Neckers Fund at Hope or the Albert Neckers Jr. Endowment at the Robert H. Jackson Center.

More about his career, interests and impact is available in an article published in The Blade newspaper in Toledo on Sunday, Nov. 27, 2022.

In addition, the Fall 2012 issue of BGSU Magazine, also available online, includes a feature story about him.

A Hope feature about his book “Cal VanderWerf: Anchor of Hope” is available online.

10 Under 10 Alumni Award Recipient | Alexandra Vroom ’19

Alexandra Vroom ’19

In 2019 Alex graduated from Hope College with a degree in nursing. From August 2019 to March 2020, she volunteered as a maternal and child health promoter in the Peace Corps in Zambia. Unfortunately, she was sent home early because the global pandemic caused a worldwide evacuation of Peace Corps volunteers. Once back in the United States, Alex became a registered nurse for St. Joseph Mercy Hospital where she continues to work. She has also continued her education at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, where she will receive her master’s in nurse midwifery in April 2023. Striving to improve women’s health both domestically and globally, she also actively participates in academic research. In her free time she volunteers for HOPE Free Health Clinic where she addresses patients’ needs. “While I am consciously aware of a multitude of ways in which my education at Hope College has affected me, I do not doubt that more meaningful contributions remain yet undiscovered,” says Alex. Her impact on women and health is remarkable, and she will continue to share her passion and service with the world.

Alexandra Vroom ’19 receives the 2022 10 Under 10 Alumni Award from nursing professor Dr. Anita Esquerra-Zwiers
The 2022 10 Under 10 Alumni Award recipients with President Scogin.
The 2022 10 Under 10 Alumni Award recipients with President Matt Scogin

Hope College is proud to honor Alexandra Vroom ’19 with the 2022 10 Under 10 Award. The 10 Under 10 Award honors emerging leaders who are making significant contributions by living out their callings; engaging in the local and global community through professional and/or volunteer involvement; and using their education to think about important issues with wisdom and clarity. Award recipients also communicate effectively to bridge boundaries that divide human communities and act as agents of hope living faithfully into their vocations. Designed for alumni who are within 10 years of graduation, these awards are presented by the Hope College Alumni Association. Make a nomination today.

10 Under 10 Alumni Award Recipient | Allix Hutchison ’17

Allix Hutchison ’17

In 2017 Allix Hutchison graduated from Hope College with a degree in elementary education with a focus in English language arts and English as a Second Language. She worked as a kindergarten teacher from 2017 to 2019 at Georgetown Elementary School, Hudsonville Public Schools, and then moved to a first-grade classroom where she currently teaches. Allix continues to be involved with Hope College as she opens her classroom to student teachers and provides guidance in her field. She also is deeply involved in her church’s leadership team, volunteering her time to support children’s worship programming and outreach opportunities. “I credit Hope with shaping me into a better teacher, mentor, advocate, leader, friend, colleague, encourager and Christ-follower,” she said. Through teaching and mentoring, Allix brings hope and joy to others.

Allix Hutchison ’17 receives the 2022 10 Under 10 Alumni Award
The 2022 10 Under 10 Alumni Award recipients with President Scogin.
The 2022 10 Under 10 Alumni Award recipients with President Matt Scogin

Hope College is proud to honor Allix Hutchison ’17 with the 2022 10 Under 10 Award. The 10 Under 10 Award honors emerging leaders who are making significant contributions by living out their callings; engaging in the local and global community through professional and/or volunteer involvement; and using their education to think about important issues with wisdom and clarity. Award recipients also communicate effectively to bridge boundaries that divide human communities and act as agents of hope living faithfully into their vocations. Designed for alumni who are within 10 years of graduation, these awards are presented by the Hope College Alumni Association. Make a nomination today.

Allix Hutchison ’17 at the 10 Under 10 Soirée