Alumni Association to Honor Two with Young Alumni Awards

The Hope College Alumni Association will present Young Alumni Awards on Thursday, March 3, to two graduates who have received national recognition for research that they have conducted as they have pursued their careers in the sciences.

The association is recognizing Dr. Emilie Dykstra Goris of Holland, a 2008 graduate who is an assistant professor of nursing at Hope; and Dr. Jonathan Moerdyk of New Alexandria, Pennsylvania, a 2009 graduate who is an assistant professor of chemistry at Seton Hill University in Greensburg, Pennsylvania. The awards will be presented during a dinner at the college’s Haworth Inn and Conference Center at 6 p.m.

The Young Alumni Award was established to honor the talents and contributions that young alumni have made to their professions, their communities and to the college, and was first presented in 2007. Criteria include having been a member of the Alumni Association for 15 or fewer years; notable prominence through professional endeavor, research, volunteerism, and/or involvement with the local or global community or the college; and demonstrating significant initiative by starting innovative service projects, research, businesses or other original enterprises.

2016_Hope_Dyktra_Goris_001 Dykstra Goris has been a member of the Hope faculty since 2012. Her teaching and research interests include critical care nursing/acute care of the adult, neuropsychiatric symptoms in Alzheimer’s disease and genetics.

In 2014, she was one of only 25 applicants nationwide chosen to attend that year’s National Institute of Nursing Research Summer Genetics Institute at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland.  In 2015, she received the Outstanding Dissertation Award from the Physiology, Behavior, Genomics & Society Research Section of the Midwest Nursing Research Society. Other recognition and support of her work through the years includes the prestigious John A. Hartford Foundation Building Academic Geriatric Nursing Capacity (BAGNC) Predoctoral Scholarship Award for 2011-13, received while she was pursuing her doctorate in nursing at Michigan State University, and a current grant from the Kenneth H. Campbell Foundation for Neurologic Research. She has authored or co-authored multiple articles published in scholarly journals and has made several presentations during professional conferences regarding her research.

Dykstra Goris majored in nursing at Hope, where she participated in collaborative faculty-student research mentored by former faculty member Dr. Susan Dunn. Her activities as a student also included the Hope Student Nurses Association, student-organized Dance Marathon fund-raiser on behalf of Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital, Gospel Choir and Nykerk Cup competition. Among other honors she received as a student, she was named to the college’s chapters of the Sigma Xi science honorary and Phi Beta Kappa.

Prior to returning as a member of the faculty, she was a registered nurse with the Surgical Intensive Care Unit at Spectrum Health Hospitals in Grand Rapids. She also served as an alumna member of the Hope College Nursing Advisory Council and returned to campus as an invited speaker.

Among other community involvement, she is a member of Pillar Church in Holland.  She and her husband, Don, have a young son at home.

JonathanMoerdyk_cropMoerdyk, a member of the Seton Hill University faculty since 2014, has received multiple honors for his groundbreaking research, conducted while pursuing his doctorate at the University of Texas at Austin, developing diamidocarbenes, a new class of carbon-based compounds aimed at mimicking select properties of metals.

In 2013, he was part of a select group of young researchers from 78 countries invited to participate in the Nobel Laureate Meeting in Lindau, Germany, an opportunity for the newest generation of scientists to mingle with Nobel Prize winners and discuss their work and ideas. He was subsequently named to two “30 Under 30” lists as an outstanding young scientist: by Scientific American in 2013, and by Forbes in 2015.  In addition, his doctoral research was highlighted in Chemical and Engineering News in 2012, the same year that he was also named a William Powers Jr. Graduate Fellow.

Moerdyk also received major national recognition as a student a Hope, where as a chemistry major he conducted research with Dr. Jason Gillmore. In 2008 he was presented one of only 321 Goldwater Scholarships awarded nationwide, and in 2009 he received Honorable Mention in the National Science Foundation’s Graduate Research Fellowship program—recognition that he also received in 2010.

In addition to research, his activities at the college included varsity baseball, intramural sports and InterVarsity Christian Fellowship. He was also named to the college’s chapters of Mortar Board, the Sigma Xi science honorary and Phi Beta Kappa.

His wife, Kathryn, is a 2008 Hope graduate. His community activities include science demonstrations for high school and middle school students, Habitat for Humanity and a mission trip to Haiti through Newlonsburg Presbyterian Church. He had an opportunity to connect with current Hope research students this past summer, speaking informally with them while attending the Great Lakes/Central Regional American Chemical Society meeting.

Both Dykstra Goris and Moerdyk will also present workshops hosted by the Alumni Association and the college’s Career Development Center for students as they consider their lives after graduation. Dykstra Goris will present “What Am I Going to Do Now? Goals and Decisions in an Uncertain Time” on Wednesday, March 2, and Moerdyk will present “Photochromes, Carbenes and Defining Success: A Young Chemist’s Perspective” on Thursday, March 3.

You are invited to join us in celebrating Emilie and Jonathan at the Young Alumni Award Dinner on Thursday, March 3.

Meet “The Hope Fund Scholarships” Students

Anna

Anna Dowd

Elk Grove Village, Illinois

Chemistry Major

“To pursue my major outside of the classroom I researched online chemistry learning communities for the past two summers. I also have a strong interest in advocating for important social issues so I have joined various groups on campus that purposefully raise awareness, empowers and educates students. I also wanted to help the community surrounding Hope so I joined Alpha Phi Omega, a national service fraternity, to help organize fundraising and service events. I work for the Hope Fund as a student caller where I get to talk to many different people connected to the Hope community. Lastly, I just began working for the chemistry department in a new program called peer partnership learning where I lead my own general chemistry help session to facilitate collaboration among students in attempt to help them understand foundational chemistry concepts better.”

Anne

Anne Snow

Northbrook, Illinois

Nursing and Spanish double major

“I work for the Outreach Center here on campus and was a coach for TTQ, or Total Trek Quest, which encourages youth development through training for a 5k. I’m looking forward to becoming an active member of Greek Life. Hope has opened up doors to new opportunities for me since day one on campus. I love how animated the student body is, especially for the abundant SAC events. Not only do I love the social aspect of Hope, I am also a huge fan of the academic side. I utilized the ASC last semester for a tutor in my hardest class. I also never have trouble when needing to meet with a teacher on account of the smaller, more close-knit class sizes. Overall, I’m happy to say how excited I am for my future here at Hope.”

Fonon

Fononyamba Nunghe

Billiri, Nigeria

Pre-Law: Philosophy and Communication

“I really appreciate the way Hope’s faculty treat their students. More as friends, than as students, and in my opinion, that really helps the learning process.”

Rose

Rosemarie Falsetta

Lansing, MI

Communications and Political Science double major

“I am involved in Student Congress as the Sophomore Class Representative, Hope College Republicans executive board, the Delta Phi Sorority, and working in the Alumni and Family Engagement Office at Hope. I love how wherever I go, there’s a smiling, familiar face on campus. The community is unlike any other, and I’m so grateful to be a part of it.”

Tori

Victoria Ward

Vicksburg, Michigan

Theatre and French double major

“I chose Hope because I was looking for a smaller school atmosphere and when I visited the campus I instantly fell in love with the beauty of the campus and the kind people and knew this is where I wanted to be. I am very active in the theatre whether it be acting, house managing, or stage managing, I love learning about a field where we get to experience the raw power of what it means to be human.”

Trevor

Trevor Wagoner

Chattanooga, Tennessee

Mechanical Engineering/Physics, Math

“I am involved with the Men’s Swim Team, the Formula SAE team, and the Triathlon club. I am also an RA. I love Hope’s friendly, collaborative atmosphere, especially among the professors and the students. The relationships here are amazing.”

Introducing The Hope Fund Scholarships Initiative

The HF Scholarships logo_2c(1)Hope students are committed learners preparing for lives of leadership and service in a global society. Here you will meet a few of the young men and women who are shining examples of current Hope students benefiting from scholarships through the Hope Fund. From Trevor’s dedication to swimming, to Tori‘s heart for theater, to Rosemarie‘s passion for student leadership, a new generation of students are getting ready to graduate as agents of hope who live faithfully into their vocations.

Just as these students work to create opportunities for others to reach their full potential, they rely on a community of donors to make a Hope education accessible for them. A significant number of students receive gift aid from Hope College. The majority is need based, and the average amount is $6,500 per student per year. Every financial aid package is made possible through the support of loyal Hope alumni and friends.

To ensure that Hope remains affordable and accessible for a wide range of students and to provide engaging and direct opportunities for you to support them, we are pleased to announce an exciting new initiative.

Hope Fund Scholarships can be created by donors who commit to give $1,500 per year for four years toward direct support of scholarships for students like Trevor, Tori and Rosemarie. Not only will you have an immediate and life shaping impact for students, but you will receive updates directly from them as they grow, explore and discover their calling. This gives you the unique opportunity to see first-hand how your gift is making a difference.

To start a Hope Fund Scholarship, simply fill out this form. If you have questions or would like to learn more about this new program, please contact Sabina Otteman at 616.395.7366 or otteman@hope.edu. We look forward to talking to you about making a Hope Fund scholarship a reality.

Call for Courageous Action by David Paul ’10

DavidPaulMLKChapelDavid Paul will return to his alma mater to deliver this year’s Martin Luther King Jr. Civil Rights Lecture at Hope College, presenting “Dare to Be BOLD” on Monday, January 18, at 7 p.m. in Dimnent Memorial Chapel. The public is invited. Admission is free.

David Paul is a 2010 Hope graduate who is an M.D./M.S. candidate and Academic Research Track Fellow at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry. He is actively engaged in several initiatives to increase the number of compassionate and culturally competent physicians from underrepresented backgrounds who are dedicated to serving in their communities. He has received national recognition as both a researcher and for his commitment to service.

In his address, he will examine King’s early life and career, focusing on King’s example in leading courageously against injustice even when his own life was threatened. Paul will additionally reflect on his own experiences in encouraging those in the audience—especially students—to discern how they can apply their own gifts in meeting needs in the world.

A native of Grand Rapids, Paul graduated from Hope with a chemistry major.  While at Hope, he served as student body president during the 2008-09 academic year. He conducted biophysics research in the laboratory of Dr. Brent P. Krueger and was awarded a Cyberinfrastructure Experiences for Graduate Students (NIH-CIEG) Fellowship to study under Dr. Ross Walker at the San Diego Supercomputer Center-University of California, San Diego.

He began his studies at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry in August 2010, and matriculated into the Academic Research Track Honors Program in Neurobiology and Anatomy in 2013.

During his Academic Research Track fellowship, Paul chaired the fourth Annual Student National Medical Association pre-medical conference, which attracted more than 200 educators, clinicians and underrepresented students from area high schools, colleges and medical schools—exposing the students to careers in medicine. Using the conference as a model, he also co-founded the Minority Male Leadership Association in response to the nine-percent four-year high school graduation rate of minority students in Rochester, New York.

Paul’s academic interest is in neuroscience. More specifically, he studies how the brain heals itself after injury from strokes, traumatic brain injuries and brain tumors.

Recently, his work was featured as the cover article for the December 2014 issue of “Science,” and he has appeared on the NPR-affiliate radio show, “Connections,” as a “Notable scientist under the age of 30.”  During his research tenure, he has also helped several minority undergraduate students obtain competitive summer research funding and subsequent acceptance into medical schools across the country.

Earlier this fall, Paul received The William and Charlotte Cadbury Award from the National Medical Fellowships and Association of American Medical Colleges, presented annually to a senior medical student in recognition of outstanding academic achievement, leadership and community service. Upon graduation, he will begin his medical career as a resident physician in neurosurgery.

Paul’s presentation is sponsored by Herman Miller Inc. and the college’s Office of Multicultural Education and multicultural student organizations, and is taking place as part of the college’s annual Civil Rights Celebration week. The week, running Monday-Saturday, January 18-23, honors all persons and groups who have worked toward the advancement of civil rights and social justice, and is organized in conjunction with the national commemoration of the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The week will include a variety of additional activities for the campus community, including a panel discussion by leaders of multicultural student organizations on Thursday, January 21 from 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm in the Maas Conference Center and “Hope Serves” on Saturday, January 23.

Meet the Rollenhagens

alumni-sept-150-emailStudies at Hope College extend far beyond the classroom. Whitney Heneveld ’10 Rollenhagen graduated with a degree in accounting and learned the value of relationships at Hope. The dedication of her professors and the relatively small size of the Department of Economics and Business are two factors that quickly helped her build meaningful connections with students and faculty.

Henveld 005It was Whitney’s relationship with Professor Marty LaBarge that led to her first job. Whitney says, “Professor LaBarge had a personal connection with a partner at Beene Garter, who had indicated that the firm was looking to hire a staff accountant. Due to the size, location and culture of the firm, Professor LaBarge referred me. I submitted my resume, completed the interview process and was offered the job. I will always be grateful to Professor LaBarge for her referral. More than that, I am grateful that she took the time to get to know me well enough to know what type of firm and position would be the right fit.”

In her public accounting career, Whitney has had the opportunity to interact with many different people including business owners, corporate controllers, prospective clients, partners within the firm and co-workers with unique backgrounds and experiences. She credits her experiences at Hope with teaching her the value of investing in, and learning from, others.

Whitney’s classmate and husband, Jake, agrees. He says, “During my sophomore year, I began to realize how invaluable the atmosphere at Hope College was and how it would play into my future career path. When I declared my accounting major, I began to develop relationships with my professors. Shortly after, I attended a meeting with the Center for Faithful Leadership (CFL) at Hope. Both of these decisions would ultimately lead me to a successful start to my career at Amway.”

Aug2008NfHCPgs10and11SteveVanderVeenNFH20080618_4490c_LWSOne of Jake’s professors shared a contact at Amway for a potential summer internship. The Career Development Center provided Jake with the necessary tools, particularly interview preparation, to help him make the most of this opportunity. That, combined with public presentation classes and experiences with CFL, landed him the internship and ultimately a full time career.

Jake reflects, “My involvement in CFL allowed me to work as a student consultant and learn from a leader in the community, Virgil Gulker. I learned how to be a self-driven leader and find solutions to problems within an organization. I specifically worked with the Allegan County Community Foundation to develop recommendations on how to more efficiently provide food for low income families. These experiences have helped me immensely in my career.”

Jake and Whitney have been in the work force for over four years and have been able to use the skills that they developed at Hope, not only through courses, but just as importantly through the experiences provided outside of the classroom.

No matter how long ago you graduated, there are Hope career resources available to you today. Make your own career connection at hope.edu/alumni/career.

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