Classrooms may have been quiet on campus last week during spring break, but learning continued around the world. Specifically, experiential learning and alumni networking as part of a series of events in Japan.
On March 24, Hideo Yamazaki ’76, Alumni Association Board of Directors member, worked with staff and volunteers to host 76 guests at a Hope College Tokyo regional event. The outreach is part of a continued tradition of building community in Japan, with four major events in the last few years. At the events, former Japanese exchange students are welcomed into the Hope community with the presentation of an Alumni Association certificate. Twenty joined the ranks at this particular event.
Also present at the event were parents, friends and students, including the Baker Scholars. Led by professor Steve VanderVeen, the Baker Scholars connected with a variety of companies, including Amway Japan, during a nine day visit in the country. These relationships have been a continuing tradition as well, with multiple student groups connecting with alumni at the company through the years.
“Their engagement and questions showed that they were truly the best of the best – not only at Hope, but among U.S. college students. Thank you for sending them our way.” -An Amway Japan executive following the student visit.
If you are interested in learning more about recent international alumni connections, please contact Jim Van Heest, Senior Regional Development Director.
Cheers to international travel and experiential learning!
Our recent alumni are changing the world and we are dedicated to celebrating these rising stars and emerging leaders. Help us find them by nominating a Hope graduate within the past ten years for the inaugural Hope College 10 Under 10 Awards. This program will honor young alumni who exemplify what it means to be anchored in Hope. They will be presented at a special event open to all during Homecoming & Family Weekend on October 19, 2018.
Use the following criteria to nominate a 2008-2017 Hope graduate deserving of this recognition. Nominations made through April 13 will be considered for 2018. The nomination form will remain open to collect submissions for subsequent annual awards. All nominations are anonymous and we will send you a Hope College t-shirt if your nominee is selected (and the form is super short)!
10 Under 10 Award Criteria
Emerging leader making significant contributions by living out their calling
Engaged in the local or global community through professional and/or volunteer involvement
Serves as an outstanding young role model for current and future students and alumni by showcasing the attributes of a graduate anchored in Hope:
Using their education to think about important issues with wisdom & clarity
Communicating effectively to bridge boundaries that divide human communities
Acting as an agent of hope who lives faithfully into their vocation
Making a difference
A member of the Hope College Alumni Association within 10 years of graduation
Note: All Hope graduates and those who have earned 45 credits or more are automatically members of the Alumni Association
Although he’s had songs featured on other soundtracks, singer-songwriter Sufjan Stevens ’98 had never written specifically for film before being asked to contribute work for Call Me by Your Name.
The result has earned him an Oscar nomination for Best Original Song for “Mystery of Love,” which he will also be performing during the 90th Academy Awards ceremony on Sunday, March 4.
“Mystery of Love” is one of three songs that Stevens has in Call Me by Your Name. The others are “Visions of Gideon,” which he also wrote for the film, and a remix of “Futile Devices,” which is from his 2010 album The Age of Adz.
Through the years, his work has been featured in multiple films and television series, including Little Miss Sunshine, Veronica Mars, Demolition, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, The O.C., Nurse Jackie, iZombie and This Is Us.
Among the articles about “Mystery of Love’s” nomination is a Feb. 20 question-and-answer interview by Variety in which Stevens reflects on providing music for Call Me by Your Name. Here, also, is a link to a feature published in News from Hope College earlier in his career, in April 2006 (back cover, page 20), that includes reflections on his time at the college.
I’m incredibly honored that so many people appreciate and receive what I’m doing . . . but I also acknowledge that they are being moved not by me, but by my music. That’s what’s exciting about it – that it really has nothing to do with me.” -Sufjan Stevens ’98 in NfHC 2006
A total of five songs have been nominated for the best original song Oscar, and all will be featured during the ceremony. The other four are “Remember Me,” from Coco, which will be performed by Gael Garcia Bernal, Natalia LaFourcade and Miguel; “Mighty River,” from Mudbound, which will be performed by Mary J. Blige; “Stand Up for Something,” from Marshall, which will be performed by Common and Andra Day; and “This is Me,” from The Greatest Showman, which will be performed by Keala Settle.
Hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, the 90th Oscars will be broadcast live on ABC at 8 p.m. Eastern/5 p.m. Pacific on Sunday, March 4. The Oscars will also be televised live in more than 225 countries and territories worldwide.
By Peace Corps Today, the Peace Corps announced that Hope College ranked No. 22 among small schools on the agency’s 2018 Top Volunteer-Producing Colleges and Universities list. There are 10 Hope alumni currently volunteering worldwide.
This is the first year since 2009 that Hope College has appeared in the rankings.
“Peace Corps service is a profound expression of the idealism and civic engagement that colleges and universities across the country inspire in their alumni,” said Acting Peace Corps Director Sheila Crowley. “As Peace Corps Volunteers, recent college and university graduates foster capacity and self-reliance at the grassroots level, making an impact in communities around the world. When they return to the United States, they have new, highly sought-after skills and an enterprising spirit that further leverages their education and strengthens their communities back home.”
Alumni from more than 3,000 colleges and universities nationwide have served in the Peace Corps since the agency’s founding in 1961. Since 1961, 198 Hope alumni have traveled abroad to serve as volunteers. In 2017, the state of Michigan ranked No. 9 among states with the highest number of Peace Corps volunteers with 266 volunteers currently serving worldwide.
One Hope alumna currently making a difference is Big Rapids, Michigan native Lindsey Hall. After earning her bachelor’s degree in political science and international studies at Hope College in 2007 and a master’s from the University of Colorado Denver in 2011, Hall began service as an education volunteer in Uganda.
“The guidance and support I received from my professors at Hope was the best preparation for the Peace Corps,” said Hall. “I always felt cared about, supported, inspired, and challenged to see myself as a capable, articulate, and dedicated individual who was needed in the global community.”
As an education volunteer, Hall has worked in various positions during nearly four years of service including as a literacy specialist, teacher trainer and a Peace Corps volunteer leader. She currently works with the “Save the Children” program as an education support specialist.
“I remember my freshman year, the focus was on discussion of vocation and how vocation was where your personal passions and aspirations joined with the world’s pressing needs,” said Hall. “This really impacted me and inspired me to ensure that whatever work I do needs to be rooted in meeting the needs of our world.”
In Uganda, Hall has supported literacy efforts at the primary school level, and facilitated professional development sessions to teach effective education methods and ways to create safe, friendly learning environments for children. She has also provided technical support for Uganda’s “Primary Literacy Project,” trained local women on menstrual health and re-usable menstrual materials, and worked with “Save the Children” in response to the South Sudanese and Democratic Republic of Congo refugee crisis.
“My professor and mentor, Dr. Jane Dickie, inspired me to pursue education as a career pathway to promoting a better world,” said Hall. “My professor, Dr. Boyd Wilson, inspired me to celebrate and reflect upon the diversity that exists in the world. My mentor, Dr. Rebecca Cordova, inspired me to pursue inquiry and sharing my ideas with others. My parents inspired me to pursue my passions wherever they might lead me and know that I’d be supported in my choices along the way.”
After she completes her Peace Corps service, Hall plans to pursue a second master’s degree or a doctorate in education.
“I am very interested in the effects of migration on education,” Hall said. “I am interested in English-language acquisition as a social justice issue, because it enables globally underserved populations to access social and political structures and pursue future opportunities within structures of power.”
The Peace Corps ranks its top volunteer-producing colleges and universities annually according to the size of the student body. Below find the top five schools in each category and the number of alumni currently serving as Peace Corps volunteers. View the complete 2018 rankings of the top 25 schools in each category here and find an interactive map that shows where alumni from each college and university are serving here.
LARGE COLLEGES & UNIVERSITIES – TOTAL VOLUNTEERS:
More than 15,000 Undergraduates
University of Wisconsin-Madison – 85
University of Washington – 74
University of Minnesota – 72
University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill – 70
University of Florida – 68
MEDIUM COLLEGES & UNIVERSITIES – TOTAL VOLUNTEERS:
Between 5,000 and 15,000 undergraduates
George Washington University – 50
American University – 49
College of William and Mary – 35
University of Montana – 34
Tulane University – 33
SMALL COLLEGES & UNIVERSITIES – TOTAL VOLUNTEERS:
Fewer than 5,000 undergraduates
1. St. Mary’s College of Maryland – 17
2. Macalester College – 15
2. St. Lawrence University – 15
4. University of Redlands – 14
4. University of Mary Washington – 14.
4. Evergreen State College – 14
4. Hobart and William Smith Colleges – 14
4. Whitworth University – 14
4. Spelman College – 14
10. Willamette University – 13
10. Denison University – 13
10. Agnes Scott College – 13
13. Carleton College – 12
13. Bucknell University – 12
13. Eckerd College – 12
GRADUATE SCHOOLS – TOTAL VOLUNTEERS:
1. Tulane University – 27
2. American University – 19
3. University of South Florida – 16
4. George Washington University – 15
5. University of Michigan-Ann Arbor – 14
5. Columbia University – 14
5. University of Denver – 14
HISTORICAL, SINCE 1961 – TOTAL VOLUNTEERS:
University of California, Berkeley 3,671
University of Wisconsin–Madison 3,279
University of Washington 3,027
University of Michigan 2,720
University of Colorado Boulder 2,504
*Rankings are calculated based on fiscal year 2017 data as of September 30, 2017, as self-reported by Peace Corps volunteers.
About the Peace Corps: The Peace Corps sends Americans with a passion for service abroad on behalf of the United States to work with communities and create lasting change. Volunteers develop sustainable solutions to address challenges in education, health, community economic development, agriculture, environment and youth development. Through their Peace Corps experience, Volunteers gain a unique cultural understanding and a life-long commitment to service that positions them to succeed in today’s global economy. Since President John F. Kennedy established the Peace Corps in 1961, more than 230,000 Americans of all ages have served in 141 countries worldwide. For more information, visit peacecorps.gov and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
Before we hear Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth announce the starting line ups for Super Bowl LII, before the Philadelphia Eagles and New England Patriots make their opening drives, before Justin Timberlake performs at half-time and before we tune in for 30-second commercials worth over $5 million each, Perry Paganelli ’80 will be somewhere in the depths of U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis lacing up his black turf shoes and putting on his zebra-striped #46 uniform.
Perhaps at this moment he will be thinking about how far he has come from history and education classes, baseball practices and football games on the campus of Hope College. Either way, it won’t be the first time he’s prepared to officiate football’s biggest game. In fact, making calls on the NFL’s biggest stage is a family affair.
In 2007, Perry officiated with his younger brother, Carl, in Super Bowl XLI in Miami, when Tony Dungy’s Colts beat Lovie Smith’s Bears for the Lombardi Trophy. It was the first time in NFL history that two brothers had been assigned to officiate a Super Bowl game. Yet a third brother, Dino, also officiates in the NFL. Paganelli’s father, Carl Sr., also had a distinguished football officiating career and has trained more than 30 current NFL officials.
At Hope, Perry played football and baseball for the Flying Dutchmen while preparing for a career as a teacher. During his senior season, he led the football team in pass interceptions and achieved All-MIAA honors as a designated hitter in baseball. As an alumnus and varsity letter winner with a career in professional sports, he is one of Hope’s notable H-Club members.
The Paganellis started their collegiate officiating careers in the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA), of which Hope College is a member. Perry, who resides in the Grand Rapids area and had a teaching and coaching career at Rogers High School, has been an NFL official for 19 seasons. Super Bowl Sunday will be his 300th career game.
Tune in to see this impressive Hope graduate in action on February 4, 2018 on NBC at 6:30 pm ET.
You can also read about another alumnus making calls under pressure in the big leagues. MLB umpire DJ Reyburn ’99 was featured in the April 2017 issue of News from Hope College.
Each step of Jalaa’ Abdelwahab’s journey in life has uniquely prepared him for this next one. . . eradicating polio.
Growing up in Ramallah, Palestine, he remembers being influenced by witnessing the public health hazards created by nearby Israeli settlements and within Palestinian refugee camps. He attended classes in secret as occupation forces denied young adults like him the right to an education. After he finished high school, he secured a scholarship to Hope College.
At first he wanted to be a doctor. Influenced by his upbringing, he had a deep desire to promote equality in society. However, early in his studies he realized that he wanted to find solutions for large-scale health problems, rather than work with just one patient at a time.
Jalaa’ credits his professors for helping him nurture diverse interests – from biology to painting and poetry to acting. He also grew from his involvement in activities like a semester abroad in Australia, the Model Arab League, the International Relations Club, and serving as a resident assistant. Each new endeavor gave him an opportunity to hear the stories of students from different backgrounds and to share his experiences with them.
“Hope College helped me develop a comprehensive package for life. It helped me develop very strong academic discipline, but it also gave me room to build and express social and artistic skills.”
Jalaa’ graduated from Hope with a degree in biology and biochemistry in 1997. Passionate about establishing communities founded on principles of equality and health, he pursued his Masters of Public Health in Epidemiology at the University of Michigan. He then joined the Public Health Prevention Service fellowship program working with the Center for Disease Control and UNICEF and became involved in eradicating polio and measles, starting first at the WHO African Regional Office in Harare, Zimbabwe. He also worked for two years with the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene on epidemiological investigations of tuberculosis in the city. Upon completing his fellowship in 2003, he joined CDC as a Public Health Advisor in the Polio Eradication Branch providing technical support to Egypt and India.
But it was on a field assignment with the polio eradication program in South Sudan during the civil war that he discovered his calling. In an interview with IES Abroad, he shared, “that experience was beyond anything I could describe. I realized how noble and simple the goal for polio eradication is: once eradication is achieved, every single person will live without the threat of death or disability from polio. It is the definition of equity—something I have always dreamed of seeing and experiencing growing up in Palestine. I felt committed and inspired, and I embarked on a journey to fight this disease in all corners of our planet.”
Today, he coordinates with UNICEF, WHO, CDC, Rotary International, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to work closely with country offices, regional offices and government counterparts to implement strategies to stop poliovirus transmission in the most complex settings around the world. They conduct mass vaccination campaigns during short periods of time to vaccinate every single child with two drops of polio vaccine in an effort to wipe out the virus once and for all.
They are getting close. In the past 20 years, the number of cases has fallen by more than 99 percent. In 1988, there were 350,000 cases of polio each year, affecting 125 countries. In 2017 there were only 16 cases in two countries: Afghanistan and Pakistan. Jalaa’ recently discussed this as a panelist at Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health and was featured in an article on polio eradication in TIME Magazine.
Jalaa’ has several scientific publications to his name, including on tuberculosis and polio as well as published poetry. In the midst of working to eradicate diseases around the world, he has stayed actively connected to his alma mater. In 2005, he delivered the annual A. J. Muste Memorial Lecture and sat down with Hope students to discuss their vocational goals. Jalaa’ returned to campus to speak at the college’s Critical Issues Symposium in 2008. In 2010, he returned again to connect with students and community members as a recipient of the Young Alumni Award.
“The best feeling is when you reach a child who hasn’t been vaccinated. You know that this beautiful human being in front of you deserves this protection just as much as any other child in the world. Once we realize we’re living in a global village and we should all be treated as equal, we all benefit.”
Thanks to the incredible dedication of influential figures such as Jalaa’ Abdelwahab, estimates indicate that not a single person may suffer from polio in 2018 and the years to follow.
Ask Alexis-Simone Rivers who influenced her most during college, and she’s quick to recognize two people: her mother, and her scholarship donor, Mrs. Libby Hillegonds.
As a shy freshman, Alexis-Simone had mapped out her future around the certainty of a nursing career. During her first year at Hope, which was a period of discernment, she realized that nursing was not, in fact, her calling. Suddenly having to rethink her vocation, Alexis-Simone was disheartened. But, knowing she was supported by the William Hillegonds Scholarship — and encouraged by her mother — Alexis-Simone found heart, persevered and even chose to study abroad the spring of her sophomore year.
“Being in Argentina was my most challenging semester,” she says. Challenging, and life-changing. Alexis-Simone returned to campus with a new sense of purpose and identity. She switched her major to business and marketing, and leapt into leadership positions. She served as the Advising and Transition Orientation director, a program coordinator and mentor for the GROW Peer Mentoring Program, a core member of the Student Activities Committee, and the president of two student organizations.
When Alexis-Simone received her diploma in May 2016, she was a different person.
“I’ve learned not to lose sight of my goals and ambitions,” she says, “and to remember I am a child of God.”
Your gift to Hope makes a significant and positive impact on the students of today and tomorrow. Visit hope.edu/give for more details on supporting student scholarships.
As provost, I think about academic affairs at Hope College every single day. I focus on our students’ education and experience. I spend most of my days meeting with faculty, staff, and students asking questions and listening for what’s going well and what can be improved.
Here’s what I know so far. We have 235 full-time faculty who are well-educated, well-equipped scholarly teachers. I appreciate that at Hope College, full-time faculty teach the vast majority of our courses. Unlike our competitors, we don’t have many part-time instructors—and when we do, they’re practitioners in their field who add to the quality of our education here. And at Hope, we have zero graduate teaching assistants—unlike large land grant research institutions. In short, the vast majority of our professors hold the top degree—PhDs in their fields–and they hold leadership roles in their professional associations and are national experts and authors in their fields. I appreciate the fact that our faculty’s full-time careers are to teach well, conduct research, mentor students, and work closely with students in countless ways. And the faculty are caring and very student-centered—they love to work with students. Students are the highlight of our collective work.
So, I think we get it right—after 21 years of academic leadership experience and having seen various models, I believe it’s best to have a hybrid model of teaching really well and doing research. Some schools teach a lot but don’t do much research or stay on top of their fields. Other institutions do research and teach a little—to varying degrees of success, quality and engagement. We do both and we do them well.
I’ve also spent a good amount of time meeting with and listening to our students, individually and in groups. Our students’ stories and lived experiences are impressive here. I appreciate all that they’re able to juggle here at Hope. Many are double majors–bringing together interesting combinations of study like Engineering and Dance, Computer Science and Classics, Communication and Religion, Neuroscience and Art, the list goes on. I’ve learned to listen for the “and”—they study this AND that. Students can do that here at Hope; students cannot do so everywhere.
And then I like to ask students what else they do with their time here. Many engage in interdisciplinary projects. Hundreds of students conduct collaborative undergraduate research with our faculty members. Many are involved in the National Science Foundation-funded research projects. Students present and publish their research with our faculty—in many institutions, this is unheard of at the undergraduate level. I know many places will use the student labor and intellectual contributions but not give them credit. Hope College shares the research opportunity and the authorship with our students. To give you a sense of our undergraduate research prowess at Hope College, the Council for Undergraduate research awarded us along with two other institutions in the nation for our high level and high quality of undergraduate research. And our students earn major international awards and recognitions for their excellence through prestigious awards like Lilly, Goldwater, Mellon, Fulbright, and more. Having served as a founding graduate program director elsewhere, I’ve concluded that our undergraduate education is a whole lot like graduate education elsewhere in the depth, quality, and research experiences that our students have alongside our talented faculty. We’re providing rich, robust, and rigorous academic experiences for our students.
In addition, our students tell me that they are athletes, musicians, dancers or artists. And most students are leaders and community servants who care about things that are bigger than themselves. Our student body is full of smart and ambitious, but other-centered individuals. It is the well-rounded and the holistic approach to their education and their lives that I love the most.
And let me tell you about a Hope College student I know particularly well, my son. This year, our oldest child started college at Hope College. He chose Hope for the superb science programs, to have the opportunity to play Division III lacrosse, to engage in a wide array of study abroad and undergraduate research opportunities, and because of the vibrant chapel program. I can tell you that wearing my two hats of provost and mom in one place have thrilled me. Hearing our son talk about how much he loves his classes, the faculty, the Phelps Scholars program, lacrosse, residential experience, and his new friends makes my heart sing. After a 21 year career in higher education, where I have truly loved academics and have seen its power daily in everyone else’s children, I now have the opportunity to watch my child (whom I love deeply) love what I love. And it’s ridiculously good!
So, I’m delighted to lead at Hope College.
A place that celebrates a well-rounded education, holistic student experience, and a relational endeavor that weds academics and faith in a safe and idyllic playground on the shores of Lake Michigan where gorgeous sunrises and sunsets fascinate us each day! This is all distinctly Hope College and I’m genuinely pleased to travel this academic, relational, and spiritual path with your child and student. Know that I’m as invested in your child’s education as my own son’s four years here.
Grace and peace to all of you, friends!
Cady Short-Thompson, PhD
Provost, Hope College
Positive psychology is the scientific study of what enables individuals and communities to thrive. At a recent international conference, one of our Hope College alumni community members contributed to this field of study with some academic thriving of his own.
Robby Henry ’17 recently presented original research he completed at Hope as part of the 5th World Congress of the International Positive Psychology Association. The conference, held this year in Montreal, Canada, is comprised of the leading researchers and practitioners in positive psychology. They meet annually to share research and best practices. This year, over 1,300 delegates from more than 60 countries attended. Among those presenting the latest research, Robby shared “Reflecting on Grit: The Physiological Markers of Self-consciousness and a Gritty Personality.”
During the event he broadcasted his eagerness to participate, tweeting his excitement to Hope College and the Hope Psychology Club. Robby also gave a shout-out to Hope College alumni who are contributing to the field.
Originally from LaSalle, Illinois, Robby graduated from Hope College with the class of 2017, receiving his BA in Biology and Psychology and minoring in Neuroscience. During his time at Hope he was a Resident Assistant and a volunteer at the Holland Free Health Clinic. Currently, he is a PhD student in Clinical Psychology at the University of Utah focusing on developmental psychopathology, lifespan transitions, and psychophysiology.
The Pull, a unique tug-of-war contest, is one of America’s oldest standing college traditions: on Saturday, Hope College will experience the Pull for the 120th time. Each year, freshman and sophomore teams face each other from each bank of Black River, attempting to claim the rope for themselves.
Each team is comprised of 18 Pullers and 18 Moralers, who direct and support the Pullers for three rigorous hours. Even Year teams stick together while those of Odd Year form their own unity. Every year, the coaches pass down traditions to the current teams, and seniors coach the sophomore team while the junior coach is responsible for the freshmen. After having participated in the Pull as a team member, students have the opportunity to be selected as the next coach by the current ones.
This year, Allison Tooley ’18 is a coach for the ’20 Pull team after having been a ’18 Moraler for two years. By working with her fellow coaches to prepare the sophomores for this year’s competition, she has become familiar with the traditions and strategies unique to the Even Year teams. Allison has been practicing intensively for the past three weeks and promoting Hope’s significant tradition by dressing in the traditional colors of red and white for the first five weeks of the semester.
Allison learned about the Pull already in her childhood, as her parents participated in the event when they were students at Hope College. Her father, Eric Tooley, was a Puller on the ’87 Pull Team and her mother, Anne Hathaway Tooley, participated as a Morale Girl on the ’88 Pull Team. For both Eric and Anne, the Pull was one of the first events that shaped their experience at Hope College, where a shared purpose and commitment to hard work instantly brought their respective teams together. As the Tooley Family exemplifies, the Pull connects students in marvelous ways and creates meaningful, lifelong friendships.
In addition to the Pull, the Tooley Family also upholds the tradition of the college’s Greek Life: Both Allison and her sister, Katelyn, are Sigmas, while Anne is a Delphi and Eric a Frater. In 2015, Katelyn graduated with a dual major in Business and Political Science, and Allison is a senior majoring in Business.
This weekend, the Tooley Family will be cheering for the ’20 Pull Team at the Rope Run on Friday and at the Pull on Saturday. To them, the Pull is an incredibly meaningful tradition, and so much more than a game of tug-of-war.