Meet Rosemarie.

My name is Rosemarie Falsetta and I am a sophomore with a double major in Communications and Political Science. I am currently involved in a few organizations on campus. I sit on the executive board of Hope College Republicans as the Public Relations Chair, which allows my passion for politics to grow. I also sit on the Cabinet of Student Congress as Sophomore Class Representative and chair the Internal Strengthening task force within Congress. Not only do I chair the Internal Strengthening task force, but I sit on the Student Communications Media Committee with faculty and staff. The committee oversees all of the communications outlets on campus, such as OPUS and The Anchor. Last but not least, I am a member of the Delta Phi sorority and sit on the Panhellenic Council as the sophomore representative. In my spare time, I play Intramural volleyball and basketball. I also work in the Hope College Alumni and Family Engagement office as a student receptionist. This semester, I will begin to work on a research project with a Communications professor, and am excited to see where the research leads. All of this would not be possible if I was not a Hope Fund Scholarship recipient. Without this scholarship, I would not be able to receive such an outstanding education, with so many unique opportunities. Though the semester has only been going on for about a month, it has been one of the busiest and exciting ones yet!

Hello World

TrevorI’m Trevor Wagoner, a Hope Fund Scholarship recipient and a junior here at Hope. I am currently majoring in Mechanical Engineering, with minors in Mathematics and Physics. I live and work in Cook Village as a Residential assistant. I’m also a varsity athlete on the men’s swim team, and I’m involved with the Formula SAE team and the triathlon club.

It is going to be my pleasure to keep you updated on campus life this semester…I’m excited to share things that are going on! I’ll be competing at the MIAA conference championships for swimming, so my next post will probably be a recap of that meet.

Until then…Go Dutch!

Blogging Debut!

ToriHi there! My name is Victoria! I’m originally from the small village of Vicksburg, Michigan, but am currently a sophomore here at Hope College and am double majoring in Theatre and French. I am extremely involved with the theatre department here at Hope and will probably be posting a lot about it! (See below for what we’re currently working on!)

Outside of theatre I love languages and studying different cultures so I try to stay involved in our French organizations here on campus as well. I joke that French occupies my days whereas theatre occupies my evenings. But regardless I still find time to hang out with friends and work at the Outreach Center as a student caller! And being a recipient of a Hope Fund Scholarship, I am very thankful to have the chance to personally thank the generous alumni who make it possible for students like myself to attend this outstanding institution.

Currently I just wrapped up stage managing for an amazing production called, ME, MYSELF, AND I. We had the phenomenal Richard Hoehler as a guest director from New York come and work with a group of ten students in the span of two weeks. During those two weeks, the cast, who started off as writers, underwent writing workshops and created a seven minute monologue each about themselves and by the end of our first week, we had a finished script. The next and final week they went from writers to actors and worked on getting the show on it’s feet and then exactly two weeks from their first rehearsal and one week from our first read through of the script, we performed the pieces. I was so honored getting to stage manage for such a talented group of individuals who displayed such courage as they bared their raw souls to friends, family, and the Hope community. Next I’ll be assistant stage managing The Tempest and house managing Miss Julie.

Stay tuned . . .

Getting to Know Me

AnnaHi, I’m Anna! Since this is my first post you all probably want to know a little bit about me. I’m a junior, but this is my second semester here. I transferred from Harper College in Illinois. When I was transferring, Hope was at the top of my list. Thanks to the help of the Hope Fund scholarship I was able to transfer here.  I am a chemistry major and, after many more years of school, I plan to become a chemistry professor. The past two summers I participated in Hope’s research program. While experiencing the beautiful Holland summers and I researched an online community of chemistry professors who collaborate to enhance pedagogy.

When I’m not in the science center, I’m running to one of the clubs I am in. I just became a STEP educator where I give presentations to educate students on interpersonal violence in attempt to reduce incidents on and off campus. I am also a member of the service fraternity and the sorority Alpha Gamma Phi. Another group I am passionate about is GRACES. They engage in discourse regarding topics relating to gender roles and sexuality in society. Hope has provided me with so many wonderful opportunities!

In the rest of my free time, I work for the Hope Fund. People groan when I tell them my job, but it is one of my favorite parts of the week! I have the wonderful opportunity to call students that were once in my shoes, who give me tips on school or where to eat. The Hope community is awesome! I am also a teaching assistant and tutor for chemistry, which is great experience for my career.

Now that you know a few things about me, I have to get back to studying for my statistics test…


Meet Erika Guijarro ’08 – Physical Education Teacher and Coach in LAUSD

ErikaErika Guijarro ’08 has been a physical education teacher, department chair, varsity basketball coach and softball coach at Arleta High School for the past seven years.

Arleta High School is part of the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD). This past fall, she applied for the UCLA Sound Body Sound Mind fitness center grant for her high school as a means to improve the current fitness center. “My goal was to provide my students with better opportunities to succeed with their health and fitness,” says Erika.

The grant was open to all LAUSD schools and some schools outside the district. LAUSD is the nations second largest school system with over 900 schools and 187 public charter schools. Erika says, “The chances of actually being selected to receive this fitness center were minimal!” She attended a meeting with the Sound Body Sound Mind representatives to express her goals for integrating the fitness center into the physical education curriculum and to sell them on the fact that this fitness center would tremendous benefit the students, the school and the community. The UCLA Sound Body Sound Mind representatives came to visit the school and physical education classes to determine the need for the $50,000 fitness center.

ArletaHSWeightRoomindexArletaHSindexArletaHS_1indexOn Tuesday, February 16, 2016, a large truck and crew unloaded and installed the new fitness center at Artleta High School. On Friday, February 19, 2016, there was a grand opening ceremony where the school, community members, school board personnel such as Superintendent Maltez and the district advisor for Physical Education, Chad Fenwick along with the donors and UCLA Sound Body Sound Mind representatives came out to celebrate the new fitness center.

Erika says, “My experience at Hope was tremendous. I had great mentors that helped shape the type of physical education teacher I am today. Coach Karla Wolters was one of my biggest supporters and mentor while at Hope. As my softball and korfball coach, she taught me great lessons on how to manage different situations. I model my coaching after what she taught me. The entire Hope community including professors, coaches and staff made my experience great. It was a huge culture shock coming from a big city (Los Angeles) to Holland, Michigan and the people here made it feel like home and were extremely supportive. Coach Morehouse was my first coach at Hope and gave me my first job at the Dow Center, Coach Vandermeer helped me understand that badminton is one of the greatest sports to introduce to my students, Nancy Kamstra was my student teaching mentor who always gave me confidence and believed I would be a great teacher. There are so many wonderful people at Hope. When I look back at how beautiful and advanced the campus is and how great the people are, I feel blessed and privileged to have had the opportunity to go to Hope.”

Upcoming Alumni Events Near You!

Don’t miss these upcoming events for alumni!

Ann Arbor Reception

Join us for dinner in Ann Arbor on March 15 at 6pm. You won’t want to miss this opportunity to connect with others in the Hope community. Help us welcome Dr. David VanWylen, Dean for Natural and Applied Sciences at Hope College.

Dr. VanWylen will share his vision and update us on student and faculty collaborations within the sciences. The cost for this event including dinner is $10 per person. A cash bar will be available.

Please register online.

Living & Working In: West Michigan

grand-rapids-mi-downtownYou are invited to take part in a career networking event on March 15 at Founders Brewing Company. The Living & Working In: West Michigan event provides an opportunity for current Hope students to meet alumni and receive advice, tips and tools for successfully finding a job and permanently locating themselves in West Michigan after graduation.

Appetizers will be provided. Brought to you by the Alumni Association and the Career Development Center. There is no cost to attend this event. Please RSVP here with your name, grad year, title and employer name by Tuesday, March 8.

Chapel Choir: Spring Break Tour160219ChapelChoir008(1)

The Chapel Choir will be on tour from Sunday, March 6 through Thursday, March 31 with concerts throughout West Michigan, New York and New Jersey. Find the full schedule and a concert near your here.

Living & Working In: Washington, D.C.cherry-capitol-1622222

You are invited to take part in a career networking event on March 23 at the University Club. The Living & Working In: Washington, D.C. event provides an opportunity for current Hope students to network with alumni and friends.

A networking reception with heavy hors d’oeuvres will begin at 5:30 pm. Brought to you by the Alumni Association and the Career Development Center. There is no cost to attend this event. Please RSVP here with your name, grad year, title and employer by Wednesday, March 16.

Living & Working In: Chicago

You are invited to take part in a career networking event on April 6 at Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery. The Living & Working In: Chicago event provides an opportunity for current Hope students to meet alumni and receive advice, tips and tools for successfully finding a job and permanently locating themselves in Chicago after graduation. Appetizers will be provided. Brought to you by the Alumni Association and the Career Development Center. There is no cost to attend this event. Please RSVP here with your name, grad year, title and employer name by March 30.

Scholarship Day of Giving

SDOG_Image_WebSave the date for the second annual Scholarship Day of Giving! The goal of this campaign is to receive 750 Hope Fund gifts in 24 hours. These gifts will then provide funds for student scholarships through the Hope Fund. The entire Hope College community is encouraged to donate to the Hope Fund and spread the word about this 24 hour giving campaign on social media. Alumni, parents, friends, students, faculty and staff are all welcome to join in the excitement and give on April 19!

Alumni Weekend

2016 Email Graphic Alumni WeekendEverything you need to know about Alumni Weekend on April 29 and 30, 2016 is available online. Members of the Classes of 1966, 1971, 1976, 1981, 1986 and the Fifty Year Circle should have received a brochure and registration card in the mail. A detailed list of events is available at

If you have any questions about any of these events, please contact or call 616.395.7250. We are looking forward to welcoming you back to campus soon!


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 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 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.”


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.”


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.”


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 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 We look forward to talking to you about making a Hope Fund scholarship a reality.

Vicki Brunn ’84 Brings Experience and Adventure to Alumni Association Leadership

Scott_Vicki_2015As a 23-year-old and recent Hope graduate working for my alma mater, I anxiously awaited my first official “alumni visit”. The date was October 9, 2006 and the place was a popular bohemian hangout, the Rose Café, in Venice (think L.A. beaches and boardwalks, not grand Italian canals and mazelike streets). I was in California for a Hope event and had time for a quick breakfast appointment before flights back to a much colder Michigan. My goal was to meet and thank a 1984 alumna who had been supporting the Hope Fund consistently since graduation. I didn’t know then that I would create a meaningful connection with an amazing person I have the pleasure of working with still today.

The typical alumni biography for Vicki Brunn ’84 is impressive enough. She has been senior counsel at Amgen, a biotechnology company, since 2007. She completed a masters degree in child development at University of California-Davis in 1988, and a law degree at Loyola in 2004. Her career experience has included serving as a senior child life specialist at UCI Medical Center; as coordinator of child life services at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center; and as an attorney with two different firms. She has provided pro-bono public counsel and is a past vice president of the board of directors of the Starlight Children’s Foundation. At Hope she majored in psychology and minored in economics. She was involved as a student with the Alpha Gamma Phi sorority, Nykerk, the Anchor newspaper and the pep band.

Alumni Board members on campus

However, typical biographical summaries rarely tell the whole story. When I met with Vicki almost a decade ago she shared that she would like to get more involved at Hope. So she did. In 2011 she joined the Alumni Association Board of Directors. She also shared that someday she would like to start an endowment. So she did. In 2012 she established the Teresa Emeline Brunn Psychology Fund, providing resources that empower Hope students to explore foster care and children’s advocacy.

At one point, she decided she would like to summit Mount Kilimanjaro. So, 19,341 feet later, she did. Classnotes1984BrunnVictoriaSummit_HCLater, she decided that she would like to foster elephants. So, through the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, she did. Ishanga and Kibo are now rescued and protected in Kenya thanks to her philanthropy. This year, she was asked to serve as president of the Hope College Alumni Association. We’re glad she agreed to do that too.

To learn more about the Alumni Association Board of Directors and the programs they support for Hope alumni, visit