10 Under 10 Award Recipient: Jonas Lawson ’13

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

Ten Under Ten Award Recipient Jonas Lawson

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

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

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

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

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

The “10 Under 10 Awards” honor emerging leaders who are making significant contributions by living out their callings; engaged in the local and global community through professional and/or volunteer involvement; and use their education to think about important issues with wisdom and clarity, 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, they are presented by the Hope College Alumni Association. Make a nomination today!

10 Under 10 Award Recipient: Maggie Mohr ’09

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

Ten Under Ten Award Recipient Maggie Mohr ’09

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

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

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

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

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

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

The “10 Under 10 Awards” honor emerging leaders who are making significant contributions by living out their callings; engaged in the local and global community through professional and/or volunteer involvement; and use their education to think about important issues with wisdom and clarity, 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, they are presented by the Hope College Alumni Association. Make a nomination today!

10 Under 10 Award Recipient: Carl Scholten ’11

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

Ten Under Ten Award Recipient Carl Scholten ’11

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The “10 Under 10 Awards” honor emerging leaders who are making significant contributions by living out their callings; engaged in the local and global community through professional and/or volunteer involvement; and use their education to think about important issues with wisdom and clarity, 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, they are presented by the Hope College Alumni Association. Make a nomination today!

10 Under 10 Award Recipient: Katherine Stritzke ’08 Simons

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

Ten Under Ten Award Recipient Katherine Stritzke ’08 Simons

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

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

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

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

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

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

The “10 Under 10 Awards” honor emerging leaders who are making significant contributions by living out their callings; engaged in the local and global community through professional and/or volunteer involvement; and use their education to think about important issues with wisdom and clarity, 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, they are presented by the Hope College Alumni Association. Make a nomination today!

10 Under 10 Award Recipient: Chaz Shelton ’09

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

Ten Under Ten Award Recipient Chaz Shelton ’09

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The “10 Under 10 Awards” honor emerging leaders who are making significant contributions by living out their callings; engaged in the local and global community through professional and/or volunteer involvement; and use their education to think about important issues with wisdom and clarity, 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, they are presented by the Hope College Alumni Association. Make a nomination today!

10 Under 10 Award Recipient: Izzy Rhodes ’11

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

Ten Under Ten Award Recipient Izzy Rhodes ’11

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The “10 Under 10 Awards” honor emerging leaders who are making significant contributions by living out their callings; engaged in the local and global community through professional and/or volunteer involvement; and use their education to think about important issues with wisdom and clarity, 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, they are presented by the Hope College Alumni Association. Make a nomination today!

10 Under 10 Award Recipient: Quinn Nystrom ’08

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

Ten Under Ten Award Recipient Quinn Nystrom ’08

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The “10 Under 10 Awards” honor emerging leaders who are making significant contributions by living out their callings; engaged in the local and global community through professional and/or volunteer involvement; and use their education to think about important issues with wisdom and clarity, 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, they are presented by the Hope College Alumni Association. Make a nomination today!

One Big Weekend Photos and a Chance to Share Your Feedback

On October 19-21 we had over 40 events throughout the combined Homecoming and Family Weekend with over a thousand alumni, families and friends celebrating their common connection through Hope College.

If you were one of the many on campus, we want to know more about your experience. Your input helps us make each year better than the last. Please take this short survey. We will pick three survey responses as winners of a $100 Hope College Bookstore gift certificate.

You are also always welcome to ask questions or share feedback with us by emailing alumni@hope.edu or parents@hope.edu.

We also hope that you enjoy some of the photo galleries posted since the event:

We Love You, Nykerk!

Hope College – The 83rd annual Nykerk Cup competition held at the DeVos Fieldhouse.

Nykerk is something that is hard to explain- and I’ve had a lot of practice trying. It’s typically brought up in a conversation by someone asking me about why all of my friends are dressed up in navy sweaters and white turtlenecks. I usually laugh and launch into an explanation of the 84-year-old Hope College tradition that impacted me so much; I wanted to come back and coach.

Being a song girl was something I wore with pride. I loved walking to our practice room and seeing girls that became my close friends over the four week season and the morale boys who did everything in their power to make us feel appreciated. There is nothing like working for weeks on something and then finally hitting the chord perfectly or putting up the correct prop at the exact time. We knew we were doing something right when we made our coaches tear up.

These feelings were nothing in comparison to putting on the ‘nun-fit’ as we call it and standing with my Even Year Sisters for the last time. Getting up on the bleachers was an incredibly bittersweet moment- I mean, this is what we worked for, but this was also our last time as song girls. At the end of the song, it is a tradition for all the song girls to put our hands up and stay that way until everyone stops clapping.


Our Sophomore year was no different, but as our hand went up, the tears came down. I looked to my left and noticed that a girl who has become one of my best friends purely because we met sitting next to each other at practice freshman year, was overcome by the same emotions. We loved Nykerk, and we will always keep it in a special place in our hearts.

Hope College – The 83rd annual Nykerk Cup competition held at the DeVos Fieldhouse.

Song isn’t the only event; there is also play and oration. I have so much appreciation for each of these segments of the competition as well. Nykerk is much more than a song; it is an event that teaches the women of Hope College to stand tall and be proud of the work we are putting into our school. When all three of our events combine in a way that every participant left their heart and soul on the stage, we know we have accomplished our goal of working together to do something magnificent.

Hope College – The 83rd annual Nykerk Cup competition held at the DeVos Fieldhouse.

We end each practice with a song I’ll leave you with that I believe captures why we do what we do every year in this tradition:

“We love you Nykerk, oh yes we do. We love you Nykerk, and we’ll be true. When you’re not with us, we’re blue (so blue!). Oh, Nykerk, we love you!”

You can help support student activities like Nykerk and keep the tradition strong. Make your gift today and show your love for Nykerk.

Join us for the 84th Annual Nykerk Cup Competition on Saturday, October 20 at 7 pm at DeVos Fieldhouse.

One Big Weekend Top Ten | Events You Don’t Want To Miss!

Alumni, families and friends,

We’re looking forward to welcoming you back to campus for One Big Weekend: Homecoming and Family Weekend October 19 through 21, 2018. There’s a full list of the events happening on campus at hope.edu/onebigweekend. Here’s our Top Ten events you won’t want to miss! Register today and make plans to join us!

1. Shop, Sip, Save and Dine Downtown Holland
Celebrate this special weekend the Hope way – on 8th Street! The party starts at Courtyard Marriott from 5-9 pm where you can pick up all the info you need to make the most of your time downtown. Dozens of shops and restaurants will be featuring special deals and freebies for the Hope community!

2. Rev Up for the Game
The Pregame Pit Stop is the perfect prep for the football game! Grab a bag of popcorn, play a few games, and check out the Formula SAE car before heading into Ray & Sue Smith Stadium for a showdown between the Hope College Flying Dutchmen and the Olivet Comets.

3. Get Fit and Have Fun
Race through the streets of Holland while grabbing a donut hole at every mile! The Donut Run 5K benefits Dance Marathon (which ultimately benefits the Miracle Kids of Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital). Once you are all warmed up, head to the Pine Grove to round out a fitness-filled morning with some yoga with Heather Winia ’91.

4. Stroll the Market
Grab a hot cup of coffee at a local shop and head to the Holland Farmers Market and check out the newly renovated Civic Center!

5. Stop by for Swag
Stop by the One BIG Weekend Resource Center to snag some weekend info, yummy snacks and even a few freebies. Be sure to show them your Guidebook app to receive free sunglasses. And since the Resource Center is conveniently located in the Bookstore, you’ll be able to update your Hope wardrobe too!

6. Worship with Community
Finish up the weekend with worship in Dimnent Chapel. Hope will partner with Pillar Church in this service for the Holland community featuring Rev. Jon Brown ’99 and the Alumni Chapel Choir.

7. Fill up at Phelps
Alumni and families will join students in Phelps Dining Hall for the Campus Cookout. Everyone will love this tailgate themed menu!

8. See What’s New
Departments, clubs and Greek organizations will be hosting gatherings all over campus! Be sure to check out the full schedule of events to take part in special events like the Homecoming Gala Concert, Boerigter Center Open House, Nursing Department Open House, Athletics Garage Sale and more!

9. Check out Campus
Take some time to explore campus! Check out the special places you once spent so much time and the new spots current students hang out. Use this app to get a deal at the new Kletz Market inside the Bultman Student Center and be sure to look around while you are there!

10. Nykerk Cup Competition
DeVos Fieldhouse will host the 83 year old Nykerk Cup competition on Saturday night! Freshmen and sophomore students will showcase their talent in Song, Play and Oration to earn the coveted Nykerk Cup for their historic “Even Year” or “Odd Year” teams. You won’t want to miss it!