Young Alumni Awards 2017

This year’s Young Alumni Award recipients are Sarah Sanderson Doyle ’03 and Josiah Dykstra ’02. The Young Alumni Award recognizes extraordinary achievements for professional endeavor, research, volunteerism and/or involvement within the local or global community made by alumni who have graduated within the past 15 years. You are invited to learn more about the recipients, attend their workshops and help us celebrate their achievements at the Young Alumni Award dinner on March 2.

Sarah Sanderson Doyle

Sarah Sanderson Doyle ’03 is a Rotary International World Peace Fellow studying and researching peace and conflict resolution at International Christian University in Tokyo, Japan. A two-time recipient of highly competitive Fulbright Fellowships, Sarah is a teacher, writer, presenter, language learner and travel enthusiast.

Read more about Sarah on her blog.

Josiah Dykstra

Josiah Dykstra ’02 works within the Research Directorate of the National Security Agency on innovation, infrastructure and analytics for USCYBERCOM. He recently received a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, the highest honor bestowed by the United States on young professionals in this field.

Learn more about Josiah’s book.

Young Alumni Award Workshops

Sarah Sanderson Doyle ’03 will present “Life Lessons from Language Learning” on Wednesday, March 1, at 3:30 p.m. in the Fried-Hemenway Auditorium in the Martha Miller Center for Global Communication.

Josiah Dykstra ’02 will present, along with Professor of Political Science, Joel Toppen, a timely workshop on “American Self Defense in Cyberspace” on Thursday, March 2, at 3:30 p.m. in the Fried-Hemenway Auditorium in the Martha Miller Center for Global Communication.

The Young Alumni Workshops are open to all students and members of the community.

Young Alumni Award Dinner

You are invited to meet Sarah and Josiah at the Young Alumni Award Dinner on Thursday, March 2, 2017, at 6 p.m. at the Haworth Inn and Conference Center. This complimentary event is brought to you by the Alumni Association and the Career Development Center. Please register by February 28.

From Michigan to Vienna: Beaver Brewing Company

Photo Credit: Beaver Brewing Company

David Beaver ’98 is working to take craft beer in Vienna, Austria to a new level. David established Beaver Brewing Co. in 2015 after being inspired by another alumni owned company,  New Holland Brewing in Holland, Michigan. He helped out at NHBC in the early days and is trying to take what he learned to Vienna after noticing what he sees as a missing aspect of microbrewing in the city. David recalled about New Holland, “Theirs was the first craft beer I ever had and I learned a lot about beer through their beers.”

NHBC and BBC glasses, pictured together. Photo Credit: David Beaver

With a grand opening in 2015 at Liechtensteinstraße 69, Beaver Brewing’s mission is to produce quality beer and food at a reasonable price. They aim to bring the microbrewery experience to Austria through an American menu, craft beer, and events hosted weekly, including live music and local artists.

David first connected with Vienna as a student on the Hope College Vienna Summer School program, founded in 1956 by the late Dr. Paul Fried ’46, who was a member of the Hope history faculty and Hope’s first director of international education. The program has been led since 1976 by Dr. Stephen Hemenway of the English faculty. Nearly 3,500 students from more than 200 colleges and universities have enrolled in the summer school since its beginning.

David Beaver Doc Hemenway Vienna
David Beaver ’98 with Dr. Stephen Hemenway at Beaver Brewing Company in Vienna.

For more information on Beaver Brewing Co. check out their Facebook page or website. For more information on Vienna Summer School check out Hope’s opportunities to study off campus.

When Aaron Goodyke ’16 Saved Christmas

Have you noticed the newly redesigned News from Hope College in print and online? The print editions should be making their way to your mailboxes. If not, go to to make sure we have your current mailing address. The web edition is ready for you to read now.

There’s a great story in the News from Hope College archives about the time Aaron Goodyke ’16 saved Christmas for Grace United Methodist Church in Naperville, Illinois. Aaron was, at the time, a senior vocal music education and organ major here on campus. A friend of his called him and asked if he was willing to play the organ for her church’s Christmas concerts on Christmas Eve 2014. We hope you enjoy the story as much as we did.

A Gift of Time and Talent

Originally published: News from Hope College April 2015

It’s not the sort of early-morning phone call you want to receive when you’re the minister of music and your church’s multiple Christmas Eve services—carefully planned, conscientiously rehearsed and eagerly awaited by so many in the congregation—are only hours away from beginning.

The organist is too sick to play, and there’s no back-up. Yikes.

Grace United Methodist Church of Naperville, Illinois, was in a bit of a bind on December 24, but fortunately Hope junior organ student Aaron Goodyke of Zeeland, Michigan, also answered the phone that day. With a giving heart and no small amount of talent—and just two hours’ notice—he leapt in his car, made the trip to Naperville, performed during the church’s three evening services… and then drove back to West Michigan, arriving brief hours before he was scheduled to play during his own church’s Christmas-morning service.

Dan Wagner, Grace United’s aforementioned minister of music, didn’t know what he was going to do after taking that first, challenging call. He quickly made some inquiries, but without success.

It happens, though, that Hope parent Lynn Leitzen is worship leader and director of children’s choir ministries at the church, and her daughter Claire, a Hope junior, was in the room when Lynn received a text from Dan about the dilemma.

Photo courtesy of Grace United Methodist Church of Naperville
Photo courtesy of Grace United Methodist Church of Naperville

“I have been friends with Aaron since my freshman year at Hope and know how truly gifted and talented he is,” said Leitzen, who is studying in Barcelona, Spain, this semester. “I texted Aaron that I needed him to come to Naperville as soon as I found out we were looking for an organist, mostly kidding at the time. As 20 minutes passed and my mom had spoken with Dan Wagner and he said that he was having a very difficult time finding another organist in the area on such short notice, my texts to Aaron became more serious.”

Wagner admits that he initially had some doubts. That was no reflection on any specific person, but instead stemmed from his thorough understanding of the enormity of the task: services with multiple components, challenging music, each program unique, practically no opportunity to rehearse and an intense pace.

“Nothing was the same from one service to the next—it was just ridiculously complicated,” Wagner said. “From my perspective, it was a huge leap of faith: can someone of this age handle something like this—and he’s [three hours away] in Michigan.”

Goodyke didn’t hesitate to say yes when asked—he was glad to help. A vocal music-education major, he has been playing the organ for four years and the piano for more than twice that, and performs at area churches. He had even been featured in Hope’s Christmas Vespers services in Dimnent Memorial Chapel just a few weeks earlier.

But, as he made the drive to Naperville, he began to think a bit about what he had committed to doing, and to have some doubts of his own. He had never even seen the church’s organ before.

Neither Wagner nor Goodyke need have worried.

“It was just a fantastic experience,” Wagner said. “He had great confidence and poise, and stayed calm under tremendous pressure and really did a terrific job.”

The three services ran at 7 p.m., 9 p.m. and 11 p.m. More than once, the first time Goodyke saw some of the music was when it was time for him to perform it. Leitzen, who participated herself as a vocalist earlier in the day (there were four other services previously), sat at the organ with Goodyke as “page-turner.”

“It was just a fantastic experience. He had great confidence and poise, and stayed calm under tremendous pressure and really did a terrific job.” – Dan Wagner, minister of music at Grace United Methodist Church of Naperville, Illinois

“He sight-read almost 40 pieces of music perfectly,” she said. “I think I messed up more than he did!”

When the last service concluded at 12:30 a.m., Leitzen drove back to Zeeland with Goodyke so that he could rest during the trip. The pair arrived at Zeeland at 5:30 a.m., with Goodyke due at his church in two hours. Claire subsequently caught the Chicago-bound Amtrak in Holland at 8:30 a.m. and returned home to celebrate Christmas with her family.

Goodyke credits his Hope experience with preparing him for his contributions in Naperville. In fact, he notes that Hope’s organ program and the opportunity to study with Dr. Huw Lewis were major factors in his decision to attend the college. “I was very capable of being part of it and making it happen because of my training through the music department here,” he said.

Leitzen and Wagner both credit Goodyke with giving a meaningful gift to a church family that will long remember him and what he did.

“He received many gracious ‘thank yous’ after the services were over, from choir members and congregation alike,” Leitzen said. “It was a wonderful evening for all, as many could not imagine a Christmas at Grace Church without an organ. It truly was the act of a person with a servant heart and a love for the Lord.”

Wagner agreed. “It was absolutely the most enthusiastic response that I’d ever heard from the congregation,” he recalled. “It was just enthusiasm and gratitude from the congregation, and it was really memorable.”

Learn more about Aaron on his website.

70 Years and Counting: Arcadian Homecoming

image3Brotherhood, memories, and friendships were celebrated at this year’s Homecoming for the Arcadian fraternity. October 21st through the 23rd was a time of reflection and happiness as active members connected with Chi Phi Sigma alumni. The brotherhood is made up of diverse backgrounds and experiences, and they were able to all come together as one group to celebrate the fraternity.


It has been 70 years since the fraternity was founded in 1946, and Jerry VanHeest was one of the founding members. He described his favorite part about this year’s Homecoming was being able to meet new brothers, and though they were different, they all shared one common thing. One of his favorite memories during his time as an active member was coming up with all of the songs, the crest, and the many activities that go into making a fraternity. VanHeest recounts that the friendships and the brotherhood are the aspects of the fraternity that he will always enjoy.

Paul Kieffer is an active member in the fraternity and gave his insight into what it meant to have the alumni back for Homecoming weekend.

“My favorite part about Homecoming is seeing Alumni that were in the fraternity with me and meeting alumni that have contributed to the fraternity in the past. It is a great way to make connections and get in touch with remarkable people I normally would not meet. This past homecoming we worked with the alumni to organize events such as a foosball tournament, a tailgate for the Hope football game, and a dinner celebration for the Arcadian Fraternity’s 70th anniversary.”

The alumni are extremely involved and continually contribute towards the improvements and events that the fraternity holds. As the fraternity continues to progress, the friendships and connections made between actives and alumni are friendships for a lifetime.

Make sure you check out their video.


Giving-Tuesday-igAs part of #GivingTuesday, alumni, families and friends gave $68,240 to support Hope College student scholarships.

Thank you for being part of this global event and for helping to make a Hope College education accessible to future students.

For a complete list of donors, check out the donor wall.

Interested in seeing gifts at work through the stories of students, alumni and those that teach them? Check out the Alumni and Family Engagement and Stories of Hope blogs.

#GivingTuesday is a single, global day of giving that brings together individuals from around the world and highlights their capacity to care for and empower others. Today, we are bringing together the Hope College community to support student scholarships through the Hope Fund.

Learning and Living: Genuine Life on Campus

Michaela1By: Michaela Stock ’20

When I came to Hope College in the sticky, sweltering month of August, I was bottled up with uncertainty. Moving to a new city and school requires a lot of social and environmental change. However, I can genuinely say that Hope College’s campus has become as comforting as the couch in the living room of my childhood home. My name is Michaela Stock, and if you haven’t guessed it yet, I am freshman at Hope College. Currently, I’m studying Art History, Music, and Management. I have plans to pursue Arts Administration upon graduation and am looking to be employed within the field of Museum Studies or Music Business. Learning and living at Hope College is a privilege, and I’m grateful to be in a place where people want to grow and improve their minds.

Curiosity is the Michaela3wind that howls through Hope’s campus. The past four months at Hope have been full of beautiful experiences to unwrap and invigorating challenges to wrestle with. I am being stretched over new canvases by my classes and personal quest for higher intellect. As a music student, being in classical music courses without ever being classically trained is influencing the way I create, listen, and learn music. While taking French, I am sharpening my mind in ways I don’t often experience, such as learning innovative memory techniques for all of the vocabulary memorization required. Hope College is a place full of dynamics in and out of the classroom, and I have found that by actively seeking all campus has to offer, I can find exactly what I’m looking for here within my education.

Part of gaining a higher education, however, is through job field experience–not just classwork. During my first two weeks on campus, I got involved with the Hope College Concerts Series and was hired as a Core Concerts member. HCCS is team of eight students who book and run the concerts that tour through Hope’s venues. Working shows alongside some of my most favorite musicians, such as Wild Child and Michigander, is providing me with an unparalleled experience within Music Business. I am gaining connections with artist’s managers and the musicians themselves through running the shows. Not to mention, the Concerts Series team is incredibleMichaela2, and I’ve formed great friendships through the job. Schooling at Hope College goes way beyond the classroom, and I’m overwhelmed by the real-world opportunities my HCCS job provides me with.

I also work in the Hope College Alumni and Family Engagement office. This job has a much different atmosphere from my Core Concerts position. At the Alumni Office, I am responsible for answering calls, sending emails, and general paperwork. My job in the Alumni Office is providing me with practical business experience as well as connections within Hope College that exceed daily student life. Working alongside adults and gaining administrative knowledge is rewarding and extremely practical. I’m grateful to have both the opportunity to work at Concerts Series and the Alumni Office, as they provide a diverse work experience and richer education while studying at Hope.

Daily life at Hope College is so much richer than just my classes and work though. The chapels here provide me a set aside time for worship and reflection with the Lord. Three days a week, I overlook hundreds of my peers swaying below me from the balcony of Dimnent. Our voices collect together in praise as I stand under a kaleidoscope of stained glass imagery. On my walks across campus, I’m always greeted by familiar faces, whether by friends or distant acquaintances. I’m often stopped in the Pine Grove by squirrels pounding across the sidewalk, cheeks packed full of treats. Campus is not just home to college students, you know! At night, my dorm is filled with friends and mugs of hot tea, steam billowing over the lip of our cups, the hallway full of flung open doors and echoes of laughter.

At Lemonjello’s with my sister, McKenzie.

Hope College’s campus is full of friendliness and quirks, and I am incredibly grateful to be here. When I moved to Holland, I didn’t expect Hope to be so full of honest community from my peers and professors. Moving out and into Hope’s campus has been the smoothest transition I’ve ever experienced in my life, and I’m grateful to the Hope community for creating a warm, inviting atmosphere for incoming students. When I look ahead and into the next three and a half years I have on campus, I’m inspired and excited to push myself further towards my goals and gain greater knowledge on what it truly means to live a full, wild, and genuine life at Hope and beyond.

Tim Laman ’83 Named Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Tim Laman '83 accepts the 2016 Distinguished Alumni Award at the April 2016 Alumni Banquet.
Tim Laman ’83 accepts the Distinguished Alumni Award at the April 2016 Alumni Banquet.

Just six months after being honored by his alma mater with a Distinguished Alumni Award, recognition of field biologist and wildlife photojournalist Dr. Tim Laman ’83 has gone global.

Earlier this week, the standout Hope College graduate was named Wildlife Photographer of the Year by the world-renowned British institution, the Natural History Museum.

In its 52nd year, the competition provides a showcase for the world’s very best nature photography. It is open to competitors worldwide and saw a record 50,000 entries from 95 countries in 2016. Winning photos are showcased online and in a major exhibition at the museum followed by a worldwide tour. As a result, the photographs are seen by millions.

“Entwined Lives” by Tim Laman

Dr. Laman’s winning photo, Entwined Lives, shows an endangered Bornean orangutan in the Indonesian rainforest. It was taken 90 feet above ground in Gunung Palung national park. Tim had to do three days of climbing and use GoPro cameras in order to capture the moment. His other work recognized by the contest includes “Pursued by Fire”, “Road to Destruction” and “End of the Line?”, all helping to raise awareness for the need to protect orangutans, which are declining due to habitat loss.

“I think that photojournalism can have a big impact in conservation because people don’t really appreciate what is going on until they see it themselves.” – Tim Laman ’83

Tim is a freelance photographer and writer on natural history as well as a research associate in the Ornithology Department at Harvard University.  He has been a regular contributor to National Geographic, with a focus on conservation and endangered species, since earning his doctorate from Harvard in 1994.

He and his wife, Boston University anthropologist Cheryl Knott, have long studied the orangutans of Indonesia’s Gunung Palung National Park. Their work was recently highlighted in the television program “Mission Critical: Orangutans on the Edge.” Among other publications, their research has been featured in National Geographic, and they are co-authors of the children’s book “Face to Face with Orangutans.”

Entwined Lives by Tim Laman
“Pursued by Fire” by Tim Laman

In addition to 21 feature stories on a variety of topics in National Geographic through the years, he has been the photographer or author and photographer of 29 articles.  In addition to “Face to Face with Orangutans,” his four books include the landmark “Birds of Paradise: Revealing the World’s Most Extraordinary Birds,” a chronicle of his multi-year effort to document all 39 species of New Guinea’s colorful “Birds of Paradise” for the first time.  He has also co-authored 20 scientific articles, including four based on research that he conducted with faculty while a biology major at Hope.

He has had solo exhibits of his photography featured in France, Japan, the Philippines and multiple cities in the United States, and has delivered more than 50 invited lectures around the world.  He has also received numerous external grants in support of his research, exploration and conservation work, including nine from the National Geographic Society or National Geographic Expeditions Council.  Other honors include an Outstanding Teaching Fellow Award from Harvard.

Entwined Lives by Tim Laman
“End of the Line?” by Tim Laman

Tim has also returned to Hope to speak in conjunction with the opening celebration of the college’s A. Paul Schaap Science Center, and to present an illustrated lecture about the “Birds of Paradise” project—the latter to a capacity audience in the DeWitt Center main theatre on Hope’s campus.

His commitment to his alma mater continues this May as he plans to lead the next trip of the Alumni Travel Program.  Taking place May 9–22, the 14-day adventure on the northern safari circuit of Tanzania will explore four renowned national parks and the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. Registration for the trip is now open and is limited to the first 25 guests.

You can read more about this exciting award from some of the news media around the world featuring Tim’s work:

The Guardian
National Geographic
New Scientist

From Bach to Bieber: Derek Brown ’06 Plays Sax on NPR

Hope College graduates often apply their liberal arts education by finding unique ways to make innovative and untraditional connections in their work. But Derek Brown ’06 is the only one combining the bass line and melody of Every Breath You Take, switching from Bach to Bieber on the same album and playing the saxophone as percussion and woodwind.

In fact, Derek’s sound is so unique that it earned him a spot on NPR’s Weekend Edition yesterday. Listen now.

“When you listen to Derek Brown play the sax, you figure this guy has got to be using all kinds of loops and overdubs and electronic pyrotechnics. And then when you figure out it’s just him playing live, it is a little bit hard to fathom.” -NPR’s Mary Louise Kelly

Photo from
Photo from

If the 19th century Belgian inventor were still alive, Adolphe Sax would be proud of the lengths to which Chicago-based saxophone innovator Derek Brown has taken his instrument.

Derek crosses genres from jazz to funk to classical using creative new “beatbox-like” techniques. He is currently involved with the up-and-coming Chicago funk/fusion supergroup Low Spark, as well as his signature solo show, “BEATBoX SAX.”

After growing up in Michigan and attending Hope College, where he graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Jazz Studies and Music Performance double major, Derek went to grad school at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. His experimentation with the saxophone started at Hope and continued through graduate school.

For the next six years, Derek was the Director of Jazz Studies at Abilene Christian University in Abilene, Texas.

beatbox-sax-album-coverNow living in Chicago with his wife Rachel (also a Hope grad), Derek is focusing on a career as a full-time freelance saxophonist.  In addition to a growing YouTube following and a recent release of BEATBoX SAX, he has performed in France, Germany, Norway, Latvia, Bulgaria, the UK, Poland, Czech Republic, Ukraine, Serbia, China, Malaysia, and Brazil.

Whether it’s on their albums, online, in Hope’s Jack H. Miller Center for Musical Arts or on NPR, we love listening to our alumni, student and faculty musicians!


Hope Graduate Wins ArtPrize Outstanding Venue Award

While at Hope, Steffanie Rosalez ’05 was referred to by her professors as a “rock star.” Today she is an artist, musician, community organizer, and now an ArtPrize award winner.

ArtPrize has been recognized as the most-attended public art event on the planet and was recently highlighted in The New York Times.

Steffanie Rosalez ’05 (Photo by Eric Tank)
Steffanie Rosalez ’05 (Photo by Eric Tank)

This year, many of the 400,000 attendees experienced Steffanie’s venue, This Space is Not Abandoned. Selected to share the juried outstanding venue award, This Space is Not Abandoned  was a Curatorial Fellowship Venue located at 912 Grandville Avenue. There, more than fifteen artists created a Cultura Collective centered on the theme of race and cultural identity in Grand Rapids. They featured paintings, murals, audio installation, fashion, photography, live music, dance, and theater performances.

Mural at 912 Grandville Avenue (Photo by ArtPrize)
Mural at 912 Grandville Avenue (Photo by ArtPrize)

Steffanie participated in the 2016 ArtPrize Fellowship for Emerging Curators program. As a curator, she received grant funding and the opportunity to work alongside established curator Paul Amenta, co-founder of SiTE:LAB. Together they brought two exceptional exhibitions to the Rumsey Street neighborhood. Fifteen unoccupied buildings provided the setting for site-specific installations.

Steffanie graduated from Hope College in 2005, earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Studio Art and Communication. Since graduating, she has managed the after school program at Cesar Chavez Elementary School, taught and worked as a commissioned artist. Today, she pours her talents into the Roosevelt Park neighborhood, planning and implementing arts programming for youth and families as the Program Director at Cook Arts Center. She is a social justice advocate and works to provide equality through the arts for the communities she works in.

Even as a student, Steffanie was slow to abandon and quick to repurpose through art what others might discard. (Photo by Katrina Herron '05)
Even as a student, Steffanie was slow to abandon and quick to repurpose through art what others might discard. (Photo by Katrina Herron ’05)

It is great to see others recognizing Hope graduates living out the mission of the college. Even without such an honor as this, Steffanie’s leadership, service and creativity applied to improving the lives of others is something to celebrate!

Hope Graduate Makes National News with Innovative Drone Delivery

Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt's drone prepares to land in the Pine Grove.
Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt’s drone prepares to land in the Pine Grove.

Jeremy Latchaw ’00 has personified a liberal arts education since uniquely combining business administration, religion and the Army ROTC as a Hope College student.

He did it again earlier this week with an innovative connection between drone technology and frozen yogurt.

The mechanical merger of drone and dessert was not the product of a wild promotional brainstorm, but rather the natural extension of two of Jeremy’s current passions. He and his wife, Molly, relocated to Holland in 2013.  They operate two Orange Leaf frozen yogurt franchises in the area and donate 20 percent of their profits to charity. Jeremy is also president of Mishigami Group, a drone consultant and engineering firm that works with companies and government agencies to build unmanned aerial vehicle programs.

The drone that made the delivery to campus was piloted by another Hope College graduate and Mishigami’s principal, Matt Rybar.

“It made sense to put the two of them together,” Latchaw said. “It’s cool to do something like this, delivering to a place like Hope College.”

Jeremy Latchaw '00 and OrangeLeaf President Geoff Goodman celebrate a successful landing.
Jeremy Latchaw ’00 and Orange Leaf President Geoff Goodman celebrate a successful landing.

The project put him and the college in the spotlight this week as hundreds of local and national media outlets picked up the story. Here are a few highlights:


Following graduation from Hope in 2000, Jeremy was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army, stationed initially in Texas.  During his active service he was deployed to Iraq, earning decorations including the Bronze Star, and he later served in Kuwait during 2007-08 while in the U.S. Army Reserve.  Promoted across his time in the military, he continues to serve in the U.S. Army Reserve as a major, and is an associate professor of military science in the Army ROTC program at Western Michigan University.

Jeremy Latchaw '00 after receiving a 2015 Hope College Young Alumni Award. Jeb Wierenga, a Hope ROTC student, presented the award.
Jeremy Latchaw ’00 after receiving a 2015 Hope College Young Alumni Award. Jeb Wierenga, a Hope ROTC student, presented the award.

His additional involvement in West Michigan has included serving as vice president of training for Cultivate Holland and as the ROTC Awards chair for the Michigan Sons of the American Revolution.  His continued engagement with Hope has ranged from hosting Hope-Calvin rivalry satellite parties; to serving on his reunion committee; to volunteering with the Center for Faithful Leadership and the Career Resource Network.

In April of 2015, Jeremy received the Hope College Young Alumni Award and spent time on campus to to present workshops designed for students as they consider their lives after graduation.

After an exciting and tasty week on campus, we can’t wait to see what unique connections Jeremy and some of Hope’s other 33,000 graduates think of next.