The total amount raised for Helen Devos’ Children’s Hospital: $256,323.13!

For the 17th year in a row, Hope College has put on an amazing event called Dance Marathon: standing and dancing on your feet for 24 hours to raise money for the Helen Devos Children’s Hospital. The miracle families that come hang out during the first couple of hours make the long and difficult 24 hours worth it. The teams that dance together truly love getting to know their miracle child. For Delta Phi, our miracle child is Greta. Over the past couple of years, we’ve loved getting to know her and being able to see her year after year.

Delphis posing with Greta and her family.

Not only do we get to see her at Dance Marathon, but we also see her at the fundraisers we host and other times throughout the year. The connection with Greta goes far beyond just the one time of the year. This event is about so much more than standing on your feet to raise money. Dance Marathon changes the lives of not only the miracle families, but everyone who participates in it as well. As I looked around the gym, I couldn’t help but be overcome with emotion. So many lives are going to be changed because of the servants hearts that are instilled in Hope College students. In a world that glorifies selfish worldly values and material possessions, I watched 976 college students dance with joy. I could not have been more thankful.

Dance Marathon is yet again another reminder of why I’m so blessed to attend Hope College and live in this community. The presence of the Lord and His good works are visible every day, and for that, I am beyond grateful.

Life in Postseason

Well…we did it. The swim team finished their season a few weeks ago, and we are all slowly decompressing and adjusting to a life where we aren’t in the pool for four hours every day. The championship meet went well…not the best we’ve done as a team, but in general we were very happy with how we did. This first picture is of me starting the consolation heat of the 200 breaststroke…it ended up being a great swim and an awesome way to finish the season! The second picture is of me in the middle of the race…getting tired but excited to be racing.



Now that the season is over, I have a lot more time than I used to. After taking a week or so to get back on top of my academics, I have been able to settle into a rhythm that has allowed me to work with the Formula SAE team a lot more. We just got approved to receive additional funding from the college to finish our 2016 car, which we will be competing with at the Michigan International Speedway in May. We took a photo the other day with our 2010 car…we are getting excited to have the new one done!

IMG_0997(I am second from the left, in the front row)

I’ve also loved watching campus “spring” back to life as the warmer weather has arrived. I’ve been going on runs in the afternoon, and it always amazes me to see the number of students that are out and about.

That’s all for now…I’ll post again after Spring Break and fill you in on some stuff related to College Chorus and the Triathlon Club!

Spring has Sprung

Hey Everyone! It’s a beautiful day here in Holland, Michigan. The weather forecast has been in the mid 50s and sunny for a few days now and there are people hammocking in the pine grove so I am declaring it spring! I have been waiting for this day since January, so at the first sight of a 50 degree day I pulled all my sundresses out from the deep dark corner of my under bed storage and have been wearing them ever since. This also means that I can study outside, which makes mid-term preparation much more bearable.

Also in this wonderful month of March, my sorority sisters and I participated in Dance Marathon. This is a fundraiser for Helen Devos Children’s Hospital in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The Alpha Gams raised money for a wonderful girl named Noelle! She is amazing and brought her family and one of her friends with her to celebrate on this special day. Last year Dance Marathon raised over $182,000. This year we wanted to raise $190,000, and we were able to surpass our goal and raise $256,323.13. I am so proud of everyone for supporting such an important cause. We are all extremely fortunate to be healthy and attending college, but it is easy to take that for granted. Important events like these help me be more grateful for simple things like good health. Dance Marathon also brings our campus together to make a difference in a community very close to our own. Standing and dancing for 24 hours was difficult, but it made me appreciate my life and all the phenomenal Hope students.

March has been an amazing month so far and with Spring Break on the way I know it is only going to get better from here!

Young Alumni Make Their Mark In Chicago

Hope College has over 33,000 alumni living in all fifty states and over 80 countries. After West Michigan and Metro Detroit, the largest population of Hope graduates is in Chicago. Each year roughly 1 in every 10 graduates move to the Windy City within six months of receiving their diploma at Commencement. This week I had the chance to connect with three of them. Each of them are living out what it means to be a Hope graduate in their own unique way.


Sarah Warner ’10
finds meaning in her work by inspiring young minds with the wonders of the universe. Traveling by bike or rail from Wrigleyville to the museum campus, she works each day to support the mission of Adler Planetarium as Manager of Major and Individual Giving. By inspiring others to include Adler in their philanthropy, Sarah empowers young students to take in the wonder of the stars. Given Adler’s picturesque location on Lake Michigan, they sometimes get a great view of the Great Lake for the first time as well. Her planetary perspective on her career began a bit closer to home, but not too close. She previously worked at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs and traveled to India, Germany and Argentina as a German and International Studies major at Hope. Her time with Professor Boyd Wilson remains a highlight.


Sarah’s perspective on faith and learning, nourished in the soil of Hope, has shaped how she views her work. She sees science and faith not as competing aspects of life, but as an integrated whole. The same holistic approach to bringing God and science together at college continues to motivate her as she works with some of the country’s brightest astrophysicists and even a few astronauts.


Back on earth and more specifically back in Holland, she enjoys visiting campus and seeing all the changes that have taken place since she graduated. To her it is further evidence that her alma mater is a dynamic place of learning and growth.

Wayne Titus ’13 was a freshman when Sarah was a senior on campus. Today, Wayne is an Account Manager in Industrial Solutions for the Dow Chemical Company. Wayne is confident in his new role in Chicago because he feels his classroom experiences at Hope taught him to evaluate different perspectives, especially those that vary from the dominate perspective. He uses this skill every day as he works with clients to find creative solutions to complex problems in the agriculture, plastics, automotive, pharmaceuticals and electronics industries.


He also appreciates the cultural awareness he developed at the college. As part of a global company, he uses these skills within and outside of the organization. His work connects him to people using Dow products throughout the Midwest, Asia and South America.  He feels the impact of his work most when he is able to solve problems with customers. Learning to ask good questions and building strong relationships have been central to his success. He has passed on these connections by helping to recruit four Hope graduates to join Dow during his few short years after graduation.

Hope has influenced his life in other ways as well. He met his wife Emily playing on Hope’s worship band together. Music remains a part of their life and a part of their connection to Hope. They still play together each Sunday at their local church and on a recent visit back to campus, Wayne was able to join a jam session in Professor Brian Coyle’s new studio in the Jack H. Miller Center for Musical Arts.

Just across the Chicago River, Jonathan Hatfield ’09 shares many connections with Wayne as a fellow management major and Baker Scholar. However, since Jon’s time at Hope didn’t overlap with Wayne’s, they have made most of these connections as alumni living in Chicago.

JonJon is a Banker Associate at JP Morgan. He appreciates how a liberal arts background has taught him how to attack, in his words, audacious problems. In fact, he finds the most meaning in his work when clients find solutions through his advice that they wouldn’t have discovered elsewhere. These moments with clients are made possible by his ability to understand problems from multiple perspectives. What might seem like just a finance issue, is likely also influenced by culture, relationships and context.

This holistic approach to answering questions was paired with life experiences in college that taught him how to to act in an executive environment. As a Baker Scholar and as a participant in the London May Term program, Jon gained confidence that is evident when you meet him today.

Professor Stacy Jackson has been influential, developing in Jon a strategic mindset and the need to differentiate. Jon has worked hard to give back through hosting students at his office and continuing to return to campus for panel discussions and most recently as a selector for the newest Baker Scholars cohort.

When you think of the impact a place like Hope College can have on the world, just imagine these three, multiplied by two thousand, in just one great American city.

If you live and work in Chicago, or are interested in doing so, make plans to join alumni and students at Rock Bottom Brewery on April 6 for the Hope College Alumni Association and Career Development Center’s annual networking event Living & Working In: Chicago.

Winter Break Woes

AnneWinter break came as a much needed interval in this semester; however, I must voice how grateful I am to be back at Hope. As this break was a mere four days, my family decided to turn it into a skiing weekend. As I’ve only ever skied once before I welcomed this opportunity to relearn how not to fall down a slope… Let’s just say I’ve decided to stick with sledding from now on.

I now realize I was born to stay on solid ground, as I already have poor balance standing on concrete. Long story short, I took a 20 foot tumble down the largest hill and ended up losing both skis, my hat, and my desire to ever ski again! Not only did it hurt to raise my left eyebrow, as I slightly hit my head during the fall, but before I could get up to collect my scattered things I heard someone from the adjacent ski lift shout, “Yard sale!”

Although I had a less then fortunate experience over break, I’ve don’t want to give up skiing quite yet. One of my friends here on campus recently started the Ski and Snowboarding Club for students of all skill levels. I hope to attend one of their events in the near future.

Embarrassment aside, today it was nearly 60 degrees on campus! Now that’s what I like to call “Michigan beach weather.” I have to admit that I’d rather have the warm weather stick than be able to go snow skiing again… and maybe then I can check out the Water Skiing club we have here on campus!


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.”