The Invitation of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

During the school year of 1962-63, Roland Marshall ’63 and Pete Paulsen ’64, with the permission of the administration and the support of student government, invited Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to campus. Pete contacted the Office of Alumni Engagement recently to share his story:

Hope College campus, 1965

Pete Paulsen ’64 recalls that the early 1960s were years of discussion, action, turmoil, and change. Although Hope College clearly never was a Berkeley, Paulsen admits, all over campus Hope students engaged in passionate discussions about what could and should happen to address the United States’ problem with racism, its movement toward war in Vietnam, and tensions with the Soviet Union.

He confesses that his memory might not be as good today as it was when he was a student. However, it appears that his friends are able to recall even less about the courageous step they took when inviting Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to the campus of Hope College. “Much of this history must of necessity then be conjecture,” Paulsen therefore concludes. One of his friends involved was Roland Marshall ’63, a former classmate of James Sanford. Together, the two students attended Dr. King’s speech at Ohio University during the International Student Conference of Race. Paulsen recalls his friends’ excitement about the dynamic and direct nature of Dr. King’s presentation upon their return to Hope, and the powerful impact this had on him.

Paulsen believes that this enthusiasm matched the energy Dr. King generated through his effort to address the issues with American racism. Although Paulsen is unsure about specific details, he recalls having planned an invitation of Dr. King to the campus of Hope College together with several friends. Many students placed an importance on hearing what Dr. King, a pivotal figure in the civil rights movement, had to say, and demonstrating their support of his work.

Baccalaureate 1965

Paulsen is confident that an invitation of Dr. King could not have been realized had it not been for student support and the permission of the college’s administration. Unfortunately, Dr. King was unable to visit the campus. Paulsen does not possess a copy of the initial invitation letter and of Dr. King’s response to this. He vaguely remembers having sent Dr. King another letter asking him to choose a date, and in the summer of 1963, Paulsen received a second letter from Dr. King. This indicated that the first letter had offered a specific date on which Dr. King was unavailable. Paulsen recently gave this letter to Hope’s archives. The letter reveals that due to commitments to the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, Dr. King was unable to visit Hope College.

MLK Jr. Letter to Hope College student Peter Paulsen, August 1963

According to Paulsen, Hope College has been committed to traditions and historic practice while simultaneously pushing for knowledge and morally right behavior and values. “It was courageous of the college to extend this invitation and invite a challenging voice to speak on campus and to community,” he says. “We need to continue that balance.”

“It was courageous of the college to extend this invitation and invite a challenging voice to speak on campus and to community.”

Thank you, Paul, for sharing your story and this letter. As we look forward to Martin Luther King, Jr. Day on Monday, January 19, you are welcome to attend a lecture by Dr. Joy DeGruy on campus at 2:00 pm. For more information, please visit hope.edu/calendar.

Hope Alumni Bring Unique Perspectives to the Tech Industry

One of the best parts of my job is meeting some of Hope’s 33,000 alumni on their home turf. With graduates living in all 50 states and over 80 countries around the world, the opportunities for connections are endless. Whether it’s entrepreneurs from Nairobi, newly found connections in Tokyo or young alumni making their mark in Chicago, it is inspiring to meet alumni as they pursue lives of leadership and service in a global society.

This exciting professional privilege reached new heights during a trip last fall to California and Washington State. In part because of a new partnership between the office of Alumni Engagement and the new Boerigter Center for Calling and Career, my goal was to establish connections with alumni in technology to share with current students on campus.

We have over 1,750 alumni living in states with Pacific shores. As you might expect, a fair number, over 600 in fact, live in the San Francisco and Seattle areas. Many of them, also as you might expect, work in the tech industry. This was the focus of my trip.

I had a great visit with Eva at Joanie’s Cafe. Her story of creating community within her field is inspiring.
I had a great visit with Eva at Joanie’s Cafe. Her story of creating community within her field is inspiring.

After Lyft rides during the first 24 hours in the Bay Area in two Lexuses, a Mercedes and a BMW, I knew I was not in Holland, Michigan anymore. My first appointment was in downtown Palo Alto with Eva Gaumond ’90. She has had an accomplished career as a user experience (UX) leader, often fostering collaboration and utilizing empathy she learned as a psychology major at Hope to get to the heart of user needs. After moving to the area and wishing there were more professional development opportunities in her field, she simply created them herself, co-founding a now 2,400 member non-profit professional UX organization from the ground up. It was an impressive start to my day.

Facebook’s new headquarters, MPK20.
Part of Facebook’s new headquarters, MPK21.

After breakfast, I made the short six mile trip out to Facebook’s new headquarters, MPK20. Designed by world-famous architect Frank Gehry, the 430,000-square-foot space, spread over 22 acres, is LEED-certified and boasts a 9-acre green roof (complete with work cabanas) and underground parking lot. While entering this compound of an office building was a unique experience, what made it even more meaningful was connecting with a friend now working inside.

I first met David Moore ’10 when he was an intern in the alumni office. From there he joined the Canadian digital marketing and e-commerce team at Gordon Food Service in Grand Rapids before moving to Philadelphia to work at a start-up using machine learning to personalize websites and apps. Now David counts himself fortunate to live in San Francisco where he works in product management on video products at Facebook. We were joined for lunch by another Hope alumnus, Josh Metzler ’99, who has been a software engineer at Facebook for the last seven years. A chemistry and religion major while at Hope, Josh is a self-taught coder who has now been working for the world’s largest social media company for longer than most of its 25,000 employees.

Facebook employees and Hope College alumni, David Moore ’10 and Josh Metzler ’99, take a break to talk about their Hope College experiences.
Facebook employees and Hope College alumni, David Moore ’10 and Josh Metzler ’99, take a break to talk about their Hope College experiences.

The Indian cuisine at Facebook is legit. Over naan and tandoori chicken we discussed how a liberal arts background has shaped how they solve problems at work. They shared that Hope gave them the freedom and supportive community to be curious. Then David told me this story: A friend of his visited during a semester off at Harvard and attended a class at Hope with him. Afterwards the friend remarked, “that was a better class than I’ve experienced yet in Cambridge – intimate, thoughtful, engaging.” At the time, David wasn’t sure he believed him. Now, after applying his Hope experience in Menlo Park, he thinks he does.

“Hope gave them the freedom and supportive community to be curious.”

Influenced by courses like creative writing and religion, these Facebook staffers talked about technology as being about understanding the deeper needs people have – some they can share, some that they can’t. Their work is focused on bringing the world closer together and understanding people’s perspectives. This way of thinking not only makes for a better interface on an app, but also helps to figure out how machine learning can help identify bad actors.

Golden Gate Bridge
After an evening enjoying some of the sights in San Francisco, I spent the next day connecting with alumni at Google and Tesla. At the Googleplex in Mountain View, a gathering of Hope alumni Googlers met over breakfast. In a testament to the longevity and relevancy of a liberal arts background, we had graduates from each of the last five consecutive decades represented.

Crossing the commencement stage back in Holland with dates ranging from 1979 to 2018, these product directors, software engineers and recruiting coordinators compared notes on what can help a graduate of this decade stand out. The consensus was that students should articulate the soft skills they have developed through a liberal arts education — skills like teamwork, problem solving and communication — alongside demonstrated hard skills developed through experiences like coding competitions, proficiency in programming and scripting languages.

“Students should articulate the soft skills they have developed through a liberal arts education — skills like teamwork, problem solving and communication.”

Google employees outside the Googleplex headquarters.
Karl Rasche ’00 (Senior Software Engineer), Ron Heiby ’79 (Technical Program Manager), Chris Turkstra ’93 (Product Director for Google Assistant), Douglas Van Wieren ’88 (Software and Site Reliability Engineer), and Josias Sanon ’18 (Recruiting Coordinator).

Later in the day, at a new Tesla office building in North Bay, you could sense the fast pace of innovation. There I connected with Blair Williams ’10 and Randy Johnson ’07. They shared how the undergraduate research program and international exchange programs sparked their interest in language and culture and opened the door for graduate experiences at places like Stanford, which in turn opened doors in Silicon Valley. They also shared how a liberal arts background has helped them to be well-rounded and not just technical. Through experiences at Hope they were able to wrestle with philosophical, societal, and spiritual questions, improve writing and communication skills, and becoming well prepared for working on cross-functional teams. The icing on the cake was the personal relationships with research advisors and senior seminar professors that turned into personal friendships which have shaped their lives in immeasurable ways.

“A liberal arts background has helped them to be well-rounded and not just technical.”

Blair Williams '10 and Randy Johnson '07 at Tesla.
Blair Williams ’10 and Randy Johnson ’07 at Tesla.

After two hours in flight over the peaks of Mt. St Helens, Mt. Adams and Mt. Rainier, I landed in Seattle. Among other alumni and employer connections, I met Thao Le ’11. Today she is a senior financial analyst at Amazon. Just a few years ago she was an international student at Hope College from Vietnam. While at Hope she majored in accounting and had internships at The Stow Company and Perrigo. Her first job after Hope was with Deloitte in Seattle working on an audit team. Traveling frequently while working with international teams at Amazon, she now uses leadership development and cross-cultural skills honed at Hope as a member of Mortar Board, Phelps Scholars and Hope Asian Perspective Association. We toured a new Amazon Go store and The Spheres, Amazon’s innovative downtown hub that brings a direct link to nature to Amazon employees. With her office right down the street, Thao shared that she enjoys working and visiting this unique home to more than 40,000 plants from the cloud forest regions of over 30 countries.

Thao Le ’11 shows off The Spheres at Amazon in downtown Seattle.

Once I was back on campus the next week, it was time to share lessons learned from these alumni with colleagues and students. Their stories can serve both as inspiration for future generations of Hope College students and for other alumni to get involved.

If you are interested in sharing your own career expertise, hosting a student or hiring a Hope graduate, complete the form at hope.edu/impact and a member of our team will be in touch with next steps.

Announcing the 2018 10 Under 10 Award Recipients

“This is my anchor of hope for this people in the future.”

Much has changed since A.C. Van Raalte used those words to describe Hope College over 150 years ago. Hope no longer houses all its students and classrooms within the walls of Van Vleck Hall, but the goal of preparing students to be a positive impact on the world of tomorrow most certainly remains.

In the fall of 1862, Hope College enrolled its first freshman class of 10 men. In October 2018, we will celebrate our first recipients (men and women) of the 10 under 10 Awards. The awards are designed to honor emerging leaders who are engaged in the local and global community and who exemplify the attributes of a Hope graduate. Full criteria can be found here. Nominations flowed in and a team of Alumni Board members, faculty and staff were presented with the task of selecting the final 10 recipients. The Alumni Board of Directors enthusiastically confirmed the selections and are pleased to sponsor this award.

These 10 recipients have backgrounds and interests as varied as the programs offered at Hope. They are taking their liberal arts education to new heights and impacting the world in big ways.

We are pleased to announce the following Hope College 10 Under 10 Award Recipients for 2018:

Sarah Watkins ’08 Fabian
Assistant Professor of Theatre

She creates new worlds on the stage and instructs others on how to do the same.

 

Xander Krieg ’12
Founder and CTO of AI software company

He developed an algorithm that allows a greater understanding of facial expressions and emotions.

 

Jonas Lawson ’13
Political Advertising Account Executive

He oversees high profile campaigns advertising at the local, state and federal levels.

 

Maggie Mohr ’09
Postdoctoral Fellow in Neurobiology

She has made significant contributions in neuroscience through her research.

 

Quinn Nystrom ’08
Speaker, Author & Diabetes Awareness Advocate

She brings a voice of hope and knowledge to people living with Diabetes.

 

Izzy Rhodes ’11
Hospital Crisis Chaplain
She promotes enhanced attention to mental health in the church and supports families experiencing medical trauma.

 

Travis Rieth ’10
Photographer, Writer & Consultant

He travels North America as a photographer, writer, consultant, adventurer and advocate.

 

Chaz Shelton ’09
Founder & CEO of Hydroponic Food Company

He helps to make fresh food accessible and affordable using science and technology.

 

Carl Scholten ’11
School Principal

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

 

Katherine Stritzke ’08 Simons
Strategy and Marketing Professional

She creates strategies for large-scale business transformations.

Alumni, students, families and friends are invited to celebrate at the 10 Under 10 Soiree during One Big Weekend on Friday, October 19 from 7 – 9 pm at City Flats Hotel as part of Hope on 8th Street. You’ll celebrate with these recipients in a casual meet-and-greet setting with appetizers and a cash bar. No registration is required and you may come and go as you please. You won’t want to miss it!

Do you know someone who belongs on this list for 2019? We are accepting nominations! Simply fill out this short form and your nominee will be added to the list and considered for next year’s awards.

Book on Forgotten African American History Puts Author Anna-Lisa Cox ’94 in the Spotlight

 

Anna-Lisa Cox ’94

As a scholar of 19th-century U.S. history, Anna-Lisa Cox ’94 isn’t accustomed to being in the spotlight. With the forthcoming publication of her book The Bone and Sinew of the Land: America’s Forgotten Black Pioneers and the Struggle for Equality, however, she’s found herself the subject of numerous media interviews, recipient of multiple invitations to discuss her work and soon to begin a month-long book tour starting on the East Coast with a June 11 preview in Holland. Amazon named The Bone and Sinew of the Land a June Best Book of the Month in history, and well-known scholar Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. of Harvard University has described it as “a revelation of primary historical research that is written with the beauty and empathic powers of a novel.”

It’s all an adjustment, but she’s glad for the interest in her topic and the opportunity it presents to share a rich history long lost.

“I am a little stunned by the advance interest in my book,” said Anna-Lisa, who is a nonresident fellow with Harvard University’s Hutchins Center for African and African American Research, “but I am relieved that the response has been warm.”

Focusing on the Northwest Territory (modern Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin) between 1800 and 1860, Anna-Lisa found that African Americans played a larger role in settling the frontier than previously believed. She identified more than 300 African American farming settlements that were home to land-owning farming families in the region, before the Civil War. There were tens of thousands of these free African American pioneers who came to settle this early American frontier in what was the nation’s first Great Migration.

“Loren Schweninger points out in Black Property Owners in the South, by the mid-1800s a farmer with property worth between $2,000 and $5,000 was in the top 13 percent of wealthy landowners in the United States at that time, regardless of skin color,” she said. “Many of these settlements included farmers with such wealth, and some were even wealthier.”

“It is amazing how these histories have been lost, but there is a lot of richness in the past for us still to learn,” she said. “From a local history perspective, Ottawa County had some very early African American settlers before the Civil War, including a successful blacksmith.”

Anna-Lisa, who is currently based in Michigan, has been conducting research on race relations in the 19th-century Midwest for several years. Her award-winning publications also include the 2007 book A Stronger Kinship: One Town’s Extraordinary Story of Hope and Faith (Little, Brown), which tells the history of the southwest Michigan community of Covert, which became integrated in the 1860s. She has also recently helped create two historical exhibits based on her original research at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture, including one on black pioneers. She was back at Hope this past spring semester as a visiting faculty member, teaching a course on Michigan history.

She explains that the Northwest Ordinance of 1787 provided the impetus for thousands of African Americans to relocate to the wilderness lands in what she describes as the nation’s first Great Migration. It forbade slavery in the region, and offered equal voting rights to men regardless of their skin color. With the territory largely unsettled, it also meant that the African American pioneers could build new lives away from racial prejudice.

As the decades passed, Anna-Lisa noted, the opportunities for African Americans declined as the region became more heavily settled and they found themselves facing familiar biases as the frontier receded. As the publisher’s description of the book explains, “Though forgotten today, in their own time the success of these pioneers made them the targets of racist backlash. Political and even armed battles soon ensued, tearing apart families and communities.”

With the U.S. of the present day continuing to wrestle with <<equality>>, she feels that remembering is essential.

“The Northwest Frontier was the largest piece of land set aside as free from slavery in the New World,” she said. “This was a truly revolutionary frontier. What’s been lost is not only this first Great Migration, but all the settlements that were part of it.”

“These African American pioneers who came out to settle the frontier long before the Civil War are an integral part of our American past, but their history has been buried for far too long,” she said. “If we lose who helped settle the frontier, who was essential in these states’ histories, we lose a sense of who belongs.”

The book-tour events will provide multiple opportunities to learn more or to connect with Anna-Lisa. They include:

Monday, June 11: Maple Avenue Ministries, Holland, Michigan, 427 Maple Ave., 7 p.m.

Tuesday, June 19: Harvard Book Store, co-sponsored by the Hutchins Center; Boston, Massachusetts

Thursday, June 21: Politics & Prose; Washington, D.C.

Friday, June 22: Solid State Books; Washington, D.C.

Tuesday, June 26: Seminary Co-op; Chicago, Illinois

Wednesday, June 27: Anderson’s Bookshop; Naperville, Illinois

Sunday July 8, 2 p.m.: Allen County Public Library; Fort Wayne, Indiana

Monday, July 9: Literati Bookstore; Ann Arbor, Michigan

Tuesday, July 10: Pages Bookstore; Detroit, Michigan

Tuesday, July 24: Wisconsin Historical Society; Madison, Wisconsin

In addition, more about the book is available online at https://www.publicaffairsbooks.com/titles/anna-lisa-cox/the-bone-and-sinew-of-the-land/9781610398114/ or https://www.amazon.com/Bone-Sinew-Land-Americas-Forgotten/dp/1610398106 .

 

Ten Under Ten Awards

Visionaries. Risk Takers. Creators. Dreamers.

Our recent alumni are changing the world and we are dedicated to celebrating these rising stars and emerging leaders. Help us find them by nominating a Hope graduate within the past ten years for the inaugural Hope College 10 Under 10 Awards. This program will honor young alumni who exemplify what it means to be anchored in Hope. They will be presented at a special event open to all during Homecoming & Family Weekend on October 19, 2018.

Use the following criteria to nominate a 2008-2017 Hope graduate deserving of this recognition. Nominations made through April 13 will be considered for 2018. The nomination form will remain open to collect submissions for subsequent annual awards. All nominations are anonymous and we will send you a Hope College t-shirt if your nominee is selected (and the form is super short)!

10 Under 10 Award Criteria

  • Emerging leader making significant contributions by living out their calling
  • Engaged in the local or global community through professional and/or volunteer involvement
  • Serves as an outstanding young role model for current and future students and alumni by showcasing the attributes of a graduate anchored in Hope:
    • Using their education to think about important issues with wisdom & clarity
    • Communicating effectively to bridge boundaries that divide human communities
    • Acting as an agent of hope who lives faithfully into their vocation
    • Making a difference
  • A member of the Hope College Alumni Association within 10 years of graduation
    • Note: All Hope graduates and those who have earned 45 credits or more are automatically members of the Alumni Association

Make a nomination today!

Questions? Email awards@hope.edu.

Recent Grad Researches Grit and Presents at International Congress

Positive psychology is the scientific study of what enables individuals and communities to thrive. At a recent international conference, one of our Hope College alumni community members contributed to this field of study with some academic thriving of his own.

Robby Henry ’17 recently presented original research he completed at Hope as part of the 5th World Congress of the International Positive Psychology Association. The conference, held this year in Montreal, Canada, is comprised of the leading researchers and practitioners in positive psychology. They meet annually to share research and best practices. This year, over 1,300 delegates from more than 60 countries attended. Among those presenting the latest research, Robby shared “Reflecting on Grit: The Physiological Markers of Self-consciousness and a Gritty Personality.”

During the event he broadcasted his eagerness to participate, tweeting his excitement to Hope College and the Hope Psychology Club. Robby also gave a shout-out to Hope College alumni who are contributing to the field.

Originally from LaSalle, Illinois, Robby graduated from Hope College with the class of 2017, receiving his BA in Biology and Psychology and minoring in Neuroscience. During his time at Hope he was a Resident Assistant and a volunteer at the Holland Free Health Clinic. Currently, he is a PhD student in Clinical Psychology at the University of Utah focusing  on developmental psychopathology, lifespan transitions, and psychophysiology.

Hope Experts Guide Alumni and Friends Through Tanzania

Photo of Tim Laman '83
Tim Laman ’83 takes a photo alongside guests on the recent travel program trip to Tanzania.

By Lynne Powe ’86

The jubilant “whoop” on the plains of the Serengeti isn’t the call of the African black-bellied bustard. It’s award-winning wildlife photojournalist and field biologist Dr. Tim Laman ’83 celebrating the composition of a special photo. As he reviews the images on the back of his camera, he beams with satisfaction, and a brief nod confirms he’s enjoying his time photographing the national parks of northern Tanzania.

Photo of Eldon Greij
Professor emeritus Eldon Greij leads a safari vehicle of interested birders.

In a nearby Toyota Land Cruiser, Dr. Eldon Greij, professor emeritus of biology and founder of the magazine Birder’s World, focuses his binoculars on a pair of raptors, while calling out identifying characteristics. The local driver/guide joins in. When necessary, they consult, “The Birds of East Africa,” a field guide laying on the dashboard. The energy and enthusiasm is palpable as they confirm another species to add to the checklist that evening.

Photo of Eldon Greij and Tim Laman
The former faculty and student research team takes a break in Arusha National Park as colleagues and trip co-leaders.

An African safari has been my dream trip since I was a Hope sophomore and hoping to photograph wildlife found in that part of the world. When I heard that Eldon Greij and Tim Laman were co-leading a tour with the Hope College Alumni Association, I was the first to pay my deposit. Based on their expertise, I was confident it would be an exceptional experience.

Eldon taught in the Hope College Biology Department for 26 years, specializing in ornithology and ecology.  He founded Birder’s World in 1988 and edited the magazine for 11 years. During that time he led birding tours to the Amazon and Africa for readers of the magazine.  He also led Hope student May terms to Peru and Tanzania.

Tim has excelled as an international wildlife photographer and videographer. A contributing photographer for National Geographic, he was named Wildlife Photographer of the Year in 2016 by the world-renowned British institution, the Natural History Museum and BBC Wildlife Magazine. More than 50,000 entries from 95 countries were submitted for this prestigious competition. He has recently been a videographer for nature documentaries produced by the BBC.

For this Hope College tour, Eldon worked with his connections at Roy Safaris in Arusha to develop an itinerary that included a balance of national park game drives and cultural experiences. Highlights included Arusha National Park, making coffee at Tengeru Village, Tarangire National Park, an afternoon learning about an Iraqw tribe, Lake Manyara National Park, Serengeti National Park, NDUTU, time with children at the Nainokanoka Primary School, Ngorongoro Conservation Area and Crater, and a visit to a Maasai Village.

Twenty-eight alumni and friends from across the United States signed up for this adventure. Our ages ranged from 23 to 83. The reasons they shared for taking this journey were as varied as our ages. Some wanted to interact with people from other cultures. Some were drawn by the allure of so many animals.  Many were eager to add new species of birds to their life list. Some came for the opportunity to improve their photography skills under the mentorship of a National Geographic photographer. Some sought the thrill of the adventure of traveling to another part of the world. We all had a common desire to see and learn as much as we could during this unique opportunity.

Travel Program Group
The full group and guides celebrate a successful safari at the African Tulip in Arusha.
Safari Guides
Our guides, Thomas, Nico, Emmanuel and Salvatory, take a break for a photo before lunch on the edge of the Serengeti.

We had four amazing local safari guides who led the way and answered our constant questions. As we traveled the bumpy roads, they proudly taught us about their beautiful country and shared their stories. Thomas, Nico, Emmanuel, and Salvatory, knew the national parks well and easily spotted a wide variety of mammals and birds. They loved their jobs and it showed.

It was just as refreshing to see Eldon and Tim enjoying their vocation with so much enthusiasm. They freely shared their knowledge. Tim helped us develop our photography skills during the day and shared his photos at night as another way for us to learn. I was eager to absorb Tim’s photography tips, but I was equally impressed by his natural history knowledge of Africa.

With stunning landscapes and assorted wildlife around almost every corner, photo opportunities were plentiful. The click of camera shutters in our vehicles seemed to be never-ending, and we were all a little giddy when reviewing our photos. I know my photography improved with each day’s shoot.

Agama Lizard
This agama lizard earned the nickname of the Hope College lizard for his orange and blue spirit.

We saw a plethora of animals — many I had never heard of before, including the black-faced vervet, large spotted genet, rock hyrax, klipspringer, eland, Coke’s hartebeest and topi. Within a 24-hour period, we were elated to see Africa’s big five: elephant, black rhinoceros, cape buffalo, lion and leopard. We even glimpsed the orange-and-blue agama lizard which we ceremoniously dubbed the Hope College lizard. The bird list also seemed to be endless, and I think most of us became enamored with the lilac-breasted roller and the Fischer’s lovebird.

Birds
Ficher’s lovebirds and a lilac-breasted roller.

More than a month after returning home from our travels, I’m just as excited about this safari now as I was during the trip. I am thrilled that I became a better photographer during the trip, especially because these images will help me remember such a wonderful experience in vivid detail. Thanks to Eldon, Tim, and our guides, each day on the trip was educational and inspirational.

Happy Travelers
Happy travelers at the end of their adventure.

I’m thankful for the opportunity to have traveled with other Hope alumni and friends, and I’m grateful for the leadership we had. The Alumni Office staff did an amazing job of coordinating all the details before, during, and after the tour. We could fully enjoy the trip because we didn’t have to worry about all of the logistics. A special thanks to Kasey Petro and Scott Travis for making it all run so smoothly.

As we set off in early May I know there were a lot of expectations to fulfill for this group. Personally, my expectations were exceeded on the first day and every day!

  • Check out video highlights and photos taken by various members of the group in the galleries posted below.
  • You can also learn more about Tim Laman ’83 and see a collection of his work from this trip at magazine.hope.edu.
  • If you are interested in joining the mailing list for the travel program, please email alumni@hope.edu.

Guest Photo Highlights

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Video Highlights

Lessons from a Cyber Spy and a Global Language Learner

On Thursday, March 2, we honored two impressive young graduates with the Hope College Young Alumni Award.

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.

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.

I had the chance to listen to both of them connect with faculty and students earlier in the week and was struck by an interesting paradox between their two stories.

Sarah’s global experiences have created life lessons through learning where languages become a means to deeper human connection, empathy and potentially global peace. Her lessons included using language to shape your own voice, learn to listen and to speak up for those whose voices aren’t being heard.

Sarah shared from her travels that she has a problem with directions and finding her way around. This is made worse by the fact that in Tokyo she experiences complex labyrinths and tiny alleys that not even Google Maps has penetrated yet. To cope, she started looking up. Tall landmarks like cell phone towers, colorful buildings and the rare tree became a way to retrace her steps and start over again, this time with the confidence of knowing where she is going. She shared that this situation is very similar to the role that Hope College has played in her life.

“Spending four years at such an incredible institution gave me significant landmarks that have directed me in the past and continue to guide me in the future. Whenever I have felt lost, overwhelmed, stressed and afraid I retraced my steps to the framework and foundation that Hope College has laid in my life.”

-Sarah Sanderson Doyle ’03

On the other hand, Josiah’s work deals with languages unseen and unheard, creating networks of a different kind. In this world, peace is maintained through attacks, counter-attacks and threats of retaliation.

During a presentation on “American Self Defense in Cyberspace” with Professor Joel Toppen, Josiah shared some of his expertise with students and community members. Later, as he accepted the award, he sang (yes, the spy sings) a verse from a favorite hymn:

Jesus shall reign where’er the sun
Does his successive journeys run,
His kingdom stretch from shore to shore
Till moons shall wax and wane no more.

He shared that the sixth and final verse starts “let every creature rise and bring / peculiar honors to our King…” and that he has some peculiar talents of his own to share.

For example, he loves exploring. The unknown, the occasional challenge, those are exciting to him. Josiah also loves to travel and cook. He almost never makes the same thing twice. He liked school because it was an opportunity to learn and think about how the world works. He wrote a book on science in cyber security to help others be better explorers. He became an intelligence officer because that job is about figuring out who’s doing what and why.

“Hope College helped me be a better explorer. I’m glad I took political science, sociology and photography in addition to network design. The more I’ve studied cyber security, the more I value its intersection with economics, psychology and art. I can’t thank Hope enough for helping me develop as an explorer, not only in computer science, but as a laboratory for debating complex, interconnected ideas and questions. Questions like, ‘what kind of a world are we making and what kind of a world should we be making?'”

-Josiah Dykstra ’02

Neither Sarah’s or Josiah’s journey is inherently better or worse than the other. As I recently listened to them share their experiences, I thought that perhaps they are more like two sides of the same coin. It was clear that in both cases, the critical thinking skills, new perspectives and confidence gained at Hope College have empowered them to deal with complexity in a way that has proven invaluable.

View photos of the Young Alumni Award events.

Learn about the Young Alumni Award or make a nomination.

There’s never been a better time to consider attending Hope College. Here’s why.

 

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.

Chicago

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_LakeMI

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.

Sarah_Planetarium

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.

Wayne

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.

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.”