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.”

Call for Courageous Action by David Paul ’10

DavidPaulMLKChapelDavid Paul will return to his alma mater to deliver this year’s Martin Luther King Jr. Civil Rights Lecture at Hope College, presenting “Dare to Be BOLD” on Monday, January 18, at 7 p.m. in Dimnent Memorial Chapel. The public is invited. Admission is free.

David Paul is a 2010 Hope graduate who is an M.D./M.S. candidate and Academic Research Track Fellow at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry. He is actively engaged in several initiatives to increase the number of compassionate and culturally competent physicians from underrepresented backgrounds who are dedicated to serving in their communities. He has received national recognition as both a researcher and for his commitment to service.

In his address, he will examine King’s early life and career, focusing on King’s example in leading courageously against injustice even when his own life was threatened. Paul will additionally reflect on his own experiences in encouraging those in the audience—especially students—to discern how they can apply their own gifts in meeting needs in the world.

A native of Grand Rapids, Paul graduated from Hope with a chemistry major.  While at Hope, he served as student body president during the 2008-09 academic year. He conducted biophysics research in the laboratory of Dr. Brent P. Krueger and was awarded a Cyberinfrastructure Experiences for Graduate Students (NIH-CIEG) Fellowship to study under Dr. Ross Walker at the San Diego Supercomputer Center-University of California, San Diego.

He began his studies at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry in August 2010, and matriculated into the Academic Research Track Honors Program in Neurobiology and Anatomy in 2013.

During his Academic Research Track fellowship, Paul chaired the fourth Annual Student National Medical Association pre-medical conference, which attracted more than 200 educators, clinicians and underrepresented students from area high schools, colleges and medical schools—exposing the students to careers in medicine. Using the conference as a model, he also co-founded the Minority Male Leadership Association in response to the nine-percent four-year high school graduation rate of minority students in Rochester, New York.

Paul’s academic interest is in neuroscience. More specifically, he studies how the brain heals itself after injury from strokes, traumatic brain injuries and brain tumors.

Recently, his work was featured as the cover article for the December 2014 issue of “Science,” and he has appeared on the NPR-affiliate radio show, “Connections,” as a “Notable scientist under the age of 30.”  During his research tenure, he has also helped several minority undergraduate students obtain competitive summer research funding and subsequent acceptance into medical schools across the country.

Earlier this fall, Paul received The William and Charlotte Cadbury Award from the National Medical Fellowships and Association of American Medical Colleges, presented annually to a senior medical student in recognition of outstanding academic achievement, leadership and community service. Upon graduation, he will begin his medical career as a resident physician in neurosurgery.

Paul’s presentation is sponsored by Herman Miller Inc. and the college’s Office of Multicultural Education and multicultural student organizations, and is taking place as part of the college’s annual Civil Rights Celebration week. The week, running Monday-Saturday, January 18-23, honors all persons and groups who have worked toward the advancement of civil rights and social justice, and is organized in conjunction with the national commemoration of the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The week will include a variety of additional activities for the campus community, including a panel discussion by leaders of multicultural student organizations on Thursday, January 21 from 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm in the Maas Conference Center and “Hope Serves” on Saturday, January 23.

Meet the Rollenhagens

alumni-sept-150-emailStudies at Hope College extend far beyond the classroom. Whitney Heneveld ’10 Rollenhagen graduated with a degree in accounting and learned the value of relationships at Hope. The dedication of her professors and the relatively small size of the Department of Economics and Business are two factors that quickly helped her build meaningful connections with students and faculty.

Henveld 005It was Whitney’s relationship with Professor Marty LaBarge that led to her first job. Whitney says, “Professor LaBarge had a personal connection with a partner at Beene Garter, who had indicated that the firm was looking to hire a staff accountant. Due to the size, location and culture of the firm, Professor LaBarge referred me. I submitted my resume, completed the interview process and was offered the job. I will always be grateful to Professor LaBarge for her referral. More than that, I am grateful that she took the time to get to know me well enough to know what type of firm and position would be the right fit.”

In her public accounting career, Whitney has had the opportunity to interact with many different people including business owners, corporate controllers, prospective clients, partners within the firm and co-workers with unique backgrounds and experiences. She credits her experiences at Hope with teaching her the value of investing in, and learning from, others.

Whitney’s classmate and husband, Jake, agrees. He says, “During my sophomore year, I began to realize how invaluable the atmosphere at Hope College was and how it would play into my future career path. When I declared my accounting major, I began to develop relationships with my professors. Shortly after, I attended a meeting with the Center for Faithful Leadership (CFL) at Hope. Both of these decisions would ultimately lead me to a successful start to my career at Amway.”

Aug2008NfHCPgs10and11SteveVanderVeenNFH20080618_4490c_LWSOne of Jake’s professors shared a contact at Amway for a potential summer internship. The Career Development Center provided Jake with the necessary tools, particularly interview preparation, to help him make the most of this opportunity. That, combined with public presentation classes and experiences with CFL, landed him the internship and ultimately a full time career.

Jake reflects, “My involvement in CFL allowed me to work as a student consultant and learn from a leader in the community, Virgil Gulker. I learned how to be a self-driven leader and find solutions to problems within an organization. I specifically worked with the Allegan County Community Foundation to develop recommendations on how to more efficiently provide food for low income families. These experiences have helped me immensely in my career.”

Jake and Whitney have been in the work force for over four years and have been able to use the skills that they developed at Hope, not only through courses, but just as importantly through the experiences provided outside of the classroom.

No matter how long ago you graduated, there are Hope career resources available to you today. Make your own career connection at hope.edu/alumni/career.

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