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 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.

Alumni Association to Honor Two with Young Alumni Awards

The Hope College Alumni Association will present Young Alumni Awards on Thursday, March 3, to two graduates who have received national recognition for research that they have conducted as they have pursued their careers in the sciences.

The association is recognizing Dr. Emilie Dykstra Goris of Holland, a 2008 graduate who is an assistant professor of nursing at Hope; and Dr. Jonathan Moerdyk of New Alexandria, Pennsylvania, a 2009 graduate who is an assistant professor of chemistry at Seton Hill University in Greensburg, Pennsylvania. The awards will be presented during a dinner at the college’s Haworth Inn and Conference Center at 6 p.m.

The Young Alumni Award was established to honor the talents and contributions that young alumni have made to their professions, their communities and to the college, and was first presented in 2007. Criteria include having been a member of the Alumni Association for 15 or fewer years; notable prominence through professional endeavor, research, volunteerism, and/or involvement with the local or global community or the college; and demonstrating significant initiative by starting innovative service projects, research, businesses or other original enterprises.

2016_Hope_Dyktra_Goris_001 Dykstra Goris has been a member of the Hope faculty since 2012. Her teaching and research interests include critical care nursing/acute care of the adult, neuropsychiatric symptoms in Alzheimer’s disease and genetics.

In 2014, she was one of only 25 applicants nationwide chosen to attend that year’s National Institute of Nursing Research Summer Genetics Institute at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland.  In 2015, she received the Outstanding Dissertation Award from the Physiology, Behavior, Genomics & Society Research Section of the Midwest Nursing Research Society. Other recognition and support of her work through the years includes the prestigious John A. Hartford Foundation Building Academic Geriatric Nursing Capacity (BAGNC) Predoctoral Scholarship Award for 2011-13, received while she was pursuing her doctorate in nursing at Michigan State University, and a current grant from the Kenneth H. Campbell Foundation for Neurologic Research. She has authored or co-authored multiple articles published in scholarly journals and has made several presentations during professional conferences regarding her research.

Dykstra Goris majored in nursing at Hope, where she participated in collaborative faculty-student research mentored by former faculty member Dr. Susan Dunn. Her activities as a student also included the Hope Student Nurses Association, student-organized Dance Marathon fund-raiser on behalf of Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital, Gospel Choir and Nykerk Cup competition. Among other honors she received as a student, she was named to the college’s chapters of the Sigma Xi science honorary and Phi Beta Kappa.

Prior to returning as a member of the faculty, she was a registered nurse with the Surgical Intensive Care Unit at Spectrum Health Hospitals in Grand Rapids. She also served as an alumna member of the Hope College Nursing Advisory Council and returned to campus as an invited speaker.

Among other community involvement, she is a member of Pillar Church in Holland.  She and her husband, Don, have a young son at home.

JonathanMoerdyk_cropMoerdyk, a member of the Seton Hill University faculty since 2014, has received multiple honors for his groundbreaking research, conducted while pursuing his doctorate at the University of Texas at Austin, developing diamidocarbenes, a new class of carbon-based compounds aimed at mimicking select properties of metals.

In 2013, he was part of a select group of young researchers from 78 countries invited to participate in the Nobel Laureate Meeting in Lindau, Germany, an opportunity for the newest generation of scientists to mingle with Nobel Prize winners and discuss their work and ideas. He was subsequently named to two “30 Under 30” lists as an outstanding young scientist: by Scientific American in 2013, and by Forbes in 2015.  In addition, his doctoral research was highlighted in Chemical and Engineering News in 2012, the same year that he was also named a William Powers Jr. Graduate Fellow.

Moerdyk also received major national recognition as a student a Hope, where as a chemistry major he conducted research with Dr. Jason Gillmore. In 2008 he was presented one of only 321 Goldwater Scholarships awarded nationwide, and in 2009 he received Honorable Mention in the National Science Foundation’s Graduate Research Fellowship program—recognition that he also received in 2010.

In addition to research, his activities at the college included varsity baseball, intramural sports and InterVarsity Christian Fellowship. He was also named to the college’s chapters of Mortar Board, the Sigma Xi science honorary and Phi Beta Kappa.

His wife, Kathryn, is a 2008 Hope graduate. His community activities include science demonstrations for high school and middle school students, Habitat for Humanity and a mission trip to Haiti through Newlonsburg Presbyterian Church. He had an opportunity to connect with current Hope research students this past summer, speaking informally with them while attending the Great Lakes/Central Regional American Chemical Society meeting.

Both Dykstra Goris and Moerdyk will also present workshops hosted by the Alumni Association and the college’s Career Development Center for students as they consider their lives after graduation. Dykstra Goris will present “What Am I Going to Do Now? Goals and Decisions in an Uncertain Time” on Wednesday, March 2, and Moerdyk will present “Photochromes, Carbenes and Defining Success: A Young Chemist’s Perspective” on Thursday, March 3.

You are invited to join us in celebrating Emilie and Jonathan at the Young Alumni Award Dinner on Thursday, March 3.