Get to know Kasey Petro!

“All that is gold does not glitter, Not all those who wander are lost; The old that is strong does not wither, Deep roots are not reached by the frost.”  — J. R. R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

Kasey Petro is the Employer Relations Liaison at the Boerigter Center for Calling and Career. She began working at Hope College in September 2016.  We asked Kasey 10 questions to give us the chance to get to know her a little better. This is what she had to say:

  1. What is your role at the new BOERIGTER Center for Calling and Career?

I first began working at Hope in the Development and Alumni Engagement Office and this September I moved into the Employer Relations role, at the Boerigter Center. I really wanted to be in this role because I love working with students and I am in a better position to use my skills to be able to connect students to the outside world.  I oversee HandShake, work with employers to build relationships that students can later use, and meet with students for mock interviews.

  1. What is one thing that is still on your bucket list?

I would love to hike to the Base Camp of Mount Everest. I love adventures and doing things that stretch my limits!

  1. What is your FAVORITE activity to do outdoors?

I would definitely say mountain hiking and camping.

  1. When you were a child what did you want to be when you grew up?

I actually wanted to be a lawyer. I have always enjoyed debating and love playing devil’s advocate. I remember once when I was in 6th grade, we had a mock trial in which I was the prosecutor. I kept talking and talking even after we had won because I needed to get all of my points across. To this day, I still care about justice and being able to understand both sides of any situation.

  1. What song would you burst out during karaoke?

I would just like to say unless this was a life or death situation I would probably be not singing in public. That being said, I would pick Sweet Caroline, because I know everyone would sing with me.

  1. If you could master any language, which one would you choose?

I would have to say Spanish. My husband speaks fluent Spanish and I would love to be able to use it communicate when we travel.

  1. Who would you most like to swap places with for a day?

The Notorious RBG (Ruth Bader Ginsberg)

  1. What is your favourite quote?

This is a hard one; there are so many amazing quotes! I really like a quote from Eleanor Roosevelt. She said “The purpose of life, after all, is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.”

  1. If you had to eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Curry for sure. I love all of the different flavors!

  1. What is something about you that people would be surprised to know?

I love all types of games! Board games, card games, sports- you name it. I love a good competition and if I lose a game I want to know why, so it doesn’t happen again.

We hope you enjoyed getting to Kasey Petro. You can head on over to Boerigter Center for Calling and Career to meet with her!

Get to know Shannon Schans!

“Not how long, but how well you have lived is the main thing.” -Seneca

Shannon Schans is the Career Counselor for assessment education and career exploration at the Boerigter Center for Calling and Career. Shannon began working at Hope College in August 2015. We asked Shannon to answer 10 questions to give us the opportunity to get to know her a little better. This is what she had to say:

  1. What is your role at the new Boerigter Center for Calling and Career?

I work with primarily first and second year students in the process of introducing and working through calling and vocation and major discernment.

  1. What was your very first job?

I worked at Dairy Queen for most of my high school years. It was the most delicious and the most disgusting job of my life. Pro tip: Do not get a dipped cone.

  1. What is the most interesting gift you have ever given someone?

I love giving personal gifts that mean something to whomever it’s going to. The gifts are never huge or expensive, but hopefully they are really meaningful. A couple of years ago, I gave my mom and my sister a necklace made from a coffee mug that belonged to my grandma. It was her trademark bright orange mug and it was always filled with coffee. When it broke, we were all pretty sad. So I sent the pieces to a jeweler on Etsy and she made necklaces for me, my mom, and my sister made from the glass.

  1. What is your favorite family tradition?

My mom hosting Thanksgiving. It’s the loudest and most insane party ever, but it’s the most fun day of the year.

  1. What is the weirdest food you have ever tried?

 I actually don’t think that any food is weird, it’s just different from your own normal. When I was in high school, I was an exchange student in Russia and I defiantly ate food that wasn’t normal to me, but was very normal to them! Probably tongue was the most unique.

  1. What was your favorite band/singer when you were growing up?

New Kids On The Block, hands down. Hangin’ Tough since 1987.

  1. Do you have any unusual phobias?

Yes. I am afraid of almost everything so if you name it, I’m probably actively avoiding it. Germs, flying, buffets…they’re all bad.

  1. What is your favorite place out of all of the places you have traveled?

I have been to some lovely places, and picking just one is hard. I think Orvieto, Italy takes it though. It’s so beautiful.

  1. What is one thing that you are better at than anyone else you know?

I am an excellent problem solver.

  1. If you could spend the day with any celebrity, who would it be?

Ruth Bader Ginsberg, Oprah, and Michelle Obama. Can the four of us hang out?

We hope you have enjoyed getting to know Shannon Schans. We are excited to have you meet with her!

“You’ve gotta dance like there’s nobody watching” -William W. Purkey


The Boerigter is Officially Open for Business

H Cookies get a face-lift for the Boerigter Center’s Ribbon Cutting Ceremony.

It’s official! The Boerigter Center for Calling and Career is now up and running in full swing after this past Friday’s Ribbon Cutting. Students, faculty, and staff all gathered for the celebratory event as the Boerigter’s were paraded in on golf carts. Trygve Johnson started the ceremony off with a time of prayer to bless the center. Fellowship ensued shortly after the ribbon was cut inviting students in to utilize the new space.

The Boerigter’s spent some time socializing and greeting people who were there to celebrate. After a brief conversation with Sibilla Boerigter, it is apparent that they are excited to give back to the college in this way. They were both so impressed with how quickly and efficiently the college got the project up and running. When the idea was first proposed, they were sure it would take several years to see the dream fully come to life. However, the Boerigter Center for Calling and Career is now excitedly welcoming students into the space.

The Voskuil’s (left) engage in a lively conversation with George Boerigter.

Thanks to the generous donation of George Boerigter from his company SoundOff Signal, Hope College is now able to cater to an even wider student population. The open-layout concept and central campus location were both highly intentional choices in order to make students feel comfortable and welcome in the new space. Whether you are a first-year student, transfer, or senior, the Boerigter Center for Calling and Career can help get you on the right path for a blossoming future.

Get to know Megan Scheldt!

Megan Scheldt is the Career Counselor – Networking at the Boerigter Center for Calling and Career and she is going into her 4th academic year at Hope College. Megan has answered 10 questions to let us get to know a little more about her:

1. What is your role at the new Boerigter Center for Calling and Career?

I am the Career Counselor-Networking. For first and second year students, that means meeting with me to explore what they want to do with their major as well as getting connected to job shadowing opportunities. For upperclassmen, that could mean meeting with me to get alumni connections in a specific field to use for the future. I also oversee the DiscoverWork program and  Career Advisor team in the BCCC.

2. What is your favorite part about your hometown?

My hometown is Westminster, Maryland which is about an hour from Baltimore. Nothing beats Maryland Blue Crabs and the beautiful landscapes. Maryland is called “mini America” because there are beaches, mountains, and plains all in one state.

3. Where would you choose to live: by the ocean, in the mountains, or in the woods?

Mountains – my husband and I honeymooned in Estes Park, Colorado and we loved Rocky Mountain National Park!

4. If you could have dinner with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be and why?

I would have dinner with Eleanor Roosevelt. I think that for the time period in which she was living she was a true advocate for many populations of people. She was not afraid to be a risk taker and I like that about her. My favorite quote by Eleanor: “No one can make you feel inferior but yourself.”

5. What is your favorite sport to watch?

Lacrosse! I am also the assistant women’s lacrosse coach here at Hope and I played in college. I started and have worked with multiple programs in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Maryland.

6. If you were in a talent show, what skill would you perform?

I like to think that I am funny, so maybe a comedy act! 

7. What is your favorite thing to cook?

Whatever HelloFresh sends me that week! To be honest I’m not a cook, though my father-in-law is a professional chef. 

8. Who was your childhood singer/actor crush?

The Hanson Brothers.

9. If you won $100,000 what would you spend the money on?

I currently live in an apartment, so I would definitely buy a house. I think I would also use the money for something philanthropic. 

10. If you could have any superpower, what would it be?

The ability to fly or teleport.

The staff members here at the Boerigter Center want to reach out to every student at Hope and get them involved in the BCCC. We hope that getting to know our staff members allows students to feel comfortable seeking help from our office no matter what stage of their college career they may be in.

Learn More About Career Counselor Amy Freehafer

Amy Freehafer is a 1989 Hope College graduate, and she has been working at Hope for 7 years. Many students have met with Amy early in their college careers to get help deciding a major, creating a four-year-plan, or discussing their assessment results. She is an excellent resource for students at all stages of their college careers.

Amy has answered 10 questions to give us a little insight into who she is:

1. What is your role at the new Boerigter Center for Calling and Career?

I work a lot with exploratory advising. I help students (and sometimes alumni) figure out a career path, and that includes what to major in. My philosophy is until you understand yourself, it will be hard to figure out where you will go. That leads my work to help students better understand themselves and help them understand how to make choices. I love using StrengthsQuest as a tool to help launch into that conversation.

2. What was your favorite thing to do at Hope College when you were a student here?

My favorite experience was my May-June term with faculty and 19 other students before my senior year. We went to Germany, Austria, Yugoslavia, Italy, Switzerland, France, Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, and Iceland. I also loved my time spent studying in Philadelphia. My freshman year, I had a really fun cluster and we would go to Pizza Hut at night and get garlic bread with mozzarella cheese for only $1.60!

3. What do you like to do in your spare time?

I like to hang out and play with my dogs, I have two Shih Tzus, Mia and Mugsy. I enjoy working outside like gardening and mowing the yard. I also read a lot of fiction, Nora Roberts is my favorite author. I love watching football and watching College Game Day on Saturday mornings with my husband. I also love spending time with my three grandchildren.

4. What is one thing you wish you were really good at?

Speaking Spanish. I wish I could speak Spanish, at least conversationally. Many of my neighbors are native Spanish speakers, and I wish I could meet them where they are and converse in their language.

5. What was the first concert you ever went to?

I saw the Doobie Brothers when I was in 7th grade. We were camping next to these nice ladies who had tickets and offered to take me and a campground friend. They drove us across the state but we could not find our car after the concert, and my dad freaked when we did not get home until super late – thinking the worst because we were out with strangers!

6. Where is one place you have always wanted to visit?

I have always wanted to go to Greece. I have been to quite a few countries in Europe and would also love to back to Ireland – it is so beautiful there.

7. If you could travel time, would you go to the past or the future?

I would go to the past because I would not want to know the future. I would love to see different eras and see what came before. It would help me appreciate more what we have now.

8. What is one movie you have seen multiple times, but never get tired of?

I am a huge Harry Potter fan! I can’t even tell you how many times I have seen all 8 movies. My family and I have even had Harry Potter movie marathons where we watch all 8 movies in a weekend.

9. What is your biggest pet peeve?

Probably passive-aggressive behavior. I would rather have someone be rude and direct vs. the energy it takes navigating whether someone is speaking truths. Some of my favorite clients when I worked in human service were crabby, old men because they always said what was on their mind.

10. What is one thing that most don’t know you have?

That I am a grandparent. Many people think that our grandchildren are our children.  We periodically have all 3 of our grandchildren over and we build forts in the living room and play outside. I always joke that having grandchildren is your reward for not eating your children, but I love being a grandma!

We hope that getting to know our staff members allows others to feel comfortable and encouraged to seek help in the BCCC. Stop on by DeWitt or give us a call at 616.395.7950 to schedule an appointment today!

Get to Know Dale Austin

Meet Dale Austin!

Many of you have met with Dale Austin throughout your college career, whether it was a mock interview, job search appointment, or getting help with graduate school. He has been working with Hope College students at the Career Development Center for 37 years, and will continue to engage with students as our office transitions to the Boerigter Center for Calling and Career.

Dale has answered 10 questions to let us get to know a little more about him:

      1. What is your role at the new Boerigter Center for Calling and Career?
    1. My role in the BCCC centers around working with students in the transition to work or grad school with advice and a range of resources. I will provide coaching on preparing for interviews, conduct mock interviews and provide feedback on personal statements. I will continue my work with employers, recruiting fairs, and on campus interviews. I will also be working with over 15 classes addressing a variety of issues with seniors who are preparing to transition after Hope. 

      2. What is your favorite part about Holland?

    2. One thing that struck me about Holland was the diversity of companies and organizations from manufacturing, to services like banking and other financial services, to the nonprofit. The Holland area is blessed with exceptional business and community leaders who are committed to Holland and its citizens.

    3. 3. What do you like the most about working with students and alumni? 
    4. Students and alumni at Hope are simply delightful people to work with. They are positive, hard working, have a great outlook, and are eager to do what they can to prepare for the future and serve their communities. The beauty about what we do is we have amazing opportunities to make working at Hope a great experience.

    5. 4. What do you like to do in your free time? 
    6. I enjoy spending time with my family (my wife, 3 grown children and their spouses, 93-year-old father, and golden retriever, Sammy.) When I’m not with family, I enjoy reading nonfiction and listening to classical music.

    7. 5. Where is the most interesting place you have traveled to?
    8. I traveled to Iceland last summer. Their natural resources, geography, and giant waterfalls are amazingly beautiful. I look forward to going back.

    9. 6. What is something you wish you knew more about? 
    10. I wish I could have a real-life crystal ball to know with confidence the new opportunities and the new career fields that would be developing within the next 10 years. Additionally, I wish I knew more clearly the impact of artificial intelligence on the workplace and the implications for preparing our students.

    11. 7. If you could meet one famous person, dead or alive, who would it be?
    12. Barack Obama, for whom I have great admiration.

    13. 8. What is the most memorable gift you have ever received? 
    14. Over my time at Hope College, I have received a range of gifts from grateful students, plants, hand carved wooden boxes, a colorful brass plate, to framed pictures, among others.  These are the most memorable!

    15. 9. Who inspires you the most? 
    16. That is a hard question. As I reflect on it, I have been fortunate to have a number of mentors over my life, from my college academic advisor, Stan Walters, to family members, like my 93 year old dad, Vern Austin, to other figures during my time working at Hope College. At the deepest level, it would be my faith in, and relationship to, Jesus Christ, who provides the challenge and the grace for both life and work.

    17. 10. What is the number one piece of advice you can give to Hope College students about entering into a new career/grad school?
    18. Accurately promise and over deliver”: whether in work or graduate school, you will have significant demands on your time, energy and attention. The following steps would facilitate a smooth initial transition: understanding key priorities from your supervisor or graduate school advisor, keeping communication lines open and initiating conversation when needed and protecting your time in ensure that high payoff work/projects get done.

    19. Here at the Boerigter Center for Calling and Career, we want to get to know our students personally and assist them in their career paths. We hope this insight into our career staff members allows students to feel comfortable coming into our office at any stage of their college career.

How do you say the name? Boerigter Center for Calling and Career!

We are a few days away from the start of the 2018-2019 school year! With that comes the launch of the Boerigter Center for Calling and Career! Over the course of the fall semester, a number of new programs and initiatives will be coming to life.

We are incredibly grateful for the support of Hope’s faculty and staff for partnering with us! From the development of our new website, to integration with Student Life and academic programs, to the renovation of our new space in DeWitt – we continued to be blessed by the overwhelming team spirit and Hope hospitality.

We are all looking forward to welcoming our students and building community at the Boerigter Center! Here we go!

Q & A with our new leader Shonn Colbrunn ’94

Meet our new Executive Director, Shonn Colbrunn!

If you have not already heard the news the Career Development Center is no more! We have combined our efforts with Alumni and Family Engagement as well as Academic Advising to form the Boerigter Center for Calling and Career.

Shonn Colbrunn ’94 is leading the charge as the first Executive Director of the Boerigter Center and he is thrilled to be back at Hope College!

Shonn answers 10 questions to help us all learn more about him:

  1. Why did you want to apply for this position at Hope College?

    “It seemed like an opportunity to make a lasting impact at an institution that is close to my heart. I would not have applied for this position if it were at any other college.”

  2. What do you like to do in your free time?

    “I enjoy spending time with my family, boating and water sports, playing competitive beach volleyball and playing the bass guitar.”

  3. What is your favorite part about Hope College/Holland?

    “My favorite part about Holland is living in an area where people vacation in the summer; I love being close to Lake Michigan and the beautiful summers here.”

  4. One Shonn Colbrunn fun fact:

    “I am a father of sixteen-year-old triplets: two boys and one girl.”

  5. If you could have dinner with one person in history, who would it be and why?

    “I have always been really fascinated by genealogy and family research. I would love to sit down and talk to my great-great-great-grandfather who came from Germany in 1848 and moved to Ohio.”

  6. What is your favorite quote?

    “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication’ Leonardo da Vinci.    So many things can become complex and complicated, and I like to take complicated things and make them easier.

  7. If you could travel to any country on earth, where would you go?

    “There are so many places I would like to go.  I really enjoy historical sites, so I think it would be fun to explore Greece, Rome, and other interesting places in that area.”

  8. You are a contestant on American Idol – which song do you sing?

    “You’ve Lost that Loving Feeling’ by the Righteous Brothers. When I was a student at Hope College, my buddy Durwood and I sang that song at a karaoke night!”

  9. Who do you admire the most and why?

    “My dad. I have learned so much from him, and he has so many great qualities. He is very patient, positive and can fix anything!”

  10. What are you looking forward to the most about working at the Boerigter Center for Calling and Career?

    “I am looking forward to helping all students become more successful and building stronger connections as we begin our new chapter at the Boerigter Center.”

Here at the Boerigter Center, we truly care about getting to know the students that we work with. We hope this little bit of insight into our new leader  encourages students throughout campus to come check out the BCCC for themselves!

Open Office Design: a new reality for the Boerigter Center for Calling and Career

The new Boerigter Center for Calling and Career, launching this fall, is making a bold statement about the intentional design of work space on Hope’s campus. We’re adopting a work-space model that is not very common on college campuses today, but is known to foster greater collaboration and innovation. The staff and students of the new Boerigter Center will be working in an open-plan office rather than in private offices. The new space in DeWitt, currently under construction and opening in September, will combine a spacious, welcoming lobby with different types of seating for study, conversation and small 4-6 person meetings, with 6 small meeting rooms for private conversations, and an open-plan work area for about 10-15 staff and students. No one working in the Boerigter Center will have their own office, but everyone will have access to quiet, private spaces for deep thinking, conversations and meetings, when needed. Why are we moving to an open-plan office?

  1. The space of work has changed

Open-plan offices have been around for decades and have been adopted by many leading companies including Google and Facebook because this office plan provides faster flow of information, leading to more collaboration, enhanced innovation and more efficient use of space. Many Hope graduates land jobs at employers that have adapted the open-plan office, and yet, students have primarily experienced a campus environment where faculty and staff work in private offices. We’ve intentionally designed the new Boerigter Center to be an on-campus model of a work-space that students may experience when they land their first job.

  1. Collaborating more to serve students better

The Boerigter Center for Calling and Career is bringing together staff from the former Career Development Center together with Advising, and Alumni and Family Engagement staff, to work together in more connected and integrated ways. We plan to use the open office space to host alumni and employers for information panels, interviews and other sessions designed to help students be better prepared for work. The center will have moveable furniture in the open lobby that we can reconfigure for a reception or panel discussion with alumni, as well as many small meeting rooms for interviews.

  1. Flexible spaces serve students better

Students will come to the Boerigter Center for many reasons: to talk with a staff member about their strengths, their major, their resume, landing an internship, networking, interviewing and so much more. Students may come to meet 1-on-1, or they may come to a group session or workshop. We’re designing spaces with lots of flexibility to accommodate many types of conversations and explorations. Come have a cup of coffee at one of our high-top tables to review your resume, or to prepare for an upcoming interview, or to meet with an employer about an internship. We’re going to have many places for students, faculty, staff, alumni and employers to study, mingle, talk and learn so once those construction walls are down and the space is open, make a point to stop by for a visit.

Come September, we’ll be eager to show off the new space as we work with students to help them discern their calling and prepare for their careers. Helping students experience the cycle of  discern, prepare, pursue is how we’re hoping to engage with and serve students. And, when you stop by for a visit, ask us what we’ve learned about working together in the new open-office space, I’m sure we’ll have lots to share.

We are…The Boerigter Center for Calling and Career!

One of the most challenging things that college students have to do is choose a career path. There are lots of options out there and many feel the pressure to ensure they are making the best choice possible. Which is why choosing a major, and later on securing a job, tends to make many students anxious. Enter…The Boerigter Center for Calling and Career, Hope College’s new and improved hub for all things career! 

The principal goal of the Boerigter Center is to teach students how to engage in lifelong practices of career development by emphasizing discernment, preparation and pursuit.

Students will:

(Discern) Take steps to discover their strengths, interests, and values to help them find direction.

(Prepare) Find internships, alumni connections and other skill building opportunities to explore their path on and off campus.

(Pursue) Tap into the Hope network, polish their interviewing skills and take steps toward graduate school or the world of work.

We will accomplish this by renaming and re-imagining the efforts of our Career Development Center and closely partnering with Academic Advising and Alumni & Family Engagement for new and robust programming. With this in mind, Boerigter Center services will enable every student to graduate with:

  • A rich understanding of their strengths
  • Experiences in and outside the classroom directly connected to career preparation
  • An affirmed aspiration for an eventual career with clear, immediate next steps
  • A thoughtful understanding of vocational and life goals

Led by Executive Director Shonn Colbrunn ‘94, this new center is made possible by a generous gift from SoundOff Signal in honor of Founder and Chairman George Boerigter ’61 and his wife, Sibilla.

We are so excited to be up and running and look forward to meeting with you in our new location in DeWitt which will be completed sometime this fall! Until then stop by Anderson-Werkman or call 616.395.7950 to schedule an appointment today!