On February 19th, the Lambda Pi Eta honor society at Hope College hosted a party celebrating Dr. Isolde Anderson and Dr. James Herrick and the legacy of retired faculty in the Communication Department.
During the celebration, Dr. Anderson and Dr. Herrick were asked what words of advice they have for students and faculty in Communication.
Dr. Anderson offered the following advice:
1. Prioritize your education. Put in your best effort, not just in class but through extra reading, attending outside lectures, etc. Manage your time so you can do that.
2. Read books – novels, biographies, histories. They will develop your attention span and ability for sustained thinking, spark your imagination, and connect ideas for you between your life experiences and course work.
3. Some books that have shaped me:
Parker Palmer – The Company of Strangers, A Hidden Wholeness
Paul Hawken – Drawdown
William Powers – 12 x 12, New Slow City
Mary Pipher – The Shelter of Each Other
Most anything by Wendell Berry and Bill Mckibben
4. Spend more time outdoors – Mother Earth Living, aim for 1000 hours per year.
5. Untether yourself from your phone – Learn the apps you need for work, and stay connected with family/friends who live at a distance, but then get off.
6. Be present in the moment, savor it – don’t think about all the work you have to do, etc. The current moment will never come again. It’s your chance to be human, be aware of your body, of the beautiful world around you that keeps giving to you.
7. Build community wherever you are. Up till now your parents have done that for you; chosen your neighborhood, schools, and church. Tiospaye – Lakota word for the community you build that is larger than your family of origin. It’s the people you are accountable to, who love you and do for you, as you do for them.
Dr. Herrick’s advise was: “Don’t get bogged down by the trivial stuff. Think widely and deeply. Get a big idea and go after it. Read widely and deeply.”
Reflecting on the role and legacy Dr. Anderson and Dr. Herrick have in Hope College’s Communication Department, I (Dr. Kornfield) resonated most deeply with their advice to “be intellectually curious.” Their lives, teaching, and scholarship model this intellectual curiosity as they explore ideas in their classrooms, research, and mentoring.
The Communication Department will deeply miss Dr. Anderson’s and Dr. Herrick’s collegial leadership–even as we celebrate their upcoming retirements.