This year, the English Department is sharing fun facts about its faculty. Interested in knowing more about a professor? Want to know what are their favorite courses to teach? This series is for you. We will be posting more later in the semester, but here is the first round-up.

Professor April Best

How long have you been at Hope? This is my first semester and I am thrilled!

Favorite Subject to teach? Contemporary poetry and diaspora literature 

Favorite Movie? Breakfast at Tiffany’s (and anything else with Audrey Hepburn)

Favorite Book? There are so many! A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry is a long-standing favorite that has stood the test of time.
Favorite Hobbies? Gardening, hiking, thrifting


Professor Bobby Bolt

How long have you been at Hope? It’s my first semester! I’m new to Michigan and happy to be here.

Favorite subject to teach? Composition

Favorite movie? The Life Aquatic

Favorite book? Madness, Rack, and Honey by Mary Ruefle

Favorite hobbies? Cooking, Hiking, Tennis


Professor Bethany Chambers

How long have you been at Hope? This is my first semester at Hope! I am excited about joining the team.

Favorite subject to teach? I teach English, public speaking, and communications. I enjoy teaching all subjects equally, and it is wonderful to have such  variety.

Favorite movie?  Truthfully? Step Brothers.

Favorite book? SOOO many came to mind, but I have to go with The Handmaid’s Tale

Favorite hobbies? I enjoy biking, walking, reading, going to the beach, listening to EDM, and motorcycling/dirtbiking


Dr. Stephen Hemenway

How long have you been at Hope? 49 years

Favorite subject to teach? World Lit I

Favorite movie? Shawshank Redemption

Favorite book? Ulysses by James Joyce

Favorite hobbies? Travel, cooking, Vienna Summer School



Dr. Lisa McGunigal

How long have you been at Hope? One year. I actually visited Holland six years ago after reading that it was one of Michigan’s best-kept secrets. Very true!

Favorite class to teach: It varies, but I always enjoy introducing students to new books, films, or blogs in all of my classes. I love hearing from my students that they’re sharing what we’ve read or discussed in the classroom with their family and/or friends—continuing those conversations that we’ve begun.

When I’m not in the classroom…: You can find me on the tennis court or basketball court. I also enjoy planning day trips or checking out eclectic museums. The Morse Museum in Winter Park, FL is small in size but houses the largest collection of works by Louis Tiffany—the stained glass exhibits are breathtaking.    


Dr. Bill Pannapacker

How long have you been at Hope? I came here directly from graduate school at Harvard in 2000. I never expected to stay so long.

Favorite subject to teach? American literature, especially the romantics: Whitman, Dickinson, Melville, Douglass, Thoreau. Also anything in American cultural studies, such as environmentalism and the presidency

Favorite movie? I like to find anything I have not yet seen on “best movie” lists of all sorts. Lately, I’ve become a specialist on the work of Werner Herzog.

Favorite book? Has to be Leaves of Grass. Moby-Dick is a close second. I listen to about 50 audiobooks each year, usually they are related to current events and politics.

Favorite hobbies? Being active: swimming, walking, biking, basketball, weight training, and–lately–pickleball. I’m getting better at cooking and container gardening.


Dr. Pablo Peschiera

Hope College – Professor Pablo Peschiera

How long have you been at Hope? This is my twelfth year at Hope, but I graduated from Hope in 1993.

Favorite subject to teach? That’s a tough one. I mostly teach creative writing, but I teach other kinds of courses, too. Each offers different rewards. Here are three and why I love teaching them:

  • English 355: Intermediate Creative Writing: Poems—deeply engaged students stretch themselves as poets
  • IDS 100: FYS Phelps Scholars Program—the brilliant, dedicated Phelps Scholars team, and the amazing students
  • English 113: Expository Writing—helping students unlock their potential as writers

Favorite movie? Embrace of the Serpent—this. movie. blew. my. mind.

Favorite book? 100 Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez, trans. by Gregory Rabassa.

Favorite hobbies? reading, writing, and translating—lifting weights and lacrosse—cooking.


Stay tuned for the next round!

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