We’re taking on a new challenge this semester, the #GetToKnowYourProf challenge! You may have noticed a similar challenge with our Lubbers 3rd Floor neighbors, the English Department, and we wanted in on the fun! We wanted to re-introduce ourselves to the student body through interesting facts about each of our faculty – we hope you learn something new!


Professor Margaret Burr

  • How long have you been at Hope? Two weeks!
  • Favorite subject to teach? HIST 130, naturally 😉
  • Favorite movie? Can I say TV show? I’m really into the Italian detective show Il Commissario Montalbano right now–Bram and I watch it whenever we have time, which is almost never these days (we have a 6 month old).
  • Favorite book? I like everything by Giorgos Seferis and Patrick Leigh Fermor. I’m reading Emily Wilson’s new translation of Homer’s Odyssey right now and it’s quickly becoming a new favorite. Elizabeth Kostova’s The Historian is an exciting trip from Amsterdam to Oxford, Turkey to the Balkans, and I reread it every time I need to “get away” (although it’s about vampires, so I’m not sure I should admit to loving it as much as I do). And last but not least, Ann Shelton’s Sourcebook of Roman Literature, As the Romans Did, is an oldie but a goodie in my opinion, as it got me really interested in reading Roman literature and letters when I was younger. I bring it with me everywhere.
  • Favorite hobbies? Travel, hiking, photography, looking at old things in museums or in the ground, hanging out with my husband and baby. Not in that order, obviously 🙂

Dr. Janis Gibbs

  • How long have you been at Hope? 24 years
  • Favorite subject to teach? I like all my classes, so it’s hard to pick. Of course, I like teaching history, but I like the interdisciplinary Cultural Heritage courses and my First Year Seminar (which, this year, is basically political geography), too. Maybe I should say that my favorite subject is what I’m teaching at the moment.
  • Favorite movie? I saw Star Wars eleven times in the theater in 1977-78, so maybe that’s it. That would be the one that’s now called Episode IV: A New Hope. Back then, it was just Star Wars.
  • Favorite book? Can I have a triple header? Lord of the Rings.
  • Favorite hobbies? I like to cook. The pandemic has given me lots of new cooking opportunities. The only bad part is that I haven’t been able to cook for guests. I went on a cream of asparagus soup binge in the spring.

Dr. Lauren Janes

  • How long have you been at Hope? Starting my 8th year teaching at Hope. I was also a Hope student for four years!
  • Favorite subject to teach? Well, maybe this is cheating, but the Paris May Term is my favorite class and the one I am the most proud of. I LOVE sharing the city I love so much with students, many of whom have never left the US before our class.
  • Favorite movie? Best in Show
  • Favorite book? Well this is just too hard of a question! I will say King Leopold’s Ghost remains my favorite book to teach.
  • Favorite hobbies? Cooking, gardening, and yoga.



Dr. Fred Johnson

  • How long have you been at Hope? Twenty years as of August 2020.
  • Favorite subject to teach? Modern European History, the American Civil War, and Military History.
  • Favorite movie? ANY movie with Star Trek or Star Wars in the title.
  • Favorite book? The Bible, A Different Drummer, Chaneysville Incident, and This Present Darkness
  • Favorite hobbies? Hiking, Writing, Long Road Trips, and going to the Movies [and will be going lots when we’re allowed again].

Dr. Jeanne Petit

  • How long have you been at Hope? Twenty years this summer!
  • Favorite subject to teach? Oh, this is hard, since I love all my classes in their own special way. Instead I’ll say some of my favorite topics to teach: the populist movement of the 1890s, abolitionist debates, the tensions of the “roaring twenties,” and social movements of the 1960s. My favorite texts to teach: a tie between Coming of Age in Mississippi by Anne Moody and Frankenstein by Mary Shelly.
  • Favorite movie? I’m actually not much of a movie person, but some movies I always watch if they come on are The Godfather, Drumline, and Groundhog Day.
  • Favorite book? A Midwife’s Tale by Laurel Thatcher Ulrich
  • Favorite hobbies? I enjoy running, even though I am pretty slow. My favorite race I did was the North Country Trail run in Manistee National Forest. I got a medal as big as my head!

Dr. Wayne Tan

  • How long have you been at Hope? 4 years
  • Favorite subject to teach? Disability history
  • Favorite movie? Aliens (sequel to Alien)
  • Favorite book? Natasha’s Dance (it’s about Russian cultural history)
  • Favorite hobbies? I love picking peaches!



Dr. Gloria Tseng

  • How long have you been at Hope? Since 2003
  • Favorite subject to teach? 20th-century Europe (this semester, ha!)
  • Favorite movie? I’m rather dated here–I know many lines in Le Chambon, a French historical drama about a small Protestant village in Vichy France whose inhabitants gave shelter to perhaps as many as 3,000 Jews, mostly children, in WWII.
  • Favorite book? The Gospel According to Luke
  • Favorite hobbies? Gardening, hiking, piano playing.

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