At 11 a.m. on the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, the first World War ended with Germany signing an armistice prepared by Britain and France. The “War to End All Wars” had lasted four years and four months. The United States’ involvement lasted a little more than a year, having declared war on Germany on April 6, 1917.
Dr. Jeanne Petit, professor of history and chair of the department, has conducted extensive research on the United War Work Campaign, an interfaith program that raised funds to support U.S. soldiers during World War I. As part of this project, Dr. Petit took four Hope students to the Library of Congress in summer 2015 as part of a Great Lakes College Association grant. Their final product was a website, For the Boys Over There: The 1918 United War Work Campaign.
Additionally, in 2017, she and Dr. Geoffrey Reynolds, Director of The Joint Archives of Holland, led another group of three students in researching how WWI affected the homefront in Holland, Michigan, and at Hope College.
The end of daylight savings is near, this year on Sunday, November 4. While the clock changing event might give you an extra hour of sleep, “falling back” still affects your circadian clock for a few days and so do the resulting dim days that follow.
Dr. Andrew Gall, assistant professor of psychology, is a behavioral neuroscientist who focuses his research on understanding the neural mechanisms and functions of sleep and circadian rhythms. He recently studied how dim light, a winter malady, is capable of disrupting the expression of circadian rhythms. Specifically, dim light causes a shift in behavioral patterns, such that it is more difficult to be awake during the day and can lead to more wakefulness at night. In his recent study forthcoming in the Journal of Comparative Psychology (a peer-reviewed academic journal published by the American Psychological Association), Nile grass rats — a day-active species — became more night-active when they were presented with dim light during the day. This has implications for us living in West Michigan, where about 70 percent of the days in the winter are cloudy, thus resulting in dim light. In fact, across the country, humans are exposed to less light in the winter, which can result in Seasonal Affective Disorder, depression, and mood swings.
With Halloween at its end, October is the time for scary stories. While we’re familiar with narratives like Frankenstein’s monster, Edgar Allen Poe’s Tell-Tale Heart, “The Blair Witch Project” and Toni Morrison’s Beloved,Dr. Kendra R. Parker’s longtime research focuses on lesser-known depictions of black female vampires in African American women’s novels and American films.
Parker, an assistant professor of English and affiliate faculty in the Women’s and Gender Studies Program, has written extensively on the topic, and in December, her first book, She Bites Back: Black Female Vampires in African American Women’s Novels, 1977-2011, will be released by Lexington Press.
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) opened to college-going high school seniors and their families just a week and a half ago. According to collegeboard.org, in 2014-15, about two-thirds of full-time students paid for college with the help of financial aid in the form of grants and scholarships. Approximately 57% of financial aid dollars awarded to undergraduates was in the form of grants, and 34% took the form of federal loans.
Jill Nutt, the director of financial aid at Hope, can speak to trends and issues on the college financial aid landscape. Nutt has spent over 25 years on college campuses dealing with these questions, the last six at Hope. She is a member of the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators as well as the Michigan Student Financial Aid Association where she has served in various positions on the governing board.
World Obesity Day aims to promote practical solutions to the global obesity crisis. This year’s theme focuses on weight stigma, which they call one of the last socially accepted forms of discrimination. Obesity is a major health issue among adults in the United States. The prevalence of obesity was 39.8% and affected about 93.3 million of U.S. adults in 2015-2016.
At Hope, two professors can address these topics: one from a physiological perspective and one from a communication perspective.
Dr. Mark Northuis, professor of kinesiology, focuses his research on performance physiology and obesity. He also serves as the college’s men’s and women’s cross country coach.
Dr. Marissa Doshi, assistant professor of communication, had her study recently published on how mobile phone applications (apps), marketed to women for health management, affect women’s conceptions of health and beauty.