February is Healthy Heart Month

February 1 through 7 is National Women’s Heart Week. The goal of this week is to promote prevention and education, encourage early intervention, and spread awareness of symptoms of heart problems. Heart disease remains the leading cause of death for American women aged 34 and older. During Women’s Heart Week, hospitals are encouraged to offer free heart screenings to women and on February 1, and people are encouraged to wear red to amplify the message about women’s heart health.

Also, February 10-16 is National Cardiac Rehabilitation Week. This effort, initiated by the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation (AACVPR), seeks to draw attention to the role of cardiac rehabilitation in reducing the potentially devastating effects of heart disease and improving the quality of life for patients and families.

Donna Garrett, assistant professor of nursing and chair of the department

Cardiovascular nursing is the research interest of Donna Garrett, assistant professor of nursing and chair of the department. She looks specifically at the needs of patients with coronary artery disease and their ability to engage in self-care. She was the co-author of an article on recognizing and responding to symptoms of heart attacks and stroke in women that was published in the Journal for Gynecologic and Neonatal Nursing.

Garrett was a clinical nurse specialist in cardiovascular service lines in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and Cincinnati, Ohio, as well as a staff nurse in both surgical and medical intensive care units prior to teaching at Hope.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day: January 21, 2019

Where would America be today without Martin Luther King Jr. and the Civil Rights Movement? How would American life be different? Is it?

Two Hope experts can address questions such as these in light of Civil Rights Day and Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Monday, January 21. (And, January 15 marks the 90th anniversary of the birth of MLK.)

Dr. Charles Green

Dr. Charles Green’s interests involve making social science research on race, culture and ethnicity available to a broader audience. He does this in a variety of ways, including the Getting Race Right blog he maintains with his class, “Race in America,” and its related Twitter account, @GetRaceRight. Green, who is a professor of psychology, teaches and writes to help people find ways to work for racial justice within their spheres of influence.

Vanessa Greene

Vanessa Greene, associate dean for students and director of Hope’s Center for Diversity and Inclusion, leads a campus-wide effort to empower students to flourish as socially responsible members in a diverse world. Greene has received awards for her advocacy work on race and gender issues. She also teaches an “Encounter with Cultures” class on Hope’s campus as well as co-teaches a June Term course in Georgia, Alabama and Tennessee called “Up Close and Personal: The African American Civil Rights Movement.”


Here’s a fun news alert for …


… the media to consider …


… in the days ahead.


On Monday, January 21, it’s National Squirrel Appreciation Day.  (Yes, it does seem there is, in fact, a national day for everything. But who can begrudge squirrels their very own day?)

Hope College has one faculty member and one staff member who know quite a bit about squirrels since the little critters are the college’s unofficial mascot due to their numerous, lively and beloved presence on campus.

Dr. Kathy Winnett-Murray, professor of biology

Dr. Kathy Winnett-Murray, professor of biology, has conducted several squirrel investigations as part of her Animal Behavior classes through the years. She’s able to set the record straight about the many myths surrounding black-coated squirrels. They are not a separate species, they did not arrive in Holland, Michigan, as the results of a wrecked circus train long ago, and their “aggressive” behaviors are the same as other squirrels. As a service to all squirrels everywhere, she can debunk misconceptions, relate some amazing foraging decisions squirrels make, as well as address squirrel genetic research regarding coat colors.

Greg Olgers, director of news media services

Greg Olgers, long-time director of news media services for the Public Affairs and Marketing Office, is also somewhat of a squirrel aficionado. His research and writing about the “culture” of squirrels at Hope, in Holland and even nationwide for a News from Hope College story in 2016 meant he was digging into multiple sources for nuggets of wisdom about the creature. He can address how Holland and other U.S. cities actively built their squirrel populations in city parks at the turn of the 20th century.