“Falling Back:” Sunday, November 4, 2018

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

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.

Trending for Halloween: Scary Stories

Dr. Kendra Parker

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.

Cover Image: “Biting Back” by Mandela Wise

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.

Trending: College Financial Aid Application Season

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

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.


October 11: World Obesity Day

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.

Dr. Mark Northuis

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

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.

October 1: International Coffee Day

Dr. Thomas Bultman, Professor of Biology, Hope College

It’s the second-leading commodity traded in the world after oil, with a worldwide consumption of 2.2 billion cups per day. And, the United States is its leading consumer at 400 million cups daily. Yet, few people are aware of the scientific, political, historical and cultural implications swirling inside their cup of morning joe.

But Dr. Tom Bultman, professor of biology, does.

Bultman teaches The Science and Culture of Coffee, just one of two courses of its kind taught at colleges and universities in the U.S. as far as he can tell (the other is offered at UC-Davis). The interdisciplinary class has been filled to the brim each semester Bultman has offered it.

Hope Expert Resources

Welcome to Hope Expert Resources, a blog that assists media in tapping into the broad range of faculty and staff expertise found at Hope College.

As active scholars and seasoned professionals, Hope employees are experts in their fields, offering research and experiences that are relevant to lives and communities across the globe. And they like to share! After all, the work of Hope is about passing on knowledge, feeding curiosity and inspiring further inquiry.

All individuals mentioned on this blog are ready to talk about their featured expertise. If you are a reporter interested in connecting with any of our experts, please contact the individual to arrange an interview. Other questions can be directed to Greg Olgers, director of news media services, (olgers@hope.edu).