National Victory! The 200th Rivalry Program Earns Top CoSIDA Award

It may not be college basketball season, but here in the Division of Public Affairs and Marketing, we are celebrating a special kind of hoops-related victory. 

“The Rivalry” — the highly anticipated showdown on the court between Hope College and Calvin College (now Calvin University) — has been called one of the best in the country by ESPN. And last month, a special game-day program for the 200th Rivalry earned an especially fitting honor: Best in the Nation

In June, the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) awarded Hope College first place for “Special Event Program – College Division” as part of its 2018-19 Publications & Design Contests. CoSIDA’s “College Division” includes all non-NCAA Division I schools, including NCAA Division III, NCAA Division II, NAIA and National Junior College Athletic Association.

It all started last year, when members of the Public Affairs and Marketing team pitched an idea: to create a unique piece commemorating the milestone match-up between the Hope and Calvin men’s basketball teams, taking place Feb. 2, 2019 at Hope’s DeVos Fieldhouse. The idea turned into a reality, resulting in a sharp 24-page piece that perfectly captured the high caliber of the competition. 

Kudos to the following members of the Hope College Public Affairs and Marketing team, whose collaboration yielded the award-winning program:

  • Eva Dean Folkert, director of communication services, served as the managing editor and writer. 
  • Alan Babbitt, sports information director, was a contributing writer and photographer.
  • Paul Willard, graphic designer, designed the program layout and provided illustrations.

Other contributors to the program were: Rebecca Robrahn, director of creative services, who oversaw the design process to completion; writer and photographer Tom Renner, retired associate vice president for public and community relations at Hope College; writer Jeff Febus, Calvin’s sports information coordinator; writers Dr. Chad Carlson, associate professor of kinesiology at Hope, and Dr. Brian Bolt, professor of kinesiology at Calvin; and freelance photographers Steven Herppich, Jon Lundstrom, Rob Kurtycz and Dan Vos.

I am so proud to work with such a creative, talented colleagues. Congratulations to everyone who helped earn this well-deserved victory!   Hope and Calvin have been playing each other in men’s basketball since 1920. After 201 games, the two teams are separated by just five wins and 98 points. Check out the 2019-20 Rivalry schedule!

Weather-Related Announcements (Or, Where To Find Information When You’re Hoping For A Snow Day)

Well, winter weather is upon us — and whether you’re elated or heartbroken by today’s snowflakes, it’s a good time to review Hope’s process for making weather-related decisions and announcements.

A decision to close campus offices and cancel classes is typically announced prior to 6:30 a.m. In the *rare* event that offices are closed and classes are cancelled, you can find the announcement in the following places:

  • Hope website: The announcement will be posted on hope.edu/alert and InHope.
  • Media: The announcement will be shared with local media, including WTHS radio and WOOD, WZZM and WWMT television stations.
  • Text alert: The announcement will be issued via the HOPE ALERT emergency text messaging system. Please take a few minutes to verify that your emergency contact information is current by doing the following:
    > Go to hope.edu.
    > Select “Personal Information.”
    > Select “Update Emergency Contacts.” Your name (Relationship: Self) and cell phone number 
entered as an Emergency Contact will register you to receive HOPE ALERT messages.

When weather-related closures/cancellations occur, essential personnel (Campus Safety staff, plow drivers, etc.) are expected to report if at all possible. If unsure whether you are expected to report, please contact your supervisor directly.

For those crews that report to work between 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m., please use good judgment in determining whether it is safe for you to travel in for work. Notify your supervisor of your situation and stay alert for later announcements.

Bundle up, stay warm and enjoy the Michigan winter!

❄❄❄❄❄❄

Coach. Clutch Player. Coworker. Courtney Kust!

That is my goal in this job — to shape the players to be the best version of themselves and while we’re at it, help the team win a few games.” — Courtney Kust ’13

It’s a reality of team dynamics in the workplace: You have those who are natural coaches. You have those who are natural clutch players. And then, you have those individuals who are both — individuals who are able to rally the team, make the tough decision and call the play just as well as they are able to make the assist, take the shot and grab the rebound. The Public Affairs and Marketing Division is blessed to have that rare combination in Courtney Kust ’13, who serves as an assistant coach for the Hope women’s basketball team and an events and conferences manager for the Hope campus community.

Today, the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association named Courtney to its 2018 “Thirty Under 30” Class — a distinction that recognizes 30 up-and-coming women’s basketball coaches age 30 and under at all levels of the game.

Assistant Coach Courtney Kust in action

Courtney’s coworkers know that she is a rock star. Now, the WBCA agrees, and we couldn’t be happier. We are really, really proud of Courtney… and we just have to boast a little because, well, we know she’s not going to.

Courtney leads with integrity, passion and commitment. She is determined and hardworking, and is never willing to give less than her all. In the Events and Conferences Office, Courtney develops and coordinates conferences and camps here at Hope. She also oversees student workers in the audio-visual booth for athletic events, summer housing events and first responders. On the court, Courtney assists Coach Brian Morehouse in leading a team of strong, focused athletes who, this year, finished their season with a strong run to the Elite Eight… #GoHope!

Last week, I was in a meeting that opened with a prayer called “Liturgy for Those Who Compete.” The prayer concludes with the following words:

Let me model what it is to be
one fiercely focused on, and invested in,
the drama at hand,
pushing myself always towards the goal,
and yet ever extending
a humility and graciousness
in keeping with my status
as your servant, O Christ.

As I heard those words, I couldn’t help but think of Courtney, who shared the following when she learned about the award:

“Coaching at Hope definitely has God’s fingerprints all over it. Never in a million years did I think I would be back at Hope, but the opportunity came and I couldn’t resist the chance to be a part of the women’s basketball program again. I have loved building relationships with the players and being a source of encouragement and positivity in their lives. That is my goal in this job — to shape the players to be the best version of themselves and while, we’re at it, help the team win a few games.”

Courtney, you are a clutch player for the entire Hope College team, and we are so grateful for everything you do to help us all become better versions of ourselves. Congratulations on this well-deserved honor! #FireUp!

Thinking about creating a video? Read this first!

Over the last year, there has been a significant increase in Hope College video production. With more Hope video comes more visibility for the college (great!) as well as more demand, more deadlines and more concern about quality (sometimes stressful!). Recently, the Public Affairs and Marketing team updated its guidelines for video production. We invite you to take a look, and let us know if you have any questions. In the meantime, let us answer a few of the most common questions we field:

  • I’d like to create a video and post it to the Hope website. How do I do that? In order to be posted on the Hope website, your video first must be published on the Hope YouTube Channel… and in order for the video to be published on the Hope YouTube Channel, you must follow Hope’s video production guidelines.
  • Do I have to let Public Affairs and Marketing know I’m creating a video? If you want your video to be considered for the Hope YouTube Channel, yes! Contact us at least two weeks prior to the start of your production — but ideally, as soon as you get the idea for your video.
  • Can a student produce a video for our office or department? You bet! Hope students are very talented, and they do great work on videos. (Here’s an example of a fantastic video that a *student* produced for a recent Admissions initiative.) If a student is creating a video that you plan to post on the Hope website, the student must meet with a Web Communications staff member prior to production so we can discuss the guidelines in person. To set up a meeting, contact the team at 395.7860 or web@hope.edu.
  • Can you make the video for me? Hope College does offer professional video services! Our video services manager, Phil Blauw, is awesome. Submit your request, and we’ll follow up to begin planning the next steps.
  • What’s the best length for a video? Quick answer: Depends on how you’re using it, but somewhere between 30 and 60 seconds.
  • I shot a video and noticed afterward that the students/employees we featured were wearing Calvin apparel. Is that OK? That’s a trick question! If you answered “yes,” go immediately to the Hope College Bookstore! Do not pass GO! Do not collect $200! It hurts our orange-and-blue hearts when we see Hope videos featuring students and employees wearing branded attire from other schools.
  • It’s cool if I wait until the last minute to request that my video get posted on the Hope College YouTube channel, right? Another trick question! Please give us as much notice as you can. Do not wait until your video is complete to make your request. (Tip: Our very first question will be, “Did you follow the guidelines?”)
  • Does it matter if I use my mobile device to produce the video? Does it matter if I shoot video horizontally or vertically? Does it matter if I use copyrighted music and images in my video? Yes, yes and YES. Please see the guidelines for more information.
  • I don’t have the Hope logo on file. Can I recreate the logo myself, and maybe throw in some Comic Sans font? Ouch! Proper usage of the Hope College brand is required for all videos. Our Creative Services team is happy to field your brand questions; contact them at 395.7860 or marketing@hope.edu.
  • Do I need to include a transcription of my video? OK, so we don’t get this question often. But you should know that, as of Jan. 1, 2018, all videos hosted by Hope College must include transcriptions for accessibility. You are required to submit a transcription for all videos. To discuss any questions or concerns, please contact our Web Communications team at 395.7860 or web@hope.edu.

 

Interested in chatting about your video ideas? Let us know. We can’t wait to help you flex your creative muscles.

Weather-related decisions and announcements

It’s that time of year! Snow is in the forecast, and some of you have been asking about Hope’s process for making weather-related decisions and announcements. As a reminder: A decision to close campus offices and cancel classes is typically announced prior to 6:30 a.m. In the rare event that offices are closed and classes are cancelled, you can find the announcement in the following places:

  • Hope website: The announcement will be posted on hope.edu/alert and inHope.
  • Media: The announcement will be shared with local media, including WTHS radio and WOOD, WZZM and WWMT television stations.
  • Text alert: The announcement will be issued via the HOPE ALERT emergency text messaging system. Please take a few minutes to verify that your emergency contact information is current by doing the following:
    > Go to hope.edu.
    > Click on “Personal Information.”
    > Click on “Update Emergency Contacts.” Your name (Relationship: Self) and cell phone number 
entered as an Emergency Contact will register you to receive HOPE ALERT messages.

When weather-related closures/cancellations occur, essential personnel (Campus Safety staff, plow drivers, etc.) are expected to report if at all possible. If unsure whether you are expected to report, please contact your supervisor directly.

For those crews that report to work between 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m., please use good judgment in determining whether it is safe for you to travel in for work. Notify your supervisor of your situation and stay alert to later announcements.

Stay warm, and good luck with finals!

 

The new News from Hope College

Two words spread quickly through the Public Affairs and Marketing Division last Friday morning:

“It’s here!”

We were holding in our hands the hot-off-the-presses, newly redesigned News From Hope College. If you know the Public Affairs and Marketing team, you know we like to celebrate. Last Friday, we were feeling especially celebratory as we paged through both the print version and the web version of Hope’s flagship magazine.

Admittedly, we were feeling a little tired, too. As with any design overhaul, the process was a long one. Well over a year ago, we collectively agreed that News From Hope College needed an update. It had been almost a decade since the last redesign, and feedback from an alumni survey indicated that our readers were eager for some changes.

Four individuals took the initiative to lead the redesign:

  • Greg Olgers, who kept us firmly rooted in Hope’s tradition of excellence. Greg, the longtime editor of News From Hope College, has provided steady leadership on the magazine for decades.
  • Samantha Bruin, who inspired us with her creative vision and can-do attitude. Sam eagerly raised her hand for this project and kept us energized, even when the process felt like a marathon.
  • Rebecca Robrahn, who challenged us to consider the new and the different. An enthusiastic champion of the redesign from the start, Rebecca sparked thinking on new possibilities throughout the magazine.
  • Derek Emerson, who quietly offered perspective, posed questions and provided critique —right when we needed it. A writer at heart, Derek understands the interplay between text and image.

In the final weeks before going to print, the intensity of this project increased, and Greg, Samantha, Rebecca and Derek put in some serious man- and woman-power to make sure our end product would be stellar. I suspect they’re all ready for a long winter’s nap.

So what kind of changes will you be seeing in News From Hope College? In his article, Greg explains the changes we’ve made to, which include:

  • Different size (yes, it travels well!)
  • Larger photos
  • A new look for the regular sections of the magazine, and a tailored design for each of the features
  • Better quality paper — sustainable as well as more affordable! (My favorite description of the cover texture: “buttery”)

I am a “print person” through and through. While I consume most of my news online, I still relish the opportunity to page through a magazine over a cup of coffee. It feels like a luxury, feeling the tooth of the paper, immersing myself in the text, swooning over the photos, dog-earing the pages. Often, the web experience just doesn’t match the print experience.

In the case of the News From Hope College website, however, there is much to love and much to relish. It echoes many of the great features of the redesign — a sleek new look, bold use of photography, seamless user experience. Kudos to Craig Tommola and Jason Cash for going above and beyond to ensure this beautiful website was ready to launch the day the magazine hit mailboxes.

Finally, I’d be remiss if I didn’t express gratitude to Tom Renner, who laid the foundation for News From Hope College many years ago. Tom has been a faithful friend to Hope College and a cheerleader for the Public Affairs and Marketing team. We owe much to Tom!

What do you think of the new News From Hope College? Drop us a line and let us know.

Pro-Dev Day Slides

Thank you to all who participating in the first-ever Hope Pro-Dev Day. We were delighted to welcome so many of our colleagues — nearly 150! — for a day of learning, fun and fellowship.

We’ve already received suggestions for session themes and topics for our next Pro-Dev Day (yes, we’re hoping to host another one next year!).

Many of you have asked about availability of session materials. Those materials, including PowerPoint presentations, are now available in this Google Drive folder, and are posted on the Pro-Dev Day website.

Again, thank you for engaging and investing in professional development at Hope College!

Last reminder: Pro-Dev Day

Could it be that you’re still thinking about joining us for “Pro-Dev Day,” this Monday, October 10? And could it be that you have a few lingering questions about this all-day professional development conference for Hope employees? Let’s see if we can address some of those questions:

  • Will I be welcome? With open arms. Every employee is invited, and every employee is welcome!
  • What if I don’t have all day to spend at the conference? You’re in luck! Participants may attend all or any portion of the day. We’d love to see you there, even if you are able to participate in only one session.
  • What if I can’t afford the registration fee? Haha, trick question! This is the most budget-friendly conference you’ll ever attend. The entire day —even lunch — is free of charge to employees.
  • Where do I go? Meet us at the Haworth Center, and we’ll help you find your session location.
  • What if I haven’t registered? What are you waiting for?! We encourage you to register today so that the planning team can anticipate space and catering needs. If (and only if) you register in advance, you’ll have a chance of winning some fantastic door prizes.
  • What if I forget to register? No worries —for the most part. Registration is not mandatory for most sessions. However, registration is required for the “StrengthsFinder” session and for lunch, featuring keynote speaker Jason Kehrer ’03, who will present “The Art and Design of Empathy in Everyday Life.” Note that registration for the “StrengthsFinder” session will close at 4pm today.
  • What if I can’t decide which session to attend? That’s a tough one. We think they all look pretty great!
  • What if I am super-excited about Pro-Dev Day and I want to share my excitement with others? If that’s the case, then you’ve just been officially inducted into the Public Affairs and Marketing Admiration Society. Feel free to post about the event on social media using the hashtag #HopeProDev. Memes always encouraged.
  • Where I go to learn more and sign up? Glad you asked! Check out these sites for more details:
  • Learn more
  • Schedule
  • Sessions
  • Keynote
  • RSVP

We look forward to having some fun on Monday, October 10!

Register for Pro-Dev Day!

It’s just around the corner! On Monday, October 10, the Public Affairs and Marketing Division and the Office of Human Resources will cohost the first-ever “Pro-Dev Day,” a professional development conference especially for Hope employees. This all-day event will take place at the Haworth Center.

Pro-Dev Day is free for all employees. Everybody is welcome, and participants may attend all or any portion of the day.

Please take a moment to review the Pro-Dev Day schedule, which features sessions on a number of topics. We encourage you to register in advance so that the planning team can anticipate space needs. While registration is not mandatory for most sessions, it is required for the “StrengthsFinder” session and for lunch (free!), featuring keynote speaker Jason Kehrer ’03, who will present “The Art and Design of Empathy in Everyday Life.” 

Don’t delay — sign up today. We look forward to seeing you on October 10!

Save the Date: A Pro-Dev Day Just for Hope

Please mark your calendars for a new event coming soon! On Monday, October 10, the Public Affairs and Marketing Division and the Office of Human Resources will be co-hosting a professional development conference for Hope employees. The goal of this daylong event is to empower our colleagues with tools, skills and knowledge that will strengthen our collective efforts and also provide frequently requested information.

Like other professional development conferences, this event will feature a lineup of breakout sessions and general sessions on a selection of topics. (It also will include lunch!) The event will take place at the Haworth Center, making it easily accessible to employees. All are welcome, and participants may attend one, some or all sessions. We will be asking for you to RSVP so that we can plan accordingly.

Here are some of the topics being offered:

  • Planning and Promoting Your Campus Event
  • Tools to Simplify Social Media Management
  • Storytelling: Avenues for Sharing Your Story
  • Using inHope/Calendar
  • Upping Your PowerPoint Game
  • Your Handbook 101: What’s Changing?
  • Retirement on the Horizon? What You Need to Know
  • StrengthsFinder
  • Wellness

 

Why during Fall Break? We planned the conference to occur when offices are a little quieter and staff may have more availability. Understandably, some individuals may be off campus that day. If you’re not able to join us, don’t fret — we are already thinking ahead to the next one!

In the spirit of community, we hope that this event will live into Strategic Plan Goal 4, Objective 3: Assess, address and promote a campus culture where each person can flourish. Supervisors, please encourage your staff to participate.

Watch for registration details coming soon. We look forward to a great conference with you!