Happiness is a choice, positive psychologists say, but the ways we choose to be happy and how we express that joy can vary from the grandiose to the sublime across cultures, Dr. Johnston is discovering. Taking a portion of her yearlong sabbatical to study happy emotions found in thousands of pictorial images of people in ## countries, Johnston is quick to relay that what may seem simple to define is actually complex.
Whether in the field at the Michigan-based AuSable Institute of Environmental Studies (AIES), or in a lab at the prestigious Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), or in the classroom of a Great Lakes Colleges Association (GLCA) interdisciplinary program, Dr. Jonathan Peterson spent much of his year-long sabbatical being fully convinced of this: things in life are interesting and important to the degree that they relate to other things.
On a scale of sedentary to prolific, the yearlong sabbatical work of Dr. Graham Peaslee, the Elmer E. Hartgerink Professor of Chemistry and Environmental Science, can be only best described as super-productive. If there were ever such a thing as a barometer for breaks away, Peaslee crushed it.
Any endeavor that goes from big to bigger requires effort, vision, and good old-fashion gumption. So when Dr. Deborah VanDuinen, assistant professor of education and Towsley Research Scholar, decided to take the highly successful Hope-Holland Big Read of 2014 and create the Bigger Read of 2015, she was fortunate to have a sabbatical leave to focus her efforts and vision, but especially her gumption, on the next version of bringing a community together by reading one book.
Corporate longevity fascinates Vicki TenHaken, professor of management, who spent much of her sabbatical writing a book about why America’s 100-plus year-old companies have endured wars, recessions, a Great Depression, and an ever-fickle U.S. marketplace. It’s a topic of inquiry that she can trace back to two sources: her first career and 25 years spent in corporate leadership and her second career teaching management principles at Hope College.
If not for her grandmother, Linda Dykstra, associate professor of music specializing in voice, may have never considered vocology as a field of inquiry in her academic life and thus for her sabbatical leaves from Hope in 2007 and 2015.
Sheep in New Zealand have a friend in Dr. Tom Bultman. And Dr. Bultman, professor of biology, was happy to oblige the massive, wooly industry that is valuable in a country where sheep outnumber humans by about 10-to-1.
In foam and clay and metal, from memory and history and spontaneity, the new artworks created by Hope art professor and sculptor Billy Mayer can be best described as pieces of funereal whimsy. Come January 2016, when his one-man show, “440,” opens in the DePree Art Gallery, it will be easy to see why.
Dr. Renata Fernandez’s return to her native country for sabbatical last spring had more to do with churchgoing than homecoming. For it was on the walls of numerous Catholic churches and former convents and monasteries in Mexico that Dr. Fernandez focused much of her research into the “camouflaged culture of resistance” rendered by indigenous artisans in the mid-1500s.