One of my favorite aspects about Hope College is that I am more than just a number on campus – professors and faculty know, value, and care about the students. From the dining hall staff that greet me enthusiastically each morning to the classroom where my professors ask about how my cross country race went to faculty of the Boerigter Center who will send me job opportunities that they think I would be interested in and every interaction in between, Hope fosters an environment that cultivates meaningful relationships across campus. 

I am grateful for the opportunities that the College has made available for me to engage and collaborate with Hope professors, faculty, and staff. For example, I have worked as a student consultant through Hope’s Center for Leadership for two semesters so far. In this role, I have received deep mentorship and training from faculty and professors. By participating in this smaller group setting, I have been able to gain invaluable experience and hone my leadership abilities. Directly learning from subject matter experts and professionals in the industry has bolstered my skills, and I have been able to employ my learnings within the classroom as well as in my internships. Additionally, hearing their personal and professional journeys has provided me with perspective on my own career and calling journey. As each project assigns new coaches, I am able to learn from a diverse set of leaders while also maintain support and connections with past coaching mentors. 

With national rankings in its undergraduate research, Hope College offers a plethora of opportunities and resources for students to connect with professors and faculty for research experiences. Many students even stay in Holland over the summer to conduct research with professors from all different departments. I am grateful to participate in research through the biology department. As a student majoring in biology, I see my research as enlivening my course content. I am able to directly apply my acquired knowledge in a hands-on setting. In the lab, student development and growth as a scientist is prioritized. As such, each lab experience is a learning opportunity that allows me to directly collaborate with the professor and my lab group peers. Together, we work to design experiments, solve problems, and analyze results. I enjoy attending the College’s annual Celebration of Undergraduate Research & Creative Activity (CURCA) at the end of the academic year, where I am amazed at the immense variety of fascinating research projects. From STEM to the humanities, these student research collaborations with faculty and professors drive inquiry and provide a holistic formation for students. 

For me, the intentional interactions and collaborations with Hope’s professors, faculty and staff have been one of my favorite aspects about the College. The vision of its Christian, liberal arts foundation is directly lived out at Hope in this way. As a result, my educational experience encompasses so much more than simply a degree – it cultivates character. I am able to learn from those around me and receive personal mentorship that helps me flourish and reach my fullest potential both as a student and as an individual. I will forever be grateful for the deep, synergetic community that Hope College cultivates between students, professors, faculty, and staff.

Published by Madeline Kenney

Class of 2025 Hometown: Livonia, MI Majors: Biology and Business Minor: Classical Studies

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