Favorite Thing To Do In Holland, MI | Message from Mattie ’20

Hope College is located in one of the best towns along the lakeshore… Holland, MI! There are tons of things to do in this awesome town, including the beach, Downtown Holland, Window on the Waterfront, Kollen Park, movie theaters and more.

Downtown Holland, a.k.a. “Eighth Street”, is home to tons of incredible stores, restaurants, coffee shops, and boutiques. The best part about it is that Downtown Holland is within walking distance from campus.

Check out this video to hear more about what my friends love to do in Holland, MI:

Community Volunteerism

The welcoming front doors of the Holland Free Health Clinic (HFHC)

Growing up, I was involved in many activities in my community, one of which included my church’s youth group. Throughout the year, we helped the community by participating in tasks such as bell ringing around the holidays to help people in need, and in return, the community supported us for our annual mission trips. From experiences like these, I have come to realize the importance of giving back to communities I am involved in, and I made doing so a priority when I got to Hope College.

I searched for places in which I could volunteer and give back to the community that I knew would come to support me during my time at Hope. I specifically chose the Holland Free Health Clinic, as I am passionate about the medical field and touching lives of those who otherwise would not have received any care.

The Holland Free Health Clinic is a non-profit organization that is able to provide medical services to those that are uninsured and under the poverty line. I reached out to see if they had any opportunities for me to volunteer during my first year at Hope, and now spend a few hours per week volunteering at the clinic. There are many different services offered, some of which include vision, dental, podiatry, hearing, counseling, and diabetic education. The clinic is volunteer-based, with many of the volunteers being Hope students. I have learned that communication is crucial to make sure each volunteer is on the same page with any changes or actions the clinic is making. My role at the clinic is to make flowcharts for each program in order to make sure all programs are meeting their expectations and that everyone is on the same page. Ultimately, this best serves our patients, which is always the main goal of a healthcare setting. These flowcharts then help to discover new ways in which each program can improve to be as efficient and professional as possible.

Going beyond being passionate about the medical field and wanting to give back to the community, one of the other major reasons I chose to spend time volunteering at the Holland Free Health Clinic is because of the importance of annual appointments to manage diseases, that can lead to having effects on all systems of the body if uncontrolled, such as diabetes. Many of our patients are not aware of the effects that systemic diseases, such as diabetes, can have on the rest of your body. I enjoy being able to help educate and inform our patients of the necessary actions they should partake in, in order to best take care of themselves so diseases do not get out of hand.

Lastly, the impact we have on our patients is incredibly meaningful in their lives. The joy seen from receiving any kind of care, whether it is dental work, a new pair of glasses, or support, is displayed on their faces, and makes any hard work on our end, very worth it. I have now been a volunteer here for one year, and I look forward to continuing to make an impact and touch people’s lives in the community that has already had a large impact on me.

Studying Abroad! | Message from Mattie ’20

Students at Hope College are highly encouraged to study off-campus at some point throughout their four-year experience. With more than 300 programs in over 60 different countries, there is a program for you! Many students will study abroad for an entire semester, or there is the option to travel off-campus for a May, June or July term. If you are not interested in traveling abroad, there are also opportunities to study in a variety of cities across the country!

Check out the video below to hear a few of our students discuss their experience studying off-campus and how it impacted them:

Go here to learn more about off-campus study opportunities!

Moving Away from Home | Message from Mattie ’20

With just over three thousand students on Hope College’s campus, there are many who come from across the country and around the world. Each year, about one-third of the student body travels from outside Michigan to attend school at Hope College. There are quite a few students that come from different countries too – over 30 countries are represented by students currently studying at Hope!

Check out the video below to hear from a few of our students who moved to Hope from around the country and world:

Are you an international student looking to study at Hope College? Learn more about the Fried Center for Global Engagement here.

What Are You Involved In? | Message from Mattie ’20

At Hope College, there is always something for students to get involved in! On the last day of Orientation, students have the chance to learn all about what you can take part in during your time at Hope.

Getting involved is what helps students become rooted in a community – whether it be the Student Activities Committee (SAC for short), Student Congress, the Multicultural Student Organizations, Greek Life, the Pull and Nykerk, Small Group Bible Studies, Volunteer Services, Immersion Trips, or any of the other 70+ student organizations on campus – try something new and get involved as a student at Hope College!

Check out the video below to hear a few students share about how getting involved impacted their Hope College experience.

Interested in learning more? Check out these links to learn more about how you can get involved on campus: Student Life, the Center for Diversity and Inclusion, and Campus Ministries.

Where Did You Live as a Freshman? | Message from Mattie ’20

Living in the residence halls on campus is always one of the best parts of freshman year. With eleven different residence halls to choose from, ranging from traditional community, suite or cluster style living, there is a hall for everyone to call home during their first year. The Residential Life staff in each of the halls are always there for you, supporting you when you need it and hosting events for the residents to build community and connections.

Check out the video below to hear from some current Hope College students share about where they lived as a freshman and to hear why they loved it!

If you are interested in learning more about Hope College Residential Life, check out the link here.

Why Did You Choose Hope College? | Message from Mattie ’20

With over 3,000 students on campus and over 35,000 alumni across the world, each member of the Hope community made the decision to attend Hope College for a variety of reasons. There are many different reasons why each of us chooses to go to Hope College – the world-class academic programs, the one-on-one attention you receive from your professors and mentors, the vibrant faith community, all of the activities and student organizations you can get involved in, and so much more! Mattie, one of my friends, asked some fellow students why they decided to go to Hope College.

Check out the video below to hear what they said!

Student Research at Hope

As I have grown as a student in each of my classes, it is apparent to me that there is one way for the world to continue to advance – and that way is research. In order for research to happen and be successful, it is important to have many people involved, who all think in different ways. 

During my first year at Hope, I was involved in the Day 1 Phage Discovery Research Program. This is an opportunity for first year students to immerse themselves in research right away when starting at Hope College. In this program, I was able to search for phages, or viruses that infect bacteria, and attempt to isolate and characterize the phage I found. In this process I learned many skills that I knew would be useful in my future career and life in general. Through this program, I knew that research was something I wanted to continue during my time at Hope because of the valuable skills I was developing, such as communication skills, determination and perseverance, critical thinking and problem-solving, and collaboration with other students.

After my year of Phage research, I had the opportunity to go to Washington, D.C., and present my research with my mentor at a conference. Through this experience, I learned how to put together a research poster, and how to clearly communicate my research to others. I spoke with other students and faculty from all over the country. I also was able to present this research at the Celebration of Undergraduate Research at Hope College in the spring, where I learned how to present to community members who had no knowledge regarding my topic of interest. From both of these experiences, I learned how to clearly communicate my research to people who had limited understanding of science to those who are very specialized in my topic. This is important because communication skills are essential in every aspect of life, and these are two examples of how research at Hope has caused me to develop great communication.

Near the end of my year of Phage research, I contacted a professor at Hope who was looking for another student in her research lab. I was very interested, as I was learning the many benefits of research, and I really enjoy the process of researching. Everything worked out, and I started researching for her at the beginning of my second year. When I began researching for her, another student and I were assigned a new project. I was super excited to get a new project different from what the other students in her lab were working on. Little did I know the first step to this project was to purify the particular protein, and the protein has been very tricky to work with. We have tried a few different methods, all with little to no success. It is very common to fail during research, which is ultimately the way you learn what is going well and what isn’t in order to make the project better and to continue getting closer to success. In life, it is really important to be able to handle failure well, because it will happen to everybody. Will you become defeated and quit the task at hand, or pick yourself up and try again? The latter is the harder choice, but the better option, and the process of research will teach you that. Determination and perseverance are necessary characteristics to being successful in the research lab, and those skills are applicable to anything in life as well.

Getting involved in research was one of the best decisions I have made thus far at Hope College. Through this process I have learned how to effectively communicate with a variety of people, persevere through failure in the lab, critical think and problem-solve, and work independently, but still collaborate with my mentor and other students in my lab. I would highly recommend getting involved in research at Hope College, especially since we are top in the nation for undergraduate research. Hope gives undergraduate students great opportunities to research, whereas many undergraduate students at other institutions do not receive these opportunities, another benefit of Hope College.

A Thank You Letter

Dear friends and family,

In one week, two YouTube videos, and a dozen or so emails we were able to raise $550 for Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital. When I started this fundraiser I had no expectation of how much I would be able to raise, but with your help I was able to surpass my goal.

It was about this time last year that I attempted a fundraiser similar to Dance Marathon, Peanut Butter With a Purpose. In this fundraiser I raised money for second and third meals for students in Ionia County. As an incentive for that fundraiser, I matched whatever money was donated. The fundraiser was successful but there were key differences from that one to this one.

To start, the situation is very different. I am in a new setting. Last year, I was a senior in high school and I knew the ins and outs of my school and community when doing the first fundraiser. However, transitioning to Hope has been smooth and a great experience, but I do not have the same knowledge or confidence as a freshman now that I had as a senior. I knew what I was fundraising for, but I did not have any idea of what to expect as I did this for the first time.

The Dance Marathon fundraiser was a great success, and the impact made as an entire group was tremendous. Our goal as a college was to raise $370,000 for Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital. In total we raised $370,671.21. I was so impressed with Hope and just as impressed with my support.

I have learned a lot from this fundraiser. No matter how hard the challenge may be, I am well supported here at Hope and at home. My Arcadian brothers encourage me and challenge me to do the best that I can. The Hope faculty genuinely care about this cause. Furthermore, I know my family and community back home will always have my back.

In a matter of days I raised $550 for a $300 goal. Some of the donations came from family members. Other donations came from friends. And yet even others came from those I had only ever briefly talked to. This goes to show that small interactions, conversations, and relationships matter. Even if you don’t think it is a big deal, holding the door for someone, smiling at someone on the street, striking a conversation each have the potential to lead to additional support as you carry through life. I have also learned through fundraising how important it will be for me to support others when it is my turn to give back.

Thanks again to everyone that supported me in this fundraiser and donated to the cause. I love you all so much.

A Word From Our President

There are many symbols that represent Hope College: the anchor, the Flying Dutchman and the cross all embody what Hope stands for. In 2019, Hope inaugurated a new president who might be considered yet another symbol. President Scogin represents the past, present and future of Hope College.

As a graduate from Hope, President Scogin knows what it is like to be a student here. He is able to empathize with the experiences we are going through. Young Scogin was involved on campus, participating in Student Congress and Nykerk, and living in the same residential halls we live in.

As the president of the college, Scogin embodies the morals and principles Hope is founded on. Our president has a strong knowledge of economics and business, a strong faith that he openly shares, and a sense of humor that can be seen on his Instagram, all at the same time.

After listening to President Scogin speak at dinners and having conversations with him throughout my time here at Hope, I have come to appreciate what he has to say about the future of Hope College. He said at a dinner that in his current status it is more about ambition than having a set plan. His long term goal is to make college accessible to first generation students and make the college competitive with Ivy League schools such as Harvard. However the first step to making this possible is to get the community excited about the possibility. It is always important to have a plan, but ambition is just as important for starting the fire in the people.

After chapel one day, I approached President Scogin and asked him to give a word of encouragement to students interested in Hope College. Without hesitation he stated, “what we are really doing is a transformational experience. Academics is part of it, faith is part of it and the ability to discover your calling — who you are and why God made you — that is what we are all about.”

The uniqueness to Hope College rests in the accessibility and authenticity of its faculty. Anyone is able to talk to President Scogin, who is just as amped about the success of the school as the students in the Dew Crew. Don’t take my word for it. Next time you see him around campus, strike up a conversation. You may find you have lots in common.