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.

Finding a balance – how to keep everything together and meet deadlines?

One of the first lessons I learned when I came to college was that I have more free time than I did in high school, but I also have more things to do. I am not only taking classes at Hope, but I am involved in different jobs and student organizations. This is also the reality of most students at Hope College. There are over 60 student organizations and clubs that anyone can be part of on campus! Because of this, time management can become harder than it already is, and finding time for yourself can seem almost impossible. Therefore, I want to share with you some tips that have helped me to keep everything together and meet deadlines when I feel like I have zero time on my hands.

  1. Plan out your week in advance every weekend. Every Sunday, I like to take the time to plan out what my week will look like. Even though some plans might end up changing, making a tentative schedule to keep track of what my priorities are for the upcoming days makes me feel super productive and keeps me in the right mindset to start my week. 
  2. Use a calendar. If you like to write things down, getting an agenda is the way to go. As a tech lover, I use my phone all the time. I keep track of my assignment due dates, important meetings, or any event on Google Calendar. I cannot express in words how many times I have made it on time to an event thanks to Google Calendar (Seriously, it is a life-savior)! Using a calendar will definitely help you meet deadlines and organize your time more wisely. 
  3. Journal. In the midst of assignments, projects, work, and extracurricular activities, it is easy to get caught up in a hectic lifestyle. It is important to remember that we are still human beings and we need to take time for ourselves. Journaling helps me think about my feelings and reflect on my experiences. Relaxing for an hour or two is not bad at all! 

    It is important to find a balance between academics and personal life. To be successful in your college career, make sure you get organized and plan ahead; but also, you must take some time off and enjoy all the different activities to do around campus! 

Comparing Financial Aid? Ask These Questions!

For many high school seniors and their families, the college selection process includes a comparison of financial aid offers. As you narrow your list and weigh your options, there are a few important questions to consider. Keep this list handy as you compare financial aid packages:

  • What is the renewal criteria for my financial aid? Does your financial aid package include an academic scholarship? If so, be sure to check the criteria for scholarship renewal. Academic scholarships at Hope are guaranteed through your sophomore year and renewable for your two remaining years if you maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or 2.75, depending on the scholarship. We want to ensure you have time to be involved with activities outside the classroom — internships, student clubs, service projects and more — that help build a strong resume for the next steps in your career.
  • Does my financial aid apply to off-campus programs such as study abroad? Your financial aid at Hope, including merit-based scholarships, travels with you for any Hope-approved off-campus programs.
  • What is the school’s graduation rate? How feasible is it for students in your preferred academic program to graduate within four years? At Hope, 87 percent of our graduates finish in four years or less.
  • What type of learning environment do you prefer? The most valuable financial aid is one that supports your education in an environment where you will thrive. Consider the factors critical to your success, including:
    • Academic offerings: Does the college offer the majors and minors you’re seeking?
    • Size of school: Where do you see your best fit — at a large, mid-sized or small school?
    • Faith: Is an active faith community important to your personal development?
    • Faculty-student relationships: How closely do faculty collaborate with students, not just in terms of faculty-to-student ratio, but also in the quality of interaction?
    • Mentorship: What kind of one-on-one attention will you receive — from academic advising to academic coaching — from career advising to preparing for graduate school?
    • Opportunities: What opportunities exist for off-campus study, hands-on research and creative performance? Can you participate in athletics, student clubs, and volunteer with service and leadership programs?
    • Sense of community: What words would you use to describe the community you’re seeking? Tight-knit? Friendly? Safe? Active? Fun? Social?
    • Support services: What services would be beneficial to you? Academic success center? Group study and peer partnership programs? Counseling and psychological services? Health center?

We are eager to help you answer these questions and any others you may have. Schedule a campus visit to talk to us in person, or contact us at admissions@hope.edu or 616.395.7850. We can’t wait to tell you more about what makes Hope such a special place!

In College? Would You Try This 4 AM Daily Routine?

Do you know what Mark Wahlberg, Jennifer Aniston, Casey Neistat, and Michelle Obama all have in common? They all dedicate at least part of their success to their daily routines. Each of these celebrities attribute success to routine and more specifically, waking up early.

As a new student at Hope, it is easy to fall into the typical college routine of 3 am nights and 12 pm mornings. Besides, who’s supposed to say you can’t? Most students fall under the impression that “fun” only happens at night, and if they go to bed early they fear they will miss out.

That is just not true.

At Hope some of the most exciting moments are filling the 10:30 am chapel with friends who all share the same love for Christ and fellowship with each other. The most laughter can be heard in Cook and Phelps Dining hall from 5 to 7 pm as friends and faculty alike share a meal. Evenings are filled with socializing, studying, and club activities that create friendships that last a lifetime.

After research and experimentation, I have found that I am most productive, most content and happiest when I wake up earliest. In my latest Youtube video, I changed my routine from going to bed at 2 or 3 in the morning and waking up at 11 or 12 to going to bed at 10 pm and waking up at 4 am.

“Why are you waking up at 4 am?” “What is the point?” “This cannot be healthy” “We miss you at night”. The truth is, I do this for me. Transitioning to college can be a difficult time physically, emotionally, and mentally. Waking up at 4 am allows me to focus on my mental health and have that alone time I have been depriving myself of. The tranquility of these mornings brings peace as well as focus so that I can accomplish my day to day goals. In this time I connect with God through my devotional; I focus on work without the distraction of texts, calls, or emails, and I spend time in silence with just my thoughts.

In a time when our lives are filled with the advice and opinions of everyone, it is important to find time to listen to ourselves. For me, that time is found at 4 in the morning. (Clearly I am destined for Mark Wahlberg-level greatness). For others it may be different. Everyone has goals and expectations for you but I would encourage you to find time to listen to yourself and discern what you want to be your goals as you walk along your vocational path.

If you found any truth in these words or enjoyed my video, please leave a like and share so that this message can reach those that need to hear this. Thank you so much and I’ll see you next week:)

Why I Would Choose Hope Over and Over Again

I always heard rumors about how Hope College would change your life, and those rumors have not been wrong. Hope College has let me grow as a student, athlete, and as a follower of Christ. This is always my quick response answer on why I chose Hope. Reflecting as a junior now, I have further clarity on why I would choose Hope over and over again. I am not saying it is picture-perfect because going to college can be hard, but wow does going to Hope College make it easier.

I have seen tremendous growth in myself the last three years at Hope, but this is not to say that I have had days where I severely struggled. There have been days where I struggled as a student (Financial Accounting why does my brain just not click with you?) I have had races where I cried the entire last six laps around the track (I do think that race hurt my ego more than anything else), and Lord knows I have struggled with my faith day in and out. Throughout all of these struggles, I have somehow managed to fall asleep in a twin size college bed feeling blessed almost every night.

I am not exaggerating when I say that the reason these bad days end up always getting turned around is because of the people at Hope. I have so many professors that got to know me as more than just another student in their classroom. Getting coffee or just catching up in their office makes the world of difference in how I do as a student. These professors have encouraged me to do great things in a major I never even anticipated myself to have.

Academics aside, if you find yourself lucky enough to be part of a team, sorority/frat, chapel band, or any other team-like group at Hope you will get an incredible sense of belonging. That race I cried the whole last six laps of? My teammates were there to pick up my crying, sweaty, and disappointed self off the track without even saying a word about their amazing races. They filled me up with words of encouragement and left me without a doubt the next one would be better. Five of these amazing girls were freshmen too, and they have already become some of my closest friends. You will oddly look forward to practice, as these people will understand and see you through a lot. The crazy thing is that they will be there to love you through it all. 

Even if you are not part of a team at Hope College, you will get some amazing people living under the same roof as you. The dorm life gives you no other choice but to bond with all of the people you will be sharing one bathroom with, but the Hope community makes it ten times more bearable. I got lucky enough to have gone in completely blind going into my freshman year and I ended up meeting one of my best friends, aka my roommate. We befriended two other girls down the hall our first day of freshman orientation, and now going into senior year, we all signed a lease to live under the same roof for the 4th year in a row. These girls have seen me through the good and bad, but that is the amazing part about Hope. Your roommates will be there to bring you on spontaneous sunset and Sluggo pizza beach trips, celebrate your birthday for a week (or 2 because we really like birthdays at our house), cry with you when you’re frustrated about changing your major once again, pray for you, roll out your calves after a long day of practice, and most importantly, fill you up with ice-cream and motivation when they hear about your disaster of a track meet. 

Going to Hope College will be an adjustment, just like it is for everyone who is going to college for the first time, but I would continue to pick Hope College over and over again. The people that you are with along with your education, success as an athlete, and as a growing follower of Christ are irreplaceable. The connections you make in your sorority, class, orientation group, or team will be lifelong friendships that will continue to fill you up, even when you ugly cry around a track for six laps. 

Mechanical Engineering: Can I Actually Graduate in 4 Years?

As I was doing my college visits as a senior in high school, I constantly found myself asking engineering students if they were able to graduate in four years or if five was more realistic. Hope was the only school that was consistently stating that as an engineering student I would graduate in four years. To be honest I was skeptical about Hope. Why would every other college make students stay for five years? Was Hope missing something critical in their program? 

Now as a Junior Mechanical Engineering major I can happily say that I will graduate in four years and have two internships under my belt. Additionally, I have no gaps in the curriculum and I will be ABET-accredited. And here is how I did it…

Freshman year

Fall (16 Credits)

  • Calculus 1 with Review (4 credits): Coming from a Common Core class I found myself needing the review portion with Calc 1 material in order to set a sturdy foundation for future math classes to come.
  • General Chemistry with Lab (4 credits): This is a required mechanical engineering class and it made sense to take it as a freshman.
  • First-Year Seminar (2 credits): A required class for all freshman
  • Health Dynamics (2 credits): Required as a General Education class which focuses on wellness and exercise
  • Introduction to Engineering and Lab (4 credits): The engineering introduction class for all freshmen. This class explores all the disciplines of engineering to help students start to decide which emphasis they prefer! 

Spring (17 credits)

  • Calculus 1 with Review (4 credits): Due to the review portion of this class it was two semesters. Most students would take Calculus 2 in the spring of their freshman year.
  • Expository Writing (4 credits): This is a gen ed requirement for all students
  • Religion 100 (2 credits): All students are required to take one half-semester religion gen ed and this is when it fit into my schedule

All engineering students take 4 half-semester classes to further explore the various disciplines

  • Circuits 1 with Lab (2 credits): Analyzed basic circuits with math and hands-on lab 
  • Introduction to Materials (2 credits): Explored material properties at the base level
  • Introduction to CAD (1 credit): Taught students SolidWorks design
  • Conservation Principles (2 credits): Chemical engineering class where basic processes are explored
In CAD we learned how to Datum dimension which is the professional blueprint language. This was the “blueprint” of columns between two buildings on campus.

Summer Freshman Year

May Term (4 credits)

Since my calculus one class took two semesters I was now behind on the math track for engineering. I decided to take calculus two as a May term. A May term is 4 intense weeks of just one class!

After my May Term was completed I had a full-time position working on a factory line at Herman Miller in Zeeland. This was not an internship but a great resume builder where I gained real-world manufacturing experience.

Sophomore Year

Fall (17 credits)

  • Social Science – Anthropology (4 credits): All students have to take two social science classes as part of their gen eds. I decided to take an anthropology class which was very interesting!
  • Cultural Heritage 1 (4 credits): Another gen ed requirement. This class explored the history and philosophy of ancient Greek, Roman and Biblical stories. 
  • Multivariable Calculus 1 (4 credits): This class is the third in the calculus chain for engineering students.
  • Statics (3 credits): This is the first in a string of three classes for mechanical students. Statics looks at objects when they are at rest.
  • Circuits 2 with Lab (2 credits): The other half of circuits that all engineering students take. This class was again only half of a semester.

Spring (15 credits)

  • Spanish 1 (4 credits): Two semesters of language are required for all students at Hope however there are a variety of languages available. I decided to take Spanish as it is applicable in the manufacturing environment. 
  • Engineering Computing (3 credits): This class teaches students how to code in two different languages: Matlab and C. 
  • Mechanics of Materials with Lab (4 credits): This is the class after statics. Taking the knowledge taught in statics but now it is applied to static systems with material properties. This has been my favorite lab that I have ever had at Hope. In the lab every week you create a different material and test it to failure – it was awesome!
  • Multivariable Calculus 2 (4 credits): My favorite math class of the calculus path. This is the last of 4 calculus classes that engineers are required to take.
In Materials Lab this week we made elastomers and tested them to failure!

Sophomore Summer

I took a Lean Six Sigma online summer class through Purdue. This is not required but rather helpful for the manufacturing path. 

As I took the summer class I was given the opportunity to do research with an engineering faculty member. Summer research is a full time paid internship for students. I worked in the civil lab developing a code that modeled how earthquakes affect skyscrapers. Research looks amazing on a resume and is a great way to meet other students, and you get to stay on campus all summer!!

Junior Year

Fall (17 credits)

  • Introduction to Guitar (2 credits): This class was again required as a Music gen ed. I loved learning how to play the guitar. The class style is so different compared to engineering so it provided a nice diverse class schedule.
  • Spanish 2 (4 credits): I needed to reach a 200 level class of a language to fulfill the gen ed requirement so I took this class to do so.
  • Dynamic Systems and Lab (4 credits): This is a core requirement for all engineering students. It explores modeling processes in terms of algebraic equations.
  • Structural Analysis (3 credits): As engineering students reach Junior and Senior year they must take 4 discipline-specific classes. This was the first of my four Mechanical classes.
  • Physics 1 and Lab (4 credits): All engineering students must take two semesters of physics with a lab. This was class number one.

Spring (13 credits) **Current**

  • Physics 2 and Lab (4 credits): The second in the required string of physics classes for engineers.
  • Mathematical Physics (2 credits): this class is required for all engineers and is one of the hardest that we take…
  • Mechanical Dynamics (3 credits): This is the third class in the statics string. Now systems are moving as they are analyzed.
  • Religion 200 (4 credits): All students are required to take a 200 level religion class. However, the topics vary – this specific class focuses on understanding biblical stories from various perspectives.

Junior Summer

I am currently writing this in January of my junior year. I have two internship offers on the table. The first at Herman Miller as an engineering intern. This position was offered to me because of my prior work experience at Herman Miller. The second is at SteelCase where I would be apart of their Lean/Quality Engineering Team. 

My Senior Year Will Look Like:

Fall (16 credits)

  • Senior Design (3 credits): All engineering students take two semesters of design. In this class, they are put in small groups of 3-5 students and given a real client with a real problem. Throughout the two semesters, students work with Hope faculty and their client to propose a solution while learning about engineering ethics.
  • Thermodynamics (2 credits): All engineering students take this, no matter their discipline. It explores various processes in various environments.
  • Cultural Heritage 2 (4 credits): Hope students must take two cultural heritage classes – this will be my second.
  • Vibrations (3 credits): This will be my second of four discipline-specific classes.
  • Geology and Environmental Science 1 (2 credits): As a mechanical engineer I am required to take one geology class. This one is half of a semester and very hands-on.
  • Social Science 2 (2 credits): Another social science class to fulfill my requirement. Another half-semester class.

Spring (17 credits)

  • Senior Design (3 credits): The second required semester of design.
  • Controls (3 credits): The third of my mechanical classes. This class explores control systems and modern modeling software.
  • Fine Arts 1 (4 credits): I have to take an art class which fits nicely in my schedule here!
  • Senior Seminar (4 credits): At a lot of other schools this is called a Capstone class and is not engineering specifically.
  • Fluids (3 credits): The fourth of my mechanical classes.

While I did have to take one summer class it could have been avoided by taking the regular calculus one class. Even as an engineer I can be out in four years. At the beginning of the four years, we take more than 16 credits, which seems like a lot but it is completely do-able especially with half semester classes. Hope sets students up for success and pushes them towards real-world work in just four years.

Countdown to Hope

* Note: This post is updated annually in January for newly admitted students.

It’s a new year! And a new chapter for you as well. You’ll be starting college life in just a few months. These are exciting times — but let’s be honest, these can be stressful times, too.

We want to take the worry out of your upcoming transition to Hope College and Holland, Michigan, so we’ve created a “Countdown to Hope” — your checklist on next steps for financial aid, scholarships and enrollment.

January

  • Join Hope College Connect! Connect is our online community for admitted students.
  • Create a FAFSA account. If you have not done so already, create your Federal Student Aid ID (FSA ID) at fafsa.gov and send your information to Hope using our Federal School Code, 002273.
  • Complete and submit the FAFSA. Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at fafsa.gov, using 2017 tax information.
  • Watch your mailbox for scholarship info. Hope began notifying admitted students about academic (also called “merit-based”) scholarships in mid-December.
  • Respond to requests. As the Office of Financial Aid staff reviews forms, they often contact families to request more information. Be sure to respond if contacted!
  • Join the conversation! Follow Hope on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat (hope_college) and YouTube. Don’t forget to use the hashtag #Hope2024.

February

  • Last call for scholarship materials! Submit or update your materials (new test scores, class rank, GPA or high school transcript) by the February 1 deadline to be considered for academic scholarships.
  • Watch your mailbox for a financial aid package. The Office of Financial Aid begins sending financial aid award letters in early February. This letter includes your award package, which indicates the types and amount of aid offered to you for the 2020-21 academic year.

March

  • Last call for financial aid forms! Still need to submit financial aid forms? Be sure to do so by the priority filing deadline, March 1.
  • Remember to save your spot. In early March, Hope mails admitted students a request to submit the $300 enrollment deposit at hope.edu/deposit. This deposit reserves your place in the Class of 2024.

April

  • Attend Admitted Student Day! Saturday, April 18 is our annual Admitted Student Day, the perfect day to take a final look at Hope before you make your decision.

May

  • May 1 — National Candidates Reply Date! To guarantee a place in Hope’s Class of 2023, submit your deposit at hope.edu/deposit. After May 1, a deposit reserves your place only if space is available. (The enrollment deposit is nonrefundable after May 1.)
  • Watch your inbox for housing info. In late May, Hope emails housing materials to all students who have reserved their place in the Class of 2024.
  • Watch your mailbox for class registration info. Also in late May, Hope mails personal Hope College account and class registration information to all students who have reserved their place in the Class of 2024.

July

  • Save the date. In early July, Hope mails orientation materials to all students who have reserved their place in the Class of 2024. Make plans for you and your family to attend the many activities scheduled throughout Orientation Weekend in late August.
  • Find out where you’ll be living. Also in early July, Hope mails housing and roommate assignments to all students who have reserved their place in the Class of 2024.

August

  • Review your schedule. Watch your inbox for your class schedule, which Hope emails to all students who have reserved their place in the Class of 2024.
  • Celebrate! You have arrived! Your first year at Hope begins with Orientation Weekend held in late August. Move-In Day is Friday, August 28.

Gratitude and Hope [at Hope]

This past fall semester, I invited members of the Hope College community to share their gratitude for the people and experiences [at Hope] that made a difference in their lives. 

Their messages captured what the Hope experience is all about. World-class faculty. Caring staff. Inspirational coaches. Dedicated mentors. Formation of faith. Excellent academics with top-tier research. Lifelong friendships. Encounters with other cultures. Personal growth. In a word, transformation.

“With his guidance and support, even after I graduated, I stayed on course to pursue a career in medicine that otherwise I, most likely, would not have accomplished.” 

Especially inspiring were messages about the impact of Hope’s faculty. Students and alumni expressed appreciation for their professors in the following ways: 

  • “He changed the course of my life”
  • “They were always supportive, encouraging and empowering as I learned what it meant to be an educator. In their company, I felt like an equal who was always welcome. I owe much of my prowess as a teacher to these professors because of how they pushed and challenged me.” 
  • “These professors inspired me to look into literature with a different perspective. It was through classes with these women that I explored what it was to interact with different cultures. I feel like this was a preparation for my life of serving overseas.” 
  • “He is one of the wisest people I know and challenged my mind in such a sincere and thought-provoking manner. We shared lunch multiple times a month throughout almost all of my college career and I continue to seek his mentorship almost 10 years after graduating.”
  • “She is a great mentor and professor … she is caring and pushes her students to think analytically about the political system today!”
  • “One professor helped affirm that faith and physics could not only coexist but support one another (an internal conflict that I had been dealing with for years). We had a long conversation in his office one afternoon, and I am still ruminating on his wisdom.” 

When choosing a college, academics are important. But the people are even more important. At Hope we have amazing professors, who are passionate about teaching and pursue learning WITH students. They transform lives!