What drew me to social psychology

“Psychology was the most interesting subject I studied in college, even though I had only one course in my first three years. I just thought, What more interesting subject could there be than human beings? Faith is part of my identity, and therefore it is natural for me to ask how religious ideas about human… Continue Reading →
Photography by
Steven Herppich

For All of God’s Good Earth

According to a recent Yale University survey, only 18 percent of American evangelical and born-again Christians believe that caring for the earth is part of their faith. When environmental theologian Dr. Steve Bouma-Prediger hears a statistic like that, he matter-of-factly responds, “I have a lot more work to do.” That work, which he has undertaken… Continue Reading →

Complexities of the In-Between

Dr. Ernest Cole is a man who doesn’t quite belong anywhere. Cole spent much of 2018 — including a summer trip to the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. — researching and writing his third monograph, which explores dislocation, displacement and the trauma of finding oneself in different spaces. In particular, he’s examining the work… Continue Reading →

A Poet’s Sojourn in Camden, New Jersey

Most people think of Walt Whitman, if they think of him at all, as that 19th-century poet from high school English Lit who penned Leaves of Grass. However, Dr. William Pannapacker thinks about Whitman a lot. And when he does, his thoughts fill with superlatives. “Walt Whitman is, in many ways, the preeminent literary figure… Continue Reading →

Confronting a Threat in West Michigan Forests

It’s enough to make a grown man cry. And Dr. K. Greg Murray admits he shed a tear upon discovering that the dreaded hemlock woolly adelgid had been spotted on hemlocks in Michigan. The invasive, destructive insect (pronounced a-DELL-jid), which sucks the sap from North American hemlock trees and dooms many of them, has taken… Continue Reading →

Where Early Modern British Lit Crosses Paths with Asian Studies

“After college, I taught English in Taiwan, and years later I had the opportunity to teach in the Hope College–Meiji Gakuin University faculty exchange program in Japan. Those experiences ignited my interest in intercultural relationships. I love teaching Shakespeare, especially with a focus on Shakespeare’s view of how society imagines outsiders. Take a play like… Continue Reading →
Photography by
Steve Herppich

Human Form and Function in Costume Design

The silken bodice of Cinderella’s gown, the furry makeup on the Big Bad Wolf’s face, the crimson woolen cape over Little Red Riding Hood’s shoulders — each element helps bring to life Stephen Sondheim’s amalgamated fairy tale Into the Woods. Professor Michelle Bombe and two student assistants designed every character’s costume from head to toe… Continue Reading →

Helping Oncologists Choose a Medicine That Will Work

When mixing a drug cocktail to treat cancer, the more information an oncologist has, the better. As part of an army of cancer researchers inching toward a cure one complicated detail at a time, Dr. Maria Burnatowska-Hledin has zeroed in on a gene that she hopes can help doctors assess whether a particular drug will… Continue Reading →

Abstract Visions of the Human Body

You are, by choice and training, an abstract artist. Because, in your words, “There is an inherent and permanent interest in creating bodies,” your work frequently features the human form. Professor Katherine Sullivan, do you ever feel you need to explain your “body art” to viewers? “Yes, yes I do,” admits Sullivan with a laugh.… Continue Reading →

Nursing Research on Mother’s Milk

Across the board, the research is clear: Breastfeeding is healthy for infants and nursing mothers, has a positive long-term impact on children’s intelligence, and can benefit families and communities. Yet many mothers who decide in advance to breastfeed their babies stop sooner than they’d planned. “We know that the number one reason that mothers don’t… Continue Reading →

Sleep and Body Chemistry

Getting a good night’s rest isn’t always as easy as counting sheep. We might need to rethink our diets, too. Dr. Andrew Gall has investigated whether a high-fat diet may play a role in irregular sleep patterns, and based on lab results, he thinks the answer may be yes. This 2018 research was part of… Continue Reading →

Cultivating Purpose in Scholarly Work

Relating compassionately to students and teaching them effectively: Those are easy to recognize as meaningful expressions of a college professor’s personal faith. It can be trickier, though, to find purpose and value in one’s research. Hope College’s Continuum Scholars Faculty Development Program invites young faculty into conversations about how to integrate their vocation and their… Continue Reading →

How the Watts May Term expands our future teachers’ vision

“The Watts Learning Center in Los Angeles includes elementary and middle school charter schools. Every May, we immerse Hope students in working with children there in a culturally diverse urban setting. The first year was 2013. We’ve taken anywhere from seven to 11 students. Some of the students have very little experience with diversity, but… Continue Reading →
Photography by
Steven Herppich

Finding Meaning in the Storms

“Why did this have to happen to me?Where is God?How could God let this occur?What am I going to do?Who am I going to be?” Those massive life questions — uneasy, uncomfortable, overwhelming — are smack dab at the heart of Dr. Daryl Van Tongeren’s prolific research and writing. The scholar of experimental social psychology… Continue Reading →

A Form for Memory and Grief

After a deeply personal experience with grief, poet Dr. Susanna Childress turned to a new-for-her form of writing — one that requires vulnerability, trust and creative risk-taking, both personally and professionally. Her new collection of essays, Extremely Yours: Observations on Being Disordered, will be published by Awst Press, with an anticipated release in 2020.“I think… Continue Reading →

A Philosopher Considers Modern Media, and Is Not Amused

Your “inscape” is in need of a total overhaul. You could start by throwing out your TV. That’s the rather iconoclastic view of Dr. Joseph LaPorte, whose particular focus is philosophy of biology and language. He contends that our “inscapes” — a term he borrows loosely from Victorian poet Gerard Manley Hopkins — are on… Continue Reading →

Bad News Travels … Slowly

If you’ve ever put off telling your boss that a project’s running late, you’ve got company. Over and over in his controlled experimental studies, Dr. Jayson Dibble finds the same pattern: If a person has bad news to deliver, it’s going to take some time. He’s heard of doctors waiting years to convey a diagnosis… Continue Reading →

What’s Stressful in Your Work?

Of course college students feel stress. Grades. Tuition. Peer pressure. Choosing the right table at Phelps Dining Hall. But what about college faculty? How does the pressure they feel at work compare to their corporate counterparts? Those are some questions Dr. Marcus Fila is examining in the latest of his studies on workplace stress, and… Continue Reading →

Standout Student-Faculty Research

How does a swimmer’s degree of balance outside the pool correlate to faster race times in backstroke and freestyle? When copper or cobalt is added to a nickel-based Prussian blue analogue film, what happens to its ability to store charge? What do In-Group/Out-Group theory and analysis of speeches reveal about whether both sides in the… Continue Reading →