Translating Classical Latin, Decoding Gender and Power

Converting one language into another isn’t just a utilitarian task; a good translator conveys the voice and linguistic nuances of the person whose words are being translated. But what if you are a 21st-century man translating the writings of a 17th-century woman? What challenges does a modern man encounter when decoding the thoughts and words… Continue Reading →

Software Development as Community Outreach

If you’re asked to imagine a “life-changing” app — go ahead, try it — do you flash back several summers to Pokémon Go, the sensation that pulled thousands outdoors to re-experience the world around them? Dr. Mike Jipping is proving that an app need not be flashy or viral to profoundly, positively alter lives. He’s… Continue Reading →

Decoding Mitochondrial Transcription

Well beyond the reach of unaided sight lies the genesis of energy we use every day to lift a cup of coffee, climb a mountain or twitch an eyelid. That is, we do when our cells are functioning properly. Many cases in which they’re not can be tied back to the specialized compartments in our… Continue Reading →

A Gothic Church, a Holy Tear

Jesus wept. And for seven centuries, a Benedictine abbey church in France claimed to have preserved the tear he shed. Dr. Anne Heath doesn’t challenge the belief that the Abbey of La Trinité (the Holy Trinity) in Vendôme once maintained and venerated a tear that Jesus cried at the tomb of Lazarus, as described in… Continue Reading →

Streamlining Robotic Coding

In a Hope College engineering laboratory, a roomful of Roombas® — or more accurately, Kobuki mobile robots (shaped like the popular Roomba vacuums, but with no cleaning power) — are carrying on earthbound research that grew out of knowledge a professor acquired while working on other robots intended for space exploration. And if the work… Continue Reading →

Interdisciplinary Exploration of Global Issues

An innovative Hope College initiative enabled 50 faculty members to travel internationally in teams over the past 18 months to interact with scholars in other nations about complex global problems. “The impact on faculty is just tremendous,” says Dr. Deirdre Johnston, interim associate dean for global education, who co-directed the Hope Portals to the World… Continue Reading →

On Four Continents, Helping Agencies Encourage Foster Care

Dr. Deb Sturtevant’s “on the side” takes her quite a distance. Guatemala. China. Romania. Zambia. Since the 1990s, she’s worked on projects with the global arm of Bethany Christian Services. In a six-year effort in Zambia that wrapped up in 2015, she and colleagues evaluated a community-based family support program and networked with a local… Continue Reading →
Photography by
Steven Herppich

What drew me to Latin American politics

“My undergrad degree was in history; we focused a great deal on Indian history. My master’s was in African politics: the diaspora — the Indian people who had undergone British imperialism and therefore transferred their wages and their livelihood — living in Anglophone Africa. For my Ph.D., I wanted to pick a region of the… Continue Reading →
Photography by
Steven Herppich

A Crossroad for Reflection and Academic Exploration

Finding the intersections between one’s faith and vocation needn’t be a solitary task. At a yearly conference sponsored by the Lilly Fellows Program in the Humanities and the Arts, faculty from Christian institutions work through nuanced issues together — each refining their personal sense of how their faith relates to their teaching, their scholarly work,… Continue Reading →

Bolstering a Line of Defense in the Battle Against Sex Trafficking

Michigan has the sixth-most reported cases of human trafficking in the United States. Dr. Llena Chavis is teaching people on the front lines how to recognize the signs of trafficking — and how to intervene. In 2016, when one of her students was doing research about trafficking, Chavis and the student learned that health professionals… Continue Reading →

What Alternative High Schools Are Getting Right

Flexibility. Low student-teacher ratios. Valuing relationships more than attendance. Dr. Laura Pardo is finding that successful alternative high schools have these features, among others, in common. She wants to equip aspiring teachers to replicate their impact in traditional schools, too. “There are some things that we can pull from, as a profession, that can help… Continue Reading →

Clean Water for the Global Greater Good

If you’ve gone backpacking, you may be familiar with Sawyer point-of-use water filters — small, easy-to-use devices that allow outdoor enthusiasts to drink water safely from streams and other natural sources. But how well do they work, really? And not just in the United States, where their use is primarily recreational, but in countries where… Continue Reading →

Combing Statistics for Clues to Future Mass Shootings

Sandy Hook. Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. The Capital Gazette newspaper. The Route 91 Harvest Music Festival in Las Vegas. Orlando’s Pulse nightclub. The First Baptist Church of Sutherland, Texas. The Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh. The roll call and the death toll keep rising, steadily and seemingly unchecked, and random mass shootings are… Continue Reading →

Finding a Brain Cell Fix

About 2 percent of a person’s body weight is mostly responsible for the way the other 98 percent of it functions. The complex human brain, which usually weighs in at about three pounds, is the ultimate multi-tasker of human organs — processor of senses, memory and knowledge; coordinator of heartbeats, breaths and motor skills; releaser… Continue Reading →

The Allure of Pure Research in Nuclear Physics

“I like the mathematical aspects of physics. How circuits work. Control theory. Understanding how they put music onto a digital disc. I know the mathematics behind that. That’s cool math. I also like the big questions. How did we get the elements that we see in the universe? Why does 26O behave the way it… Continue Reading →
Photography by
Steven Herppich

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →