We Flipped for these 10 Under 10

Taking their liberal arts education to new heights and impacting the world in big ways.

With nearly 35,000 Hope alumni around the world, the challenge is not finding someone to honor for excellence and impact, but choosing who to honor. The new “10 Under 10 Awards,” which succeed the Young Alumni Award program of 2007-17, make it a little easier by recognizing not one or two or three but 10 former students who have concluded their time at Hope within the past decade.

Presented by the Hope College Alumni Association, the awards celebrate emerging leaders who are making significant contributions by living out their callings; engaged in the local and global community through professional and/or volunteer involvement; use their education to think about important issues with wisdom and clarity; and communicate effectively to bridge boundaries that divide human communities and act as agents of hope living faithfully into their vocations.

This year’s recipients were honored on Friday, Oct. 19, during the college’s “Homecoming and Family Weekend: One Big Weekend.” As the four pages which follow show, they have landed around the country and are following career paths ranging from teaching theatre, to promoting diabetes awareness, to founding companies focused on artificial intelligence or hydroponic food.

“These 10 recipients have backgrounds and interests as varied as the programs offered at their alma mater,” said Scott Travis ’06, executive director of alumni engagement. “They are taking their liberal arts education to new heights and impacting the world in big ways.”

Their time on campus for One Big Weekend included a panel discussion during which they reflected on their educational and professional journeys, and shared insights for current and future students. For more about each, please visit the college’s website, where information about how to nominate next year’s honorees is also available.

Sarah Watkins ’08 Fabian

Chicago, Illinois

Assistant Professor of Theatrical Design and Technology, Northeastern Illinois University

She creates new worlds on the stage and instructs others on how to do the same.

Xander Krieg ’12

Franklin, Michigan

Founder and CTO of Emosta, an artificial-intelligence consulting firm

He developed an algorithm that allows a greater understanding of facial expressions and emotions.

Jonas Lawson ’13

Washington, D.C.

Political Advertising Account Executive, NCC Media

He oversees high-profile campaigns advertising at the local, state and federal levels.

Maggie Mohr ’09

Los Angeles, California

Postdoctoral Fellow in Neurobiology, University of California, Los Angeles

She has made significant contributions in neuroscience through her research.

Quinn Nystrom ’08

Baxter, Minnesota

President and Founder of Qspeak, speaker, author and diabetes-awareness advocate

She brings a voice of hope and knowledge to people living with diabetes.

Izzy Rhodes ’11

Holland, Michigan

Crisis Chaplain, Holland Hospital

She advocates for the destigmatization of mental health in the church and supports families experiencing medical trauma.

Travis Rieth ’10

Truckee, California

Founder of Wild-Writes, photographer, writer and consultant

He travels North America as a photographer, writer, consultant, adventurer and advocate.

Carl Scholten ’11

Traverse City, Michigan

Principal, Grand Traverse Area Catholic Schools

He leads school staff and encourages academic and spiritual growth in students.

Chaz Shelton ’09

Tucson, Arizona

Founder and CEO, Merchant’s Garden AgroTech

He is focused on creating the technology of today to feed the people of tomorrow by growing food in arid climates.

Katherine Stritzke ’08 Simons

Grand Rapids, Michigan

Director of Marketing, Cat Footwear

She is responsible for the transformation of retail online and in stores around the globe.