10 Under 10

Uncommonly significant impact is a common quality of the lives led by Hope alumni, as is aptly reflected by this year’s recipients of the Alumni Association’s annual 10 Under 10 Awards, presented during One Big Weekend: Homecoming and Family Weekend in October. On the pages that follow, they reflect in turn on the impact that Hope had on them. For Q&A interviews that share more about each and why they do what they do, please visit the college online.

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Anysie Ishimwe ’16

Rwanda Country Manager, Genesis Energy Holdings

“Beyond specific skills, I believe the liberal arts education instilled in me the curiosity to learn about the world and to critically think through various issues, and to adapt that thinking to new problems every day.

“My time at Hope also bolstered my faith in God and instilled in me the values of shining the light of Christ wherever I find myself on the globe. Seeing godly values exemplified in different leaders at Hope has shaped how I lead daily.”

Divya Dhaliwal ’14

Marketing and Strategy Partner, Growth Specialist

“The academic rigor and the Christian value pillars demonstrated by the faculty, staff and student body were critical in showing me that through each career move, each interaction, we have the opportunity to show up as wholesome beings. Not only have the values that were reinforced throughout my college experience made me more successful at differentiating myself and advancing my career, but they have (more importantly) taught me the importance of humility, servant leadership, and compassion.”

Jim DelBene ’12

Scientific Support Analyst

“Courses outside of my major…were essential for me to learn how to process new information on various topics and confront complex issues. Practicing these skills throughout my Hope education strengthened my understanding of the ‘big picture’ and made me more aware of diverse perspectives that can often conflict with each other.

“Beyond the classroom, my Hope education introduced me to a small, interconnected community that valued and supported the strengths of individuals. Hope has shaped me as an individual capable of working towards a larger cause.”

Karly M. Murphy, PhD. ’11

Postdoctoral Fellow at Wake Forest Baptist Comprehensive Cancer Center

“In my current role I conduct research focused on developing and implementing interventions to improve quality of life in cancer patients and survivors. Though my career is secular in nature, my faith is an important driving factor in the meaningful work I do, and I seek to be an ‘agent of hope’ in each of my interactions with coworkers and patients.”

Natalie Brown ’17

Writer and Speaker

“Hope challenged me to think critically, but more than that, it taught me how to do so with grace. Because of this, I now aim to enter every situation (both personal and professional) with a mindset that is open, honest, and optimistic. With this perspective fueling my writing and creative endeavors, I have been able to tell stories that challenge narratives and inspire greater hope.”

Palmer D’Orazio ’16

UX Designer and Researcher

“Hope never forced me to choose a single discipline, and I was constantly challenged to bring the liberal arts into each class. So how could I choose a single job? I finally realized that I wanted this freedom in my career, and Hope gave me the tools to make it possible. The sheer breadth of my experience at Hope, made possible by understanding faculty and an encouraging environment, prepared me to succeed.”

Larissa Fall ’14

Operations Coordinator for the Grand Rapids Symphony

“My education at Hope, rooted in the Christian faith, gave me the tools and strength to move forward as a musician and leader. With a high level of one-on-one instruction with my violin professor and a liberal arts education, I believe I gained valuable skills for the workplace. I learned the importance of seeking advice, hard work, planning ahead, patience, endurance, and courage.”

Brandon Siakel ’11

Strength and Conditioning Coach for the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee

“I consider Hope College as having one of the best exercise science departments in the world. It was not merely the curriculum. It was and is the passionate people/professors who are teaching the curriculum in a way that best resonates with the students. Teaching in a way that allows for struggle and challenge to occur all while having an open door policy. Teaching in a way that treats students with respect and most importantly shows that they are cared for.”

Emery Max ’12

Research and Development / Partner at Paragon Fitwear

“My experience at Hope impacted my life profoundly by stimulating my curiosity and providing the tools to satisfy it, and then by influencing the two biggest education and career moves I’ve made.

“Hope challenged me academically and intellectually – I had good classes with great professors who pushed me to push myself, and encouraged me to push others. It was an environment that nurtured my brain, stimulating me to think critically about the world around me and how I fit in it. I became more and more curious, and fell in love with research and the process of discovery.”

Molly Greenfield Skawski ’15

Foster Care Program Supervisor, Children’s Home & Aid

“It was the pouring in from faculty, staff, chaplains, and coaches that I received at Hope College that prepared me to go into the world and pour out. The love and belonging that I experienced at Hope is what I have the opportunity to extend to children and families in a broken foster care system. My Hope experience connected me with my ‘why’, and because of that ‘why’, I can stave off burnout in a field ripe with burnout, and use my position and my writing to advocate for, and work towards, a more just foster care system – one which can and must achieve better outcomes for the children and families caught inside of it. Hope has taught me how to ask ‘how can we do this better for those that we serve?’ and to then get to work in a spirit of faith and gratitude.”