Campus Scene


Hope has enrolled a record number of students entering college for the first time, contributing to a third consecutive year with an increase in the college’s overall headcount.

A total of 955 first-time college students joined Hope this fall, topping the previous record of 904 set in the fall of 2012 (2021’s total was 848). Hope also garnered 50 transfer students.

Total enrollment this year is 3,251 students. The previous record was 3,407 students in the fall of 2016. Hope had enrolled 3,133 students in 2021, 3,060 in the fall of 2020 and 3,057 in the fall of 2019.

The students hail from 41 states and the District of Columbia, and 36 foreign countries.


Headshot of Dr. Heidi Kraus

Dr. Heidi Kraus of the art and art history faculty has been appointed associate provost for academic affairs.

Kraus, who joined the Hope faculty in 2012, is an associate professor of art and art history, and is an active scholar in addition to teaching. She previously served in multiple leadership positions at the college, including as chair of the Department of Art and Art History, director of the De Pree Gallery and director of global learning.


Headshots of Dr. Kelly Ronald and chemist Dr. Natalia Gonzalez-Pech

As of 2020, the world has lost an estimated two-thirds of its mammal, bird, reptile and insect populations. This extreme loss of biodiversity is widely considered a sixth mass extinction event. With the global bird population estimated to have declined by 3 billion since the 1970s, two Hope professors have received a grant from the National Science Foundation for their research seeking to better understand why.

The NSF has awarded biologist Dr. Kelly Ronald and chemist Dr. Natalia Gonzalez-Pech more than $500,000 through a three-year grant for their interdisciplinary study of how house sparrows are affected by a specific type of air pollution: iron oxide nanoparticles (IONPs) — floating bits of iron generated by the iron and steel industries that are so small that a standard microscope cannot see them.


The sophomore Class of ’25 and the freshman Class of ’26 each earned a win during this fall’s two traditional student contests.

The freshmen gained 62 feet, 10 inches of rope to win the Pull tug-of-war, held on Saturday, Oct. 1, along the south side of 11th Street between Lincoln and Fairbanks Avenues. It was the college’s 125th year with the event.

The sophomores won the 88th Nykerk Cup competition, held on Saturday, Oct. 15, at the Richard and Helen DeVos Fieldhouse and featuring members of the two classes presenting songs, plays and oration.

Galleries of photographs from both events are available online.


Headshot of Susan Ipri Brown

Susan Ipri Brown, associate dean for educational outreach (including as director of ExploreHope) and associate professor of engineering, has been elected to the Board of Governors of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.

ASME helps the global engineering community develop solutions to real world challenges, and has more than 85,000 members worldwide. She is serving a three-year term on ASME’s board that began on July 1 and will continue through June of 2025.


Dr. Sarah Estelle with Camryn Zeller

Dr. Sarah Estelle of the economics faculty has conducted a state-by-state examination of religious liberty in the U.S. that provides concrete data online for anyone anywhere interested in how free exercise is legally safeguarded — or not safeguarded — across the country.

The study, which she conducted with Camryn Zeller ’21, rates each of the 50 states via a percentage reflecting its legal protections of freedom of religion, and was commissioned by the Center for Religion, Culture & Democracy. The scores are built on how each state fares in 11 different categories — like safeguards for absentee voting based on religious conviction, or provisions allowing healthcare providers to refuse to provide abortions — that can be measured quantifiably.


John Templeton Foundation logo with the tagline Inspiring Awe & Wonder

At a time when differences of opinion seem increasingly difficult to overcome, Dr. Daryl Van Tongeren of the psychology faculty is part of an effort to find a solution.

He is a co-principal investigator — part of a leadership team with colleagues from three research universities — for “Applied Research on Intellectual Humility: A Request for Proposals,” which has received a $6 million grant from The John Templeton Foundation. The four-year initiative will provide funding through sub-grants for researchers to explore what leads some people to be willing to accept that they might be wrong, or at least that they may need to revise their views.


Headshot of Dr. Marissa Doshi

Dr. Marissa Doshi, associate professor of communication, has received the Early Career Award from the Ethnography Division of the National Communication Association.

The award is designated for members of the Ethnography Division who received their most recent degree within the past 10 years, with Doshi recognized for her record of research as well as her teaching and service work. She was honored on Saturday, Nov. 19, during the NCA Annual Convention in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Doshi joined the Hope faculty in 2014, the same year that she completed her doctorate in communication at Texas A&M University. Her research draws on feminist perspectives to examine the creative and cultural dimensions of media and technology use. Her secondary research interests include intercultural communication and issues of representation in mass media.


Headshot of Dr. Erika Calvo-Ochoa

Dr. Erika Calvo-Ochoa, assistant professor of biology and neuroscience, has received a Rising Stars Award from the International Brain Research Organization (IBRO).

The awards support the research needs of early career neuroscience faculty from diverse and/or underrepresented backgrounds. Calvo-Ochoa, who is originally from Mexico, joined the Hope faculty in 2020. She will use the award in support of her research on neural regeneration in the olfactory system — which is responsible for the sense of smell — of adult zebrafish. With this research, she aims to understand the processes that enable olfactory recovery following brain trauma.


Trio Upward Bound logo

The new, five-year, $437,006 grant to Hope College TRIO Upward Bound from the U.S. Department of Education earlier this year continued a streak unbroken since the Hope program began in 1968.

Hope College TRIO Upward Bound seeks to generate the skills and motivation necessary for success in education beyond high school among students from low-income and first-generation families who have the potential to pursue a college education but may lack adequate preparation or support. It is the longest-running Upward Bound program at a private college in the country, and has received federal funding through the U.S. Department of Education for its entire 54 years. It currently enrolls 92 students each year from the Holland, West Ottawa and Fennville school districts.


Headshot of Adam Peckens

Adam Peckens, who is laboratory director of engineering, has received the national 2022 Peter J. Bosscher Faculty Advisor Award for Outstanding Leadership from Engineers Without Borders-USA.

The award, which was presented to Peckens on Saturday, Oct. 8, during the 2022 EWB-USA Conference, recognizes advisors who provide exceptional support and mentorship to their student chapter. Peckens has been a mentor of the Hope chapter since joining the college’s staff in 2014 and became advisor in 2018. Across the eight years, he has led the group through two international projects.

EWB-USA partners with communities around the world to meet their basic human needs, and has almost 300 chapters across the United States. Hope’s chapter was established in 2005.


Headshot of Jeremy Barney

Jeremy Barney, who is assistant librarian for metadata and digital collections with the Van Wylen Library, has been named the 2022 Academic Librarian of the Year by the Michigan Academic Library Association (MiALA).

The award recognizes the outstanding accomplishments of an MiALA member and their contributions to their institution and academic libraries within the 2021-22 academic year. Barney, a member of the Hope staff since 2016, received the recognition on Wednesday, Oct. 19, during the 2022 Annual Conference of the Michigan Library Association, held in Port Huron.