posted January 11, 1999

Provost's Award Honors Two Professors for Teaching Excellence

Susan M. Cherup and William F. Polik of the Hope College faculty have been named recipients of the college's "Provost's Award for Excellence in Teaching."

          The awards were announced during the college's
  annual Faculty Recognition Luncheon, held on Monday, Jan.
  11.  Cherup is a professor of education, and Polik is an
  associate professor of chemistry.
          "We had again this year many excellent candidates
  for the Provost's Award for Excellence in Teaching, so it
  was a challenging decision," said Dr. Jacob E. Nyenhuis,
  provost at Hope.
          "Interestingly enough, the two people selected
  this year have both been very involved in infusing
  electronic technology into the classroom," he said.
  "Although that was not the criterion for the award, it does
  happen that the two of them have been engaged in work that
  has benefitted not only students in their classes but has
  had a much broader impact.  And the breadth of the impact of
  their work is one of the considerations."
          Cherup spent a 1993 sabbatical traveling some
  15,000 miles to investigate how schools around the country
  are using technology in the classroom.  She has subsequently
  played a leadership role in blending technology into her
  department's instruction, such as the use of PowerPoint and
  HyperStudio by Hope education students.
          She has been a member of the Hope faculty since
  1976.  She specializes in courses that emphasize children
  with unique needs, and this year is teaching classes
  including "Exceptional Child," "Classroom and Behavior
  Management:  Learning Disabilities/Emotionally Impaired,"
  "Instructional Design:  Elementary and Middle School
  L.D./E.I.," and "Field Experience:  Elementary and Middle
  School" concerning children who have learning disabilities
  or are emotionally impaired.
          Cherup has also been instrumental in implementing
  the college's May Term Native American Studies program on
  the Rosebud Indian Reservation in South Dakota.
          She was voted the co-recipient of the college's
  "Hope Outstanding Professor Educator" (H.O.P.E.) Award in
  1988 by that year's graduating class.  In 1989, she
  delivered the college's Commencement address.
          Cherup is a 1964 Hope graduate.  She holds a
  master's degree from Western Michigan University.
          Polik collaborated with Hope senior Kevin Paulisse
  of Grandville in developing "Discus," web-based discussion
  board program that debuted in 1997.  "Discus" is used not
  only in chemistry but in several other disciplines at the
  college as well, and there are more than 3,000 installations
  of the program on the Internet worldwide.
          Polik maintains an active research program as a
  chemist, involving students extensively in the work.  Since
  joining the Hope faculty in 1988, he has involved more than
  40 students in research projects, resulting in seven
  refereed publications with 16 student co-authors, 24 off-
  campus regional and national student presentations, and
  numerous on-campus seminar and poster presentations.
          During the current school year, the courses he is
  teaching include "General Chemistry I," "Physical Chemistry
  II," "Structure, Dynamics, and Synthesis II," in addition to
  laboratory sections.
          Polik received one of only 16 prestigious
  "Presidential Young Investigator Awards" in chemistry in
  1991 from the National Science Foundation (NSF).  The five-
  year, $500,000 award supported his research into the use of
  lasers in chemistry.
          He graduated from Dartmouth University in 1982.
  He holds a doctorate from the University of California,