posted January 7, 2002

Annual Recognition Luncheon Honors Faculty

Hope College presented awards honoring teaching, service and scholarship to six faculty during the college's annual recognition luncheon on Monday, Jan. 7.

Dr. Barry L. Bandstra and Dr. Herbert L. Dershem received the college's "Provost's Awards for Excellence in Teaching."

Dr. Lorna Hernandez Jarvis received the "Ruth and John Reed Faculty Achievement Award."

Dr. Susan Atefat Peckham was named a "Towsley Research Scholar."

Dr. Miguel De La Torre received a research award from the Faculty Faith and Learning Fund.

Dr. Jesse Montaño was awarded a "Sluyter Fellowship" for research.

The Provost's Award for Excellence in Teaching is presented to faculty members who have been teaching at Hope for at least seven years. The award is given to professors who have demonstrated recognizable excellence in specific activities or aspects of teaching.

Bandstra is a professor of religion and chair of the department, and has been a member of the Hope faculty since 1983. He has long used the computer in teaching his discipline, and has helped colleagues from a variety of departments do the same. In 1989, he received one of only 12 Apple Computer Courseware Development Grants awarded to the Consortium of Liberal Arts Colleges (CLAC), in support of his development of an interactive "InterText" program for use by students studying the Bible. For many years, he has also taught the college's May Term course in Israel, Jordan and Egypt.

Dershem is a professor of computer science and chair of the department, and has been at Hope since 1969. He was commended for his leadership in fostering a vital atmosphere of student-faculty research in computer science at Hope. He has coordinated the department's National Science Foundation-funded "Research Experiences for Undergraduates" (NSF-REU) program since 1992, and has mentored numerous Hope students as co-investigators in his own research work. He was correspondingly cited for his enthusiasm for his discipline and his teaching, and for his availability to students and colleagues alike.

The Ruth and John Reed Faculty Achievement Award recognizes a member of the Hope faculty who is a superior teacher and has also contributed significantly in some other area of professional life. The award was established in memory of Dr. Ruth Yzenbaard Reed, a 1965 Hope graduate who was associate dean of Macomb Community College. Reed died in August of 1999 at age 55.

Hernandez Jarvis, an associate professor of psychology, was recognized for her advocacy of multi- cultural awareness. She was a member of the task force that developed the college's cultural diversity general education requirement, and was one of the first faculty to teach the college's "Encounter with Cultures" course. Her numerous activities outside the classroom have included initiating the college's Latina film series. She has been a member of the Hope faculty since 1993.

The Towsley Research Scholars Program is funded through an endowment made possible through a grant from the Harry A. and Margaret D. Towsley Foundation of Midland. Through the program, newer Hope faculty members receive support for a project for four years. The foundation's awards to the college have also included grants for the construction of the Van Wylen Library and the new science center, faculty development in the pre-medical sciences and support for an endowed chair in communication.

Atefat Peckham is an assistant professor of English. In 2000, she received a National Poetry Series award for her poetry book, "That Kind of Sleep." She was born first-generation American to Iranian parents, and explores themes related to her experience as an American of Middle Eastern descent and of the presentation of those in the Middle East. Her projects will include a second book of poetry, a second book of nonfiction/memoir, an anthology that will include more than 20 authors, and a series of scholarly volumes on Middle Eastern American writing. She has been at Hope since 1999.

The Faculty Faith and Learning Fund is a new endowment at the college that provides support to help members of Hope's faculty link faith and scholarship. Emphases include interaction with students and integration with research.

De La Torre is an assistant professor of religion. His doctoral dissertation was on Cuban religiousity. His publications include the books "Introducing Latino/a Theology," published in 2001, and the forthcoming "Reading the Bible from the Margins" and "The Quest for the Cuban Christ." With the support of the faculty fund grant, he will work on four additional books: an introductory book on the Santeria religion, an examination of Christian ethics in Miami's Cuban community, a handbook on U.S. theologies of liberation, and a re-examination of Latino/a religion and identity given changes in the social location of Hispanics. He has been at Hope since 1999.

The Sluyter Fellowship provides newer Hope faculty members with on-going support for a research project. The fellowship is funded through the Margaret Sluyter Endowment, given to Hope by the late Margaret E. Sluyter. Sluyter and her husband, the late Howard R. Sluyter, also established the college's Howard R. and Margaret E. Sluyter Professorship of Art and Design. Howard R. Sluyter graduated from Hope in 1928 and had a career in business, serving as one of the college's Trustees from 1971 to 1986. Margaret E. Sluyter had a life-long interest and involvement in interior design.

Montaño is an assistant professor of English, and has been a member of the Hope faculty since 1999. His teaching has included the upper-level English courses "Latina/o Experiences," "The Latina/o Novel" and "Literature of Our Americas," and the interdisciplinary courses "The Other in the Ancient, Classical, and Medieval Worlds" and "Encounter with Cultures." Through the fellowship, he will explore Chicano issues and ethnicity by examining Chicano literature for children and young adults.