posted January 9, 2006

Hope Presents Awards to Faculty

Hope College presented awards honoring teaching, service and scholarship to multiple faculty members during the college's annual recognition luncheon on Monday, Jan. 9.

The "Janet L. Andersen Excellence in Teaching Awards" were presented to Dr. Steven Hoogerwerf, associate professor of religion, and Dr. Kathy Winnett-Murray, professor of biology. Previously known as the "Provost's Award for Excellence in Teaching," the recognition has been renamed in memory of Dr. Janet Andersen, a professor of mathematics at Hope who died of injuries sustained in an automobile accident on Thursday, Nov. 24.

The "Ruth and John Reed Faculty Achievement Awards" were presented to Linda Dykstra, associate professor of music, and Dr. Margaret Kennedy-Dygas, professor of music and chairperson of the department.

Named a "Towsley Research Scholar" was Dr. Isolde Anderson, assistant professor of communication.

The "Provost's Award for Service to the Academic Program" was presented to Cheryl Schairer, administrative assistant to the dean for the social sciences and director of teacher certification.

The Provost's Awards for Excellence in Teaching, now called the Janet L. Andersen Excellence in Teaching Awards, are 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.

Hoogerwerf has been a member of the Hope faculty since 1992. A specialist in Christian ethics, he developed the Senior Seminar "What Really Matters" and among other courses has also taught the Senior Seminars "Medicine and Morals," and "Vocation and Health Care." He was a member of the Hope committee that drafted the successfully funded grant proposal that led to the establishment of the college's CrossRoads Project for the theological exploration of vocation during the 2003-04 school year. He regularly accompanies Hope spring break mission trip groups as a support person.

Winnett-Murray has taught a variety of courses, including currently "Vertebrate Zoology," "Animal Behavior," "Populations in Changing Environments," "Comparative Anatomy" and "Independent Zoology." She is a specialist in tropical ecology, and with her husband, fellow Hope biologist Dr. K. Gregory Murray, involves students in research both on campus and in Costa Rica. She currently directs the college's Hughes Science Education Scholars Program, and co-led a local of edition of the National Science Foundation-funded program "SYEFEST: Schoolyard Ecology for Elementary School Teachers." In 1998 she was named the "Michigan College Science Teacher of the Year" by the Michigan Science Teachers Association.

The Ruth and John Reed Faculty Achievement Awards recognize members of the Hope faculty who are superior teachers and have 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.

Dykstra and Kennedy-Dygas were honored jointly for their contributions to the voice program at the college. Both joined the faculty in 1997, and have each created new courses in voice at Hope and have together emphasized participation in the student auditions of the National Association of Teachers of Singing. Dykstra co-created the Musical Theatre Workshop with John Tammi of the Hope theatre faculty, developing a new emphasis in musical theatre, while Kennedy-Dygas has revitalized the Opera Workshop program as part of the college's curriculum.

Dykstra is currently chair of the voice area at the college, a position she also held in the fall of 2003. Her research focus is on vocology, an interdisciplinary combination of voice teaching, voice therapy and voice science. Prior to coming to Hope she taught private voice students as well as at the University of Maryland Baltimore County and Loyola College. Her CD "Treasures: Little-Known Songs by Women Composers" was released in 2002.

Kennedy-Dygas chaired the voice area prior to becoming chairperson of the department of music in the fall. Prior to coming to Hope she taught at the University of Nebraska Lincoln School of Music. She is the editor and chief author of "VoxBook," an online interactive "textbook" that features not only information about composers and their works but also printed musical scores and recordings of the songs themselves.

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.

Isolde Anderson has been a member of the Hope faculty since 2003, and previously taught at Northwestern University while completing her doctorate in communication. She is also an ordained minister in the Evangelical Covenant Church, and from 1981 through 2003 held pastorates in Maine, Illinois and Massachusetts. She will use the award for a study of Internet community. She will focus on CaringBridge, a service that provides personalized Web pages for individuals and families going through an adoption, hospice care, birth, hospitalization or other type of care situation, and will examine both why people choose to use the site and how they use it to construct an identity and make sense of their experiences.

The Provost's Award for Service to the Academic Program is presented to individuals who have provided special contributions to the academic program through student academic support, general education, assessment work, implementation of programs that support/enhance the curriculum, and any activity outside of formal teaching that contributes to the overall excellence of the academic program.

Schairer joined the Hope staff in 1977. Through her work with the department of education, she also serves as assistant to the director of student teaching. Among other responsibilities, she secures field placements for the college's secondary-level student teachers, and also works with current students and graduates in the teacher-certification process with the Michigan Department of Education.