posted June 27, 2006

Susan Mooy Cherup Appointed to Sonneveldt Chair

Susan Mooy Cherup of the Hope College faculty has been appointed to the college's Arnold and Esther Sonneveldt Endowed Professorship in Education.

The chair, first held in 1998, is designated for a member of the education faculty who is an outstanding teacher and demonstrates a commitment to the Christian faith and to preparing young people for the field of education. The chair was established in the Sonneveldts' honor by their family. It was originally and previously held by Dr. Leslie Wessman, who has retired from the college's education faculty.

In addition to recognizing faculty members for excellence, endowed chairs provide funding for summer research projects as well as some salary support.  The college has a total of 16 endowed chairs for faculty.

Arnold and Esther Sonneveldt were leaders in the bakery business in West Michigan and dedicated church leaders in the Reformed Church in America, the college's parent denomination.  They have four children, all of whom attended Hope:  Nancy, Cindy, Susan and Robert.

The Sonneveldt family founded Crescent Bakery in Grand Rapids in 1906.  Crescent soon became Buttercup Bakeries, which in the 1980s became Arnie's bakeries and restaurants.

Cherup has been a member of the Hope faculty since 1976. Her areas of expertise are special education and technology integration.

The courses she teaches at Hope include "Exceptional Child," "Classroom and Behavior Management in Special Education," and "Computers and Technology in Special Education." She was also instrumental in implementing the college's May Term Native American Studies program on the Rosebud Indian Reservation in South Dakota and has led groups there for the past 15 years. She previously took May Term groups to the Rio Grande Valley in Texas for seven years.

Following a 1993 sabbatical during which she traveled some 15,000 miles to investigate how schools around the country used technology in the classroom, Cherup played a leadership role in blending technology into the Hope department's instruction. In 2002, the department received one of only six "Distinguished Achievement Awards" nationwide from the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) for "exhibiting exemplary models" for integrating the society's "National Educational Technology Standards" for Teachers. Her publications include the chapter "Technology Integration" included in the 2004 book "Finding our way: Teacher education reform in the liberal arts setting," which was written by the department of education at Hope.

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. In 1999 she was named a recipient of the college's "Provost's Award for Excellence in Teaching."

Cherup is a 1964 Hope graduate. She holds a master's degree from Western Michigan University.