posted January 8, 2007

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. 8.

The "Janet L. Andersen Excellence in Teaching Awards" were presented to Dr. Edward Hansen, professor of geology and environmental science, and Dr. John Krupczak Jr., associate professor of engineering.

The "Ruth and John Reed Faculty Achievement Awards" were presented to Dr. Christopher Barney, who is the T. Elliott Weier Professor of Biology, and Dr. James Herrick, who is the Guy VanderJagt Professor of Communication.

Named a "Towsley Research Scholar" was Dr. Aaron Best, assistant professor of biology.

The "Provost's Award for Service to the Academic Program" was presented to Carol DeJong, associate registrar, and Dr. Caroline Simon, professor of philosophy and director of general education and interdisciplinary studies.

The Janet L. Andersen Excellence in Teaching Awards are presented to faculty members who have been teaching at Hope for at least seven years and who have demonstrated recognizable excellence in specific activities or aspects of teaching. The award is named 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, 2005.

Hansen has been a member of the Hope faculty since 1984 and recently completed a year as president of the Michigan Academy of Science, Arts, and Letters. He was recognized for his excellence in field-based teaching, which has included exploring the geology of West Michigan as well as sites such as Death Valley and coastal California, and the mountains of Tennessee. Hope students are actively involved in his research program, which since 1998 has focused on the sand dunes of the Lake Michigan coast.

Krupczak has been a member of the Hope faculty since 1994. He was recognized for developing and teaching the popular beginning-level course "Science and Technology of Everyday Life," in which students learn about the science behind the objects they use daily, including by building items ranging from radios to keyboards themselves. He first offered he course in the spring of 1995, and subsequently modified it, working with a team of student researchers, with support from the National Science Foundation.

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.

Barney has been a member of the Hope faculty since 1980, and was appointed to his endowed chair in 2001. His research interest is in regulatory physiology, currently focused on heat acclimation and water balance and temperature regulation. He has received numerous external grants and written more than 50 articles for professional journals, and has involved more than 70 Hope students in collaborative research during both the school year and summer.

Herrick has been a member of the Hope faculty since 1984, and was appointed to his endowed chair in 2002. His research and teaching specialties are argumentation and rhetoric. Active in professional associations, he is the author of numerous articles that have appeared in scholarly and popular publications as well as five books, including, most recently, "The Making of the New Spirituality: The Eclipse of the Western Religious Tradition."

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 Schaap Science Center, faculty development in the pre-medical sciences and support for an endowed chair in communication.

Best has been a member of the Hope faculty since 2004. His primary research interest is in understanding the evolution of fundamental cellular systems and how microorganisms function at a systems level. Through his project, "A Systems Biology Approach to Unravel the Complexities of Microbial Life," he will develop computer software for modeling the way that microbes behave, and will test the models and gain additional understanding of the behavior through laboratory experiments. His focus will be on a microbe called "Shewanella oneidensis," which can potentially be used in cleaning toxic waste.

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.

DeJong has been a member of the Hope staff since 1988. The registrar's office maintains the academic records of current and former Hope students, and coordinates course scheduling and enrollment. DeJong was recognized in particular for implementing the college's computerized system for monitoring students' academic progress and tracking the requirements of the general education and major programs, which has reduced paperwork campuswide and simplified access to the information for both students and their academic advisors.

Simon has been a member of the Hope faculty since 1988. In addition to her ongoing responsibilities in teaching, general education and interdisciplinary studies, her contributions through the years have included leading portions of the college's faculty mentoring program, chairing the department of philosophy, serving as faculty moderator, to serving as a faculty representative to the college's Board of Trustees. She has written extensively on issues surrounding Christianity and higher education, and was lead author of the book "Mentoring for Mission: Nurturing New Faculty at Church-Related Colleges."