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Alumni Profiles:

Mlungisi Sisulu * Craig Morford * Pete Hoekstra
Terri Lynn Land * Scott Carpenter * Rev. Eugene Sutton


Class of 2013 * Class of 2012 * Class of 2011 *

Class of 2010 * Class of 2009 * Class of 2008 * Class of 2007 *

Class of 2006 * Class of 2005 * Class of 2004 * Class of 2003 *

Many Hope College graduates have gone on to great success in the
world of government or politics. Though most of them studied
political science while at Hope, other graduates discovered their
passion and calling later in life. Here are a few of their stories:

Mlungisi Sisulu
Class of 1998
former South African diplomat

In 1999, a year after graduating from Hope with a degree in political science, Mlungisi joined the Department of Foreign Affairs in South Africa. He began his work as the First Secretary in the South African Embassy in Prague, Czech Republic. In 2005, he started his work as the First Secretary in the South African Embassy in Khartoum, Sudan, where it is believed that he contracted the cerebral malaria that led to his untimely death. While at Hope, Mlungisi was involved in Model UN, and Inquiring Minds, as well as International Education activities. He was named to the Dean's List for eight consecutive semesters.

Of his death, Minister of Foreign Affairs Dlamini Zuma states "During his tenure in the department of Foreign Affairs, Mlungisi served the department and indeed the country with diligence, professionalism, loyalty and great dedication. Accordingly the death of Mlungisi Sisulu leaves the Department of Foreign Affairs and indeed our country poorer in our efforts to consolidate the African agenda."

Mlungisi is also the grandson of Walter and Albertina Sisulu, leaders of the anti-apartheid African National Congress and mentor to Nelson Mandela.

Craig Morford
Class of 1981
Acting Deputy Attorney General

On July 18 2007, Craig Morford was named by President Bush to serve as the Acting Deputy Attorney General, the second-highest position in the U.S. Department of Justice. Morford's appointment was the latest honor in his 20-year career as a U.S. attorney. He has gained recognition for successfully prosecuting both mob bosses and corrupt public officials, including the conviction of Rep. James Traficant in 2002 on bribery charges.

Morford was an economics major, a member of the Cosmopolitan fraternity at Hope, a participant in the Washington Honors Semester, and after graduation attended Law School at the University of Valparaiso. He first got his start as a trial attorney with the IRS, then worked for the Department of Justice's Organized Crime Strike Force from 1987-1990. He spent the next 16 years with the U.S. attorney's office in Cleveland.

After his distinguished handling of the Traficant case in Ohio, Morford was asked in 2004 to lead the internal investigation of a mismanaged terrorism case in Detroit. Ultimately, Morford recommended that the case be dismissed, a difficult choice for which he was praised by then Deputy Attorney General James Comey as "smart, careful, fair, decent and funny. He cares passionately about achieving justice, which is more than just winning. He is one of the good guys, and the people of the United States are lucky to have him as one of their lawyers" (quoted in the Detroit News on Wednesday March 9, 2005).

Morford was noted by his then boss, U.S. Attorney Greg White in Cleveland, as someone who can be counted on "to do the right thing." While maintaining his career, Craig has remained active in his church, and leads a strong family life. He was also instrumental in government outreach efforts to the American Muslim community after 9/11 and the USA PATRIOT Act. His appointment to the high rank of Acting Deputy Attorney General provides yet another set of challenging circumstances, but this simple philosophy of doing the right thing will get him through it all.

Pete Hoekstra
Class of 1975
Former United States Representative

Though a member of Congress for over 15 years and a candidate for U.S. Senator of Michigan in 2012, Pete Hoekstra can never run for President. This Hope College graduate was born in the Netherlands and came to America with his family at the age of three. This makes him one of the few members of Congress that were born outside of the United States, and thus ineligible to be President.

Nonetheless, Hoekstra has enjoyed remarkable success since graduating Hope in 1975 with a political science degree. He first earned his M.B.A. from the University of Michigan, and worked at Herman Miller as a marketing executive for 25 years. In 1992, Hoekstra challenged longtime Congressman Guy Vander Jagt (a fellow Hope alum) in the Republican primary, and won on a grassroots campaign.

Since being elected, Hoekstra primarily served on the Education and Transportation committees. In 2004, he was named Chairman of the House Select Committee on Intelligence, an influential position in this time of the war on terror that has taken him around the globe and to Iraq several times.

Hoekstra has appeared on numerous television shows such as "Meet the Press", CBS Evening News, and NBC’s "Dateline"; and also has written pieces published in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and The Washington Times. However, he still finds time to regularly visit his alma mater to speak to classes and deliver speeches. Many Hope students have served on his campaigns and worked as interns in either his Holland or Washington, D.C. offices.

Terri Lynn Land
Class of 1981
Former Michigan Secretary of State and Current National Michigan Committeewoman for the Republican National Committee

As Michigan Secretary of State, Terri Lynn Land was responsible for most of the day-to-day interaction that citizens have with their government. Since being elected to her position in 2002, Secretary Land has focused on providing quality customer service for those seeking to renew their Michigan vehicle registrations or driver's licenses, to name a few of the services that her office provides.

Land graduated from Hope College in 1981 with a degree in political science, a choice that had already been made in her mind after extensive political involvement back in high school (she was one of the youngest attendees at Michigan's 1978 Republican state convention). To this day, Land notes that opportunities such as the Hope Republicans and campaign internships were crucial in molding her to what she has become today.

Land's career path began with the Allegan, Ottawa, and Kent County Republican organizations, respectively. From 1992 until 2000, she served as Kent County Clerk, overseeing a period of great changes in Michigan's 4th largest county.

In her former statewide role, Land re-organized the branch office structure, expanded Internet and ATM-style service options, and implemented new voting systems to ensure that elections are accessible for people with disabilities. In recognition of her work, she was named as one of Government Technology magazine's "Top 25 Doers, Dreamers and Drivers" for 2005. Land was also mentioned by some as a possible candidate for governor of Michigan in 2010.

J. Scott Carpenter
Class of 1987
Deputy Assistant Secretary to
U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs

In his October 2005 presentation at the dedication of the Martha Miller Center, Scott Carpenter compared his life's journeys to those of Bilbo and Frodo Baggins, saying that his travels have "taken me far from
my own comfort zone to worlds far away
and dangerous, where I’ve found myself in
strange and wonderful places."

To illustrate, Carpenter told the story of being one of only three Americans who met with former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein immediately after he was captured. At the time, he was working for the Coalition Provisional Authority, helping to smooth the transition to Iraqi self-governance. He also assisted in the drafting of the interim Iraqi constitution, and the formation of the Iraqi Governing Council and the first post-Saddam cabinet.

Carpenter's experiences before working in Iraq were just as significant. While a student at Hope, he participated in the Washington Honors Semester, which he identifies as an important influence upon his future. Carpenter graduated in 1987 with triple majors in political science, French, and history. He then served as a teacher first in China, where he witnessed the 1989 student-led democracy protests in Tiananmen Square, and later in Hungary.

Returning to the United States, Carpenter worked for a time in Congress as a press secretary and legislative aide before earning advanced degrees in economics and European studies from Johns Hopkins University. In the mid-1990s, he traveled with the International Republican Institute to help organize the first fully democratic elections in Bulgaria after the end of the Cold War.

Now, Carpenter works for the Department of State overseeing several initiatives that aim to promote democracy in the Middle East. It's an enormous task that he relishes, and one that may lead him to more yet-unkown places. As Carpenter said, "God has launched me like an arrow that has no idea of what the target is – and that is completely okay with me.”

Rev. Eugene Sutton
Class of 1976
Episcopal Archdiocese of Maryland

Canon Pastor,
Washington National Cathedral

In March of 2008, Rev. Eugene Sutton was elected as the 14th bishop of Maryland, the first African-American to lead the diocese in its 227-year history.

Sutton graduated from Hope with a composite degree in international relations, although it wasn't long before he knew that he was called to work in the ministry.

As the designated pastor of prayer and pilgrimage at the National Cathedral, America's "National House of Prayer", Rev. Sutton has had the opportunity to meet with and guide many of our national leaders in their spiritual walks. After 9/11, he worked with the White House to organize the national prayer service that was seen across the world.

Rev. Sutton's work in the ministry has seen him serve Episcopal churches in New Jersey and Washington, D.C., pastor the Covenant Community Reformed Church in Muskegon Heights, and teach on the faculty of several seminaries across the country. In addition, he has authored several publications, organized many conferences and seminars, led pilgrimages to Rome, South Africa, and France, and fulfilled numerous speaking engagements, including Hope's 2003 Baccalaureate address. Rev. Sutton views all of his professional experiences as equally significant because they have all served to help people.

Among the thousands of graduates of Hope's political science program, Rev. Sutton's career path has been unique, but he gives much credit to his college experience:

"Hope College prepared me well for a variety of jobs in teaching, administration, and the pastoral ministry. A liberal arts education exposes you to many areas of inquiry. It enables you to hold knowledgeable conversations with a wide range of people, and that has been extremely helpful in my preaching.

"A lot of people have the purposes of education skewed. The purpose of a college education is not to prepare you for a job — jobs come and go. The purpose of a liberal arts education is to prepare you for life, and your life is a much larger subject than your job.”

November 29, 2013

Jonathan Snavely ’13 honored for public service

Hope College graduate Jonathan Snavely has received a prestigious honor for his internships in the U.S. Congress and with the Michigan Department of the Attorney General.

State lawmakers presented Snavely with the Frank M. Fitzgerald Public Service Award.

Above and beyond their activities in government, Fitzgerald scholars are singled out for their excellence in academics, communication and volunteerism. The award is named after a former speaker pro tempore of the Michigan House. Fitzgerald’s widow, Ruth Fitzgerald, and son, John W. Fitzgerald, gave the award to Snavely during a ceremony at the Michigan Capitol.

Snavely interned in Washington D.C. with the U.S. House of Representatives in 2013 and a year earlier served in the attorney general’s division that handles crime victims’ rights.

Snavely is a 2013 graduate of Hope College where he majored in political science.

He is a member of Curriculum Beyond the Classroom, an innovative group formed to connect students with mid-Michigan professionals. Snavely also has worked with underprivileged youngsters at Youth Haven Ranch and served an internship with the Historical Society of Michigan. In 2009, he received the Washington Crossing Foundation Scholarship.

Snavely is now a full-time staff member for Rep. Joseph Haveman, R-Holland, and chair of the Michigan House Appropriations Committee.



Below is a partial list of what some recent graduates are doing with their degrees in political science.


2013 Graduates

  • Anne Hrrison has been admitted into the University of Iowa College of Law.
  • Gretchen Baldwin is working at the Bakavu Youth Action Center in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Brenda Cuellar is an intern with World Relief - Nashville
  • Ryan Millikan is working in Washington, D.C. in the United State Senate
  • Emily Neevel is an Elementary Teacher for Teach for America
  • Kristina Rikkonen is an assistant to Jean Marie Hansen, attorney, P.C. and is helping Hansen and staff to research and write a book on health, wellness and human consciousness.
  • Elena Rivera is a Spanish teacher for Teach for America in New York
  • Hollee Stubenrauch is a Marketing Coordinator with Crossway in Illinois

2012 Graduates

  • Amy Alvine will be an Account Executive for YELP.
  • Evan Beals is a Customer Service Representative at NOVO 1 in Holland.
  • Sasha Burau was admitted into the MBA program at the University of Michigan.
  • Michael Dirksen will be working for AmeriCorps in Holland for a year, then will go to graduate school to get a degree in Comparative Politics.
  • Jack Droppers is Minister of Youth and Teen Evangelism at the Fellowship Reformed Church in Muskegon
  • Taylor Groth was admitted into the International security program at the University of Denver.
  • Samuel Hirt will be working as the Director of Community Relations in his hometown public library for a year, then go to graduate school to get a degree in Fine Arts.
  • Mariana Janbaih is a Human Resources Generalist at the Kellogg Company in Battle Creek
  • Jared Kimber is applying to the State Police Academy and then plans on possibly working for the U.S. Marshalls.
  • Jacob LaViolet works at the Center for International Policy (CIP) in Washington, D.C. as the Office Manager/Intern Coordinator.
  • Travis Martin is a Teacher with Teach for America.
  • Alyssa Shaler is a graduate student in Social Work at Grand Valley State University in Allendale, MI
  • Hanna Varner is an Au pair in Michigan
  • Gina Veltman is a graduate student at the New York University
  • Joshua Wunderlich works with Lutheran World Relief
  • Renee Wynveen completed her first year of graduate studies with the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies in Bologna, Italy, and over the 2013 summer, she has been working with the International Organization for Migration in Dushanbe, Tajikistan.

2011 Graduates

  • Alison Bernard is working as a teacher for Teach for America
  • Amanda Bieri is a graduate student at the Duke Divinity School
  • Alex Boley is working at the Ella Sharp Museum of Art and History
  • Shannon Brenneman is working as a teacher at the City on a Hill
  • Allison Bryan is working with the Government Affairs Team at the MWW Group
  • Laura Grimm Bult is a Legislative Specialist at the Amway Corporation in Washington, D.C.
  • Kathryn Carlton is a Marketing Associate in Product Development at Haworth, Inc.
  • James Colten is working as a Campaigns Assistant at Sojourners
  • Kristen Garrison is a Graduate Student at Georgetown University
  • Kevin Haley is an External Affairs Intern with the Center for American Progress
  • Rylee Hartung is a Special Events Coordinator with the Georgia Aquarium
  • Maria Krebs is a Paralegal Intern in the Felony Division with the Luthran Volunteer Corps
  • Anna Leach is working at the U.S. Department of Education in the Center for Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships.
  • Jana Miller is the Supports Coordinator at the Hope Network
  • Mollie Montgomery is working at the Jolly Pumpkin Brewery in Lake Ann
  • Beverly Newey is a Graduate Student at the Michigan State University College of Law
  • Byron Patton is a 2nd Lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps
  • Jamie Poppema is a Summer Counselor at Cran-Hill Ranch
  • Lacie Rawlings is a graduate student at the University of Haifa
  • Katlyn Rowe is a Student at the Valparaiso School of Law
  • Marcue Regan is a retail associate at Panera Cares
  • Aftan Snyder is an Associate Editor with the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington, D.C.
  • Rachel Syens is a graduate student at Kent State University in Ohio
  • R. Garret Szantner is working with Campus Safety at Hope College
  • Niki Tyner is a Human Resource Generalist with the Kellogg Company in Battle Creek, MI
  • Rachel VanderStelt id a Development Coordinator at the Compass College of Cinematic Arts


2010 Graduates

  • Kenneth Bauman is attending the Michigan State University College of Law
  • Stephanie Bogema is working with Congressman Fred Upton (R-MI)
  • Bethany Braaksma is attending the University of Michigan graduate school in Social Work
  • Shirley Bradley is attending the Mayo Graduate School working on a PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (BMB)
  • Matthew Clark is attending Belmont University Graduate School in Non-Profit Leadership
  • Grace Denny is attending Grand Valley State University Graduate School in Social Work
  • Erin Eddy is teaching
  • Abigail Gowman is attending the Michigan State University College of Law
  • Stephen Hobson is serving in the U.S. Army
  • Michael McAuliffe is attending Marquette University Law School
  • Ethan Morrical is attending medical school in the Indiana University School of Medicine
  • Brooke Quisenberry worked as a legislative assistant with State Rep. Joe Haveman after graduation and is now attending Michigan State University
  • Joseph Rinkinen is attending Bowling Green State University to get a Masters in Business Administration
  • Meghan Scholl is in India working at a school in Nagpur

2009 Graduates

  • Ben Bach is an administrative aid in Senator Tester's office.
  • Sara Aardema attended Loyola University to receive her Masters in Public Policy.
  • Kelli Carrier is attending Michigan State College of Law with a focus in Contract law.
  • Tiffany Fifer received her J.D. from Thomas M. Cooley Law School in May 2013.
  • Brittney Jatzo is attending graduate school at Case Western University in the area of Clinical Social Work Practice
  • Lauren Johnson Maat is attending the London School of Economics and Political Science and working on a masters in Global Politics
  • Andrew Kortesjoa is attending the Grand Valley State University Police Academy.
  • Andrew Lee is working at Kandu Inc. in Holland, MI
  • Andrew Mead is attending Western Theological Seminary to receive his Masters of Divinity.
  • Diego Romero is working as a Spanish teacher in Denver Public Schools and also assisting the University of Colorado at Denver to get his M.A. in Curriculum and Development with an emphasis in Linguistically Diverse students.
  • Katie Wilbur is attending the Loyola University School of Law

2008 Graduates

  • Shannon Craig Straw is the press secretary at the Public Religion Research Institute in Washington, D.C.
  • George Klupchak is teaching with the Alliance for Catholic Education in Phoenix, Arizona.
  • Michael Lausch is working for Senator Debbie Stabenow (MI) in Washington, D.C.
  • Colin Lawrence is teaching English in Japan with the JET Program.
  • Dave Nyitray of Grand Rapids, MI, is the Associate Director with Ready for School.
  • Nicole Schrier is attending the University of Wisconson's law school.
  • Quinn Nystrom is working as a full-time speaker and Diabetes advocate in Minnesota.
  • Nicole Schrier graduated from the University of Wisconsin Law School and was admitted to the bar in the State of Wisconsin. She is an associate attorney with the law firm Neuberger, Wakeman, Lorenz, Griggs & Sweet in Watertown, Wisconsin. Her emphasis is in litigation.
  • Elisabeth Scott is pursuing a masters degree in International Administration at the University of Denver's Graduate School of International Studies.

2007 graduates

  • John Davisson is doing Teach for America before going to medical school
  • Andrew Filler is attending to graduate school at Pennsylvania State University where he hopes to get a degree in Landscape Architecture
  • Alisa Hintz is attending John Marshall Law School in Chicago with a focus on public interest law or constitutional law
  • Ryan Lincoln spent the Fall of 2007 interning at the U.S. Embassy in Guatemala and hopes to attend graduate school in pursuit of Latin American Studies or Public Diplomacy
  • Thea Neal is working for the Peace Corps in West Africa
  • Charles Knooihuizen is a security specialist in the Bureau of Diplomatic Security for the U.S. Department of State
  • Ryan Lincoln completed his master's degree and has accepted an analyst job in the Washington, D.C. area
  • Anthony Pastrick is working for the Target Corporation in Minneapolis as a Business Analyst
  • Lauren Peters has been name as one of the "Windy Times" City 12th annual Thirty under 30.
  • Danielle Revers is attending the University of Edinburgh in Scotland to pursue a Master’s Degree in African Studies
  • Mackenzie Smith is teaching middle school English with the Teach for America program in Louisiana
  • Leslie Tableman is attending the University of Oregon in pursuit of a Master’s in Public Administration
  • Jason Weber worked for Holland City Councilman Jay Peters and is now attending law school


2006 graduates

  • Matthew Adkins worked in the Bush White House in Washington D.C.
  • Emily Cornell worked as liaison manager to field directors for the Rudy Guiliani presidential campaign
  • Joseph Diekevers teaches high school government in Michigan
  • Lauren Engel of Arlington, VA, is an attorney-advisor at the Federal Maritime Commission in Washington, D.C.
  • James Grandstaff works for the Missouri Democratic party on multiple candidates’ campaigns
  • Amber Hauptman was married in May 2013 in Dripping Springs, Texas.
  • Sarah Jared is working as a police officer for the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Washington, D.C.
  • Rebecca Marcus teaches high school in Florida
  • Emily Mills is working for the Peace Corps in Africa
  • Elizabeth Otton attended law school at Michigan State University
  • Kurt Pyle is a doctoral candidate in political science at Michigan State University
  • Kerry Van Laan is working for the Michigan Republican party on several campaigns on the eastern side of the state
  • Kristi Richardson worked for U.S. Congressman Peter Hoekstra
  • Abigail van Kempen is attending law school at DePaul University


2005 graduates

  • Olim Alimov is working for the Sinopec Engineering Company (Chinese Oil Company)
  • Chris Avery of Washington, D.C., is one of only two scientists nationwide chosen to serve as a 2011-12 American Chemical Society Congressional Fellow. Fellows are entry-level Ph.D.'s or experienced professionals from academia, industry or non-profits, and are placed for a year as a staff member in the office of a senator, representative or committee. The program's goals are to provide policy-makers with high-quality information on science-related issues and to educate scientists on how government works and how science policy is made. Chris, who completed his doctorate in analytical chemistry at the University of Michigan in 2011, has been working in the office of Senator Christopher A. Coons (D-Del.) on energy, environment and innovation issues.
  • Vance Brown is pursuing a degree in humanitarian development administration at the University of Denver. In addition to three quarters of on-campus study, Brown also spent two years in the Peace Corps
  • Tonzia Buor is a teen program assistant with the Boys and Girls Club in Holland, MI
  • Jamie Campbell is a mentor coordinator for teen girls at the Hope House/Child & Family Services in Alpena, MI
  • Timothy Fry is the Manager of Government Affairs and Policy for the National Rural Health Association in Washington, D.C.
  • Jacob Kain is a consumer services coordinator with Liberty
    Resources in Philadelphia, PA
  • Rebecca Knooihuizen is a intelligence analyst for the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Diplomatic Security
  • Joshua Wiersma attended law school at Georgetown University

2004 graduates

  • Jeremy Brieve is an Associate Counsel with Priority Health in Grand Rapids, MI
  • Elinor Douglas is working towards a graduate degree in International Development at the University of Denver. She previously served two years with a nongovernmental organization in El Salvador
  • J.K. Granberg-Michaelson teaches English in China
  • Steve Hulst is a Litigation Associate at Rhoades McKee in Grand Rapids, MI
  • Fatu Kamara is enrolled in a graduate program in international relations at Regent University
  • Emily Robinson is a staffer for a Chicago city alderman
  • Michael Rykman is pursuing a PhD political science at the University of Pittsburgh
  • John Vega is the Youth Director at the Hispanic Center of Western Michigan in Grand Rapids
  • Erica Vieglahn is employed by the Republican National Committee
  • Julie Wilcox Groeninger is the Associate Director of Government Affairs for Princeton University. She was previously a Legislative Assistant for Senator Frank Lautenberg (NJ) in his Capitol Hill office.


2003 graduates

  • Kurt Koehler attended the Ave Maria School of Law
  • Jim Plasman is working as an Operations Specialist for the Department of State in Washington, D.C.
  • Rebecca Rasdall is a Staff Assistant for Congressman Dave Camp
  • Elizabeth Slentz earned her Master of Public Policy degree from New England College's School of Graduate and Professional Studies. She currently works for Delta Resources, Inc., as a defense contractor.
  • Sara Steele is the website coordinator for the White House Office of Media Affairs
  • Harold Steed is a Legal Assistant with the firm of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meacher & Flom LLP in New York
  • Hillary Stone is part of the Holland Hospital's human resources team as the staffing and retention coordintor. Prior to joining Holland Hospital, she worked for Perrigo Company in human resources talent acquisition.


2002 graduates

  • Brian Sutter has been named the staff director of the Committee on the Ways and Means subcommittee.


2000 graduates

  • Banu Demiralp of Arlington, VA, co-founded Anka Rising, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization in 2011. Anka Rising is dedicated to helping eradicate modern-day slavery. The organization's programmatic work focuses on creating awareness in and educating the private sector.