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Dr. Joel Toppen
Dr. Joel Toppen graduated from Hope College in 1991 with a degree in political science. Between earning an M.A. and Ph.D. from Purdue University, Toppen returned to Hope in 1996 and has taught in the political science department since.
At Hope, Dr. Toppen teaches courses on the methodology of political science and international development issues. He has served as faculty advisor to Model United Nations and the Hope Democrats, directed the Washington Honors Semester in 2006, and has led May terms to Japan and Washington, D.C.
Outside of the classroom, Dr. Toppen's primary research interest is the politics of poverty and development, from the household to the global level. In recent years, he has worked extensively with World Vision to develop international internships and as a strategic consultant.
In addition to conducting field research in Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, Tanzania, and Uganda, Dr. Toppen wrote a paper on food aid reform that has received much attention, including being referenced in congressional testimony and excerpted in a World Food Programme publication.
Dr. Toppen - a Grand Haven resident - is the proud father of three children and enjoys camping, basketball, ultimate frisbee, and playing the guitar. He is the 2004 recipient of the H.O.P.E. award (see article here).
Read about the 2004 Hope South Africa internship program here.