After Graduation

Alumni of the Hope College art department have gone on to complete graduate degrees, exhibit their work and have successful careers.

Alumni Profiles

Athina Alvarez ’13


Athina AlvarezTriple-major in studio art, art history and French 

Athina Alvarez is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in contemporary art history at the Université Paris Sorbonne IV, where she received her master’s degree with honors, and is in the process of publishing articles for La Revue du Louvre, La Revue de l’Histoire de l’Art de ApAhAu and  Les Cahiers du Musée National d’Art Moderne, among others. She is also working full-time as creative events director and photography producer at Karine Garnier Agency, where she began as an intern three years ago.

Justin Korver ’13

Justin KorverArt major, Hope College, 2013

MFA in fine arts from the University of Texas at San Antonio, 2016

Justin Korver is an artist living and working in San Antonio, Texas. Originally from a small town in the northwest corner of Iowa, Korver moved to Holland, Michigan, to complete his undergraduate work at Hope College. He also lived and worked briefly in New York through the N.Y.C.A.M.S. program where he interned with Phoebe Washburn.

Korver received his MFA from the University of Texas at San Antonio, where he taught introductory sculpture and 3D foundations. He is the recipient of multiple awards, including the Distinguished Artist Award, the Stanley Harrington Art Award, Herman Miller Award, the Art Presidential Fellowship, Peggy and Richard Valvert Endowment and the Art Guys Endowment. While pursuing his graduate degree Korver worked with a number of arts organization in San Antonio.

Artwork by Justin KorverHe works as an art handler at the Southwest School of Art, as the volunteer coordinator with Luminaria and as an intern and associate educator at the Artpace. Korver is now a full-time lecturer at Texas A&M San Antonio. He has also exhibited extensively in Texas and nationally. Highlights of this exhibition record include the River Market Regional Exhibition in 2013, curated by Jerry Saltz, Material Matters at WoCA Projects in 2014, and Accessories of Modern Men at Terminal 136 in 2016. Examples of Korver’s art can be found at


Alison Zdan ’12

Alison ZdanAlison has been working at Disher, located in Zeeland, Michigan, since graduating for graphic design, product/market research and marketing. She is part of the Discovery team located in Disher's Design Studio and collaborates daily with industrial designers, marketing strategists and product design engineers. She led Disher's brand refresh in spring 2015. In addition to designing marketing materials, branding documents, environment information design and other internal graphic design projects, Alison works on client-based graphic projects that extend to vision maps of business strategies, infographs of industry research, technical presentations and branding solutions. She was certified in market research through the University of Georgia in 2013 and has done multiple product, technical and industry-based research projects for a variety of clients.

Alison taught an after school design class for middle and high school students through CultureWorks in Holland for five semesters from 2012 to 2014. Leading the students through design elements, critical thinking activities and composition designs was a rewarding experience. Additionally, she had her personal artwork displayed in CultureWorks gallery for the following exhibits:

  • Leftovers, 2014. Slow. Pen andiInk drawing
  • Person, Place, or Thing. 2013. Text design of Jack Ridl poetry for collaboration artwork of other local artist.

The projects she’s worked on at Disher have allowed her to experience working with companies in various industries along with consistently new roles and responsibilities, including designing and deploying a user interface for a product's touchscreen control panel, planning, organizing and implementing a focus group ergonomic research study, and designing a custom process for a company to aid in making business decisions. Her niche has evolved into not only doing research and understanding the market for a given client, but organizing and visually communicating the information in order for it to be easily understood by the end user.

“I do believe that having a fine art degree over a specific graphic design degree has really helped me to view projects and designs in a unique perspective than many others in the industry. The amount of research and benchmarking used as influential references in a painting composition to the numerous problem solving skills acquired while working with multiple mediums through the various art courses at DePree has given me a different edge in my design outputs.”

Nicholas Leonard ’12

Nicholas LeonardArt education major

Masters of art education from University of Nebraska at Kearney completed in 2015

Presently a doctoral student at Northern Illinois University

​Upon graduating in 2012, Nicholas started working as a K–6 art educator for Grandville Public Schools. While teaching, he completed his master’s degree in art education at the University of Nebraska at Kearney. Nicholas was picked to represent the 2015 graduate class by carrying the graduate school gonfalon. Currently, Nicholas attends Northern Illinois University (NIU) full time, working toward a Ph.D. in art and design education with a focus in assessment and technology. Nicholas is presently teaching a course for NIU on art and technology in the K–12 classroom​ ​and is the head coach for St. Charles East boys lacrosse.

Nicholas has worked as an item writer and exemplar reviewer for Michigan’s Model Arts Education Instruction and Assessment Project and has presented at the Michigan Arts Education Association conference. He is assisting Dr. Boughton’s research of student risk-taking in high school art and will be published in the first International Encyclopedia of Art and Design Education being edited by Dr. Freedman. Nicholas will present several times this fall at the Michigan Art Education Association and Illinois Art Education Association conferences.

Nicholas Leonard in engaged to Chelsey Huisingh and will be married at Hope College in 2017.

Amanda Norris ’12 Noyes 

Amanda graduated from Hope in 2012 with a double major in art and psychology and from the School of Visual Aarts in 2014 with master’s in professional studies in art therapy. Her master’s thesis addressed how positive psychology and positive art therapy could be used within an adult psychiatric unit to promote goal setting and instill hope in patients. She received the Paula Rhodes award for graduate-level academic success.  

Amanda is the manager of MRC artWorks, a working gallery for adults with disabilities in Kalamazoo, Michigan. They provide vocational rehabilitation through art making. They have about 60 artists that come to them throughout the week with a range of developmental, mental illness or physical disabilities. The artists work in their studios to create artwork and MRC artWorks sells the artist's work in their gallery. Artists make a commission on each sale, working towards earning a paycheck, becoming contributing members of their communities and learning job skills through the art making process. 

“As for my experience as a double major, I feel like it prepared me (as much as possible) for my step into grad school. Having a foot in the sciences as well as the arts provided me a rounded educational experience that I was able to pull from into my years at SVA and even now as I begin my career as an art therapist. I value the creative perspective I received from my art professors who helped shape me as an artist and the clinical support from my psychology professors who challenged me to better understand the human psyche. Grad school helped me merge those two worlds within my field of practice.”

Kristen Mulder ’10 Tobert


Kristen TobertKristen graduated from Hope in May 2010 with a double major in studio art and communication. She went on to continue her education at Michigan State University, where she completed her master’s degree in advertising, with an emphasis in digital marketing, in December 2011.

 In addition to working as a graphic design freelancer in her spare time, Kristen took a role as the design and marketing coordinator for Lamar Construction Company based in Hudsonville, Michigan, where she designed materials for and worked directly with multi-million dollar clients on a national level. After two years in this role Kristen relocated to Iowa City, Iowa, in 2014, were she took a position as the marketing director for the Ronald McDonald House Charities of eastern Iowa and western Illinois. Within this position, Kristen lead marketing, design and fundraising efforts for the chapter throughout 39 counties. As of March 2016, Kristen has transitioned into a new role as a communications specialist for the University of Iowa. Within this position, she is responsible for all marketing, public relations and design projects for the John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center.

“The Studio Art program at Hope College has given me a creative advantage in every area of my professional life. This has been specifically true in my work as a graphic designer. The combination of the liberal arts degree and studio art experience helps me stand out in a business setting.”

Christine Aria Hostetler ’10

Christine Aria Hostetler ’10Triple major in studio art, English literature and French

In 2015, she won one of the top awards for a juried art show called “Botanica” at Bedford Gallery in Walnut Creek, California, for a portrait that was completed while she was at Hope, in 2010. Also in 2015, she exhibited in a couple exhibits in San Francisco, California, including a small solo show called “City Dogs” at Fayes Video, a group show called “#strikeawayshow” at Incline Gallery and a group show dedicated to the cinematic work of Jeunet and Caro at Spoke Art Gallery. Also through Spoke Art, Christine recently had new work displayed in a Wes Anderson-themed pop-up art show in NYC.

A spread of her Wes Anderson-inspired artwork is featured in the Wes Anderson art book, “Bad Dads: Art Inspired by the Films of Wes Anderson,” which was released in Aufgust 2016 from Spoke Art Gallery and by Abrams Publishing. Wes himself wrote the introduction!

One of her proudest accomplishments has been having a new body of three life-sized watercolor portraits included in a six-person show called “Spotlight:Figure” at Arc Gallery in San Francisco, which featured figurative, life-size and larger-than-life paintings. This series is called “Falling: ‘Deep Below Heaven’” and is an intensely personal one for her.

Aside from creating work for shows and taking some commissions, Christine is freelancing as an “Artist Coach” for San Francisco-based arts and crafts instructional video company, Working there has presented amazing opportunities to meet inspiring artists who are experts in a huge variety of fields.

Theresa Fernandez ’08

Teresa FernandezArt and communication (double major)

Theresa moved to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, after graduation and began working as a graphic designer in the theater community. She was the marketing coordinator from 2010–13 and a graphic designer from 2013–15 for the Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts at the University of Pennsylvania. Additional clients include the Walnut Street Theatre, Women’s Way, Bristol Riverside Theatre, Theatre Horizon, Wilma Theater and InterAct Theatre. She continued her studio work in Philadelphia, printing at Fleisher Art Memorial where she participated in a number of member shows and took home their top printmaking award in 2012.

In fall 2015, Theresa moved to Champaign/Urbana to begin work as a graphic designer for the University of Illinois.

Steffanie Rosalez ’05

SteffanieRosalez2005, B.A
Hope College

Steffanie participated in the 2016 ArtPrize Fellowship for Emerging Curators program. As a curator, she received grant funding and the opportunity to work alongside established curator Paul Amenta, co-founder of SiTE:LAB. Steffanie was selected to share the juried outstanding venue award, This Space is Not Abandoned.

She has managed the after school program at Cesar Chavez Elementary School, taught and worked as a commissioned artist. Today, Steffanie pours her talents into the Roosevelt Park neighborhood, planning and implementing arts programming for youth and families as the Program Director at Cook Arts Center

 Steven Haulenbeek ’02

Steven Haulenbeek2002, B.A. drawing/sculpture, Hope College

2006, MFA designed objects, School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC)

In 2010 Steven launched his Chicago-based independent practice, Steven Haulenbeek Design Concepts Inc. (SHDC Inc.), an interdisciplinary studio concentrating in artwork, furniture, lighting and objects for the home. His work runs the gamut in scale, material and process but all exhibits a unique aesthetic simplicity through a hands-on, experimental prototyping style.

Steven Haulenbeek has been the recipient of several honorable mentions and awards. In 2015 he was named by the New York Times as one of the most exciting emerging American designers. Most recently, in 2016 he was named the American Design Honoree at Wanted Design Fair during New York Design Week. This October he will be guest lecturer at Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, and he is currently working on commission works for Volume Gallery in Chicago and The Future Perfect in New York and San Francisco. He is also one of two American designers invited to participate in “Local Icons,” curated by Giulio Cappellini and Domitilla Dardi at the Maxxi Museum in Rome, Italy, in 2017.

Alumni Accomplishments by Decade


  • Monica (Czechowicz) Taylor '16 was the Dryfhout intern at the Kruizenga Museum during the Spring of 2016 and is currently working as the collections photographer and cataloger at the Grand Rapids Public Museum in Grand Rapids, MI.
  •   Amelia Stanley ’14 has been awarded a Gradute Fellowship at Indiana University 
  • Jacob Dombrowski ’13 is seeking a Master’s in Visual and Critical Studies from Kendall College of Art and Design. My research is in the process being published in Strategies of Seeing, with the work of 10 other scholars, and was presented at the 2014 MAPACA (Mid-Atlantic Popular and American Culture Association) Conference.
  • Kristen Dunn ’13 has been working as a graphic designer at Haworth, Inc since 2014. She has collaborated with clients worldwide to help them successfully obtain new business. From 2014–2016, she was voted as the AIGA (American Institute of Graphic Artists) West Michigan Programming Director, and has hosted numerous world renowned artists in Grand Rapids to help broaden the non-profit's audience beyond graphic designers.
  • Nicole (Buccella) ’12 Webber received her M.L.S, from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champlain and currently works at the University of Northern Colorado in the Michener Library as the library liaison to the Business and Communication schools.
  • Katherine (Kirby) ’12 White M.S. Eastern Michigan Univ.; holds a position as an Associate Curator at The Henry Ford Museums in Dearborn, writing digital content based on extensive archival research to increase accessibility to the museum's collection.   She wrote a chapter entitled "A Usonian Michigan: Frank Lloyd Wright and the Taliesin Fellows" in the recently released book "Michigan Modern: Design that Shaped America.” She also sits on the board of the Oakland County Historic Commission and is a founding board member of DOCOMOMO Michigan, an organization which advocates for the documentation and conservation of buildings, sites, and neighborhoods of the modern movement.
  • Chelsea Tarnas ’11 has participated in several shows in her home state of Hawaii, mainland US and abroad.  She is currently working towards her MBA in Sustainable Systems at Presidio University.
  • Caitlin Stanley ’10 Early spent four years as the Special Events Manager at the Aspen Art Museum, opening the new Shigeru Ban-designed building in downtown Aspen. She now works at Interlochen Center for the Arts as the Camp Registrar, and owns an event planning company called Form + Fete.


  • Nikolas Burkhart ’09 has had several solo and individual exhibitions in the Chicago area. Lead Curator/Artistic Director for Buy Art Not People in Chicago, Il.
  • Katherine Wilbur ’09 J.D. Loyola University Chicago Law School; L.L.M. in taxation Northwestern University School of Law; Attorney at Varnum LLP; State Bar of Michigan Taxation Section Council Member.
  • Amy Weber ’09 Received her M.A. University of Illinois, Urbana-Champlain; Production Coordinator, Art Institute Chicago
  • Emilie Puttrich ’09 MFA 2012 San Francisco Art Institute. Currently working as a collections administrator, assistant registrar at the Harvard Art Museums in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
  • Amy Gilles ’09 received her Master of Fine Arts in Painting in 2013 from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana. Amy Gilles is Assistant Professor of Art at Northwest Nazarene University in Nampa, Idaho.
  • Audrey Wasielewski ’09 received her MFA in Sculpture from Colorado State University and is a project manager for a local software company in Ft. Collins, Colorado.
  • Kat Mojzak ’09 is pursuing her Masters in Social Work at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor.
  • Emily Cable ’05 McKenna worked in arts administration as the City of Upper Arlington (OH) Community Arts Coordinator from 2005-2008. During this period of time, Emily was involved in the local Columbus art scene, as an artist in an artist collective, curating and creating art exhibitions. In 2009, Emily completed an internship at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in public programs where she began to explore the integration of art and healing.  Emily completed a master’s degree in clinical mental health counseling at the University of North Florida in December 2011.
  • Heidi Bender ’04 teaches in the Department of Fine, Digital, and Performing Arts at Shawnee State University in Portsmouth, OH.  She has held solo exhibitions in venues across the United States and abroad such as The Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, ROY G BIV gallery in Columbus, OH, Alderson Broaddus University, and the Huembes Folkloric Market in Managua, Nicaragua among others.  She has also collaborated on projects with Marin Abell (Tarp Lake) and SPURSE (Crooked River Songlines, Entangled Citizens), as well as socially engaged works with Keith Ray and the Service Living Initiative (The Walking Harvest), and Ohio University students at the Good Earth Farm.  Much of Bender's work post Hope was inspired by a year working in Nicaragua with A.M.O.S., time abroad in Queretaro, Mexico, and several years post graduate school working jobs in community development. Her most recent project was the Talking Petals Project, combining Victorian flower languages with modern text messaging.  Bender received an MFA from the Ohio University in 2009. She currently resides in Waverly, OH.  Visit Heidi's website at: .
  • Andrew M. Lick ’04 is in the Furniture and Decorative Art Department at Leslie Hindman Auctioneers, the Midwest’s leading auction house of fine arts, after completing his M.A. in Fine and Decorative Arts at Sotheby’s Art Institute in London in in 2006.
  • Elizabeth Jetter ’04 is working for Nieman Marcus in Chicago on their Visual Team.
  • Chris VanPelt ’04 is director of web technologies at HQ Group.
  • Daniel Berhanemeskel ’03 currently exhibits work in the African Collection in the Smithsonian, Washington D.C., and is in the M.F.A program at Michgan State University.
  • Jennifer Chalifoux ’02 is Antiquities Director for a company in Chicago called Harlan J. Berk, Ltd.
  • Matt Parker ’02 completed the 5000+ miles of the American Discovery
    Trail (ADT) on horseback Thursday, November 3, 2005. With this ride of passage he was the first person to complete the new ADT equestrian route. In addition, Parker will be the first person to complete the trail traveling from the west to east coast since the trail was created. Parker, started his journey in California back in May of 2003. To view where Matt is currently traveling as well as photos and personal movies from Matt’s amazing journey visit
  • Cheri Cecil ’02 Phelps is the Studio Programs Coordinator at the Grand Rapids Art Museum.
  • Jennifer Joubran ’02 Holmes is the owner of Home & Company at the Tower Clock in Holland, Michigan.
  • Cassie Krause ’02 is teaching art at Hopkins High School in Hopkins, Michigan.
  • Elizabeth Seramur ’01 is in the Art Conservation program at the University of Texas - Austin.
  • R. Brian Wondergem ’01 after receiving his M.F.A. in sculpture at Yale University, is working at the Friedrich Petzel Gallery in Chelsea as their Art Preparator. He is also in the Emerging Artist Fellowship Exhibition at Socrates Sculpture Park in Long Island City, New York.


  • Jeffery Tryko ’99 is a research assistant at the Spectrum Health Butterworth Campus in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
  • Nate Greenwood ’97 is an art teacher in the Jenison Public Schools. His ceramic pieces are at the Uniq Gallery in Three Rivers, Mi and he also designs and builds custom furniture.
  • Brian Grant ’97 received his M.F.A. from Carnegie-Mellon University in Pittsburgh and currently lives in New Zealand.
  • Matthew Tailford ’97 received his MFA from the University of Michigan. He is a freelance artist in Los Angeles, CA, working as a production deisgner, director and film actor. His latest film, "War Prayer" is an official selection in the Beverly Hills Film Festival.
  • Naomi Tsukamoto ’96 received her MFA from the University of Colorado, Boulder and is currently the assistant to the director of the Dai Ichi Arts, Ltd. Gallery in New York City.
  • Heidi VanWieren ’96 received her MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art. She is currently being represented at the RoyBoyd Gallery in Chicago and
    Margaret Thatcher Projects Gallery in New York City.
  • Deana Rennick ’96 received her MFA in Sculpture from Ohio State University. She also was awarded the International Sculpture Center’s Outstanding Student Achievement in Comtemporary Sculpture Award. Deana now works for Healing Icons in Columbia, SC
  • Dawn Krukowski Jacobson ’94 is an Art Instructor in the Fruitport Community Schools.
  • Karen Mahaffy ’94 is teaching and has a show/residency in Berlin, Germany
  • Dan Miller ’94 is a professional artist and teaches part-time at the School of the Art Institute in Chicago
  • J. Chadwick Johnson ’93 will be opening a solo exhibition, entitled "Counterintutitive" at the Gallery of Urban Art in Emeryville, California on October 8, 2005.
  • Laura Wyss ’91 completed a degree at the International Center for Photography and is an artist in New York City
  • David Chapple ’91 painted the commemorative poster for the Independence Day celebration in Washington, D.C. The poster, "A Capitol Fourth," is the first to be designed by a non-Washington, D.C.-area artist.
  • Michelle VanderVelde ’90 Calkins is the owner of Four Corners Framing Company in Holland, Michigan.


  • Amy Braun ’89 Heiney is the Director of External Relations at the Urban Institute for Contemporary Art in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
  • John Saurer ’89 received his MFA from Colorado State University 1995, and has been teaching drawing, sculpture and printmaking at St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN since 1995. John is also the Chair of the Art Department.
  • Anne Harrington-Hughes ’89 received her MFA from Wayne State University.
  • Laurene Warren ’89 is the Assistant Curator for the Exhibitions at the Frederick Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park in Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • Elona VanGent ’87 is currently the Associate Dean - School of Fine Arts at the University of Michigan.
  • Matt Vander Borgh ’84 is a Harvard graduate working as an architect in The Hague, Netherlands.
  • Mark Holmes ’83 is a Yale graduate and the former owner of Per-Se for 17 years, which produced custom furniture. He is Chair of the Art Department at Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois.


  • Jennifer Gould ’73 exhibited her textile art figures at the Center for Women in Transition in Holland, Michigan.