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News from our Department
Hope College Hosts Delegation from Komoro City, Japan and Meiji Gakuin University
Hope was pleased to be host a delegation of visitors from Meiji Gakuin University and Komoro City of Japan, February 6-9, 2013. One of Hope’s first two graduates from Japan, Kumaji Kimura of the Class of 1879, was a co-founder of Meiji Gakuin University, with which Hope has had an exchange relationship since 1965, and was born in Komoro City.
The visit included meetings with faculty and staff. Pictured from left to right are: Alfredo Gonzales, associate provost and dean for international and multicultural education; Dr. Takayo Inoue, vice-president of Meiji Gakuin University; Kelly Jacobsma, the Genevra Thome Begg Director of Libraries with the rank of associate professor; Dr. Hiroyoshi Udono, president of Meiji Gakuin University; Jennifer Wolfe, assistant professor of music; Dr. Scott VanderStoep, dean for the social sciences and professor of psychology; Keiji Yanagisawa, superintendent of the Board of Education, Komoro City; Dr R. Richard Ray, provost and professor of kinesiology; Dr. Makoto Kanda, professor of economics, Meiji Gakuin University; Takumi Sato, chief at the Child, Youth Support & Education Division, Komoro City; Amy Otis-De Grau, director of international education; and Dr. Laura Pardo, professor of education and chairperson of the department.
Hope College Hosts Delegation from Union Christian College, Aluva, Kerala, India
Pictured above from left to right are Pravin Patil, Postdoctoral Fellow in Chemistry, working in the Lee Group, Hope College, Alfredo Gonzales, Associate Provost and Dean for International and Multicultural Education, Hope College, Kelly Jacobsma, Director of Libraries, Hope College, Simon Thomas, President of UCCAANA - UCC Alumni Association of North America, James Bultman, President, Hope College, Thanuvelil Thomas Philip, Principal, Union Christian College, India, Annie Dandavati, Professor of Political Science, Chair, Hope College, and Rich Ray, Provost, Hope College.
Drs. Thomas and Philip are on campus to meet with faculty and others who are interested in additional research and collaboration with Union Christian College. Join us in welcoming them to Hope!
Two Professors Chosen for Lilly Summer Seminar in Northern Ireland
HOLLAND – Dr. Virginia Beard and Dr. Ernest Cole of the Hope College faculty are among the 15 scholars nationwide chosen to participate in the 2012 Lilly Fellows Program Summer Seminar for College and University Teachers, “Teaching Peace and Reconciliation: Theory and Practice in Northern Ireland.”
The July 7-28 event will be based at the Corrymeela Centre for Peace and Reconciliation in Ballycastle, Northern Ireland, and is sponsored by Aquinas College of Grand Rapids through the Lilly Fellows Program in Humanities and the Arts, which is housed at Christ College of Valparaiso University in Indiana. The seminar will address the history of the Anglo-Irish conflict in Ireland and the move to a post-conflict society, with emphasis on the theory and practice of peace and reconciliation in a Christian context.
Both Beard and Cole focus on issues related to reconciliation in their scholarly work.
Beard, an assistant professor of political science, specializes in comparative politics, with an emphasis on Sub-Saharan Africa, as well as public policy. Her research focuses on stable democracy, with a concentration on the roles of peace-building and reconciliation. Her courses address issues of international development, gender, conflict, peace and reconciliation, politics of the developing world and African politics.
Most immediately, she intends to apply insights from the summer seminar in refining a course that she developed during 2007-08, “Gender, Conflict and Peace,” which she will also be teaching during the 2012-13 school year. Course topics include active conflict versus passive violence, domestic violence, interpersonal and intrapersonal violence, and structural and institutional conflict, with Northern Ireland an important component of the course.
She also hopes to shape her on-going scholarship through the seminar program as well as interaction with the other participants. Her recent work, with a journal article forthcoming, has focused on conflict and resolution in Kenya. Ultimately, she would like to develop a book-length project that will explore the topic across the experience of multiple nations.
Cole, who is an assistant professor of English and Towsley Research Scholar at Hope, where he teaches Post-Colonial Literature, with an emphasis on Sub-Saharan Anglophone Africa, the Caribbean and India. In his research he has been interested in the topics of peace, forgiveness and reconciliation in conjunction with a focus on post-civil war Sierra Leone, where he has been documenting the experiences of survivors of punitive amputation used as a military strategy during a 1991-2002 civil war that saw neighbor pitted against neighbor.
His research, which has included interviewing survivors who continue to be isolated in refugee camps nearly a decade after the war’s end, is exploring the way that the amputees’ self images are shaped by their injuries, and he argues that it is crucial for them to be provided the opportunity to become functional and re-integrated into society rather than left in a state of dependency, not only for their sakes individually but for the future of the country itself.
Cole is currently writing a book based on his research, and has also created a series of video-based interdisciplinary learning modules based on the project, working in the college’s New Media studio with students in the digital humanities and in the Mellon Scholars program at Hope.
A national network of 96 church-related colleges and universities, the Lilly Fellows Program in Humanities seeks to strengthen the quality and shape the character of church-related institutions of higher learning in the 21st century. In addition to the Graduate Fellows Program, the program's three primary initiatives include activities and publications for the network of participating institutions; a two-year Postdoctoral Teaching Fellows Program at Valparaiso University; and a program for graduate students interested in exploring the connections between Christianity and higher education and becoming teacher-scholars at a church-related school.
The other colleges and universities with faculty members chosen to participate in the summer seminar are Aquinas College, Azusa Pacific University, Baylor University, Loyola University, the University of Dayton, the University of Scranton, Valparaiso University, Whitworth University and Wittenberg University.