Administration Profile: Alfredo Gonzáles,
Associate Provost and Dean for
International and Multicultural Education
Alfredo Gonzáles is passionate about the importance of
preparing students for
lives in the diverse and increasingly interconnected world. Hope,
he notes, is well
equipped to provide such preparation.
“Hope in many ways is like a small university,” Gonzáles
says. “We have a
variety of programs that make us a unique place. A Hope education
will allow a
student to garner the necessary academic, intellectual, critical
thinking skills that
will provide a wonderful entry into a career or a graduate program.
go on to make a difference in the world.”
It’s a philosophy with a long history at
Hope. The first international students enrolled
in the 1870s from Japan and returned
home “and created what is essentially
the first Christian university in that
part of the world,” he says. “Indian students
who came here in the 1940s and
’50s went back to India and established
medical schools and colleges named for
this institution.” In the same way, students
native to the U.S. have long gone to live
abroad or pursue careers with an international
emphasis in fields ranging from
mission work, to medicine, to diplomacy,
As the 21st century unfolds, Gonzáles
believes, familiarity with other cultures
will only become more important.
“Our world is shrinking,” he says, “and
shrinking very rapidly. We need to know
more about languages, political structures,
how other countries work. We need to
learn how events that happen in other
countries affect the rest of the world.”
Gonzáles also believes that educating students for world
knowledge not just of international affairs, but of people.
“We’re intricately connected to the rest of the world,” he
says, “so of course,
learning about political and economic structures is important.
But more importantly,
we must learn about people. As Christians, it is our responsibility
understand differences across race, ethnicity, gender, and religion.
We must be
able to interact with the world. Hope is enthusiastic about engaging
international community, and that enthusiasm is something we try
to convey to
Hope students, he finds, are ready for the challenge, engaged
by the world
around them and ready to be a part of it.
“Hope College students
tend to care very deeply about the issues of our time,”
says Gonzáles. “But in addition to their compassion,
they are also students who
are seeking information and knowledge from our courses and faculty.
I am proud
to say that we have outstanding students who have chosen Hope because
know that a Hope College education is going to serve them well.”
This profile was written by Megan E. Dougherty, a 2007
Hope College graduate from Normal,
Ill., for the 2007-08 Hope College Catalog.
People - Learn about the experiences of some of the
people connected with Hope College.