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Faculty Profile: Becky Schmidt
Assistant Professor of Kinesiology
and Volleyball Coach

Professor Becky Schmidt’s love of Hope College started when she was just two years old and living in Gilmore Hall with her parents, who were head residents at the time. “I just love this place,” she says.

As she has continued to experience Hope, first as a student and now as a professor and coach, Professor Schmidt has come to appreciate Hope even more. “From my volleyball experience, I got a more profound understanding of what it meant to represent this school,” she says. “All of that really gave me an appreciation for the people that were here at Hope.”

In part because the college has repeatedly won the MIAA Commissioner’s Cup and is constantly in contention in multiple sports for a conference championship, Professor Schmidt says, “Hope offers a culture of success.” She has found that the staff is very supportive of one another. “It helps your enthusiasm to feed off of their enthusiasm, and your commitment to feed off of their commitment.”

That commitment reaches beyond the classroom or the court. “The professors that are here,” she says, “are very active, not only in what they’re doing in their discipline, but in the lives of their students and in the life of the college. I think that’s unique.” The active commitment that the professors demonstrate, she says, is “a part of their life. Hope is a part of them.”

Professor Schmidt applauds the college for “the smaller class sizes, the student-oriented learning that occurs, the focus on collaborative research with faculty, the opportunities for experiential learning through study-abroad programs and internships.”

“I think that is what education is all about,” she says. “It’s a big reason why our students are very well-prepared for grad school; that’s essentially what grad school is like at some of the bigger universities. It’s just that their undergrads don’t have as much exposure to that as our undergrads do.”

In addition to the exposure the students receive, Professor Schmidt states, “I haven’t found in a lot of schools that there is as much community support for athletics and for the college in general. The city of Holland is fantastic with regards to really taking advantage of the positive relationship between the college and the greater Holland area.”

After experiencing so many different perspectives of Hope College, Professor Schmidt describes the college as passionate. She says, “I see people’s passions and see people living them out.” As both professor and coach, she says, “That’s the thing that I hope to be able to do every day: to connect and engage my students and to help ignite a passion.”

This profile was written by Bethany A. Katerberg, a Hope College senior from Grand Rapids, Mich., for the 2006-07 Hope College Catalog.

Hope People - Learn about the experiences of some of the people connected with Hope College.