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Student Profile: Cheryl Jacobs ’07

A typical day at Hope College sends Cheryl Jacobs all over campus as she pursues her different interests, which is just what she had in mind when she chose to enroll.

“It wasn’t one specific thing about Hope, but kind of everything,” she says. “I was looking for a school strong in the sciences... but also a school that supported the students. And I also liked the Christian atmosphere, specifically chapel.”

These interests now play a large role in Jacobs’s life as a biology major, a Phelps Scholar, a student research assistant, and a frequent chapel attendee.

For Jacobs, studies in biochemistry mean frequent trips from her room in Lichty Hall across campus to the science center. “I’ve always liked the sciences,” she says. “I think I want to do research in the biomedical sciences.”

Through the college’s collaborative student-faculty research program, which has repeatedly received national recognition, she has gained relevant experience as well as a chance to develop relationships within the science departments. “It’s kind of like we’re friends,” she says of her mentor. “We’re planning ski trips and we actually went to their house for a little pre-Christmas dinner and helped decorate their tree. I get to hang out with them in the lab and also after hours, so it’s really nice.”

Jacobs experiences an entirely different type of work in her job as an assistant to Dr. Chuck Green of the Phelps Scholars Program, an academic program for first-year students interested in learning about issues of race and culture. She valued the residence-based program as a participant when she was a freshman living in Scott Hall, and has enjoyed staying involved.

“The benefits of being a Phelps Scholar continue even after your freshman year,” says Jacobs. “We have field trips on the weekends, like when we went to a kite festival in Chicago in the fall and then again when we went to Chinese New Year.”

With her busy work and class schedule, Jacobs relies on her trips to Dimnent Memorial Chapel for some welcome peace and focus. The thrice-weekly Chapel services are “an uplifting time during the day,” she says, adding that, “Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, I do need that.”

But even beyond the services, the Christian atmosphere of Hope provides a personal context for Jacobs’s academic experiences. “I wasn’t strong as a Christian before coming to Hope and I was hoping that I could become a stronger Christian,” she says, “and I’m noticing that with that presence constantly around you, then it strengthens you rather than weakening your faith.”

This profile was written by Melissa Sexton, a 2005 Hope College graduate from Kalamazoo, Mich., for the 2005-06 Hope College Catalog.

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