John H. and
Jeanne M. Jacobson Professorship
Charlotte vanOyen-Witvliet holds the John H. and Jeanne M. Jacobson
Professor of Psychology.
Dr. vanOyen-Witvliet has been a member of the Hope faculty since
1997. Her teaching responsibilities have included Introductory
Positive Psychology, Behavior Disorders, Clinical Psychology, Internships
and Advanced Research Lab. She publishes in the field of emotion
and psychophysiology research, with a specialized focus on justice,
forgiveness, and gratitude.
With the support of the Fetzer Institute, the Center for the Study
of Law and Religion at Emory University, the John Templeton Foundation,
the Towsley Research Scholar Award, the Faith and Learning Fund,
and the Frost Center for Social Science Research, she has conducted
programmatic research with students, published peer reviewed journal
articles and book chapters, and given professional presentations
in local, national, and international venues. She has conducted
100 media interviews about forgiveness, with her research featured
in venues such as "Time," "Newsweek," "Reader's
Digest," "O: The Oprah Magazine," "USA Today," "The
Los Angeles Times," "The Chicago Tribune," "ABC
News Good Morning America," and CNN.
Witvliet has mentored dozens of Hope students in psychophysiology
research, 20 of whom have co-authored journal articles or professional
conference presentations with her, and 11 of whom have co-authored
projects winning Psi Chi Regional Research Awards.
Before joining the Hope faculty, she trained as a scientist-practitioner
clinical psychologist at Purdue University and completed her predoctoral
internship at the Durham Veterans Affairs Medical Center affiliated
with Duke University.
She graduated from Calvin College with a B.A. in psychology and
music in 1991, and completed her M.S. and Ph.D. in clinical psychology
at Purdue University in 1993 and 1997 respectively.
The John H. and Jeanne M. Jacobson Endowed Professorship was established
as a retirement recognition in honor of Dr. John H. Jacobson, who
was 10th president of Hope College from 1987 to 1999, and his wife,
Dr. Jeanne M. Jacobson, who was an adjunct member of the Hope education
faculty and a senior research fellow with the college's A.C. Van
The Jacobson professorship is designated for a tenured faculty
member with a commitment to the Christian faith who is an outstanding
teacher-scholar or artist and who proposes to conduct a significant
program of research or creative activity. The chair is open to
faculty from any department, with appointment for a four-year term.
Its first recipient was Dr. Steven Bouma-Prediger
of the religion faculty, appointed to the chair in 2003. It was
most recently held by Dr. Caroline Simon of the Hope philosophy
Endowed chairs are established by donors who wish to assist the
college on a permanent basis through the support of a faculty
member. The gift is placed in the college's endowment fund
income used to support the work of the honored professor. In
addition to recognizing faculty members for excellence, endowed
funding for summer research projects as well as some salary support.
more about establishing an endowed professorship