Susan M. Cherup and William F. Polik of the Hope College faculty have been named recipients of the college's "Provost's Award for Excellence in Teaching."
The awards were announced during the college's
annual Faculty Recognition Luncheon, held on Monday, Jan.
11. Cherup is a professor of education, and Polik is an
associate professor of chemistry.
"We had again this year many excellent candidates
for the Provost's Award for Excellence in Teaching, so it
was a challenging decision," said Dr. Jacob E. Nyenhuis,
provost at Hope.
"Interestingly enough, the two people selected
this year have both been very involved in infusing
electronic technology into the classroom," he said.
"Although that was not the criterion for the award, it does
happen that the two of them have been engaged in work that
has benefitted not only students in their classes but has
had a much broader impact. And the breadth of the impact of
their work is one of the considerations."
Cherup spent a 1993 sabbatical traveling some
15,000 miles to investigate how schools around the country
are using technology in the classroom. She has subsequently
played a leadership role in blending technology into her
department's instruction, such as the use of PowerPoint and
HyperStudio by Hope education students.
She has been a member of the Hope faculty since
1976. She specializes in courses that emphasize children
with unique needs, and this year is teaching classes
including "Exceptional Child," "Classroom and Behavior
Management: Learning Disabilities/Emotionally Impaired,"
"Instructional Design: Elementary and Middle School
L.D./E.I.," and "Field Experience: Elementary and Middle
School" concerning children who have learning disabilities
or are emotionally impaired.
Cherup has also been instrumental in implementing
the college's May Term Native American Studies program on
the Rosebud Indian Reservation in South Dakota.
She was voted the co-recipient of the college's
"Hope Outstanding Professor Educator" (H.O.P.E.) Award in
1988 by that year's graduating class. In 1989, she
delivered the college's Commencement address.
Cherup is a 1964 Hope graduate. She holds a
master's degree from Western Michigan University.
Polik collaborated with Hope senior Kevin Paulisse
of Grandville in developing "Discus," web-based discussion
board program that debuted in 1997. "Discus" is used not
only in chemistry but in several other disciplines at the
college as well, and there are more than 3,000 installations
of the program on the Internet worldwide.
Polik maintains an active research program as a
chemist, involving students extensively in the work. Since
joining the Hope faculty in 1988, he has involved more than
40 students in research projects, resulting in seven
refereed publications with 16 student co-authors, 24 off-
campus regional and national student presentations, and
numerous on-campus seminar and poster presentations.
During the current school year, the courses he is
teaching include "General Chemistry I," "Physical Chemistry
II," "Structure, Dynamics, and Synthesis II," in addition to
Polik received one of only 16 prestigious
"Presidential Young Investigator Awards" in chemistry in
1991 from the National Science Foundation (NSF). The five-
year, $500,000 award supported his research into the use of
lasers in chemistry.
He graduated from Dartmouth University in 1982.
He holds a doctorate from the University of California,