posted January 5, 2004

Faculty Honored for Service, Scholarship

Hope College presented awards honoring teaching, service and scholarship to multiple faculty members during the college's annual recognition luncheon on Monday, Jan. 5.

Named a "Towsley Research Scholar" was Dr. Brent Krueger, assistant professor of chemistry.

The "Ruth and John Reed Faculty Achievement Award" was presented to Dr. Peter Schakel, who is the Peter C. and Emajean Cook Professor of English and chairperson of the department.

"The Provost's Awards for Excellence in Teaching" were presented to Dr. Janet Andersen, who is an associate professor of mathematics and chairperson of the department, and Dr. Richard Mezeske, associate professor of education.

The "Provost's Award for Service to the Academic Program" was presented to Jon Huisken, who is dean for academic services and registrar.

The Towsley Research Scholars Program is funded through an endowment made possible through a grant from the Harry A. and Margaret D. Towsley Foundation of Midland. Through the program, newer Hope faculty members receive support for a project for four years. The foundation's awards to the college have also included grants for the construction of the Van Wylen Library and the new science center, faculty development in the pre-medical sciences and support for an endowed chair in communication.

Krueger joined the Hope faculty in 2001. He previously taught at the University of California, San Francisco after completing his doctorate in physical chemistry at the University of Chicago in 1999. He will use the award to support his ongoing research, conducted jointly with Hope students, into the functioning or malfunctioning of proteins associated with disease. It will also support his work in enhancing the use of computational modeling in the sciences at Hope. A computational modeling facility is being included in the college's new science center.

The Ruth and John Reed Faculty Achievement Award recognizes a member of the Hope faculty who is a superior teacher and has also contributed significantly to some other area of professional life. The award was established in memory of Dr. Ruth Yzenbaard Reed, a 1965 Hope graduate who was associate dean of Macomb Community College. Reed died in August of 1999 at age 55.

Schakel has been a member of the Hope faculty since 1969, and has held his endowed chair since 1984. He is the author, co-author of several books, including a poetry anthology, two books on Jonathan Swift and five on C.S. Lewis. His teaching and scholarship inter-relate. His extensive scholarly work on Lewis, for example, has followed from his development of an introductory English 113 course in response to student interest as well as his own interest in the author. Similarly, the poetry anthology, co-authored with Hope colleague Jack Ridl, followed their teaching of courses on poetry and literature at Hope.

The Provost's Award for Excellence in Teaching is presented to faculty members who have been teaching at Hope for at least seven years. The award is given to professors who have demonstrated recognizable excellence in specific activities or aspects of teaching.

Andersen has been a member of the Hope faculty since 1991, and was director of general education at Hope from 1998 to 2000. She co-wrote two books featuring pre-calculus problems for high school and college, has co-developed courses including "Mathematics for Public Discourse" and an interdisciplinary course linking mathematics and biology. Her involvement in mathematical education beyond campus includes chairing the Mathematical Association of America's Committee on the Teaching of Undergraduate Mathematics and directing the Pew Midstates Science and Mathematics Consortium.

Mezeske has been a member of the Hope faculty since 1992, and is a specialist in literacy education and literature for children and adolescents. He developed the college's May Term program with Liverpool Hope University College in England, and developed and team-teaches Hope's course on ethnic American literature for children and young adults. He has been leading a recent book project involving 10 members of the Hope faculty concerning the college's teacher-education program. Among other activities, for several years he also directed the college's Young Authors' Conference for area children.

The Provost's Award for Service to the Academic Program is presented to individuals who have provided special contributions to the academic program through student academic support, general education, assessment work, implementation of programs that support/enhance the curriculum, and any activity outside of formal teaching that contributes to the overall excellence of the academic program.

Huisken has been a member of the Hope staff since 1969. The registrar's office coordinates the scheduling of classes, maintains the academic records of the college's students and graduates, and determines eligibility for graduation. A member of the college's deans' council, Huisken has overall administrative responsibility for programs including academic advising, the Academic Support Center, the Philadelphia and Chicago off-campus semesters; and FOCUS/SOAR. His activities also include teaching a course in business writing at the college. The members of the Class of 1987 presented him with a Distinguished Service Award, and a standing ovation, during their commencement ceremony.