Eva Dean Folkert of the Hope College staff has been named recipient of the college's sixth annual "Vanderbush-Weller Development Fund" award for strong, positive impact on students.
The award recognizes and supports the efforts of Hope faculty and staff who make extraordinary contributions to the lives of students. Folkert was recognized during a luncheon held on Friday, May 6, in conjunction with the spring meeting of the college's Board of Trustees.
"Eva is all about students, which shows in all of her work at the college - from her service for many years helping to offer them an opportunity to have a great intramural experience, to her role during the past two years as senior administrator for woman athletics," said Dr. Richard Frost, vice president and dean of students at Hope, whose office coordinates the award, which is presented based on nominations from the campus community. "One of the things that students say about Eva is that she is 'just too cool.' "
Folkert is the senior woman administrator for athletics and the athletic ticket manager at Hope. She has administrative responsibility for men's and women's swimming, men's and women's track, softball, volleyball women's basketball, women's soccer and women's tennis. She served as meet director of the 2005 NCAA Division III Men's and Women's Swimming and Diving Championships, hosted by Hope and held at the Holland Aquatic Center in March.
She is developing or co-developing three courses at the college. She and Margaret Frens, who is an assistant professor of kinesiology and athletic trainer, have received a grant from the college's CrossRoads Project to develop "Directions and Journey: Family, Faith and College," a capstone Senior Seminar course that will help students learn and examine their philosophies of life as they relate to their careers, their beliefs and their families. In the fall she will teach a new First-Year Seminar titled "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: Sports in America," a class for new students that will consider the sociology of sport in light of current events, and in the spring she will teach another Senior Seminar that she is developing, "Sports, Religion, and Ethics."
Folkert joined the Hope staff in 1985 as an assistant director for college advancement, working in the office of public relations with responsibilities including the college's alumni newspaper, "news from Hope College." She joined the staff of the registrar's office in 1988, serving as a data entry specialist and special projects editor until 1993. She served as the assistant director of the college's popular intramural sports program from 1997 to 2003.
She became athletic ticket manager in 1998, and senior woman administrator for athletics in 2003.
Folkert is a 1983 Hope graduate, and in June will complete a master's degree in athletic administration at Western Michigan University. She and her husband, Cal, a 1981 Hope graduate, live in Holland with their two sons, Peter and Matt.
The "Vanderbush-Weller Development Fund" was established in honor of longtime Hope professor and football coach Alvin Vanderbush, who retired in 1972 and died earlier this year, on February 20. It was created by Ken and Shirely Weller of Knoxville, Iowa. Ken Weller is one of Vanderbush's former players and also a former Hope faculty colleague.