posted April 11, 2007

Two Professors to Retire

 Two members of the Hope College faculty will retire at the end of the 2006-07 school year.

Retiring from the faculty this year are Dr. James Heisler, professor of economics, and Dr. James Zoetewey, professor of political science. Their combined service to Hope totals 67 years.

Heisler has made teaching a priority in a variety of ways during his time at Hope, where he has been a member of the faculty since 1981.

For the past 19 years he has served on and chaired the college's Teaching Enhancement Workshop held for new faculty members. He has also received acclaim for his own teaching. In 1985, the graduating class elected him the recipient of the Hope Outstanding Professor Educator (H.O.P.E.) Award, and in 1996 he received the inaugural "Provost's Award for Excellence in Teaching."

Even while specializing in his discipline of microeconomics, and serving as department chair for 17 years, Heisler has encouraged students to think broadly outside of his chosen field. He has long been committed to international education, leading or co-leading the college's London May Term for 26 years, teaching in the Vienna Summer School, and also spending a sabbatical at Cambridge University in England and a semester in Japan as the college's Meiji Gakuin Exchange Professor. In the fall of 1996 he served as acting director of international education.

His wife Jacqueline retired last year after more than two decades as director of the college's Academic Support Center, and with more free time he and she will be able to spend time traveling, both abroad and - importantly - to visit frequently their children, daughter Julie and her husband and daughter (Jim and Jackie's first grandchild, Eden) in San Diego, Calif., and son Daniel in Portland, Ore.

A native of New York, Heisler holds his Bachelor of Arts degree from Drew University, a master's from the Rockefeller School of Public Affairs of the State University of New York at Albany and a doctorate from the University of Nebraska. Prior to joining the Hope faculty, he had taught at institutions in Nebraska, Pennsylvania and Ohio.

As a member of the Hope faculty since 1966, Zoetewey has taught nearly every course his department has had to offer, several within his field of American government but also including international relations, comparative government focusing on Europe, and religion and politics, among others. He was department chair for 17 years, beginning in 1971 when he assumed the mantle from Hope teaching legend and department founder Al Vanderbush. He also led the college's spring Washington Honors Semester six times, and led eight of the department's Washington May Terms.

Through the years he expanded his knowledge of his discipline through National Endowment for the Humanities and Project '87 summer study awards on university campuses around the country. His own scholarly work has included the instructor's manual for the textbook "American Government: Essentials and Perspectives," and co-authoring the book's third edition with colleagues Dr. Robert E. Elder Jr., Dr. Jack E. Holmes and Dr. David K. Ryden as well as Dr. Michael J. Engelhardt.

Since Vanderbush retired in 1972, Zoetewey has also been the college's coordinating pre-law advisor, guiding hundreds of Hope students in their quest to gain admittance to law school. He has correspondingly been active in pre-law advising professional associations, his service including a year as president of the Midwest Association of Pre-law Advisors and a year on the Pre-law Advisors' National Committee.

Zoetewey's wife Karen is also retiring this year, after spending her career teaching in the Zeeland Christian Schools. Together the couple plans to spend time with family (children James, Lisa and Derek are all nearby, as, therefore, are their two grandchildren), travel and pursue volunteer work.

A native of Colorado, Zoetewey initially came to West Michigan to attend Calvin College, from which he graduated in 1960. He holds his doctorate from the University of Colorado.