posted January 7, 2008

Hope Presents Awards to Faculty

Hope College presented awards honoring teaching, service and scholarship to faculty members during the college's annual recognition luncheon on Monday, Jan. 7.

The "Janet L. Andersen Excellence in Teaching Awards" were presented to Dr. L. Maureen Odland Dunn, associate professor of kinesiology, and Dr. John Shaughnessy, professor of psychology.

The "Ruth and John Reed Faculty Achievement Awards" were presented to Dr. David Klooster, professor of English and chairperson of the department, and Dr. Charlotte vanOyen Witvliet, associate professor of psychology.

Named a "Towsley Research Scholar" was Dr. Nathan Tintle, assistant professor of mathematics.

The "Provost's Awards for Service to the Academic Program" were presented to David Jensen, director of libraries with the rank of professor; Dr. Nancy Sonneveldt Miller, who is dean for the social sciences and professor of education; and Dr. William Mungall, who is the Elmer E. Hartgerink Professor of Chemistry.

The Janet L. Andersen Excellence in Teaching Awards are presented to faculty members who have been teaching at Hope for at least seven years and who have demonstrated recognizable excellence in specific activities or aspects of teaching. The award is named in memory of Dr. Janet Andersen, a professor of mathematics at Hope who died of injuries sustained in an automobile accident on Thursday, Nov. 24, 2005.

Dunn's primary teaching fields are exercise science and health, and her courses include "Regulation of Human Metabolism" and "Exercise Science and Health," as well as internships and special studies in exercise science. She engages students in their learning through strategies such as having them help teach specific topics within their courses and conduct research projects in conjunction with their coursework. She has been actively involved in developing the college's wellness program for Hope employees, and has in turn involved students in working with the program in a variety of ways.

Shaughnessy's teaching emphases include research methods and practical aspects of memory. "Research Methods" is a sophomore-level course required for the psychology major, and Shaughnessy typically teaches two or three sections per semester, working with students individually and in small groups to prepare them to design studies and analyze data. He is the co-author of the text book, now in its sixth edition, used in the course. He has previously been recognized for his teaching by students--the graduating senior class presented him with the Hope Outstanding Professor Educator (H.O.P.E.) Award in 1992.

The Ruth and John Reed Faculty Achievement Awards recognize members of the Hope faculty who are superior teachers and have also contributed significantly in 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 MacombCommunity College. Reed died in August 1999 at age 55.

Klooster has focused on making a difference abroad in addition to his work with Hope students. He co-edited the book "Ideas Without Boundaries: International Education Reform Through Reading and Writing for Critical Thinking," which discusses an effort to help students in formerly communist nations of Central and Eastern Europe to better prepare for democratic life. He has worked with teachers in European nations including the Czech Republic and Armenia, and more recently in Liberia. He has twice held Fulbright awards to teach American literature teaching abroad, in Slovakia in 1992-93 and in Austria in 2005.

Witvliet publishes in the field of emotion and psychophysiology, and her specialized focus is in unforgiveness, forgiveness and justice. She has published peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters and given professional presentations in local, national and international venues. She has conducted more than 100 media interviews about forgiveness, with her research featured in venues including local and national media. In the course of her research she has mentored more than two dozen Hope students who have worked collaboratively with her.

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 SchaapScienceCenter, faculty development in the pre-medical sciences and support for an endowed chair in communication.

Tintle, who has been a member of the Hope faculty since 2005, conducts research in statistical genetics, and the Towsley award will support two of his research projects as well as an initiative to refine the college's statistics curriculum. One project focuses on enhancing the accuracy of data collected in "Genome Wide Association Studies" (GWAS), a process through which scientists are identifying the genetic factors related to health and disease. The other project involves developing improved methods of interpreting genetic data concerning microbes as stored on DNA microarrays, which are thumbtip-sized chips. Both projects are interdisciplinary, and involve multiple student and faculty researchers at Hope as well as researchers at other institutions. The revision of the college's statistics curriculum includes both developing a new general-education course that will be geared toward helping students understand how to interpret statistical information that they encounter in everyday life, and integrating into the department's other courses data from a variety of ongoing Hope research projects as examples and a focus for group projects.

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.

Jensen came to Hope as director of libraries in 1984. His tenure has included the construction of the Van Wylen Library, which opened in January 1988; adaptation of new technologies that has ranged from computerizing the card catalog to developing access to more than 30,000 electronic journals and nearly 20,000 electronic books; and shepherding the growth of the collection from about 190,000 volumes in 1984 to 370,000 volumes currently. In 2004, the library was named the national winner in the college category of the "Excellence in Academic Libraries Award" presented by the Association of College and Research Libraries.

Miller has been a member of the Hope faculty since 1968 and has served as dean for the social sciences since 1985. In October she received the third annual Lakeshore ATHENA Award, recognition of excellence in service to her profession and community that has included actively assisting women in realizing their full leadership potential. In addition to the academic departments within her division, she is responsible for the college's CASA, PATH, Project TEACH and Upward Bound programs for local school children as well as for the intercollegiate athletic program and the Carl Frost Center for Social Science Research. She chaired the Hope committee that helped design the MarthaMillerCenter for Global Communication, which opened in the fall of 2005.

Mungall is the college's health professions advisor, guiding students who are interested in careers in medicine, dentistry, optometry, serving as physician assistants, veterinary medicine, physical therapy, pharmacy and occupational therapy. His teaching ranges from the First-Year Seminar program for new students to his department's course in organic chemistry for students majoring in the discipline. Hope students are actively involved in his research involving polymers, working with him both part-time during the school year and full-time during the summer.