posted October 5, 2009

Students to Honor Two Faculty during Homecoming

 Hope College students will honor two members of the faculty during halftime of the college's Homecoming game on Saturday, Oct. 10.

Dr. Steven Hoogerwerf, associate professor of religion, will receive the 14th "Faculty Appreciation Award" presented by the student body and awarded annually since 1996.  Dr. James Boelkins, provost and professor of biology, who announced in August that he will be retiring at the end of the school year, will receive special recognition for his service to the college as Hope's chief academic officer.

The game will take place at Holland Municipal Stadium at 2 p.m. and will feature competition with Albion College.  The halftime activities will also feature the crowning of the Homecoming king and queen.

Hoogerwerf has taught at Hope since 1992.  The graduating class chose him to deliver the college's Commencement address in May 2008, and the graduating Class of 2007 presented him with the "Hope Outstanding Professor Educator" (H.O.P.E.) Award in May 2007.  In 2006, he received the college's Janet Andersen Excellence in Teaching Award.

A recent focus of his work has been in the area of service-learning.  He leads a May Term course on the Pine Ridge Reservation, where students learn about the history, culture and religion of the Oglala Lakota tribe partly in the context of direct involvement in service to reservation residents.

For several years he has accompanied Hope students participating in the college's annual spring break mission trips and has co-led training session for leaders of the Hope trips.  He continues to develop resources to help students reflect on what they are learning as they engage in service to others.

In February 2007 Hoogerwerf received a Michigan Campus Compact (MCC) Faculty/Staff Community Service-Learning Award.  The awards recognize outstanding community service and service-learning by faculty and staff at the colleges and universities that are members of MCC, with recipients honored for engaging or influencing students to be involved in community service or service-learning through modeling, influence or instruction.  Hoogerwerf and two of his recent May Term students are currently proposing to lead a workshop for Campus Compact's annual institute on the service-learning model used in his May Term course.

He was a member of the Hope committee that drafted the grant proposal for the CrossRoads Project, funded with support from the Lilly Endowment Inc.  The program, which began with the 2003-04 academic year, is designed to help students think theologically about the role of calling or vocation in their lives.

Hoogerwerf's scholarship focuses on sexual ethics, medical ethics, and religion and society.  During the current semester he is teaching the college's Senior Seminar on "Vocation and Health Care" as well as the courses "Religion and Atrocity," and "Introduction to Theology: Christian Love."

Hoogerwerf has also served as an adjunct member of the faculty of Western Theological Seminary since 1996.  Other appointments through the years have included serving as director of adult ministries at Second Reformed Church in Zeeland; spiritual care coordinator with Hospice of Holland Inc.; interim associate minister at Olin Binkley Memorial Baptist Church in Chapel Hill, N.C.; associate minister of United Reformed Church in Somerville, N.J.; and staff associate with the office of social witness of the Reformed Church in America.

His current community involvements include serving on the ethics committees of Holland Community Hospital, and as an ethics consultant to Freedom Village and Resthaven Patrons Inc.

Hoogerwerf graduated from Hope in 1977 with majors in religion and philosophy.  He completed his Master of Divinity degree at Western Theological Seminary in 1981 and his doctorate, in theology and ethics, at Duke University in 1991.

Boelkins has served at Hope since 2002.  A 1966 Hope graduate, he has worked in higher education administration for more than 30 years, including 25 years as the chief academic officer at Hope and other institutions.

Boelkins's tenure as provost has been an active time in the college's academic life, with Hope adding two academic majors and seven minors, and receiving more than $23 million in external grants and spending more than $83.5 million to construct or renovate academic buildings.  The college has hired 83 faculty, with 27 members of the faculty retiring.

Among other signs of academic excellence, a recent report by Research Crossroads found that Hope held more funding from the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health than any other liberal arts college in Michigan.  Hope is the only private, four-year liberal arts college in the United States with national accreditation in art, dance, music and theatre.

In addition to his service at Hope, he is active in professional associations and local organizations.  Among other activities, he chairs the Great Lakes Colleges Association Deans' Council, the Advisory Committee of the Van Andel Institute Graduate School, chairs the Board of Directors of Wedgwood Christian Services, and is active in his church.

Boelkins came to Hope from Grand Valley State University, where he had been since July 2000 and was serving as vice provost of the Pew Campus in Grand Rapids.  He was previously with Geneva College in Beaver Falls, Pa., for 15 years, first as vice president for academic affairs and then, starting in 1992, as provost.

From 1972 to 1975, and from 1977 to 1985, he was a member of the faculty of the University of North Dakota School of Medicine, Grand Forks, where he chaired and developed a new department of pharmacology. He received a variety of awards at the university, including recognition in both 1978 and 1983 as the Outstanding Basic Science Teacher.

From 1975 to 1977, Boelkins was a member of the pharmacology faculty at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine. He was also a postdoctoral fellow at The Pennsylvania State University during 1971-72.

He was an elected member of several national scientific organizations and published research during his tenure in the medical schools.

He majored in biology at Hope. He completed a Master of Science degree at the University of North Dakota, Grand Forks in 1968, and a doctorate in pharmacology at the University of Missouri at Columbia in 1971.