posted January 11, 2010

Hope Presents Awards to Faculty

Hope College presented awards honoring teaching, service and scholarship during the college's annual faculty recognition luncheon on Monday, Jan. 11.

° Named a "Towsley Research Scholar" was Dr. Jeff Johnson, assistant professor of chemistry.

° The "Janet L. Andersen Excellence in Teaching Awards" were presented to Dr. Brian Coyle, professor of music and chairperson of the department, and Mary DeYoung, associate professor of mathematics.

° The "Ruth and John Reed Faculty Achievement Awards" were presented to Dr. Joanne Stewart, professor of chemistry, and Dr. Scott Vander Stoep, professor of psychology and chairperson of the department.

° The "Technology Innovation Award" was presented to Dr. Thomas Ludwig, who is the John Dirk Werkman Professor of Psychology.

° The "Provost's Awards for Service to the Academic Program" were presented to Dr. Herbert Dershem, professor of computer science and director of institutional research; Dr. Ryan McFall, associate professor of computer science; and Lannette Zylman-TenHave, administrative assistant to the provost.

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

° Jeff Johnson's award will support his research project "Carbon-Carbon Bond Activation: Mechanistic Elucidation and New Methods for Carbon Dioxide Fixation."  He is working collaboratively with Hope students on the development of non-traditional organic reactivity catalyzed by transition metals.  This new chemistry promises previously unknown methods for the incorporation of carbon dioxide, an inexpensive and inherently renewable resource, into intermediates suitable for the production of complex organic molecules such as pharmaceuticals.  Ultimately, he hopes to develop methodology capable of utilizing carbon dioxide for the synthesis of basic organic starting materials currently derived from petroleum.

Johnson joined the Hope chemistry faculty in 2007 after serving as a National Institutes of Health Postdoctoral Fellow at Colorado State University for two years.  External support received by Johnson since joining the faculty total over $0.5 million and include a five-year Camille and Henry Dreyfus Faculty Start-Up Award, a Research Corporation Cottrell College Science Award and National Science Foundation - Major Research Instrumentation award for a remotely accessible 400 MHz NMR spectrometer.

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.

° Brian Coyle was recognized for developing the college's program in jazz studies, with a particular emphasis on his skill in mentoring student performers at a range of levels while building Hope's jazz groups.  He is a performer, composer, arranger, adjudicator and clinician who frequently appears at festivals, colleges, high schools and clubs both nationally and internationally.  Professionally he has performed with internationally known artists including Roberta Flack, Al Jarreau and Jermaine Jackson, and with the National Touring Companies of "The Will Rodgers Follies" and "Guys and Dolls," among others.

° Mary DeYoung was recognized for her work and perseverance in preparing pre-service elementary teachers for careers in education, including through her teaching as well as by serving as the official academic advisor for many mathematics elementary-education majors and as an informal advisor for other elementary students.  She has spoken at a variety of national professional meetings concerning the teaching of mathematics and the preparation of mathematics teachers, and her numerous publications include the cover article in the October 2009 edition of "Teaching Mathematics in Middle School."

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 Macomb Community College. Reed died in August 1999 at age 55.

° Joanne Stewart was recognized for her work on campus and nationally in identifying and developing effective approaches to teaching.  Her activities at Hope include directing the college's Howard Hughes Medical Institute-funded program that emphasizes interdisciplinary science education through research and a research-oriented curriculum.   Among other activities nationally, she is part of a select group of chemists leading "IONiC," for "Interactive Online Network of Inorganic Chemists," a program supported by the National Science Foundation to develop an online resource to help professors of inorganic chemistry work together to improve their teaching.  Through the years she has made numerous presentations on cooperative learning at off-campus workshops as well as at Hope.

° Scott Vander Stoep was recognized for extensive professional involvement both at Hope and beyond.  He has led the college's campus-wide assessment program since 2001, and was director of the college's Carl Frost Center for Social Science Research from 1999 to 2004.  He recently concluded a term as national president of Psi Chi, the National Honor Society in Psychology, in which he has also been active at the regional level.  Among other activities in the community, he currently serves as vice president of the West Ottawa Board of Education.

The Technology Innovation Award is presented by the college's Academic Computing Advisory Team to a faculty or staff member who exemplifies innovation and ingenuity in the application of technology to the academic program.  The innovation may have been used in the classroom or out, in teaching or in research, or in any form of academic support or performance.

° Thomas Ludwig has been nationally recognized for adapting the computer and Internet for use in psychology education, and in 2005 he received the Charles L. Brewer Distinguished Teaching of Psychology Award from the American Psychological Foundation for his significant career contribution to the teaching of psychology. The Hope award honors him for his decades-long support of campus computing in teaching and learning, and for assisting faculty in his own department as well as other departments.  Among other contributions, he helped design and implement a computer-mediated learning package for introductory accounting classes at the college and is a founding member of the campus Moodle advisory board that gives direction to Hope's course-management system.

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.

° Herb Dershem has been a member of the Hope faculty since 1969, and played a leadership role in developing the college's department of computer science, including as chairperson of the department from 1975 through 2003.  He has been director of institutional research at the college since 2007.  His activities also include directing a three-year, National Science Foundation-funded scholarship program that supports students who transfer to Hope to major in biology, chemistry, computer science, engineering, the geological and environmental sciences, mathematics or physics after completing work at a community college.

° Ryan McFall has developed survey software used at Hope in roles ranging from the assessment of teaching to the online student voting for Student Congress and the Homecoming king and queen.  An advocate for the use of technology in the classroom, he has assisted colleagues in multiple departments in adopting classroom-management software.  His research interests focus on the development and evaluation of electronic textbooks that increase the usefulness of textbooks for both students and instructors.

° Lanette Zylman-TenHave has been on the staff in the provost's office since 2001.  She manages all the details of the office, ranging from the provost's calendar, to faculty contracts and salary information, to budges, committee assignments, the office's Web site, faculty development opportunities, and organizing baccalaureate and commencement and many other events.  She works with the entire faculty and all of the academic secretarial staff in providing processes that are consistent, automated and save time for all involved.