posted March 30, 2012

Four Members of the Faculty to Retire

Four members of the Hope College faculty will be  retiring at the end of the school year.

Retiring are:  Dr. Jane Dickie, professor of psychology; Diane Lucar-Ellens, associate professor of Spanish; Herb Martin, associate professor of accountancy; and Jim VanderMeer, associate professor of kinesiology.

Jane Dickie joined the Hope faculty in 1972.  Her teaching responsibilities have included Developmental Psychology, Developmental Research Laboratory, Introduction to Women’s Studies, Psychology of Women, Feminist Visions of Justice, Psychology of Peace and Gender, and the Women’s Studies Keystone Seminar.

She established—and served as the first director of—the college’s women’s studies program, which from courses she developed in the 1980s became a minor in 1991 and expanded to include a major in 2005.  She has involved students as collaborative researchers in her research throughout her time at Hope; through the years they have received a variety of regional and national honors, including a national Undergraduate Research Award from Psi Chi – The International Psychology Honor Society this coming August.  She has received honors including the Hope Outstanding Professor Educator (H.O.P.E.) Award presented by the college’s graduating Class of 1996; the Janet Andersen Award for Excellence in Teaching presented by college’s provost’s office in 1998, and a citation from the Great Lakes Colleges Association in 1996 in recognition of her work in the field of women’s studies.

She completed her undergraduate degree in psychology at Alma College in 1968, and her master’s and doctorate in psychology at Michigan State University in 1970 and 1973 respectively.

She and her husband, Larry, have two daughters, Sara and Jennifer, and three grandchildren, with a fourth grandchild on the way.

In retirement she will expand her involvement in denominational and community service, participating in an effort of the Reformed Church in America to increase sensitivity to gender issues, serving as a member of the consistory of Hope Church in Holland and serving on the boards of the Center for Women in Transition and Room for All.

Diane Lucar-Ellens joined the Hope faculty part-time in 1990 and full-time in 1995.  Her courses have included first-year Spanish and upper-level conversation, as well as classes in the First-Year Seminar program.  Her activity in the department has also included establishing, with colleague Dr. Daniel Woolsey, a Spanish-language chapel program.

She began her undergraduate education at Hope, where she studied for two years before spending a year in Bogota, Colombia.  She subsequently taught English as a second language in Peru for some years before returning to the United States, where she completed her bachelor’s degree in Spanish at Calvin College in 1973 and a master’s degree in Spanish at Grand Valley State University in 1984.

Lucar-Ellens taught Spanish in the Grand Rapids Christian Schools for 10 years and at Calvin College for 10 years in addition to service to Hope.  She also spent nine years teaching Spanish in Merida, Mexico, through a summer missionary training program of Kuyper College.

A member of the United Methodist Church, she has been a Bible Study Fellowship leader for 15 years.  Also for the past 15 years, she has been an active member of Master Arts theater as a director, actress and stage hand, and a member of three traveling troupes that present dramatic programs for churches, schools and other organizations.

In retirement she and her husband, Steve, will engage in full-time missionary service, traveling across the United States and Canada to engage in a variety of projects arranged with local organizations through Roving Volunteers in Christ’s Service.  They will also visit her two daughters, Melissa, who graduated from Hope in 2000, and Alexandra, who graduated from Calvin College in 1992.

Herb Martin has been a member of the Hope faculty since 1982.  He teaches courses including Individual Taxation, Corporate Tax and Research, Accounting Information Systems and Cost Accounting.

He has also enjoyed working with students outside of class, such as by mentoring a group of students committed to helping low-income families through the Voluntary Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program sponsored by the Internal Revenue Service, one of a variety of service activities in which students in the accounting program engage.

Martin’s research and professional interests include QuickBooks consulting, Complete Picture Accounting software and tax consulting.  He has made two seminar presentations during the college’s Winter Happening event, focused on Social Security in 2006 and Michigan’s tax system in 2008.

He completed his undergraduate degree, with a major in business administration, at John Brown University in 1975, and a Master of Science degree in accounting at the University of Arkansas in 1977.  Prior to joining the Hope faculty, he worked in public accounting.

He has served as a church treasurer and has made presentations to church treasurers in the West Michigan area.  Martin has done consulting work with several local charitable organizations.

His wife, Vonda, graduated from Hope in 2007 (psychology), the same year as their middle child, Erika (education).  They also have a son, Ryan, who graduated from Hope in 2005 (accounting), and another daughter, Jana, who is graduating this year (education).  Martin and his wife are also looking forward to Ryan’s marriage this summer and to Erika and Andrew Boehm’s expected arrival, their first grandchild.

Jim VanderMeer joined Hope in 1985 as an assistant football coach and recruiter, and became a full-time member of the faculty in 2006, serving as coordinator of academic programs for physical education and health education programs.  His courses have included Methods of Teaching Secondary Physical Education, Introduction to Physical Education Lab and Health Dynamics, as well as activity classes in badminton and racquetball.

He graduated from Hope in 1976 with a mathematics major and physical education minor, and as a student played football and was a member of the mathematics honorary society.

He went on to teach at the junior-high level with the Holland Public Schools, first with an emphasis on mathematics and then, after completing a master’s degree in physical education at Western Michigan University in 1982, with an emphasis on physical education.  His service to the schools included coaching junior-varsity football, and junior-high volleyball and track.

He is an active member of Third Reformed Church, where his service has included being a youth leader, a deacon and a member of the choir.  He has also volunteered in a variety of other ways, including with the schools, Holland’s recreation program, the Tulip Time Festival and the state high school track meet.

He and his wife, Cathy, have four daughters, all of whom attended Hope, Amy, who graduated in 2001; Jennifer, who graduated in 2007; Emily, who graduated in 2009; and Sarah, who graduated in 2010.  They also have two grandchildren.

In retirement, which he recognizes won’t feel underway until football practice starts without him, he plans to enjoy time with family as well as outdoor activities like fishing and kayaking.