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Alumni Profile: Angelique Finch ’94 Biehl

When Angelique Biehl visited Hope as a junior in high school, she already knew that she wanted to teach biology to high school students. “I couldn't get enough of the topic and wanted to share that with others,” she says.

Since graduating Hope in 1994, Biehl has been recognized on multiple occasions for her enthusiasm and creativity in teaching the subject. She attributes the skill to the fact that, “I never stop learning and I have had some of the best mentors in the business.”

She remembers specifically a number of Hope professors who have influenced her teaching style and helped her grow into the teacher she is today.

She is grateful to Dr. Leslie Wessman of the education faculty, for example, because “she pushed me in ways I didn't know I could be pushed.”

Dr. Baars Bultman helped bridge the gap between learning the material as a student and then teaching it later. “It was great to have a professor who was in the high school classroom everyday,” Biehl recalls. “He could give us real-life examples to what the text was saying.” Even now, she makes an effort to do the same in her own classroom. “Making real life connections can make the learning more tangible for many students,” she says.

Working through the department of education, Biehl held field placements in a variety of classrooms before graduating from Hope. “I felt very fortunate to have so much time in real-life teaching situations throughout my college career,” she recalls. “When I was hired in my first job I felt like I already had a lot of teaching experience.”

One of the most important lessons that she learned while at Hope was “to be passionate about the job you are doing.” She saw that passion in many of her Hope professors. Biologist Dr. Donald Cronkite, she recalls, “always came up with creative ways to teach us.” She follows that model in her own classroom. She remembers the impact it made when Jackie Bartley bound her students’ creative writing together in a book. “I often show my students this book today,” says Biehl, “to show them that they can publish their work also.”

Given the many ways her Hope education has helped her, Biehl encourages current students to “enjoy every minute you are there. You are at one of the finest learning institutions in the nation. You have professors that care about not only your learning, but also about your well being now and in the future. Get all of the knowledge you can and get involved.”

This profile was written by Bethany A. Katerberg, a Hope College senior from Grand Rapids, Mich., for the 2006-07 Hope College Catalog.

Hope People - Learn about the experiences of some of the people connected with Hope College.