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Faculty Profile: Daniel Woolsey
Assistant Professor of Spanish

Dr. Daniel Woolsey was first attracted to Hope to teach as he was searching for smaller undergraduate institutions with an emphasis on research in a vibrant faith context.

“Hope offers a unique blend of research opportunities and the liberal arts tradition. This combination, plus Hope’s unique stance as a Christian liberal arts college, was a very strong draw for me,” he says. “When I interviewed at Hope, I also had open invitations to visit other church-affiliated schools, but I fell in love with Hope.”

During his time at Hope, Dr. Woolsey’s first impressions of the college have remained true. “For me, what makes Hope unique is that it is a Christian liberal arts college where students are not obligated to sign any form of faith statement, but may explore their faith honestly and grow not only intellectually but also spiritually if they so choose,” he says. “Our chapel program on campus is outstanding, and one of the reasons is the fact that students get to choose to participate.”

Dr. Woolsey appreciates that the college’s faith dimension complements a solid academic program. He is a passionate advocate for his own discipline, believing that education in language classes is crucial in today’s world. “Spanish at Hope College is a great program to be in right now. Due to the interconnectedness of the world today, having Spanish as a tool is beneficial to any professional,” he says.

Spanish students are able to volunteer in their communities as well. Some students volunteer as teaching assistants in local Spanish immersion programs, while others volunteer with the English as a Second Language (ESL) program to teach English to Spanish-speaking Holland residents. Along with volunteering, Dr. Woolsey also invites students to conduct nationally-recognized research in Hispanic linguistics and literature.

Hope also offers various long- and short-term study-abroad opportunities for students to learn about other cultures and to speak languages outside of the classroom. “Each program offers a unique set of opportunities, from intermediatelevel learners, to advanced service-learning experiences, internships and independent research projects,” he says.

In addition to Hope’s variety of study abroad programs, Dr. Woolsey also views the college’s class sizes, faculty-student ratios and personalized educational experiences as advantages. “One of the things I like most about Hope is that I can develop good friendships with many of my students and I get to see them around campus and even in other classes as they grow and mature,” he says. “That is very rewarding for me.”

This profile was written by Christopher M. Lewis, a 2009 Hope College graduate from Troy, Mich., for the 2009-2010 Hope College Catalog.

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