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Student Profile: Marina Kovalyuk ’08

Originally from Moscow, Russia, Marina Kovalyuk found Hope College irresistible.

“I love the idea of a small Christian college,” she says. “We don’t have colleges like this in Russia.”

Being involved on-campus is essential to Marina. “It’s one more little way in which to belong,” she says. “That’s important being so far away from home.”

“There’s always something going on,” she comments. “I don’t think I’ve had a weekend where there was nothing.”

The high activity level at the college is the way that Marina prefers it. “I think that makes it so much more worth it,” she says, “so many more people you’re going to meet, so many more memories you’re going to have, so many new T-shirts!”

Since coming to Hope, Marina has been soaking up what the college has to offer. She is an international studies major, and was a part of the Phelps Scholars Program her freshman year. “I think every freshman should be a part of it,” she says of the program. “It’s a great chance not only to meet people, because Scott Hall is such a tight community and you get to know everyone instantly, but also to learn a lot about diversity. It makes you think about some of the things you’ve never thought about, even though you’d thought you’d thought about them.”

Marina has worked with the Phelps Scholars Program to spread the topics they discuss to the entire college community. She participated in Hope’s performance of Images: A Reflection of Cultures in the last few years and was even the Master of Ceremonies her sophomore year. “It’s basically a huge performance of dances, songs, poetry, and whatever from all around the world,” she exclaims. Because the program is different every year, she says, it is exciting to see what new things are shared each time.

In order to get a full view of Hope College, Marina participated in both the Nykerk competition and the Pull tug-of-war. “It’s just such a long-standing tradition and people seem so proud about being a part of it,” she says, “I wanted to see what it was that made them so proud of it.”

In between all of her activities, Marina treasures the quiet times during which she can just enjoy being with friends in the residence halls. Those moments, like the active ones, help make the campus community feel like home. “Having somebody next door who is not only a neighbor, but one of your best friends,” she says, “is amazing. You’re there with all the people who are close to you—that’s been awesome.”

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.