Dr. Dianne Portfleet, adjunct associate professor of English at Hope College, has been presented the 42nd annual "Hope Outstanding Professor Educator" (H.O.P.E.) Award by the graduating Class of 2006.
She was named the recipient during the college's Commencement ceremony, held at Holland Municipal Stadium on Sunday, May 7, at 3 p.m.
The award, first given in 1965, is presented by the graduating class to the professor who they feel epitomizes the best qualities of the Hope College educator.
Portfleet began teaching at Hope in 1988. Her teaching and research specialties are expository writing, Western world literature and children's literature. Her courses in the college's cultural heritage and Senior Seminar programs are especially popular with students.
She is the author of numerous scholarly articles as well as of the book "Shaping Our Lives with Words of Power: A Study of the Major Works of Walter Wangerin, Jr.," published in 1996 and the first critical, in-depth study of Wangerin's works. Her son's purchase of an abandoned copper mine in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan stimulated her interest in the history of mining in Michigan, and resulted in the 2005 publication "The History of the Adventure Mining Company from the Ancient Miners to the Present," a compilation of original documents relating to the mine.
Portfleet serves as the faculty advisor for the college's chapter of Mortar Board. She won the "Hope's Outstanding Woman" Award in 2003.
A 1969 graduate of Pennsylvania State University, Portfleet did graduate work at the University of Georgia and received her Ph.D. from Columbia Pacific University in 1984. She also taught for 12 years at Grand Rapids Baptist College (now Cornerstone University).
She has one son, Matthew Portfleet, who is an engineer and graduate of Michigan Tech University. He and his wife, Victoria, also a graduate of MTU, own and operate the Adventure Copper Mine in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, which specializes in underground tours. Her husband, Dr. Terrance Portfleet, is owner of Michigan Lightning Protection Inc.
She is a member of First Evangelical Covenant Church, where she serves on the church council and has been an Adult Christian Formation teacher for the last 21 years. She also faithfully volunteers her time at the Christian Rest Home, assisting in the Dementia Ward.
Portfleet's favorite vacation outing would be fishing in Alaska, and her favorite authors include Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Chaim Potok and Walter Wangerin Jr. Her most faithful friend is Obi-Wan Kenobi "Ben," the family's German Wirehaired Pointer.