posted August 1, 2013

Hope Appoints New Alumni Board Officers and Members

Connor Brady, Bradley Norden, Jodi Wickersheimer

During its May meeting, the Hope College Alumni Association Board of Directors elected new officers and appointed three new members.

Newly elected to a two-year term as president is Tom Kyros, a 1989 graduate from Grand Rapids who had previously served as vice president.  He succeeds Lisa Bos, a 1997 graduate from Washington, D.C., whose service on the board is continuing.

Succeeding Kyros as vice president is Todd Houtman, a 1980 graduate from Indianapolis, Ind.

Newly appointed as secretary is Nancy Otterstrom, a 1978 graduate from Bethel, Conn.  Otterstrom is succeeding Anita Van Engen, a 1998 graduate from San Antonio, Texas, whose service on the board has concluded.

The board’s new members are:  Connor Brady, a Hope junior from Walker; Bradley Norden, a 2004 graduate from Christiansburg, Va.; and Jodi Wickersheimer, a 2001 graduate from Chicago, Ill.

Sa’eed Husaini of Jos, Nigeria, formerly Senior Class Representative, was appointed representative of the most recent graduating class.  Samantha Rushton of Warren, formerly Junior Class Representative, was appointed Senior Class Representative.

In addition to Van Engen, the board members who have concluded their service are:  Andrea Converse, a 2012 graduate from Lowell; Lori Droppers, a 1983 graduate from Maitland, Fla.; and Eli Sanchez, a 1978 graduate from Hinsdale, Ill.

Brady is pursuing a degree in special education.  His activities at the college include serving on the leadership “Dream Team” for the student-organized Dance Marathon fund-raiser held on behalf of Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital, as a resident assistant, as a member of the Student Alumni Leadership Council and as a play coach for the Nykerk Cup competition.

He has two sisters who are also students at Hope--MacKenzie, a senior; and Ellie, who will be a freshman—and a third sister at home who is in high school.  He is a 2011 graduate of Catholic Central High School in Grand Rapids, and the son of David and Michelle Brady of Walker.

Norden is a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist with Valley Anesthesia PC in Blacksburg, Va.

He graduated from Hope in 2004 with a BA in biology and in 2005 with a BSN.  While at Hope, he participated in collaborative research with Dr. James and Glenda Gentile for two years, was vice president of the Hope Student Nurses’ Association, and was a member of the varsity swimming and diving team for four years.

In addition to his current role at Valley Anesthesia, his career experience includes having worked as a registered nurse with Spectrum Health in Grand Rapids.  He graduated from Duke University in 2010 with an MSN.

Norden attended Hope as a third-generation student, the son of John and Nancy Norden of the Class of 1971 and grandson of James Riekse of the Class of 1941.  He and his wife, Heather, who is a member of the Class of 2006, have two-year-old son, Karsten, and a daughter due in November.

Wickersheimer is director of major gifts at Harris Theater for Music and Dance in Chicago, Ill.  She previously held positions in development with Roosevelt University, the Chicago College of Performing Arts and University Libraries, the American Diabetes Association and Lexington College.  She was also a performer with Jump Rhythm Jazz Project for seven years.

She graduated from Hope with majors in dance performance/choreography and communication, and completed a Master of Management degree at North Park University.  While a student she performed with Aerial Dance Theatre, the Strike Time Dance Company and InSync Dance Theater.  In addition to performing in dance productions at the college, her activities included the Sigma Omicron (dance) and Mortar Board honorary societies, the Delta Phi sorority, the Nykerk Cup competition and Pull tug-of-war, Habitat for Humanity, Dance Marathon, the WTHS student radio station and serving on the Greek Judicial Board.

The summer after graduation, Kurtze competed in the Miss Indiana Scholarship Program as a regional winner, and in 2002 she was named Miss Chicago.  She has been involved in numerous community organizations through the years, and among other activities is currently on the board of directors for Links Hall.

She has been active in the life of the college since graduation, including adjudicating student dance concerts, teaching master classes and participating in a career panel.  In September 2006 she performed on campus with Jump Rhythm Jazz Project through the Great Performance Series.  Hope presented her with a Young Alumni Award in 2007.

She and her husband, Eliot, have a young daughter, Mila.