Dr. Charlotte vanOyen-Witvliet

Professor of Psychology and Department Chair
616.395.7167witvliet@hope.edu
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Charlotte vanOyen-Witvliet is a professor of psychology and has been a member of the Hope faculty since 1997. Her teaching responsibilities have included:

  • Introductory Psychology
  • Positive Psychology
  • Behavior Disorders
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Internships
  • Advanced Research Lab

She loves teaching and mentoring students with a vision to cultivate competence with compassion so that they are prepared for effective and faithful service and leadership in a diverse world.

She has enjoyed mentoring many Hope students in research on mental health, physiology and embodied virtue (e.g., forgiveness, gratitude, hope). She has co-authored a dozen peer-reviewed publications with students and over sixty professional conference presentations. Her research teams have won 10 Psi Chi Regional Research Awards, and several of her lab students are now psychology professors who mentor their students.

Prof. Witvliet has published dozens of peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters about her research, and has given over 100 professional presentations in local, national and international venues. She has been a member of national, multi-year, interdisciplinary work groups on the pursuit of happiness and leading from the soul.

She has conducted more than 120 media interviews about forgiveness, with her research featured in venues such as Time, Newsweek, USA Today, the Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Tribune, CNN, ABC, CBS, Michigan Radio and international newspapers. Her research is referenced in blogs and books, most recently The Book of Joy, co-authored by Desmond Tutu and the Dalai Lama in 2016.

AREAS OF Expertise

Professor Witvliet's primary research contributions have focused on forgiveness and its emotional and physiological side effects. Her team's experiments have tested compassionate and benefit-focused reappraisal strategies that facilitate granting forgiveness.

Additionally, Professor Witvliet has conducted research in trauma, mental health, emotion and psychophysiology. Her lab also studies forgiveness, repentance, self-forgiveness, gratitude and hope.

EDUCATION

Prof. Witvliet was awarded the Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Purdue University in 1997. After training as a scientist-practitioner, Prof. Witvliet completed her American Psychological Association predoctoral internship at the Durham Veterans Affairs Medical Center affiliated with Duke University, focusing on trauma and associated disorders, neuropsychological assessment, behavioral medicine, inpatient and outpatient care.

HONORS, GRANTS, & AWARDS

  • John H. and Jeanne M. Jacobson endowed professor, 2011–2015
  • Ruth and John Reed Faculty Achievement Award, 2008
  • Towsley Research Scholar Award, 2000–2004
  • Ten Psi Chi Regional Research Awards won by Professor Witvliet's student research teams

Professor Witvliet has received external grants for her research from:

  • John Templeton Foundation
  • Fetzer Institute
  • Howard Hughes Medical Institute 

Selected publications

Outside the college

One of Professor Witvliet's great joys is the opportunity to connect with people as they discern their vocations — the ways in which they can use their God-given gifts and opportunities to meet real needs in this world. Witvliet’s own multi-faceted sense of vocation includes co-parenting four lively children with her husband, John.

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Dr. Charlotte vanOyen-Witvliet

Phone Number616.395.7167

Schaap Science Center 1170 35 East 12th Street Holland, MI 49423-3605
A map showing the location for Dr. Charlotte vanOyen-Witvliet Schaap Science Center 1170 35 East 12th Street Holland MI 49423-3605