Dr. Ronald Wolthuis has been presented the 38th annual "Hope Outstanding Professor Educator" (H.O.P.E.) award by the 2002 Hope College graduating class.
Wolthuis, an associate professor of education who is retiring at the end of the school year, was honored during the college's annual Honors Convocation, held in Dimnent Memorial Chapel on Thursday, April 25, at 7 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.
Wolthuis joined the Hope faculty in 1985. His professional focus has been in special education, and courses he has been teaching during the current school year include "The Exceptional Child," "Introduction to Emotionally Impaired," "Psychoeducational Strategies" and "Senior Seminar."
Prior to coming to Hope, he was on the faculty of Michigan State University for 14 years, most recently as an associate professor in the Department of Counseling, Educational Psychology and Special Education, and as coordinator of the Severely Impaired/Autistic Teacher Training Program.
His previous career experiences included coordinating Field Test Center Research Programs for the Cybernetics Research Institute in Washington, D.C., and teaching emotionally impaired adolescents at Pine Rest Christian Hospital in Grand Rapids.
Wolthuis has been active at the state and national levels, including the Professional Advisory Boards of the Autism Society of Michigan and the Michigan Association for Children with Emotional Disturbance; Institutions for Higher Education Advisory Committee; and the Education Committee of the Autism Society of America.
He has also received honors including the Special Recognition Award and a Professional of the Year Award from the Autism Society of Michigan. The Hope student body elected him a recipient of the fall, 2000, "Honorary Professor/Staff Member" award, presented at Homecoming. He will present the college's Commencement address on Sunday, May 5.
He has made numerous presentations at state and national conferences.
Wolthuis is a 1964 graduate of Calvin College. He completed his master's degree in special education and doctorate in educational leadership at Western Michigan University, in 1967 and 1970 respectively.
He and his wife Sherrie have three sons: Eric, a 1994 Hope graduate; Brian, a 1997 graduate; and Kevin, who is graduating this year.