Long-time faculty member Susan M. Cherup, who is the Arnold and Esther Sonneveldt Professor of Education at Hope College, has been named recipient of the college’s 15th annual “Vanderbush-Weller Award” for strong, positive impact on students.

The award recognizes and supports the efforts of Hope faculty and staff who make extraordinary contributions to the lives of students.  Cherup was honored during a luncheon on Thursday, May 1.

“Susan is a gift to students through her love of teaching, the unconditional care she shows to all, and the way she reaches out to nurture students on the margins,” said Dr. Richard Frost, vice president and dean of students at Hope, whose office coordinates the award, which is presented based on nominations from the campus community.  “Her smile is infectious and is like sun on a winter day.”

Cherup has been a member of the Hope faculty since 1976 and was appointed to her endowed professorship in 2006.  Her areas of expertise are special education and technology integration.

During the school year, she teaches courses including “Exceptional Child” and “Computers and Technology: Special Education,” in addition to supervising student teachers in a variety of placements at the elementary and secondary level.  She was also instrumental in implementing the college’s May Term Native American Studies program on the Rosebud Indian Reservation in South Dakota, which she will be leading for a 24th year later this month. She previously took May Term groups to the Rio Grande Valley in Texas for seven years.

Following a 1993 sabbatical during which she traveled some 15,000 miles to investigate how schools around the country used technology in the classroom, Cherup played a leadership role in blending technology into the Hope education department’s coursework. In 2002, the department received one of only six “Distinguished Achievement Awards” nationwide from the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) for “exhibiting exemplary models” for integrating the society’s “National Educational Technology Standards” for Teachers. Her publications include the chapter “Technology Integration” included in the 2004 book “Finding our way: Teacher education reform in the liberal arts setting,” which was written by the department of education at Hope.

She was voted the co-recipient of the college’s “Hope Outstanding Professor Educator” (H.O.P.E.) Award in 1988 by that year’s graduating class. In 1989, she delivered the college’s Commencement address. In 1999 she was named a recipient of the college’s “Provost’s Award for Excellence in Teaching” (renamed the “Janet L. Andersen Excellence in Teaching Award in 2006), and in 2011 she received the college’s “Academic Computing Committee Faculty Innovation Award.”  In 2013, she and her husband, along with an anonymous donor, established the Susan M. and Glenn G. Cherup Professorship in Education, which is held by colleague John Yelding.

Cherup is a 1964 Hope graduate. She holds a master’s degree from Western Michigan University.

The “Vanderbush-Weller Development Fund” was established in honor of longtime Hope professor and football coach Alvin Vanderbush, who retired in 1972 and died on Feb. 20, 2005. It was created by Ken and Shirely Weller of Pella, Iowa. Ken Weller is one of Vanderbush’s former players and also a former Hope faculty colleague.