Hope College has appointed or reappointed several current members of the faculty and staff to endowed positions.
Charles Mason has been appointed the first Margaret Feldmann Kruizenga Curator of the Kruizenga Art Museum, William A. Pannapacker has been appointed to a 10-year term as the DuMez Professor of English, Jonathan W. Peterson has been appointed to a four-year term as the Lavern and Betty DePree VanKley Professor of the Geological and Environmental Sciences, and Sonja Trent-Brown has been appointed to a four-year term as the John and Jeanne M. Jacobson Associate Professor of Psychology.
Mason joined the Hope staff in 2013 as the founding director of the Kruizenga Art Museum, which will open with the beginning of the 2015-16 school year. In addition to developing programming for the facility, he is responsible for maintaining and developing the college’s Permanent Art Collection, and he also teaches a course in curation.
He is a specialist in Asian art whose publications include the book “Dragons, Tigers and Bamboo: Japanese Porcelain and Its Impact in Europe” (as co-author), as well as numerous scholarly articles and exhibition catalogs.
Immediately prior to coming to Hope, he was executive director of the Pacific Asia Museum in Pasadena, California. His previous professional experience also includes having served as chief curator of the Gardiner Museum of Ceramic Art in Toronto, Canada; chief curator and curator of Asian art at the Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art of the University of Florida in Gainesville; and curator of Asian art at the Allen Memorial Art Museum of Oberlin College in Ohio.
Mason completed his bachelor’s degree in Chinese language and literature at Cambridge University in England, and his master’s in Asian studies and art history at the University of California, Berkeley. He subsequently pursued two years of doctoral work before taking his first full-time curatorial position at Oberlin in 1996.
Pannapacker has been a member of the Hope faculty since 2000, and is active on campus, regionally and nationally in discussion and promotion of the use of digital technologies in scholarship in the arts and humanities.
He is the founding director of the college’s Mellon Scholars Program, established in 2010. The program is a Mellon-funded initiative that provides opportunities for promising Hope students to pursue individual research with faculty mentorship, while also allowing faculty and students to explore the capacities of technology to enhance research and learning.
A regular columnist for “The Chronicle of Higher Education,” he has written extensively about the use of digital technology in the arts and humanities. He has also made numerous presentations at professional meetings regarding the use of digital technology in teaching and faculty-student collaborative research. Since 2013, he has been faculty director of the Digital Liberal Arts Initiative of the Great Lakes Colleges Association.
In addition to the digital liberal arts, Pannapacker's research interests include American cultural studies with a focus on the historical contextualization of literature and the visual arts, especially works produced in the 19th century.
His publications include the book “Revised Lives: Walt Whitman and Nineteenth-Century Authorship” He is also the author of numerous shorter publications on American literature and culture, has been a contributor to the “New York Times” and “Slate,” and from 2005 to 2010 was a contributing editor to “American Literary Scholarship.”
Pannapacker holds a doctorate in the history of American civilization from Harvard University, and master’s degrees in English from both Harvard and the University of Miami. He completed his undergraduate degree in English at St. Joseph’s University.
Peterson has been a member of the Hope faculty since 1994. He maintains an active research program, which focuses on the fate and transport of antibiotics in soil and groundwater. Students regularly collaborate in his research, and are frequently co-authors on his many publications in research journals and presentations at scientific meetings.
Peterson teaches a wide range of courses in the department of geological and environmental sciences, as well as First-Year Seminars. His courses also engage students in off-campus study, and include a spring regional geology field course in Arizona.
He has twice served as a visiting scientist at the Department of Energy-Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and during both the fall of 2007 and the fall of 2014 was Resident Director of the GLCA/ACM (Great Lakes Colleges Association/Associated Colleges of the Midwest) Oak Ridge Science Semester Program.
Peterson is a 1984 Hope graduate and holds his Ph.D. in geology from the University of Chicago. Prior to returning to the college as a member of the faculty, he worked as a geologist with Amoco Production Company and as a remediation coordinator with Amoco Oil Company.
Trent-Brown has been a member of the Hope faculty since 2005. She is known on campus as an outstanding teacher and research mentor. The graduating Class of 2012 presented her with the “Hope Outstanding Professor Educator” (H.O.P.E.) Award during that year’s Commencement, and in January 2012 she received the college’s “Janet L. Andersen Excellence in Teaching Award.”
Her research interests include psychoacoustics and cognitive development, and she has involved multiple students in collaborative research. In the spring of 2010, she and her student research team received the college’s inaugural “Social Sciences Young Investigators Award” for their project “Survey of Psychological Services Requested by the Public in Various Medical Settings” and in the spring of 2015 she and her student team won a Psi Chi Regional Research Award for their project “Preschool Participation in a Nature-based Science Enrichment Program: Evaluation of Children’s Activity Preference, Literacy Skills, and Development.” She has also supervised several students in independent projects.
Trent-Brown has been active in the campus community in a variety of ways, from performing with the college’s Gospel Choir, to making a seminar presentation during the college’s Winter Happening, to serving in the past as faculty advisor for Hope’s Black Student Union, and serving with the Strategic Planning Steering Committee.
She completed her master’s and doctorate at the University of South Florida. She holds her undergraduate degree from Harvard/Radcliffe University.
In addition to recognizing faculty and staff members for excellence, endowed positions provide funding for summer research projects as well as some salary support. The college has a total of 23 endowed professorships for faculty and six endowed administrative positions.
In addition to the new appointments, Paul A. DeYoung has been reappointed to a 10-year term as the Kenneth G. Herrick Professor of Physics; Kelly Jacobsma, who has been the Genevra Thome Begg Director of Libraries with the rank of associate professor, was promoted to the Genevra Thome Begg Dean of Libraries; Thomas E. Ludwig has been reappointed to a 10-year term as the John Dirk Werkman Professor of Psychology; and William F. Polik has been reappointed to a seven-year term as the Hofma Professor of Chemistry.