An investiture dinner and ceremony at Hope College on Thursday, Nov. 21, honored the eight faculty members who the college appointed or reappointed to endowed professorships beginning with the 2019-20 school year.

In addition to recognizing faculty members for excellence, endowed professorships provide funding for summer research projects as well as some salary support. The college has a total of 21 endowed professorships for faculty and six endowed administrative positions.  Two of the eight endowed professorships that were highlighted during the Nov. 21 event are new this year: the Irwin B. and Margie E. Floyd Endowed Professorship, and the Betty Roelofs ’53 Miller Endowed Professorship.

All of the eight faculty members who were honored on Nov. 21 have been at Hope for at least six years.  They are, along with their academic departments and professorships:

  • Dr. Susan Brondyk, education, the Irwin B. and Margie E. Floyd Endowed Professorship;
  • Dr. Kirk Brumels, kinesiology, the John H. and Jeanne M. Jacobson Endowed Professorship;
  • Dr. Maria Burnatowska-Hledin, biology, chemistry, and biochemistry and molecular biology, the Frederich Garrett and Helen Floor Dekker Professorship;
  • Matthew Farmer, dance, the Dorothy Wiley DeLong Professorship in Dance;
  • Dr. Jane Finn, education, the Susan M. and Glenn G. Cherup Professorship in Education;
  • Dr. Anne Heath, art and art history, the Howard R. and Margaret E. Sluyter Endowed Professorship in Art and Design;
  • Dr. Stephen Hemenway, English, the Betty Roelofs ’53 Miller Endowed Professorship;
  • Dr. Charlotte vanOyen-Witvliet, psychology, the Lavern ’39 and Betty DePree ’41 Van Kley Professorship. 
Dr. Susan Brondyk, education, the Irwin B. and Margie E. Floyd Endowed Professorship

Susan BrondykThe Irwin B. and Margie E. Floyd Endowed Professorship was given by Margie E. Floyd in honor of her parents and husband, who provided advanced education opportunities for loved ones.  It is designated for a member of the college’s education faculty.

Susan Brondyk, who is a 1984 Hope graduate, joined the education faculty in 2013. She teaches Curriculum/Methods and Classroom Management for elementary and middle school teacher candidates. In conjunction with her courses, she is working to develop partnerships with local P–12 schools.

In addition to teaching, she co-leads mentor professional development sessions for Hope’s Cooperating Teachers and College Supervisors. She serves on the CASA Board and is the co-faculty advisor for Hope’s student chapter of ASCD. She enjoys collaborating with student researchers and has been involved in studies that examine elements of effective teaching.

Her primary research focus has been in the area of mentoring new teachers. Prior coming to Hope, she served as the associate director of Launch into Teaching at Michigan State University, where she worked with principals, mentors and instructional coaches to support beginning teachers in struggling urban districts. In this capacity, she led sustained, job-embedded professional development, conducted school visits to work with leadership teams and provided one-on-one support for mentors. Sue’s research examines mentor preparation at the pre-service and induction level.

Most recently she has been studying differentiated mentoring and, in particular, the ways that mentors use the Education Department’s new Student Teaching Assessment Tool (STAT) as a developmental tool to promote growth in teacher candidates.

For more information, please visit her biographical page on the college’s website.

Kirk Brumels

Kirk BrumelsThe John H. and Jeanne M. Jacobson Endowed Professorship was established by the Hope College Board of Trustees in 1999 to honor Dr. John H. Jacobson, who was the college’s 10th president from 1987 to 1999, and Dr. Jeanne M. Jacobson, who was a senior research fellow with the college’s A.C. Van Raalte Institute. Before coming to Hope, the Jacobsons had distinguished careers in education in both Florida and New York. The Jacobson Professorship is designated for tenured faculty members with a commitment to the Christian faith who are outstanding teacher-scholars or artists and who propose to conduct a significant program of research or creative activity.

Kirk Brumels, who is a 1988 Hope graduate, returned to the college in 2001 as the head athletic trainer and assistant professor following 11 years as assistant athletic trainer for the NFL’s New England Patriots.  In 2009, he became the program director for the Athletic Training Education Program at Hope; in 2014, he began serving as professor and chair of the Department of Kinesiology. He has also served as president of the Michigan Athletic Trainer's Society and is currently a member of the National Athletic Trainer's Association Professional Education Committee.

His areas of research and interests include human anatomy, athletic training, leadership and professional development.

For more information, please visit his biographical page on the college’s website.

Maria Burnatowska-Hledin

Maria Burnatowska-HledinThe Rev. Frederich Garrett & Helen Floor Dekker Professorship was created in the 1980s by the estate of Dr. Fred H. and Marie V. Buranek Decker to provide financial support for a faculty member who has an established record of excellence in biophysics, biomedicine or biology. Dr. Decker was a 1921 Hope graduate.

Maria Burnatowska-Hledin has been a member of the Hope faculty since 1992.  She was initially appointed to the Frederich Garrett and Helen Floor Dekker professorship in 2009, and was named as an A. Paul Schaap Chemistry Fellow at the college in 2013.  She has directed Hope’s interdisciplinary Biochemistry Molecular Biology (BMB) major since its inception in 2009 and led its accreditation by the American Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB) in 2014, when Hope became one of only 13 institutions in the nation with an ASBMB-accredited major.

She has authored more than 40 publications, in scientific journals including the American Journal of Physiology, Microvascular Research, Toxicology and the Journal of Clinical Investigation.  Her current research focuses on gene cul5, also known as a vasopressin binding protein, and the role it may play in the regulation of cellular growth and in blood-pressure regulation.  Through the years, she has garnered more than $1.6 million in external grant funding, including a $503,303 award from the National Institutes of Health in 1994, and awards from the American Heart Association and the National Cancer Institute, among others.  This year she received funding from the American Heart Association to further extend her research on the role of Cul5 in the regulation of vascular cell function.

In 1999, she received one of only six “Henry Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Awards” presented nationwide to professors in the chemical sciences by the Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation in recognition of her teaching, mentorship and accomplishments in research and teaching.  Her research program has supported an average of six to eight students per year, a total of more than 100 during her time at Hope. It is particularly noteworthy that all of her Hope College publications have included students as co-authors. More importantly, students working in her lab have enjoyed great success in getting into graduate programs, professional schools, and employed positions in the fields of biology, chemistry and biochemistry.

For more information, please visit her biographical page on the college’s website.

Matthew Farmer

Matthew FarmerThe Dorothy Wiley DeLong Professorship in Dance was established in honor of Dorothy Wiley De Long by Mr. and Mrs. William P. De Long; their children, Dr. and Mrs. Jack De Long and Mr. and Mrs. Ted De Long; and friends and associates of Mrs. De Long.  Dorothy Wiley De Long was actively involved in dance throughout her life, and was a leader in introducing dance to the community and to Hope.

Matthew Farmer, who is a 2004 Hope graduate, is currently the chair of the college’s Department of Dance. A member of the faculty since 2011, he is also the co-artistic director of R.G. Dance Productions and the co-artistic director of H2 Dance Co.

Formerly the director of dance at Anderson University, he has had great success as a director, educator, choreographer, performer and author.

Formerly the associate director and company member of LehrerDance, he has appeared in Dance Teacher Magazine, Dance Magazine Online and Dance Magazine. Prior to dancing with LehrerDance, he danced with Peter Sparling as a company member of The Peter Sparling Dance Co. He also studied under and performed with Steven Iannacone.

As a soloist and guest performer, he has performance credits including Dance Chicago, Chicago Dance Festival, Dance in the Desert Festival, Men Dance Michigan, Next Step Dance, Chicago Humanities Festival, The Rein Orange (Duesberg, Germany) The European Cultural Bid (Liverpool, UK), The Roof (Germany), The Summer Stage (Brugge, Belgium) and various other festivals. He has also worked with and/or performed works by Avi Kaiser, Sergio Antonino, Merce Cunningham, Laura Dean, Matthew Thornton, Doug Varone, Daniel Nagrin and many more.

Aside from modern dance, he specializes in improvisation and jazz technique, which he teaches at many universities, conventions and private studios. He is currently on faculty with Dancer’s Inc. Conventions and Competitions and has taught for the Chicago National Association of Dance Master’s (CNADM), the Southern Association of Dance Masters (SADM), and continues to teach at conventions and master classes in the U.S. and abroad.

Other teaching credits include: Blue Lake Fine Arts Camps, Interlochen, Musiker Productions and Camps, Chelsea Dance Theatre, Anderson Young Ballet, Anderson University, Oakland University, Hope College, The University of Michigan, Eastern Michigan University, the Summer Stage (Brugge, Belgium) and various Masters Classes around the U.S. His choreography has been produced by the Wellspring/Cori Terry & Dancers, Dance in the Desert Festival, Mid-West RAD Festival, Anderson University, Eastern Michigan University, Hope College, Anderson Young Ballet, Hope Summer Repertory Theatre, Chelsea Youth Dance Theatre, Musiker Productions, Spezio Dance Dynamics, Men Dance Michigan, Hope College, Next Step Dance, dANCEpROjECT, Oakland University and many more venues/organizations.

For more information, please visit his biographical page on the college’s website.

Jane Finn

Jane FinnThe Susan M. and Glenn G. Cherup Professorship in Education was established by Susan M. Mooy '64 Cherup and Glenn G. Cherup, along with an anonymous donor, to provide financial support for a member of the faculty who is an outstanding teacher, demonstrates a commitment to the mission of Hope College, and has a record of recognized excellence in preparing undergraduates for careers as teachers.  The professorship is held by a member of the education faculty with preference given to a qualified professor whose work is focused on children with special needs. The professorship is held for five years and may be renewed once.

Jane Finn’s primary role is to instruct teacher candidates who want to major in special education. A 1986 Hope graduate, she teaches Research in Education Practice, The Exceptional Child and other courses.

She involves students in her own research, and frequently works on an independent study basis with students who are conducting research of their own. Since 2007 she has mentored more than more than 65 education majors, working individually or in teams, as they conducted more than 30 research projects on topics that ranged from the effectiveness of after-school programs to how best to prepare volunteers to assist with horse riding therapy programs for students who have disabilities. Dozens of her students have presented their findings at conferences of the National Council for Undergraduate Researchers.

She is currently collaborating with her department colleagues Dr. Vicki-Lynn Holmes and Dr. Libbey Horton on research about teaching Common Core math at the high school level to students with disabilities.

Earlier in her career, she was a high school teacher and counselor for 11 years, focusing largely on special education and counseling at the high school level. She also served as a special education consultant to several West Michigan schools. She joined the Hope faculty in 2004 and became chair of the Department of Education in 2019. She is a member of the Michigan Transition Services Association, and of chapters of the Council for Exceptional Children at Hope College and at the state, national and international levels.

Her current research focus is post-school outcomes for individuals who have mild to moderate disabilities (including learning disabilities, emotional impairments, mild intellectual impairments, ADHD/ADD and autism spectrum disorders). Her goals are to contribute to the development of evidence-based practices and to communicate new best practices to all stakeholders in order to improve future post-school outcomes for students with disabilities. She also has conducted research about reading strategies in various content areas.

For more information, please visit her biographical page on the college’s website.

 Anne Heath

Anne HeathThe Howard R. & Margaret E. Sluyter Endowed Professorship in Art and Design was given by Mrs. Margaret E. Sluyter. Dr. Howard R. Sluyter graduated from Hope in 1928 and had a distinguished career in business.  He was also a member of the Hope College Board of Trustees from 1971 to 1986.

Anne Heath has been at Hope College since 2007. She teaches the Introduction to Art History and courses in the Medieval, Islamic, Renaissance and Baroque art and architecture, all of which take a global approach to these art historical periods. Upper-level seminars include topics such as introduction to theory and methods, historical artistic techniques and the activation of the senses in pre-modern art. She also teaches seminars in which students have curated exhibitions for the De Pree Gallery, such as “The Printed Image” (fall 2008) and “Reading between the Lines” (fall 2011). Students have also proposed a redesign of the Dutch painting galleries for the Holland Museum (2014) and have assisted in exhibitions for the Kruizenga Art Museum (2017, 2019). All of her classes stress first-hand experience with works of art through field trips, object-specific projects and hands-on, professional training. Heath has an ongoing interdisciplinary and multi-staged collaborative research project with Hope students that reconstructs the architecture, visual culture and music of Saint-Germain and La-Trinité through 3D modeling, recordings, drawings and interactive maps.

She has received numerous grants and awards for her research and teaching, which have enabled her to travel in the United States and abroad to conduct archival and fieldwork research. Her publications have focused on the politics and ceremonies between the Cathedral of Saint-Etienne and the Benedictine abbey of Saint-Germain in Auxerre, France. Currently, she is working on a book length study of the visual and performance culture at the Benedictine abbey of La-Trinité in Vendôme. She is also editing a volume of essays (under contract with Brill Publishing) that address how viewers interacted with medieval environments.

For more information, please visit her biographical page on the college’s website.

 Stephen Hemenway

Stephen HemenwayThe Betty Roelofs ’53 Miller Endowed Professorship was established in 2019 through an estate provision by Betty Roelofs Miller, who was a 1953 Hope graduate and an emerita member of the Hope College Board of Trustees.  Its purpose is to provide financial support to a faculty member who has a distinguished record of achievement as a teacher and scholar.

Stephen Hemenway has taught English at Hope since 1972 and has directed the college’s Vienna Summer School since 1976. More than 2,600 students have participated in the Vienna Summer School under his tutelage, and 2020 will be his 45th year in a row in charge of this 64-year-old international program.  An acclaimed teacher, he was named Michigan’s Professor of the Year by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education in 1992, received the Hope Outstanding Professor Educator (H.O.P.E.) Award from the graduating senior class in 1977, and in 1999 received the college’s first Vanderbush-Weller Award for extraordinary contributions to students’ lives.  For his work with the Vienna Summer School, he received the Knight’s Cross First Class, Order of Merit of the Republic of Austria in 1991.

He has taught an Expository Writing I course called “Crime and Punishment” for 48 years, and has also taught many survey courses of: Western World Literature 1 and 2, Early British Literature, Modern British Literature, Modern American Literature, Modern Drama, Catholic Fiction, African-American Literature, Literature of India and Global Race Matters.  He has taught upper-level courses on the writings of James Joyce, George Bernard Shaw, Ernest Hemingway and the Beatnik Generation. He has conducted distinctive senior seminar courses on campus and in Vienna and directed many independent studies. In the field of creative writing, he has taught courses in satire and creative nonfiction.

Before coming to Hope, he taught for one year at St. Mary’s College in Above Rocks, Jamaica, West Indies, for the Jesuit Mission Program, and for one year as a Fulbright teacher at Panjab University, Chandigarh, India.

For more information, please visit his biographical page on the college’s website.

 Charlotte vanOyen-Witvliet

Charlotte vanOyen-WitvlietThe Lavern ’39 and Betty DePree ’41 Van Kley Professorship is a four-year rotating endowed professorship established through the generosity of Lavern and Betty DePree Van Kley to recognize an outstanding teacher-scholar who exemplifies in their personal and professional lives the Christian values which have marked the Hope experience since its founding.

Charlotte vanOyen-Witvliet has been a member of the Hope faculty since 1997. Her teaching responsibilities have included: introductory psychology, positive psychology, behavior disorders, clinical psychology, internships and 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 more than 60 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.

She 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, and The Science of the Virtues: Why Positive Psychology Matters to the Church by Mark McMinn in 2017.

Her 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, she has conducted research in trauma, mental health, emotion and psychophysiology. Her lab also studies forgiveness, repentance, self-forgiveness, empathy, gratitude, humility, accountability and hope.

For more information, please visit her biographical page on the college’s website.