Hope College faculty members Dr. Chad Carlson and Dr. Deborah Van Duinen have been awarded Lilly Faculty Fellowships by the Lilly Network of Church-Related Colleges and Universities.

The fellowships are for mid-career faculty leaders across the disciplines at Network schools to engage the intersections of Christian thought and practice with the academic vocation.  Selected as a team for the two-year Lilly Fellows Program, Carlson and Van Duinen will share a $16,000 award that will include $8,000 in start-up funding to launch a faculty-development campus project at Hope.  They will also participate in four conferences in Indianapolis and Chicago between June of this year and June of 2026 for which the network will provide lodging and related materials.

Dr. Chad CarlsonCarlson is a professor of kinesiology and the director of general education at Hope, where he has been a member of the faculty since 2014.  His research is focused broadly on the socio-cultural aspects of sport. His areas of specialization and interest include the philosophy of sport, the history of sports and their role in cultural trends and the connection between sports and Christianity.

In October 2019, he co-directed the second Global Congress on Sport and Christianity, held at Calvin University.  His publications include the book, “Making March Madness: The Early Years of the NCAA, NIT, and College Basketball Championship Tournaments, 1922–1951” (University of Arkansas Press, 2017).  A 2003 graduate of Hope, where as a student he was on the men’s basketball team, he conducted research during the 2021-22 academic year on the origins of the Hope-Calvin men’s basketball rivalry through a Visiting Research Fellowship from the college’s A.C. Van Raalte Institute.

Carlson earned his Master of Arts degree in the health, physical education and recreation, and pedagogy program at Western Michigan University, and his doctorate in kinesiology and the history/philosophy of sport program at Penn State University.  Prior to returning to Hope as a professor, he was an assistant professor, assistant chair and graduate program coordinator of the Department of Kinesiology and Sports Studies at Eastern Illinois University.

Dr. Deborah Van DuinenDeborah Van Duinen is the Arnold and Esther Sonneveldt Professor of Education and founding director of the Hope College NEA Big Read Lakeshore and Little Read Lakeshore. She writes and teaches in the area of English education, adolescent literacy and young adult literature.

Van Duinen joined the Hope faculty in 2010 and was appointed to her endowed professorship in 2021. She serves as Hope College’s Senior Seminar director, leads the secondary education program in the Department of Education and has served as the campus’ faculty moderator. She recently started a three-year term as a Fulbright Specialist.

The NEA Big Read Lakeshore has received a grant from the national NEA Big Read every year since 2014, and the Little Read Lakeshore has received a grant from Michigan Humanities every year since 2019. The two programs were named the Statewide Community Impact Partner of the Year for 2021 by Michigan Humanities.  Van Duinen received the 2016 Michigan Reading Association’s Individual Literacy Award for her leadership with the Big Read and with English education. In 2013, Hope presented her with its Towsley Research Scholar award.

She frequently collaborates with English education students and area English high school teachers on research projects and conference presentations. Her co-authored book, “Widening the Lens: Integrating Multiple Approaches to Adolescent Literacy Instruction,” was published this year, and she is also a co-author of “Teaching Graphic Novels to Adolescent Multilingual (and All) Learners: Universal Design, Pedagogy, and Practice” (2024) and “Young Adult Literature and Spirituality: How to Unlock Deeper Understanding with Class Discussion” (2022).

Van Duinen has been on the board of editors for Reformed Journal since 2012 and serves on the board of Opportunity Thrive. She is a past member of the Michigan Council of Teachers of English Executive Committee. A 1998 graduate of Calvin University, she taught high school English for five years before pursuing her master’s at Calvin and her doctorate at Michigan State University.

Founded in 1991, the Lilly Network of Church-Related Colleges and Universities (formerly the Lilly Fellows Program) seeks to strengthen the quality and shape the character of church-related institutions of higher learning through four programmatic initiatives, of which the Lilly Faculty Fellows Program is one. In addition, the network: (1) offers postdoctoral teaching fellowships at Valparaiso University for early-career scholars who wish to prepare themselves for positions of teaching, scholarship, and leadership within church-related institutions; (2) supports students of exceptional academic talent who are exploring vocations in church-related higher education during their early years of graduate school in the Lilly Graduate Fellows Program; and (3) maintains a collaborative and ecumenical National Network of Church-Related Colleges and Universities that sponsors a variety of activities designed to strengthen the mission of church-related institutions.

The Lilly Network of Church-Related Colleges and Universities represents among its current membership of 100 schools a diversity of denominational traditions, institutional types, and geographical locations.  The network is based at Christ College, the interdisciplinary honors college of Valparaiso University in Northwest Indiana.