/ Provost's Office

Sabbatical Summaries

Welcome back to our faculty returning from fall 2022 sabbaticals!

Christopher Fashun, Music
Recognized both in the United States and abroad for his scholarship and performing and teaching Brazilian music and culture, Dr. Christopher Fashun's sabbatical research began as a deeper exploration of Brazilian choro (pronounced SHAUW-roo). One of the primary goals focused on the composition of three orchestra arrangements for orchestra in this style. Upon the completion of his first arrangement, Festa na Lagoa (a composition written by Choro das 3), he received an invitation to do a weeklong residency at St. Olaf College conducting, rehearsing and teaching this arrangement with the St. Olaf Orchestra. The success of this led to a professional orchestra in Portugal requesting to perform it for their upcoming 2022–23 season. In turn, the original goal of writing three arrangements led to a grander vision. Collaborating with Choro das 3, a new project of creating an entire program of orchestra arrangements featuring Choro das 3 as soloists began with the goal of completing all the arrangements by May of 2023.
In addition to his scholarship and creative projects in Brazilian choro, Dr. Fashun continued his study of Brazilian music education, racism, religion, culture and speaking Portuguese. The culmination of his sabbatical work was displayed in a two-week trip to Brazil. The first week was spent in the cities of Porto Feliz and São Paulo performing two concerts with the acclaimed choro group Choro das 3 while working on the new project of choro arrangements for orchestra. The second week was spent in the northeastern city of Salvador, where he received an invitation in August to perform a percussion concert at the Federal University of Bahia. As part of this concert, Dr. Fashun taught and coached two percussion ensembles with undergraduate students who also performed at the percussion concert.
Richard Ray, Kinesiology

Dr. Richard Ray enjoyed the privilege of a sabbatical from his teaching responsibilities during the fall 2022 semester. During this time he focused the bulk of his professional work on further developing the Hope-Western Prison Education Program. The following has been accomplished:

  • A second cohort of 12 HWPEP students was recruited and oriented and began their college studies.
  • He taught a First-Year Seminar to HWPEP’s second cohort in July–August.
  • The first cohort of HWPEP students was shepherded through its second, third and fourth semesters of the BA program.
  • More than $250,000 was raised in support of year three of the program.
  • Oriented professors for the spring and summer 2023 semesters.
  • Established and staffed a HWPEP office at Western Theological Seminary.
  • Directed the activities associated with the college’s Ready for Pell grant.
  • Collaborated with student leadership at Hope and Western Theological Seminary for a joint student group related to HWPEP’s mission and purposes.
  • Created the HWPEP Reentry Network and developed processes and procedures by which paroled HWPEP students can finish their degrees in Holland.
  • Began to recruit future leadership for the program.

He also published two books based on his 2016 and 2019 pilgrimages to Santiago de Compostela, Spain:

  • The Shape of My Heart: A Pilgrimage Remembrance, Eugene, OR: Resource. 2022.
  • Walking Gratefully: A Camino Story, Eugene, OR: Resource. 2022.
Todd Steen, Economics & Business

During his sabbatical leave in the fall semester of 2022, Todd Steen wrote two papers, one on the history of the journal The Gordon Review (the predecessor of Christian Scholar's Review), and one on teaching internships with a focus on vocation and calling. As part of the work on the first paper, he worked on constructing a digital archive of the journal. In addition. he completed two book reviews to be published in 2023 and wrote three blog posts which were published at the CSR Christ Animating Learning blog.

During his sabbatical, Steen also continued his work as managing editor of Christian Scholar's Review, including finishing a redesign of the interior of the journal, working on producing two issues of the journal, and organizing the annual meeting of the journal at the University of Notre Dame.
Jeff Tyler, Religion

Jeff Tyler worked on two projects during his fall sabbatical.

First, Jeff has drafted a historical essay on the ‘Religious Landscape of Hope College in the 21st century.’ In particular, this essay addresses how Hope has fared since the publication of the book Can Hope Endure? (published in 2005 by James Kennedy and Caroline Simon) with an eye toward changes in Hope’s student body, new and innovative programs created, and efforts to articulate the mission of Hope ‘in the context of the historic Christian faith.’

Second, Jeff has researched how 16th century commentators have understood the Rechabites — a nomadic people who appear in the biblical book of Jeremiah. The Rechabites receive divine blessing due to their faithfulness to a peculiar code. The Rechabites — men, women, and children — renounce fixed housing, agriculture and the consumption of alcohol. Their example raised profound questions for Catholics and Protestants who sought to describe a full and faithful Christian life.