Say farewell to eight professors

This year will be the last chance to be taught by eight retiring members of the Hope College faculty. The retiring professors have served a combined 280 years at Hope, mentoring and instructing countless students during that time.

Barney, the T. Elliot Weier professor of biology, has been a faculty member since 1980. He is a physiologist who has conducted collaborative research with more than 130 Hope students, in addition to his teaching. His laboratory focused on heat stress and thirst and, more recently, behavioral neurotoxicology.

He has received more than 20 external grants in support of his research and undergraduate research. Furthermore, he has written or coauthored more than 70 articles for professional journals, while also making numerous presentations at professional conferences. He has served as a grant reviewer for multiple National Science Foundation programs and as a manuscript reviewer for several scientific journals. He has also served as a consultant dealing with the topic of best practices in undergraduate science education. In 2007, Hope presented him with the Ruth and John Reed Faculty Achievement Award, which is a prestigious award that is given to full-time faculty who are primarily a superior teacher, but who also offer significant contributions in other professional areas, such as a research scholar, a guide in student activities or an administrator.

Linda LeFever Dykstra, associate professor of music, has been a Hope faculty member since 1997. As a lyric soprano, she headed the department’s vocal music section for ten years. Her scholarly interest in voice disorders has led her to postgraduate work in vocology and cooperative work with local otolaryngologists, speech therapists and pathologists. She is the Bastian Institute’s singing voice specialist for habilitation of voice disorders for patients in West Michigan, northern Indiana and eastern Illinois. She pioneered the use of interactive realtime technology in the voice studio and was granted a provisional patent for the SonoVu system she uses in her daily studio teaching. The system allows students to simultaneously see and record themselves and the acoustic feedback provided by VoceVista.

Dr. Thomas Ludwig, the John Dirk Werkman professor of psychology, has been a member of the faculty since 1977. He teaches courses in lifespan developmental psychology, adult development, aging and neuroscience. For a number of years, he also served as an adjunct faculty member at Western Theological Seminary, teaching a course on ministry with the aging. His tenure includes serving as Hope’s Faculty Exchange Professor to Meiji Gakuin University in Tokyo, Japan, in 2005 and six months as interim president of Trinity Lutheran Seminary in Columbus, Ohio, in 2013.

He has won several awards for excellence in teaching, including the 2005 Charles L. Brewer Distinguished Teaching of Psychology Award from the American Psychological Foundation and Hope’s 2003 Janet L. Andersen Excellence in Teaching Award, which is granted to faculty members, particularly recognizing specific activities or aspects of teaching, including effectiveness in use of collaborative classroom learning, service learning or mentoring, that go beyond generic “effective teaching.” He has coauthored several reports on pedagogical innovations for the Society for the Teaching of Psychology and a chapter in “Best Practices for Teaching Introduction to Psychology.” In 2012 he was named a GLCA Teagle Pedagogy Fellow.

Dr. Anthony Perovich, professor of philosophy, has been a faculty member since 1980. His areas of specialization are the philosophy of religion and the history of philosophy. He edited two books, “Reflections on Philosophy and Religion” and “Human Nature and Natural Knowledge: Essays Presented to Marjorie Greene on the Occasion of Her Seventy Fifth Birthday,” and has written multiple articles in scholarly publications, book chapters and reviews. He has received external grants, honors and fellowships including selection for participation in the Summer Seminar program of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Dr. James Piers, professor of sociology, has been a member of the faculty since 1975. He teaches multiple generalist practice, family courses and supervises students in the field practicum and focuses his teaching and scholarship on developing practice competencies and supporting best practices.

He developed and initiated the college’s social work major and has served as the program director since the beginning of the major. He also developed, initiated and led the Tokyo phase of the Hope and Meiji Gakuin Joint Exchange Program in 1980, and in 1998 was Hope’s Faculty Exchange Professor to Meiji Gakuin. Hope’s senior class presented him the Hope Outstanding Professor Educator (H.O.P.E.) Award in 1991.

Dr. Peter Schakel, the Peter C. and Emajean Cook professor of English, has been a member of the faculty since 1969. His area of scholarly specialization is British literature from 1660 to 1800, focusing particularly on the life and works of Jonathan Swift and Jane Austen; he is also an internationally respected scholar of C.S. Lewis’s work.

He has written, edited and coedited three books on Jonathan Swift and 18th-century British literature, has published six books on C.S. Lewis and has coauthored and coedited four literature and poetry textbooks with colleague Jack Ridl.

In addition to his teaching and writing, he spent 20 of the 34 years between 1981 and 2015 serving as department chair. In 2009, he delivered the college’s Opening Convocation address.

He received the Hope Outstanding Professor Educator (H.O.P.E.) Award from Hope’s senior class in 2013, the Ruth and John Reed Faculty Achievement Award in 2004 and the Provost’s Award for Service to the Academic Program in 2013.

Dr. Michael Seymour, professor of chemistry, has been a member of the faculty since 1978. Major themes during his career have included the development of novel ways to use emerging computer technology to enhance student learning in the chemistry laboratory and the presentation of outreach activities to get young students excited about science and to improve the science background of K8 teachers, and from 2013 to 2015 co-led the college’s summer science camp program for children. He has also involved Hope students in collaborative research which applied his specialty of analytical chemistry to issues of environmental interest.He received the college’s Janet L. Andersen Excellence in Teaching Award in 2013, and in 2011 he was among the Hope faculty who helped present the national webinar “Transformational Learning through Undergraduate Research and Creative Performance” through the Council on Undergraduate Research. He has received multiple research, instrumentation and teaching grants and has published research articles with student coauthors describing work carried out at Hope.

Vicki TenHaken, professor of management and Ruch Director of the Baker Scholars program, has been a member of the faculty since 2000, focusing on management in her teaching. As Ruch Director of the Baker Scholars program, she has guided students’ leadership potential and business professionalism in experiences regionally, nationally and abroad, including trips to Panama, China and India. She led the college’s Japan May Term in 2004, taught Hope’s Yorkshire Management Semester in 2011, was co director of the HopeMeiji Gakuin Global Management Seminar for many years, and worked with Hanze University in the Netherlands to enable Hope students’ participation in their Doing Business in Europe summer program for the last four years.

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