_WHTC_WYVN Hope College Anchored in Hope - Blog

  • Erich Peterson to Present French Horn Recital on Feb. 25

    Posted by Dan Cash

    HOLLAND – Erich Peterson of the Hope College music faculty will present a French horn recital on Monday, Feb. 25, at 7:30 p.m. in Wichers Auditorium of Nykerk Hall of Music.

    The public is invited.  Admission is free.

    The recital will open with “Hunter’s Moon,” by Gilbert Vinter. Following that piece will be “Romanza for Horn and Piano, Op. 59/2,” by Jan Koetsier, and “Sonata for Horn and Piano (2012) Passionato – Allegro, Passacglia: Adagio, Allegro energico,” by James M. Stephenson. After intermission will be “Movements for Horn and Piano, Andante, Allegro, Andante espressivo,” by Richard Faith; “Jagdstück for 2 Horns and Piano,” by Alexander von Zemlinsky; “Vocalise-Waltz for Oboe, Horn and Piano,” by Paul Basler; and “Romance for Oboe, Horn and Piano, Op. 43bis,” by Adolphe Blanc. To conclude the recital, Peterson will perform “The Shepherd and the Shepherdess,” by Hilmar Mückenberger.

    Peterson will be assisted by Sarah Peterson, oboe; Matthew Brown, horn; and   Kelly Karamanov, piano.

    Peterson, who is an instructor of French horn at Hope, is the assistant principal/second horn with the Grand Rapids Symphony, which he joined in March 2004.  He has also served as personnel manager of the Grand Rapids Symphony since July 2007.  In addition to his teaching at Hope and roles with the symphony, he maintains an active teaching schedule at home as well as on the faculties of Calvin College and Cornerstone University.

    Before coming to Grand Rapids, he was a member of the national tour of “Les Miserables,” with which he performed more than 1,500 shows in more than 40 states and Canada over a period of six years. He was also active as a studio musician, having recorded hundreds of television/radio commercials and video game soundtracks. Peterson has also performed with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Israel Philharmonic, Ravinia Festival Orchestra and Chicago Opera Theater.

    Peterson received both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in horn performance from Northwestern University, where he studied with Dale Clevenger, Norman Schweikert and Gail Williams.

    Nykerk Hall of Music is located in the central Hope campus at the former 127 E. 12th Street between College and Columbia avenues.

  • Library Displaying Student “Artists’ Books” through March 15

    Posted by Dan Cash

    HOLLAND – “Artists’ Books” designed by 18 Hope art students are being featured in a display in the Van Wylen Library at Hope College through Friday, March 15.

    The books offer an imaginative reinterpretation of the way that books traditionally relate language and images, each reflecting the vision of the individual artist.  As the exhibition’s statement notes, “Artists’ books are produced by a single creator who wears many hats: writer, painter, printer, graphic designer, binder, photographer, illustrator and publisher.  Artists’ books can be all words, all images or a combination of both while exploring alternative forms, materials and production techniques.”

    The books were created by students in the college’s “Applied Design II” class.  One of the volumes will be selected for the library’s new “Artists’ Book Collection.”

    The students with work in the display, which opened on Friday, Feb. 15, are:  junior Lauren Aprill of Cedar; junior Joseph Carty of Dearborn; junior Catherine Gabriel of Grandville; sophomore Hillary George of Grand Blanc; junior Samantha Gindl of Crown Point, Ind.; junior Zada Harris of Portage; junior Kian Hashemi-Rad of Eden Prairie, Minn.; senior Jillian Haverkate of Ada; junior Elizabeth Jaros of Brighton; junior Cara Johnson of Chelsea; senior Katrina Krieg of Franklin; junior Kristen LaDuke of Lansing, Ill.; junior Hsiang Lin of Shanghai, China; sophomore Karen Mejia of Holland; senior Michaela Roskam of Oak Park, Ill.; sophomore Tessa Schultz of Kellogg, Iowa; senior John Stathakis of Shelby Township; and sophomore Amy Van Dommelen of Ada.

    The Van Wylen Library is regularly open Mondays through Thursdays from 8 a.m. to midnight, Fridays from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sundays from 1 p.m. to midnight.

    The Van Wylen Library is located at 53 Graves Place (11th Street), between 10th and 12th streets on College Avenue.

  • De Pree Gallery Featuring Photography by Steve Nelson

    Posted by Dan Cash

    HOLLAND – The exhibition “Reclamation: Gardens of Past Industry,” featuring photography by faculty member Steve Nelson, will open on Friday, Feb. 22, in the gallery of the De Pree Art Center at Hope College.

    Nelson will deliver an artist talk on Friday, Feb. 22, at 4:30 p.m., followed by an opening reception from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.

    The public is invited to the exhibition, artist talk and reception.  Admission is free.

    The exhibition features photographs from Nelson’s sabbatical travels to abandoned industrial sites in Michigan, exploring recurring themes of ruin and rebirth.

    Nelson is an associate professor of art and chairperson of the department at Hope, where he has taught since 1989.  His photographs have been exhibited widely, including in solo and group exhibitions in Chicago and New York.

    He specializes in teaching photography at the college.  In January 2008, he presented the seminar “Photography: Past and Present Tense” during the college’s annual Winter Happening event.  He was one of two faculty members with work featured in an exhibition in the De Pree gallery in 2007, and the gallery featured his work in a solo exhibition in 1997.

    The De Pree Art Center is located at 160 E. 12th St., on Columbia Avenue at 12th Street. The regular gallery hours are Mondays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. and Sundays from 1 p.m. until 5 p.m. Gallery hours may be reduced during breaks and holidays. The gallery is handicapped accessible.

  • Unknown Mortal Orchestra to Perform on March 6

    Posted by Dan Cash

    HOLLAND – The Hope College Concert Series will feature Unknown Mortal Orchestra on Wednesday, March 6, at 8 p.m. at the Park Theatre.

    Unknown Mortal Orchestra was formed when singer/guitarist Ruban Neilson moved from New Zealand to Portland, Ore., where he met bassist Jake Portrait and drummer Riley Geare. Neilson released a track by the trio on the Internet, and after the song received extensive praise, Unknown Mortal Orchestra was announced. A year later, in the summer of 2011, they released their first full-length album, receiving rave reviews. The self-titled debut pulled from a variety of influences yet also managed to maintain a unified and inventive sound.

    “Pitchfork” has said of their first album, “Combined with an expert use of space rare for such a lo-fi record, Unknown Mortal Orchestra manages a unique immersive and psychedelic quality.”

    The band’s second album, “II,” was released just weeks ago, and excitement and respect for the band has grown even further. “Rolling Stone Magazine” has described the album as “like heaven with psychedelic guitar-pop that's alluringly out of focus.”

    The band’s live show has also been noted for its entertaining and energetic presence. “Unknown Mortal Orchestra’s upbeat, psychedelic yet unequivocally rock ‘n roll sound translates perfectly to a live setting… The three-piece band is tight and sounds fantastic,” said “The Owl Mag.”

    In addition to the concert, the Hope College Concert Series will sponsor an open conversation with the band on the evening of the show.

    The bands Foxygen and Wampire, currently touring with Unknown Mortal Orchestra, will be opening the evening. Both bands have recently received critical acclaim, with Foxygen releasing a new album in January.  “Pretty Much Amazing” has said, “Foxygen is a breath of fresh air, reviving a vintage style of songwriting in a new and creative fashion.”

    Tickets are $10 for the general public and $5 for Hope students, and are available online at tickets.hope.edu/ticketing and at the ticket office in the main lobby of the DeVos Fieldhouse.  The ticket office is open weekdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and can be called at (616) 395-7890.

    Any remaining tickets will be sold at the door. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. and Wampire will begin at 8 p.m.

    The DeVos Fieldhouse is located at 222 Fairbanks Ave., between Ninth and 11th streets. The Park Theatre is located at 248 South River Ave., near the intersection of River Avenue and 10th Street.

  • Hope College to Present 25th Annual Musical Showcase on March 4

    Posted by Dan Cash

    HOLLAND – Wide ranges of musical styles and instruments will bring DeVos Hall in Grand Rapids alive when Hope College presents its 25th annual Musical Showcase concert on Monday, March 4, at 8 p.m.

    Hope College students take the stage for this fast-paced, musical spectacular, during which audience members hear everything from opera to jazz. The hardest part for those seeing the show is containing their enthusiasm, at least at first. In the tradition of the quick-moving musical event, audience members are asked to hold their applause until intermission and the end of the performance.

    The concert unveils the gifts of all Hope College’s major musical groups, along with soloists, chamber groups, and small ensembles.

    Violin solos will include sophomore Eve Panning of Holland performing Herman Bellstedt’s “Caprice on Dixie”; and senior Alec Norkey of Jackson performing Fritz Kreisler’s “Scherzo-Caprice.” Performing a “Fiddle Medley” will be the duo of senior Luke Panning of Holland and Eve Panning.

    Clifford Cooper, a trumpet player and junior from Okemos, will be performing Alexander Goedicke’s “Concert Ertude (Op. 49),” accompanied by pianist Jennifer Wolfe.

    James Schippers, a pianist from Grand Haven, will be performing Claude Debussy’s “L’Isle Joyeuse.”

    An organ solo will include Jacque-Nicholas Lemmens arrangement of “Fanfare,” performed by freshman Aaron Goodyke of Zeeland.

    A flute duo, sophomore Marie Schrampfer of Appleton, Wis., and senior Faith DeVries of Stillman Valley, Ill., will be performing G. Schrocker’s “Coffee Nerves” with the accompaniment of Jennifer Wolfe on piano.

    Cellist Jacob Bonnema, a junior from Peotone, Ill., will perform Camille Saint-Saëns’ “Allegro Appassionato (Op. 43).”

    Vocal performances include soprano Haley Hodges, a senior from Hart, singing Giacomo Puccini’s “Tuchei di gel seichinta (BachianasBrasileiras)”; tenor Skye Edwards, a senior from Morrison, Colo., singing Craig Camelia’s “What You’d Call a Dream (Diamonds)”; soprano Jenna Buck, a senior from Elburn, Ill., singing Vincenzo Bellini’s “Ah! Non credea…Ah! Non giunge (La Sonnambula)”; and soprano Rebecca Flinker, a sophomore from Leeds, Mass., singing Aaron Copland’s “Laurie’s Song (The Tenderland).”

    Chamber groups include a string quartet performing Dmitri Shostakovich’s “Polka (Two Pieces for String Quartet)”; a Handbell Ensemble performing an arrangement by D.F. Smith of “Fantasy on Immortal Invisible”; and the Wind Ensemble, conducted by Robert “Gabe” Southard, performing Richard Wagner’s “Elsa’s Procession to the Cathedral.”

    Other groups include the Jazz Arts Collective performing  Jim Rotondi’s “Express Train”; the Pentatonic Woodwind Quintet performing an arrangement by Malcolm Arnold of “Allegro con brio (Three Shanties for Wind Quintet)”; the Women’s Chamber Choir performing Ethan Sperry’s “Pallaanda;” the Contemporary Ensemble performing Michael Reynolds’s “Dancester”; the Chapel Choir performing an arrangement by JussiChydenius of “Autumn”; the Piano Quintet performing Ernst von Dohnanyi’s “ Allegro (Piano Quintet No. 1 in C Minor)”; and the Saxophone Quartet performing Jean-Baptiste Singelée‘s “Allegro de Concert.”

    To conclude the program, the Hope College Orchestra will be performing Ludwig van Beethoven’s “Egmont Overture,” conducted by Richard Piippo.

    Tickets for Musical Showcase are $10 each, and may be ordered through at the Hope College Ticket Office located in the main lobby of the DeVos Fieldhouse at 222 Fairbanks Ave. The ticket office is open weekdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and may be called at (616) 395-7890. Tickets can also be purchased online through Hope’s ticket office at tickets.hope.edu/ticketing/

    Tickets may also be purchased over the counter at the Grand Center Ticket Office, which is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

    In addition, tickets may be ordered by phone through Ticketmaster by calling (616) 456-3333 or visiting www.ticketmaster.com. A service fee is added to the cost of each ticket purchased this way.

  • Lecture to Address “The Dead Sea Scrolls and the Old Testament

    Posted by Dan Cash

    HOLLAND – Dr. James VanderKam of the University of Notre Dame will present “The Dead Sea Scrolls and the Old Testament” as the 2013 Danforth Lecture at Hope College on Wednesday, Feb. 20, at 4 p.m. in the Maas Center auditorium.

    The public is invited.  Admission is free.

    VanderKam is the John A. O’Brien Professor of Hebrew Scriptures in the Department of Theology at the University of Notre Dame.  His areas of scholarly interest are the history and literature of Early Judaism and the Hebrew Scriptures.

    His research in the last 20 years has focused on the Dead Sea Scrolls and related literature, and he is a member of the editorial committee that prepared the scrolls for publication.  He has edited 13 volumes in the official series “Discoveries in the Judaean Desert,” and he is one of the two editors-in-chief of the “Encyclopedia of the Dead Sea Scrolls” (2000).  His prize-winning book, “The Dead Sea Scrolls Today” (1994), has been translated into six languages and came out in a second edition in 2010.

    VanderKam’s more recent books are a collection of his essays, “From Revelation to Canon: Studies in the Hebrew Bible and Second Temple Literature” (2000), “An Introduction to Early Judaism” (2001), “The Meaning of the Dead Sea Scrolls” (2002), “From Joshua to Caiaphas: High Priests after the Exile” (2004), “1 Enoch 2” (2012), and “The Dead Sea Scrolls and the Bible” (2012).  He has also published numerous essays in journals and books.

    He served for six years as the editor of the “Journal of Biblical Literature” and sits on the editorial boards of “Dead Sea Discoveries” and several series.  He has delivered papers at many national and international conferences, and has offered invited lectures in a variety of places.

    VanderKam received his B.A. from Calvin College in 1968, his B.D. from Calvin Theological Seminary in 1971 and his Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1976.

    The Danforth Lecture is sponsored by the Hope College department of religion with support from an endowment established by the Danforth Foundation of St. Louis, Mo. The program was established by the foundation “to deepen and enlarge the religious dimension of the campus family through speakers who can reflect on the broad, interdenominational and yet positive sense of the Judaeo-Christian perspectives of life and existence.”

    Some of the many distinguished scholars who have visited the campus through the program in the past include theologian Dr. Martin E. Marty of the University of Chicago Divinity School; Dr. Phyllis Trible of Union Theological Seminary; Dr. Jon D. Levenson of Harvard University; Dr. Daniel Maguire of Marquette University; Dr. Allen Verhey of the Divinity School at Duke University; and John Webster of the School of Divinity, History and Philosophy of King’s College of the University of Aberdeen; Dr. John L. Esposito of Georgetown University; and Dr. David Nirenberg of the University of Chicago.

    The Maas Center is located at 264 Columbia Ave., on Columbia Avenue at 11th Street.

  • Hope College to Feature Dance 39 on March 1-2 and March 7-9

    Posted by Dan Cash

     HOLLAND – Hope College’s annual major dance concert, Dance 39, will open on Friday, March 1, and continue on Saturday, March 2, and Thursday–Saturday, March 7-9.  All performances start at 8 p.m. at the Knickerbocker Theatre in downtown Holland.

    Dance 39 is a concert of choreographic work by the Hope dance faculty and featured guest artists Anne-René Petrarca and Sharon Wong, danced by Hope students.

    Sharon Wong premieres “Ain’t Life Grand,” inspired by the music of the late 1930s and early 1940s and featuring jazz vernacular influenced by social dances of the era.

    Anne-René Petrarca describes her work as “the layers of life's intimacies unfolding, propelling us into the expansion of life.”

    Matthew Farmer premieres “Elysium Garden,” with music by Arvo Pärt. Farmer describes the piece is inspired by the Greek myth, noting, “There perhaps is a place called the ‘Elysium Garden’ where the souls of those who pass before their time ascend and wait. They wait until we have accepted their death, and only then are they permitted to continue their journey in the afterlife.”

    Crystal Frazier premieres a tribute to Michael Jackson through the art of tap and hip hop dancing.

    Steven Iannacone premieres “Strange Arrangements.” Iannacone states, “This work is a movement experience influenced by dolls, high fashion, butoh and the quote from Shakespeare's ‘Macbeth’: ‘Fair is foul, and foul is fair.’” The dancers experimented with hyper-reality, exaggeration and distortion to create a world of interchangeable “episodes.”  These “episodes” will be re-arranged by the dancers each night to create a new and different “strangeness” for each performance. Also, the sound score will be mixed live each night in an improvisational response to their movement subtly changing the texture of the work.

    Julie Powell has reconstructed “Waltz of the Hours” from the ballet “Coppélia” choreographed by Marius Petipa and Enrico Cecchetti in 1884. Powell states, “This is classical ensemble work at its finest... clean, precise and elegant.”

    Angie Yetzke, in collaboration with Katherine Sullivan of the Hope art faculty, blends visual art, vocal sound, and movement to present a no-filter process to art interpretation. In researching this project the dancers each chose one of Sullivan’s “Seascape” paintings for free-writing, free-speaking, and free-moving. Personalizing their responses to color, texture and imagery, the dancers join abstract language and gesture to bring mystery to familiarity and familiarity to mystery.

    Tickets for Dance 39 are on sale at the ticket office in the main lobby of the DeVos Fieldhouse, and cost $10 for regular admission, $7 for senior citizens and $5 for students, and are free for those 12 and under.  The ticket office is open weekdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and can be called at(616) 395-7890.  Tickets are also available online at tickets.hope.edu/ticketing/

    Tickets will be available at the Knickerbocker Theatre on performance nights directly preceding the performance time.

    In addition, complimentary tickets are available to area dance studios interested in learning more about the college’s department of dance. More information about the opportunity is available through the ticket office.

    The DeVos Fieldhouse is located at 222 Fairbanks Ave., between Ninth and 11th streets.  The Knickerbocker Theatre is located at 86 E. Eighth St.

  • Hope Students Help Others Prepare Tax Returns through VITA Program

    Posted by Dan Cash

    HOLLAND – Just because tax season is unavoidable doesn’t mean it has to be awful.

    And where better to demonstrate that idea than a place with “Hope” in its name?

    Hope College accounting students are helping area residents prepare their taxes and file electronically through the IRS-sponsored VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) program, serving others and gaining hands-on experience in their chosen field at the same time.  They are working in a computer laboratory in the college’s Martha Miller Center for Global Communication every Saturday from January 26 through April 13 except for March 16 and March 23 (during spring break), each committed to providing approximately 50 hours across the duration of the program.

    Last year, approximately 50 clients took advantage of the service at Hope, which is in its second year as an approved site for VITA.  The college is participating as a member of the West Michigan VITA Collegiate Partnership, which features a total of 14 tax sites in Coopersville, Grand Rapids, Hastings, Holland Kalamazoo and Wyoming.

    While many of the returns were simple and easily handled last year, all of the students were amazed by some of the complexities that were brought in the door.  The Hope project’s faculty coordinator, Herb Martin, has more than 30 years of tax experience, and he had to use reference resources to help the students with some complex situations.

    “Very few tax returns are prepared, even by professionals, with ‘drive-thru’ service,” commented Martin, an associate professor emeritus of accountancy.  Returns are reviewed by two other people before final filing.

    Administered by the IRS, the VITA program originated with the Tax Reform Act of 1969 as part of the increased emphasis on taxpayer education programs, according to Herbert Martin, associate professor emeritus of accountancy, who in retirement continues to coordinate Hope’s participation. The VITA program offers free tax help for low- to moderate-income individuals (defined by the Earned Income Tax Credit threshold), persons with disabilities, the elderly and those having limited English proficiency.

    The volunteers have all been trained and certified according to standards set by the IRS.

    In order to ensure consistent treatment of taxpayers and accurate return preparation, IRS established certain requirements for participation.  Link and Learn Taxes is provided for the students to link them to quality e-learning solutions.  The web-based program provides courses in Basic, Intermediate, and Advanced, along with a refresher course for returning volunteers. This training prepares volunteers to provide quality tax return preparation services. This interactive course teaches the basics to accurately prepare income tax returns for individuals, and users can obtain volunteer certification along the way at their own pace.

    Students make their way through lessons that include tax topics, case studies and interview simulations. Link & Learn Taxes uses pop-up windows to connect to forms, publications and other resource materials. More knowledgeable students can use the course as a refresher. Link & Learn Taxes presents tax law through a variety of adult learning strategies including graphics, real-world scenarios and interview practice. Users can review the tax law material, listen to mock interviews and complete sample tax return preparation scenarios.

    IRS provides tax preparation software for its tax preparation sites free of charge.  Two products are available:  desktop and online. The current software is TaxWise.

    “We use TaxWise Online and students get experience with tax preparation software and the software helps us by giving feedback on errors and omissions,” Martin said

    The participating Hope students, all senior public-accounting majors, are Nicole George of Hamilton, Courtney Killeen of Williamston, Grace Martin of Dexter, Kyle Sutton of Farmington Hills and Michael Van Laan of Grand Rapids.  In addition, senior public-accounting major Mike Kroneman of Okemos, who is a returning VITA preparer, is serving as a site coordinator.

    More information, including the ability to schedule appointments, is available online attaxhelp.davenport.edu.

  • Lynne Davis to Present Annual Donia Organ Recital on Feb. 19

    Posted by Dan Cash

    HOLLAND – Guest artist Lynne Davis will present the annual Donia Organ Recital at Hope College on Tuesday, Feb. 19, at 8 p.m. in Dimnent Memorial Chapel.

    The public is invited.  Admission is free.

    Davis will be performing on both the Pels Gallery Organ and the Skinner Chancel Organ. Performing first on the Pels Gallery Organ, she will play “Toccata in D minor, BuxWV 155,” by Dieterich Buxtehude; variations on the tune “Est-ce Mars?,” by Jan Pieterszoon Sweenlinck; “Orgelbuechlein – O Mensch, beweindeinSuende gross, BWV 622,” by Johann Sebastian Bach; and “Toccata and Fugue in F Major, BWV 540,” by Johann Sebastian Bach.  Following intermission, Davis will perform three pieces on the Skinner Chancel Organ: “Pièces de Fantaisie – Toccata,” by Louis Vierne; “Choral III in A minor,” by César Franck; and “Esquisses Byzantines – (Byzantine Sketches)” (“Nef,” “Vitrail,” “Rosace” and “Tuespetra”), by Henri Mulet.

    “The New York Times” praised a recent Davis recital as offering “a strong sense of drama, brilliant theatrical contrasts.”  The “Diapason” has said, “her easy and refined technical approach at the consol belied the difficulty of the program… performed with a commanding technical control and a refined sense of style and taste.”

    A native of Michigan, Davis graduated with honors in organ performance from the University of Michigan, where she studied with Robert Clark. Shortly after, she moved to France to study with Marie-Claire Alain. While there she also studied with Jean Langlais, Maurice and Marie-Madeleine Duruflé, and Edouard Souberbielle, as well as other great European master organists. Davis performs extensively and always to enthusiastic critical acclaim both in Europe and North America.

    Davis’s career was launched by taking First Prize at the prestigious St. Albans International Organ Competition in England. Since then, her activities have included being a featured performer at two American Guild of Organist national conventions, a member of international organ competition juries, giving concerts, master classes and lectures about French organ literature and its history. Her unique living and working experience in France gives her the status of world authority in all French organ repertoire.

    The recital at Hope was made possible through the generous support of the college’s Tom Donia Memorial Organ Fund. The fund was created in 1990 by family and friends of Tom Donia, a 1971 Hope graduate who died in 1990. The director of communications for the American Red Cross, Donia had a life-long interest in music.

    Dimnent Memorial Chapel is located at 277 College Ave., on College Avenue at 12th Street.

  • Ernest Cole of English Faculty to Speak through Last Lecture Series

    Posted by Dan Cash

    HOLLAND – Dr. Ernest Cole of the Hope College English faculty will present “The Road of Life: The Dynamics of (Un)Fulfillment and Accomplishment” on Tuesday, Feb. 19, at 7 p.m. in the Maas Center auditorium through the “Last Lecture Series” organized by the college’s Alcor chapter of the national Mortar Board honorary society.

    The public is invited.  Admission is free.

    Cole is an assistant professor of English and Towsley Research Scholar at Hope, where he teaches Post-Colonial Literature, with an emphasis on Sub-Saharan Anglophone Africa, the Caribbean and India.  In his research he has been interested in the topics of peace, forgiveness and reconciliation in conjunction with a focus on post-civil war Sierra Leone, where he was born and raised and began his teaching career.  He has been documenting the experiences of survivors of punitive amputation used as a military strategy during a 1991-2002 civil war that saw neighbor pitted against neighbor.

    His research, which has included interviewing survivors who continue to be isolated in refugee camps nearly a decade after the war’s end, is exploring the way that the amputees’ self images are shaped by their injuries, and he argues that it is crucial for them to be provided the opportunity to become functional and re-integrated into society rather than left in a state of dependency, not only for their sakes individually but for the future of the country itself.

    Cole is currently writing a book based on his research, and has also created a series of video-based interdisciplinary learning modules based on the project, working in the college’s New Media studio with students in the digital humanities and in the Mellon Scholars program at Hope.

    In 2012, he was one of 15 scholars nationwide chosen to participate in that year’s Lilly Fellows Program Summer Seminar for College and University Teachers, “Teaching Peace and Reconciliation: Theory and Practice in Northern Ireland.”  Hope named him a “Towsley Research Scholar” in 2011 in support of his research.  He discussed his work during the college’s Winter Happening event in February 2011, presenting the seminar “Negotiating Amputation, Forgiveness and Reconciliation,” and this past September was among the presenters during the college’s 2012 Critical Issues Symposium, which examined “Reconciliation: Hope in a Divided World.”

    Cole completed his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Sierra Leone, and began his career conducting research and teaching English at Fourah Bay College. At the outbreak of the civil war, he left for The Gambia, where he taught at The Gambia College for a number of years. He subsequently pursued a doctorate at the University of Connecticut; he completed the degree in 2008, the same year that he joined the Hope faculty.

    The title of the lecture series, which the chapter initiated during the 2008-09 school year to feature members of the college’s faculty and staff, is rhetorical.  The lectures are not literally presented as the last that the speakers will deliver at Hope, but are meant to highlight the advice that they would most want to share if the event was indeed the final opportunity for them to address the college’s students.  The speakers are asked to reflect on their careers and lives, and to think deeply about what matters to them and about what wisdom they would like to impart.

    The concept was inspired by the “Last Lecture” delivered at Carnegie Mellon University by Dr. Randy Pausch on Sept. 18, 2007.  Pausch, a member of the Carnegie Mellon faculty who had terminal pancreatic cancer--a fact known at the time that he spoke--presented “Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams.”  He died on July 25, 2008, at age 47.

    Mortar Board is a national honor society that recognizes college seniors for outstanding achievement in scholarship, leadership and service, and provides opportunities for continued leadership development, promotes service to college and universities, and encourages lifelong contributions to the global community.  Since its founding in 1918, the organization has grown from the four founding chapters to 229 collegiate chapters with nearly 250,000 initiated members across the nation.

    The Alcor chapter has existed at Hope since the 1936-37 academic year, although it did not become part of the national Mortar Board organization until 1961.  The chapter has received multiple awards at the Mortar Board National Conference during each of the past several years, including being named the top chapter during the national conference in July 2010.  During the conference this past summer, the chapter received a “Golden Torch Award” and 17 “Project Excellence” awards.

    The chapter also sponsored a “last chance talk” during the 1960s.  The idea back then was to invite a faculty member to express his/her ideas under the hypothetical assumption that this would be the last opportunity to address the student body.  The late Dr. D. Ivan Dykstra, professor of philosophy, delivered the first “last chance talk” in the spring of 1962.

    The chapter will give away copies of the play “The Road,” by Wole Soyinka, to the first 100 in attendance, as well as copies of the “Last Lecture” to audience members following the address.

    There will also be a freewill donation box, with all gifts supporting Mortar Board’s many service projects.

    The Maas Center is located at 264 Columbia Ave., on Columbia Avenue at 11th Street.

  • Research to Focus on Tension between Meaning Systems

    Posted by Dan Cash

    HOLLAND – The role that the desire for meaning plays in the tension between scientific and religious belief is the focus of a new multi-institutional research project led by Hope College psychologist Dr. Daryl Van Tongeren that has received support from the John Templeton Foundation of Pennsylvania.

    The two-year project, “Making and Defending Meaning: Understanding and Reducing Tension between Scientific and Religious Meaning Systems,” has received a $79,902 grant from the foundation.  Van Tongeren is the principal investigator for the project, which includes researchers and consultants from Virginia Commonwealth University, the University of Texas and Rochester Institute of Technology.

    The researchers are considering science and religion as meaning systems that provide answers for pressing life questions and a sense of existential security.  The team intends to explore the degree to which individuals’ desire for such security—which they describe as a hallmark of well-being—negatively affects their response to differing views.

    “We propose to study how the human motivation for meaning may impair objective evaluation of information and elicit defensiveness in the face of competing world views,” said Van Tongeren, an assistant professor of psychology at Hope.

    The team will also investigate how affirmation in other areas of life might provide enough of a sense of security to affect how individuals respond to different meaning systems and those who hold competing views.

    “If affirming meaning reduces biases, we would expect to see improved dialogue and intergroup interaction among individuals holding differing beliefs, as well as greater openness to information that is inconsistent with their views,” Van Tongeren noted.

    The survey work will focus on populations in Holland as well as in Richmond, Va., where Virginia Commonwealth University is located.  Van Tongeren, who joined the Hope faculty this past fall, completed his doctorate and post-doctoral work at the university, and the project’s research team includes his former graduate-school mentor.

    The research project is already providing a collaborative research experience for Hope psychology students, who will begin to collect and analyze data for two related pilot studies this semester.  Students will continue to be involved as the project moves forward.

    “I very much value the faculty-student collaborative research relationship that Hope encourages in our work,” Van Tongeren said.

    Van Tongeren hopes that the two-year Templeton-funded project will be the beginning of a long-term area of inquiry.  He sees the potential to explore the same sorts of questions focused on other meaning systems.

    “My hope is that this initial project will be used to springboard future work in this area,” he said.  “What about people in different religions—how can they have a dialogue with each other?  Or even people in the same religion but with different denominational beliefs?

  • GPS to Present L.A. Theatre Works in “Pride and Prejudice”

    Posted by Dan Cash

    HOLLAND – The Hope College Great Performance Series will present L.A. Theatre Works in Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice” on Tuesday-Wednesday, Feb. 19-20, at 7:30 p.m. in the Knickerbocker Theatre in downtown Holland.

    Celebrating the 200th anniversary of Jane Austen's classic novel, LA Theatre Works brings its unique radio theatre to the Knickerbocker stage.  L.A. Theatre Works has been the foremost radio theatre company in the United States for more than two decades.

    “L.A. Theatre Works is a national theatrical treasure,” “The Philadelphia Inquirer” has said, and the “Los Angeles Times” has praised the company’s “consistently superb work.”

    The company’s hybrid form of audio theatre and innovative use of technology keeps the venerable art form thriving, assuring wide and affordable access. L.A. Theatre Works’s distinguished company of actors has included John Lithgow, Annette Benning, Hilary Swank, Anne Heche, Ed Asner, Alfred Molina, Paul Giamatti, Neil Patrick Harris, Laurence Fishurne, and Julie Harris, among hundreds of others.

    Adapted for the stage by Hanreddy and Sullivan, Austen’s novel, first published in 1813, explores manners and morals, relationships and disappointments, and parents and children.  The romantic comedy follows the Bennets, a family with five daughters and a mother desperate to marry them off, and centers on the developing relationship between the witty, independent Elizabeth and the arrogant but honorable suitor, Mr. Darcy.

    “The performance was fascinating,” “The Washington Post” has said.

    Tickets are $18 for regular admission, $13 for senior citizens and Hope College faculty and staff, $5 for children 18 and under, and free for Hope students, and are available at the ticket office in the main lobby of the DeVos Fieldhouse.   The ticket office is open weekdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and can be called at (616) 395-7890. Tickets are also available online attickets.hope.edu/ticketing/

    More information is available on the Great Performance Series web site at www.hope.edu/gps/

    The Knickerbocker Theatre is located at 86 E. Eighth St.