Dr. Ryan White

Assc Dean for Acad Adv & App Learn
Profile photo of Dr. Ryan White

Ryan White began working at Hope in 2013. He is responsible for directing Academic Advising and the First-Year Seminar Program, and also co-directs the Summer Bridge Program. He works to help students successfully transition to college, discern their strengths and interests, navigate academic planning, and align their education with a sense of purpose and life direction.

Ryan also teaches various courses, including the First-Year Seminar, Second Seminar and Educational Psychology. 


  • Ed.D., educational psychology, University of Southern California, 2009
  • Graduate Certificate in coaching, Michigan State University, 2007
  • M.Div., theology, Fuller Theological Seminary, 2004
  • B.A., religious studies, psychology, music, Grace Christian University, 2001

Areas of Expertise

  • Undergraduate identity processing, identity development and career decision self-efficacy
  • Calling and vocational discernment
  • Developing co-curricular experiential learning
  • Learning and motivation strategies for college success

Professional experience

Prior to Hope, Ryan was the director of the Center for Vocational Reflection at Augustana College (Ill.), served as the Burke, Hofman, Kolman Post-Doctoral Teaching Scholar at the University of Notre Dame鈥檚 College of the First Year of Studies, and was the academic program manager for the Brehm Center for Worship, Theology, and the Arts at Fuller Theological Seminary.

Much of Ryan鈥檚 work has revolved around developing and launching new academic programs, integrating experiential learning and reflection into academic programming, developing student success resources, and guiding students through discerning and pursuing their sense of purpose and calling.

Awards and Recognition

  • Great Lakes Colleges Association, Academic Leadership and Innovation (GALI) Institute participant, October 2017
  • 鈥淏est of Region Presentation,鈥 National Academic Advising Association Conference, Atlanta, GA, October 2016
  • Burke, Hofman, Kolman Post-Doctoral Teaching Scholar Fellowship, First Year of Studies, University of Notre Dame, 2009
  • Dissertation of the Year Nominee, Rossier School of Education, University of Southern California, 2009
  • Graduate student representative to global Muslim scholars, The American Studies Institute on Religion in Contemporary America: Church, State and Society Project, 2002.

Selected Publications and Presentations

  • 鈥淐ivic Engagement: Connecting the Gifts and Needs of Students and the Community,鈥 Great Lakes Colleges Association Teaching and Learning Series essay, October 2017
  • 鈥淧ros and 'Profs: Building Advising Partnerships at Liberal Arts Colleges,鈥 National Academic Advising Conference, Atlanta, Ga., October 2016
  • 鈥淭hriving in Transition: Summer Initiatives Supporting First-Year Retention and Success,鈥 National First-Year Experience Conference, Orlando, Florida, February 2016
  • 鈥淪ustaining Vocation Through Curricular Strategies,鈥 Network for Vocation in Undergraduate Education National Conference, St. Louis, Missouri, March 2015
  • 鈥淧aralyzed by Talents? Helping High-Achieving Students Find Themselves,鈥 National Academic Advising conference, Salt Lake City, Utah, October 2013
  • 鈥淎ugie Choice: Moving High Impact Learning from the Margins to the Center,鈥 Network for Vocation in Undergraduate Education National Conference, Indianapolis, Indiana, March 2013
  • 鈥淰ocation for Life,鈥 Evangelical Lutheran Church in America regional conference, Rockford, Illinois, March 2012
  • 鈥淭he Role of Parenting Style, Ethnicity, and Identity Style on Identity Commitment and Career Decision Self-Efficacy,鈥滱merican Psychological Association Annual Convention, San Diego, California, August 2010

Why do you love Hope?

Ryan loves working in an environment that combines a rich intellectual and research culture, incredible athletic spirit and vibrant creative arts. Ryan also enjoys Hope鈥檚 proximity to downtown Holland and Lake Michigan, the rich school traditions and being part of a community that educates with such purpose.

Outside the college

Ryan has been married to Heidi for over 15 years, and they have four wonderful young children 鈥 James, Willem, Edie and Wesley. Ryan loves going with the family on outdoor adventures throughout the lakeshore, and you can often find them hiking the sand dunes, camping, playing at Lake Michigan and cross-country skiing in the winter. The family also loves playing games, and would love to host you for a game of Apples to Apples, Ticket to Ride, Clue or something else that you want to bring.

Ryan also loves all things soccer. He was a collegiate All-Region player and an Academic All-American. He still loves the game and has coached on and off since his playing days.

Profile photo of Dr. Ryan White
Dr. Ryan White

Phone Number616.395.7950

DeWitt Student Cultural Center 141 East 12th Street Suite 136 Holland, MI 49423
DeWitt Student Cultural Center 141 East 12th Street Suite 136 Holland MI 49423