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Robert Schoone-JongenProf. Schoone-Jongen in the Twins dugout

Associate Professor, History

Office: Hiemenga Hall 483

Weekly Schedule
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Educational background

B.A., History, Calvin College
M.A., European History, University of Kentucky
M.A., U.S. History, University of Delaware
Ph.D., major field: 19th century U.S. social history, minor field: 19th century Western European social history, University of Delaware

Research and professional interests

There are three historical themes that Prof. Schoone-Jongen finds fascinating: human migration patterns, the definitions people give themselves and place upon others, and the manner in which events are interpreted both at the moment and after the fact. The specific historical contexts upon which he concentrates are immigration to the United States through 1920, the American presidency, and the impact of religion on everyday lives.

Prof. Schoone-Jongen, who taught high school history for 27 years before coming to Calvin, is the advisor for secondary education in history and social studies.

Recent activities

Prof. Schoone-Jongen has taught courses on the topics immigration and the American presidency for both the CALL program at Calvin and the Oscher Life-Long Learning Institute (OLLI) program at Aquinas College. He is also currently serving as a member of the board of the Association for the Advancement of Dutch-American Studies.

Prof. Schoone-Jongen continues to spend time researching and editing a biography of Theodore F. Koch, a Dutch American real estate promoter who used capital from German and Dutch investors to found farm communities among Dutch Calvinists, Swedish and Danish Lutherans, and German Catholics in Minnesota and Texas between 1885 and 1920. During his sabbatical semester in 2012 he visited archives in the Netherlands, Germany, Texas, Illinois, and Minnesota and traveled to Koch's European homes and the sites of his American colonies.

Prof. Schoone-Jongen also is continuing to research Dutch immigration to New Jersey since 1850 and has given presentations on the topic to the department colloquium, church groups, and an academic conference. (Read one on Passaic County.) He recently recorded a two minute television spot on the legacy of Theodore F. Koch, a Dutch American real estate promoter who developed about 1,000,000 acres of land in Minnesota between 1885 and 1910, which was aired on public television stations in Minnesota.

In the fall of 2015 he will be teaching a class for Aquinas’ OLLI program on the topic of “Women in the White House” and will present a paper in Albany, New York for the Association for the Advancement of Dutch American Studies conference on the topic, “New Dutch Folks in an Old Dutch Neighborhood: New Dutch Immigration to the Passaic Valley (1845-1900)”

Life outside of Calvin College

"My hobbies are stamp collecting (Central Europe and the British Empire), the Minnesota Twins, and railroads. I am designing a new model railroad layout and ride trains as often as possible. I enjoy watching old television shows and attending the performances of the Grand Rapids Symphony Orchestra and Grand Rapids Opera Company. I attend Calvin Christian Reformed Church and sing in the choir when I can." 

Other informationProf. Schoone-Jongen with student teachers

He co-directed the 2012 NEH Summer Institute for Teachers, “American Frontiers in Global Perspective.” Find out more.

See a partial list of Bob Schoone-Jongen's publications.

Read Bob Schoone-Jongen's posts on Historical Horizons, the history department blog.