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International development studies faculty


International Development Studies Program Advisors

Jonathan Bascom Johnathan Bascom
Professor of Geography
phone: 526-7053 | office: NH 081

Courses taught: IDS 201, GEO 230, 242
Background: Prof. Bascom's work experience includes an internship with the Africa Bureau of the US Agency for International Development. Much of his research and writing focuses on refugees and the issues that surround their migration, protection, and assistance. He has also written on a pedagogical approach to teaching Third World geography.

Roland Hoksbergen
IDS Program Director, Professor of Economics
phone: 526-6369 | office: NH 164

Courses taught: IDS 201, 351, 395, ECON 237
Background: Before coming to Calvin College, Prof. Hoksbergen worked for the Christian Reformed World Relief Committee (CRWRC) in Latin America. He has led off-campus semesters in both Ghana and Honduras. His research includes the role of civil society in developing countries and the strengthening of partnership networks among non-government organizations.

Tracy KuperusTracy Kuperus
Associate Professor of International Development Studies
phone: 526-8848 | office: NH 181

Courses taught: IDS 201, 351, 395, POLS 272
: Before coming to Calvin, Professor Kuperus taught in the political science departments at Westmont College (1995-96) and Gordon College (1997-2002). She has co-led Calvin's off-campus interim to South Africa. Her research has focused on church-state relations in South Africa and the interaction between civil society and democratization in southern Africa.

Joe KuilemaJoe Kuilema
Assistant Professor of Social Work
phone: 526-6489 | office: SC 225

Courses taught: IDS 355
Background: Prof. Kuilema teaches the community development class. He is especially interested in social work in West African settings, how macro social work is and can be integrated into social work curriculum at the BSW level, and how faith and theology intersect with professional
value statements like the NASW code of ethics. 

Todd VandenbergTodd Vanden Berg
Professor of Sociology
phone: 526-6705 | office: SC 235

Courses taught: IDS 201, SOC 253
Background: Prof. Vanden Berg's fieldwork in Cultural Anthropology is with the Longuda of Adamawa State Nigeria. His research includes the topics of involuntary resettlement and religious integration, specifically on the witchcraft beliefs of Longuda Lutheran Christians. He has also led the interim to Jamaica.

Kurt Ver BeekKurt Ver Beek
Assistant professor of sociology
Tegucigalpa, Honduras

Courses taught: STHO 210, 211, 212
Background: Prof. Ver Beek has worked with the Christian Reformed World Relief Committee (now World Renew) in Central America for six years and now leads the semester and interim programs in Honduras. He has worked with many grass-roots organizations in Honduras and is a founder of the Association for a more Just Society (AJS). He is currently studying the long-term effects of short-term missions.


Adel Abadeer
Professor of Economics
Phone: 616-526-6199 | Office: North Hall 178

Courses taught: Econ 222, 337 and 338
Background: Prof. Abadeer has a Ph.D. in Economics from Boston University (1992). His research interests include new institutional economics, cultural economics, development economics, and economics of discrimination. Prior to coming to Calvin, Dr. Abadeer taught at Boston University and Tufts University, and did research at the Boston Institute for Developing Economies. Prof. Abadeer’s publications includes “Culture and Gender Discrimination in the Arab World” (forthcoming, Palgrave Macmillan, 2015), “The Entrapment of the Poor into Involuntary Labor: Understanding the Worldwide Practice of Modern-Day Slavery” (Lewiston, NY: Edwin Mellen, 2008), and “Seeking Redemptive Diversity in Christian Institutions of Higher Education: Challenges and Hopes from Within,” Journal of Christian Higher Education, 2009. He also has recently published a book on modern-day slavery.


David Dornbos
Associate Professor of Biology
Phone: 616-526-8578 | Office: DeVries Hall 205

Courses taught: BIO 364
Background: Dr. Dornbos has a B.S. in Biology from Calvin College, an M.S. in Crop Production and Physiology from The Ohio State University and a Ph.D. in Crop Production in Physiology from Iowa State University. He has taught at the Au Sable Institute Great Lakes and Iowa State University. He has been a member of the research management team at Sygenta Seeds, Inc. as the Global Head of Seed Production Research, the North American Director of Product Development, and a Field Agronomist. He has been on the advisory boards of the Pierce Cedar Creek Institute (Hastings, MI), the Land Conservancy of West Michigan, the Genesis Community of Transformation (Phnom Penh, Cambodia), the Integrated Solutions Asia Cooperative (Phnom Penh, Cambodia), and the Integrated Science Research Institute. Dr. Dornbos has a strong interest in agricultural issues.


Evert Van Der Heide
Professor of Economics
Phone: 616-526-6099 | Office: North Hall 182

Courses taught: ECON 237 and 337
Background: Evert Van Der Heide joined the Calvin faculty in 1982 after teaching at several state universities and at Dordt College. His primary fields of interest include the economics of developing countries (primarily at the broader, macro level), business cycles and forecasting, and the structure of the West Michigan economy. Professor Van Der Heide worked with government officials in Indonesia on several occasions and continues a strong interest in Asian economies. He teaches the course on Asian economies at Calvin. Professor Van Der Heide participates in forecasting conferences at the University of Michigan and at the Chicago Federal Reserve each year, submitting macroeconomic forecasts for the latter, which become part of a consensus forecast developed at the conference. Professor Van Der Heide has led about nine classes to Europe during past interims and served in Budapest as Director for the Study in Hungary Program for one year. He coordinates the Economics Department's link with Michigan State University's graduate program in the Department of Agriculture, Food and Resource Economics.

Joel Westra
Associate Professor of Political Science
Phone: 616-526-6727 | Office: DeVos Center 261H

Courses taught: POLS 309
Background: Joel H. Westra is a summa cum laude graduate of the Honors College at the University of Houston, where he received his Bachelor of Arts degree in political science in May 1998. He went on to The University of Chicago, where he completed his M.A. in social sciences in 2000 and his Ph.D. in political science in 2004. He served as Visiting Lecturer in The Committee on International Relations at The University of Chicago and as post-doctoral Fellow in the John G. Tower Center for Political Studies at Southern Methodist University. Professor Westra joined the faculty at Calvin College in the fall of 2007. He teaches courses in the international relations curriculum and is also a Pre-law advisor. Professor Westra recently published an article entitled "Cumulative Legitimation, Prudential Restraint, and the Maintenance of International Order: A Re-examination of the UN Charter System" and a book chapter entitled "International Order the American Way: Selective Multilateralism and European Consternation." He is currently working on a book examining efforts to reform the post-World War II global security order.

Becca McBride
Assistant Professor of Political Science
Phone: 616-526-7023 | Office: DeVos Center 261G

Courses taught: POLS 322, 228
Background: Becca McBride earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from Belmont University in Political Science in 2002. She then earned a Master of Arts degree from Georgetown University in Eurasian, Russian, and East European Studies in 2004. At Georgetown she specialized in Chechnya, violent ethnic conflict, and terrorism. While at Georgetown she started working for the US Government as a Russian analyst; she continued as an analyst after graduation. When she relocated back to Nashville, TN with her family, she started as an instructor at Belmont University. After teaching at Belmont for four years, she decided to return to graduate school and pursue a PhD. In 2013, she graduated from Vanderbilt University with a PhD in political science. At Vanderbilt she focused on International Relations and Political Theory. She joined the Political Science faculty at Calvin College in fall 2013. Dr. McBride’s academic interests include intercountry adoption, international diffusion processes, ethnic conflict, Russia and the former Soviet Union, comparative social welfare, non-state agents in the international system, intelligence and foreign policy, and network analysis.