Jared English '01 with his fiancée, Maria Chi
Jared English '01 with his fiancée, Maria Chi

Turning Potential challenges into Opportunities

Jared English '01 has been expanding his knowledge of the people and culture of China long since his degree at Calvin was completed. As international project manager for an auto cable controls company in Ningbo, China, he manages foreign accounts, translates documents, interprets conversations and makes presentations to potential customers.

"Calvin expanded my horizon; I was encouraged to think critically, globally and with a Christian worldview."

~ Jared English '01

Even though he is the only foreigner among 360 Chinese employees, English has turned potential challenges into opportunities. "I have learned how to effectively communicate in a culture where direct communication is not valued as much as saving face," he says, "and I have learned business techniques and strategies that have allowed me to become a more astute manager."

English fulfilled a high-school interest in China and its people when he pursued Chinese studies at Calvin. "Calvin expanded my horizon," he says. "I was encouraged to think critically, globally and with a Christian worldview. The knowledge I gained there has provided me with the perfect foundation to become an active player in a developing market like China."

Former Calvin professors and mentors, now close friends, gave English the tools that continue to encourage him on the other side of the world. "I haven't formally studied Chinese or Chinese history for four years," English says, "yet I am able to translate for a variety of audiences and actively contribute to conversations my Chinese friends are having about history."

Jared has also translated for the NBA Legends Tour in Beijing, led a small group Bible study, organized an Ultimate Frisbee league in Beijing, and interpreted an arbitration case held at the Beijing International Christian Fellowship.

Calvin's Anti-Racism Team
Calvin's Anti-Racism Team was instrumental in producing From Every Nation, a revised plan for anti-racism and inclusiveness on campus.

Building Community that Reflects the Multinational Kingdom of God

A tiny, green booklet with big ideas about multiculturalism will have a lot to say about how the Calvin community shapes itself in the years to come. From Every Nation: Revised Compre-hensive Plan for Racial Justice, Reconciliation and Cross-Cultural Engagement at Calvin College — is popularly known by the acronym FEN. And FEN, says Barbara Omolade, Calvin's dean for multiculturalism, "is a radical document."

"Racism is at its most powerful when it's not just a matter of individual relationships but when it shapes the policies and discourse and climate of an institution."

~ Joel Carpenter, Calvin Provost

The intent behind FEN is to create a Calvin community that reflects the picture of an eternal, multinational kingdom of God found in Revelation 7:9: "… a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people, and language…."

A revision of the college's 1985 plan, FEN will guide the practical task of wholly diversifying Calvin — not only in the faculty, staff and student body, but in curriculum and pedagogy as well.

FEN outlines specific recommendations for departments and offices at Calvin to work toward anti-racism and inclusiveness, and it also encourages the college's Multicultural Affairs Committee to challenge Calvin faculty and staff on issues of diversity. "We want this to be a place that's co-owned," says Calvin's provost Joel Carpenter, "the home of people of every nation — especially people who have suffered prejudice and marginalization for centuries."

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