Major: International Relations
Country you grew up in: Papua New Guinea, the US, Kenya
Nationality: Malagasy (Madagascar)
Parent Occupations: Father-Physician & Pastor; Mother-Homemaker; Both-Missionaries.
High school: Rosslyn Academy
What was your high school/secondary school like?
It was a private international Christian school following a North American curriculum. The students came from all over the world—missionary, business, embassy, military and local kids. Because it was small (about 600 students), the community among students and teachers was remarkably tight. My 7 years at Rosslyn were critical in my growing in my relationship with God, and the relationships began at Rosslyn, I still have today. Finally, because Rosslyn was academically rigorous, I was prepared well for Calvin.
Out of thousands of schools in the U.S., why Calvin?
Your own plans aren’t always God’s plans for you, I’ve learned. My sister who had friends attending Calvin recommended Calvin to me. So, I began researching. Calvin had programs and majors in all areas of interest to me, it was a Christian liberal arts school in the Midwest close to my older sisters, the campus was beautiful, and I was offered a good financial aid package—the deciding factor. I know now that God always knew I would be at Calvin at this time in my life. I love being here and learning the things He has for me to learn.
What opportunities for spiritual growth have you participated in?
In my freshman year, I was part of a Bible study on my dorm floor. Fall 2010, my sophomore year, I participated in a Bible study with some peers and a faculty leader. As well, I worked with the Campus Ministries department this past year; and although it was part of my job, I got to participate in Chapel regularly, which was a blessing. Finally, becoming involved in a local church while you’re in college is very important. I’ve been attending a church here in Grand Rapids and will be in a small discipleship group in the Fall.
What's the best class you've taken, or the best professor you've had?
My three favorite courses thus far: Survey of American Literature with Lew Klatt; in this class I remembered how much and why I’ve loved literature so. Religion 131 with Richard Plantinga compelled me to learn and consider challenging and wonderful things about the God I love and the faith I profess. Finally, Introduction to International Relations with Joel Westra was my first substantial taste of the field I declared for myself. I was apprehensive at first, afraid I wouldn’t like IR, that I’d made a mistake by declaring it as my major; but I found I was in just the right field.
Favorite eating place in GR?
There’s a place called Gaslight Village a short distance from Calvin, and in that village is a ‘50s ice cream parlor called Jersey Junction. In the summer, a lovely way to spend an afternoon is a bike ride or walk to Gaslight Village with friends and a Jersey Junction ice cream cone. As well, though I haven’t managed to get to this restaurant yet (they have some serious line-ups), I have heard nothing but ravings about Marie Catribs, a local Lebanese restaurant that I’ve had in my agenda to eat at for too long now.