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Calvin Wire - September 4, 2007 -- Volume 7, No. 17

The Calvin Wire newsletter is a bulletin of the Calvin Alumni Association sent to alumni and friends of Calvin College to inform them of the latest news from campus.
 
In This Issue:

Fall Convocation: Starting the Journey - Tuesday, September 4

Convocation 2006The Calvin community celebrates the gathering of students, faculty and staff each September with a service of dedication and worship. Dr. Laura Smit, Dean of the Chapel, delivers today an address titled "Taught By the Spirit." Alumni, parents and friends are invited to join with the Calvin community for the Opening Convocation on Tuesday, September 4 at 9:50 am in the Calvin Fieldhouse. The text of Dr. Smit's convocation address will be available on the Convocation Web site later this week.


Orientation program helps students engage with local community

Streetfest 2006When 1,045 incoming students arrived on the Calvin College campus last week, they were part of Streetfest, an orientation tradition that had them serving and learning at sites all over the Grand Rapids area. The event, now in its 15th year, is a Calvin student's early introduction to service-learning, an acquaintance that organizers hope will last a lifetime. "It's not a day about volunteerism and it's not a mini-missions trip. It's a totally different breed of service," junior Laura Wolff, a Streetfest co-leader says about the event. "Students get outside the college and learn that they have just as much to gain from people in the community as they have to offer them." Read more.


Calvin's category in 2007 U.S. News & World Reports changes

A change in categories has meant that the ranking for Calvin College in the annual America's Best Colleges guidebook from U.S. News & World Report looks very different this year. Last year Calvin was ranked first by U.S. News & World Report in the category of "Midwest Comprehensive Bachelor's Colleges." There were about 110 colleges and universities in that category last year. This year Calvin was moved to a national category called "Liberal Arts Colleges" and was ranked 116th among the approximately 270 schools in the category. Calvin officials note that the key areas which U.S. News & World Report measures -- things like graduation rate, retention rate, alumni giving, percentage of class taught by full-time faculty, etc. -- have not changed at Calvin from last year to this year.

"Calvin is the same school it was a year ago, but simply in a different category this year," says director of admissions and financial aid Dale Kuiper. Calvin officials continue to stress a message they stressed even when the college was the top-ranked school in the Midwest: the best way to measure a prospective college is to visit campuses, talk to current students, check out college and university Web sites, e-mail professors, sit in on a class and stay overnight in a residence hall. "Calvin is the same school it was a year ago, but simply in a different category this year," says director of admissions and financial aid Dale Kuiper. Calvin officials continue to stress a message they stressed even when the college was the top-ranked school in the Midwest: the best way to measure a prospective college is to visit campuses, talk to current students, check out college and university Web sites, e-mail professors, sit in on a class and stay overnight in a residence hall. "The bottom line for Calvin," says Kuiper, "is we are a Christian college that provides a first-rate academic experience, one we believe is equal to any college in the country. Our graduates are doing amazing work of renewal in God's world. They are making a difference. That's an affirmation of our educational enterprise that goes far beyond a ranking in a college guide." Read more.


Princeton Review again names Calvin one of the top U.S. colleges

Calvin College has again been named one of the top colleges in the country by The Princeton Review. The 2008 edition of The Princeton Review's annual college guide "Best 366 Colleges" includes seven schools from the state of Michigan: Albion, Calvin, Hillsdale, Kalamazoo, Michigan State, Michigan and Michigan Tech. Only about 15 percent of the nation's four-year colleges are included in the guide which was first published in 1992. Calvin College has again been named one of the top colleges in the country by The Princeton Review. The 2008 edition of The Princeton Review's annual college guide "Best 366 Colleges" includes seven schools from the state of Michigan: Albion, Calvin, Hillsdale, Kalamazoo, Michigan State, Michigan and Michigan Tech. Only about 15 percent of the nation's four-year colleges are included in the guide which was first published in 1992. The Princeton Review's annual guide depends heavily on student surveys to both form the two-page profiles of each of the 366 schools included and to create a series of unusual secondary lists. Calvin's profile leads with what the college's undergrads told the Princeton Review. "The greatest strength of Calvin is the emphasis on becoming a better person," the guide notes, adding: "every accredited college or university offers education, but not every school prepares students for the real world in the way that Calvin does." Read more.


Professor Adams receives NSF grant for supercomputer

A Calvin College computer science professor has received a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant to build a supercomputer. The new computer, funded through $205,000 from the NSF Major Research Instrument program will replace OHM —the supercomputer Calvin computer science professorsand students built six years ago with money from the same source. "As desktop computers get faster and faster, our supercomputer is staying the same speed. It's still useful for teaching, but less and less useful for research," says Calvin professor Joel Adams about OHM. A Calvin College computer science professor has received a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant to build a supercomputer. The new computer, funded through $205,000 from the NSF Major Research Instrument program will replace OHM —the supercomputer Calvin computer science professorsand students built six years ago with money from the same source. "As desktop computers get faster and faster, our supercomputer is staying the same speed. It's still useful for teaching, but less and less useful for research," says Calvin professor Joel Adams about OHM. A supercomputer, Adams explains, is not one computer but a cluster of computers linked through a network that enables them to function as a whole. The productivity of such a system is possible because each component of a supercomputer-each individual computer-is able to work on a different piece of a complex problem. Read more.


Students Research Area Congregations

Charm and doggedness weren’t on the official job description for student workers at Calvin's Center for Social Research this summer, but, say the students, they might well have been. CSR assistant director Neil Carlson says that it takes those qualities and more to do what 13 Calvin student and alumni research assistants, under the supervision of 2006 Calvin graduate Nate Medeiros-Ward, have been doing since June 20: contacting and interviewing 250 Kent County congregational leaders. Charm and doggedness weren’t on the official job description for student workers at Calvin's Center for Social Research this summer, but, say the students, they might well have been. CSR assistant director Neil Carlson says that it takes those qualities and more to do what 13 Calvin student and alumni research assistants, under the supervision of 2006 Calvin graduate Nate Medeiros-Ward, have been doing since June 20: contacting and interviewing 250 Kent County congregational leaders. The project is documenting the social services each Kent County congregation offers its members and the wider community. It also aims to enhance these efforts by establishing a network for congregations to tap into, by identifying areas of need in the larger community and by equipping the community in turn to strengthen the efforts of congregations in area of need. Read more.


Minds in the Making: summer edition now online

The summer 2007 edition of "Minds in the Making," a Calvin e-collection, is now available on the Calvin Web site. This edition includes articles and presentations on Harry Potter, church and state, galaxy clusters, summer gardening, and more. "Minds in the Making" gathers the best essays, articles and reflections of the Calvin College community - faculty, staff, students, alumni and friends. The summer 2007 edition of "Minds in the Making," a Calvin e-collection, is now available on the Calvin Web site. This edition includes articles and presentations on Harry Potter, church and state, galaxy clusters, summer gardening, and more. "Minds in the Making" gathers the best essays, articles and reflections of the Calvin College community - faculty, staff, students, alumni and friends. "Minds" is intended as a helpful resource for the thoughtful Christian, inspiring the reader for intentional participation in the renewal of all things. We think the level of intellectual engagement and discourse demonstrated at this site illustrates the intent of a Calvin College
education.


Professor Grasman, students research Great Lakes birds

A Calvin College professor of biology and three students are researching the effects of pollution on Great Lakes colonial water birds. Keith Grasman, a biologist who specializes in ecotoxicology, spent the summer performing medical tests on colonies of herring gulls, black-crowned night herons and Caspian terns at sites in Muskegon and Saginaw Bay. TA Calvin College professor of biology and three students are researching the effects of pollution on Great Lakes colonial water birds. Keith Grasman, a biologist who specializes in ecotoxicology, spent the summer performing medical tests on colonies of herring gulls, black-crowned night herons and Caspian terns at sites in Muskegon and Saginaw Bay. The work continues 17 years of research done by Grasman on these species (and also double-crested cormorants) throughout the five Great Lakes. Over the years his research has been funded by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Canadian Wildlife Service, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Ohio Sea Grant Program, Lake Erie Protection Fund, and Great Lakes Protection Fund. Joining Grasman in the research this summer was a trio of students: Calvin junior Samantha Miller of Aurora, Ohio, and sophomores Luke Vande Zande of Wyoming, Mich., and Nate De Haan of Byron Center, Mich. "The purpose of our research is to see whether pollution is contributing to their health problems and low population numbers," Grasman says. Read more.


Calvin receives NCAA grant to hire intern

Laura TuckerCalvin College is one of just 16 colleges and universities across the country to receive an NCAA Division III Ethnic Minority and Women's Internship Grant (some 70 schools applied). These grants of $23,100 are designed essentially to help D3 schools such as Calvin hire an intern for their athletic departments that they normally would not be able to hire. At Calvin the intern's position has been crafted to assist women's athletic director Dr. Nancy Meyer and men's athletic director Dr. Jim Timmer: everything from event management to budget to involvement in the planning to move into the new Spoelhof Fieldhouse Complex in the fall of 2008. Although it's a big job on the face of it Calvin feels it has found the right person for the position in the hiring of Laura Tucker. A Holland Christian High School and Calvin College graduate, Tucker doubles as the top varsity assistant with the Calvin women's volleyball team -- a position she has held since the 2003 season. "I am absolutely thrilled to be serving in this position at my alma mater," said Tucker. "I have a deep love for Calvin College and a strong interest in coaching and athletics administration." Read more.


Yoga 101: Saturday, September 8

Yoga is fun and good for you - and this is your opportunity to try it yourself! Calvin students, family and alumni are invited! There will also be an opportunity to learn about Knight Life, Calvin's young alumni association. The class times are 9-10:30 am, 1-2:30 pm, and 4-5:30 p.m--attend any class that works for you! The location is the Dance Studio in the Fieldhouse (look for signs in the gym); the cost is $5 per class. Yoga is fun and good for you - and this is your opportunity to try it yourself! Calvin students, family and alumni are invited! There will also be an opportunity to learn about Knight Life, Calvin's young alumni association. The class times are 9-10:30 am, 1-2:30 pm, and 4-5:30 p.m--attend any class that works for you! The location is the Dance Studio in the Fieldhouse (look for signs in the gym); the cost is $5 per class. To RSVP contact Laura Dykhouse at senoritalaura@gmail.com or 616-551-2184. Bring a Yoga mat; if you do not have one, please indicate this when you RSVP. Wear something you can be physically active in.


Fall Reunion for 1987, 1992, 1997, or 2002

If you are a member of the class of 1987, 1992, 1997 or 2002, your reunion is just around the corner. We invite you to join us for this special occasion on Friday and Saturday, September 28 and 29, 2007, to fellowship, reminisce and renew ties with one another. To see more about the reunion, visit the Reunion Web site. If you are a member of the class of 1987, 1992, 1997 or 2002, your reunion is just around the corner. We invite you to join us for this special occasion on Friday and Saturday, September 28 and 29, 2007, to fellowship, reminisce and renew ties with one another. To see more about the reunion, visit the Reunion Web site.




Professor De Young authors resource on Seven Deadly Sins

Philosophy professor Rebecca Konyndyk DeYoungA Calvin College professor has turned one of her colleges courses into a guidebook on spiritual development for teens and young adults. Philosophy professor Rebecca Konyndyk DeYoung teaches a class on the seven deadly sins to Calvin seniors, explaining to them that the sins function as a tool to diagnose barriers to discipleship. As part of the class, her students then teach the concept to 18-year-olds. From that engagement with her students, and the "field-testing," has come "The Seven Deadly Sins: A Survival Guide," available Friday, September 7 from Faith Alive Christian Resources. In her take on the classic motif of Christian discipleship, DeYoung identifies each of the sins (or, as she prefers to call them, capital vices) as a spiritual barrier to discipleship. Students learn to diagnose those barriers to discipleship in their own lives, to remove them, and to replace them with new habits of thought and feeling. "The book really is a translation project," says DeYoung. "I seek to take what is rich and enduring in the tradition and make it real and relevant for young people." Read more.


Graduate Lisa Winkle receives more athletic honors

Lisa WinkleRecent Calvin College graduate Lisa Winkle has added two more lofty honors to her portfolio. Winkle, who will begin teaching at her high school alma mater South Christian High School as a math teacher, has been named to Sports Illustrated's notable "Faces in the Crowd" section in a recent issue. In addition, Winkle has been named one of 30 nationwide finalists for the 2007 NCAA Woman of the Year Award. Winkle's bio lists her as Calvin's all-time leading scorer and rebounder in women's basketball, the recipient of the 2007 Josten's Trophy and as a seven-time NCAA III All-American in track and field. At the time of her nomination for "Faces in the Crowd", Winkle was a seven-time NCAA III All-American in track and field but finished her career as a ten-time NCAA III All-American with three more berths at the 2007 NCAA III Outdoor Track and Field Championships. Winkle is the second Calvin athlete in the last three years to be honored in "Faces in the Crowd" as swimmer Becky Weima was so honored in March of 2006. Read more.


Artist Series 2007-2008 season tickets available

The 2007-2008 Artist Series offers an wide variety of world-class performers from many musical styles including the Baltimore Consort on October 6; an amazing mix of early music and folk, October 27 with VocalEssence; traditional choral music and the Michigan premiere of a Bluegrass Mass, the famed Westminster Choir on February 22; the stunning Chicago Jazz Ensemble on March 29; and piano greats Leon and Katherine Fliesher on May 1. Season tickets (admission to all five concerts) are on sale now, ranging in price from $80-$120; Calvin students, $50.The seventh season of Calvin's Artist Series offers musical styles and talents that we are certain will appeal to regular concert-goers and new audiences. The 2007-2008 Artist Series offers an wide variety of world-class performers from many musical styles including the Baltimore Consort on October 6; an amazing mix of early music and folk, October 27 with VocalEssence; traditional choral music and the Michigan premiere of a Bluegrass Mass, the famed Westminster Choir on February 22; the stunning Chicago Jazz Ensemble on March 29; and piano greats Leon and Katherine Fliesher on May 1. Season tickets (admission to all five concerts) are on sale now, ranging in price from $80-$120; Calvin students, $50. For more information visit the Artist Series Web site.


Calvin Distinctive #1: Profoundly Academic

Neal Plantinga's highly regarded text, "Engaging God's World," frames the discussion of the first-year program.Calvin consistently receives national recognition for academic excellence. Calvin's well-respected faculty, inquiring student body and innovative core curriculum come together in an environment that links intellectual freedom with a heart for service. Calvin's core curriculum is intentionally designed to offer the knowledge, the skills and the virtues students need to be informed and effective agents in all domains of life. The core begins with two gateway courses, concludes with a senior capstone course and is permeated throughout with a Christian worldview and a broad, faith-based engagement with surrounding culture. Neal Plantinga's highly regarded text, "Engaging God's World," frames the discussion of the first-year program. For more information visit the Calvin Distinctives Web site.

 

The Calvin Wire newsletter is a bulletin of the Calvin Alumni Association sent to alumni and friends of Calvin College to inform them of the latest news from campus.