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Economics Alumni Conference

Left to right: Steve McMullen, Kurt Schaefer, Adel Abadeer, John Tiemstra, Evert Van Der Heide, Becky Haney, Roland Hoksbergen, Scott VanderLinde, Rick DeVries

Economics Alumni Conference

April 13 & 14, 2012

All Calvin economics alumni and friends are invited to join us for a conference at the Prince Conference Center on campus. Keynote speakers Kirstin Wells '86, Laurence Baker '90 and other experts in their fields will speak on financial industry dynamics, health care law, poverty and international development. You'll network with colleagues; visit with current majors.


All events will be in the Prince Conference Center.

Friday, April 13, 2012

6:30 - 8:30 p.m. Reunion dinner

Saturday, April 14, 2012

8:15 - 8:45 a.m. Continental breakfast

8:45 – 9:00 a.m. Devotions
George Monsma, Economics Faculty Emeritus

9:00 – 10:15 a.m. Session 1: “The Great Recession: What have we learned?”
Kirstin Wells ’86, Business Economist, Financial Markets
Chicago Federal Reserve

10:45 a.m. – noon Session 2: “U.S. Health Care: Crisis and Opportunity”
Laurence Baker ‘90, Health Research and Policy
Stanford University School of Medicine

Noon – 1:30 p.m. Lunch: “Coloring Outside the Lines: Unexpected Careers”

1:30 – 2:30 p.m. Session 3: “Poverty & Development: Stories from the Field” Panel Discussion
Calvin Economics Alumni: Roxanne deGraaf '89, Mark Jorritsma '85, Pellagia Gambiza '04, Sarah Reynolds '01

2:45 – 3:15 p.m. Open Forum
Current Calvin Economics Students

Keynote Speakers

Kirstin Wells '86

Kirstin Wells '86 is an assistant vice president, financial markets in the economic research department of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. Before she was appointed to her current role, she was a business economist, financial markets in the department.

Prior to her doctoral studies, Wells was a vice president for payment system strategy at Wachovia Corporation and a senior analyst at the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System in the payment risk area. She began her career as a statistical analyst at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. She is currently an adjunct professor of economics at the Brennan School of Business at Dominican University, River Forest, IL.

Wells received a B.A. in economics from Calvin and an M.A. in economics from Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University. In 2009, she earned a doctorate in public policy from the University of North Carolina Charlotte. Her dissertation research examined the impact of socioeconomic factors and government form on the distribution of urban services.

Laurence Baker '90

Laurence Baker, Ph.D. '90 is a health economist and Professor of Health Research and Policy at Stanford University. Professor Baker serves as Chief of Health Services Research at the Stanford University School of Medicine.

Professor Baker has been the recipient of the ASHE Medal from the American Society of Health Economists, the Alice S. Hersh Young Investigator Award from AcademyHealth, and the National Institute for Health Care Management’s research prize. He serves on the boards of directors of the International Health Economics Association and the American Society of Health Economists. Professor Baker received his Ph.D. in Economics from Princeton University in 1994 and his Bachelors degree in Economics and Mathematics from Calvin in 1990.


Roxanne deGraaf '89

Roxanne Addink deGraaf '89 serves as the Director of Strategic Initiatives for Partners Worldwide. Partners Worldwide is a non-profit that engages businesspeople around the globe (currently in 20 countries) in partnerships that affirm business as a calling and call businesspeople to address global poverty through business growth and job creation. The organization’s vision, and Roxanne’s passion from childhood years spent in rural Mississippi, is “a world without poverty.” Roxanne has pursued this vision in community development work in Kenya, town planning and economic development in Northern New Mexico, her own consulting business, and now as a person who is working to shape strategies, measure impacts, and fuel a global movement of businesspeople engaged in addressing poverty. She graduated with an economics degree from Calvin and went on to receive an MA in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Iowa.

Mark Jorritsma '85

Mr. Jorritsma is the Vice President of Finance, Administration, and Strategy /Chief of Staff for World Vision US, one of the largest non-profits in the U.S., working in almost 100 counties worldwide and with annual revenues exceeding $1B per year. In this role, he is responsible for the proper fiscal management and dispersement of approximately $800M of program revenues to field operations around the world. Revenue sources include public cash grants, food grants, and private funding. Prior to this role, he was Director of Strategy/Chief of Staff for the Marketing Division of World Vision US.

Prior to his role with World Vision, Mr. Jorritsma spent 15 years in the economic and financial consulting field, culminating with his role as President of The Perimedes Group, LLC, which he started in 1995. His experience included responsibility for contracts from public and private entities such as the EPA, FAA, WA State Dept. of Transportation, and Oracle Corporation. Mr. Jorritsma holds a B.A. in Economics from Calvin, and an M.A. in Economics from Michigan State University. He currently lives in Washington, DC with his wife Ruth, and children Christopher and Stephanie.

Pellagia Gambiza '05

After several years of working with development organizations in the US, London, and Africa, Pellagia Gambiza has recently embarked on her dream project as she develops a new initiative called Hear Africa's Voices, an awareness project aimed at giving voice to and partnering with Southern African communities suffering from HIV/AIDS. The goals of the initiative are to lend a voice to voiceless Africans directly affected by the disease; influence global aid policy as it pertains to HIV/AIDS; build collaboration among Africans, grassroots organizations and international organizations; connect artisans afflicted by HIV/AIDS with US markets; and educate the world on the impact of HIV/AIDS in Africa with stories of real people.

Pellagia, a Zimbabwe native, graduated from Calvin with a BA in Economics, and from Thunderbird School of Global Management in 2009 with an MA in International Management and Global Affairs.

Sarah Reynolds '01

Sarah Reynolds' was first introduced to the developing world on Calvin's Semester in Honduras. Eager for more, after graduation she lived in Colombia on a Fulbright, taught English as a second language, and traveled the South American continent. She returned the the US to earn her Ph.D. in Development Economics at Cornell University supported by an International Dissertation Research Fellowship from the Social Science Research Council to implement a survey on teenage mothers and their mothers in Brazilian favelas. Now married to an assistant professor of engineering, Sarah has not yet returned to South America, but is happy with her experiences lecturing development and microeconomics at UC Berkeley, where she is currently a visiting scholar continuing research on adolescent fertility in Brazil.


Online registration ($40; $10 for students) is now closed. Please call Susan Camp (616-526-7191) for availability.


Participants are responsible for their lodging. Reserve your room with Prince Conference Center directly; we have a block of rooms reserved.


If you have questions, contact Susan Camp, (616) 526-7191.