Graduates of The Calvin Honors Program

Nick Be '05


Kelly LeCoy '11

business/marketing emphasis

Kelly LeCoy, a business marketing major, won three Grand Rapids business plan competitions in three months after working closely with her business profs to develop a business plan for her honors thesis. Now, with over $9,000 of seed money and investors lined up, her plans to open Uptown Kitchen, a Grand Rapids-based rental kitchen business, are taking off. 

Read more about Kelly »

Katelyn Beaty '06

communications, art history

As a Calvin student, Katelyn was a writer and editor for Chimes, the campus newspaper, and served as a cultural discerner in the Student Activities Office.

Where she is today:

Working as an editor at Christianity Today (CT) magazine. Katelyn manages the women’s blog her.meneutics and is the editorial director for the "This is Our City" project at CT.

One of her best experiences in The Calvin Honors Program:

Studying at Oxford University as part of the Scholars’ Semester in Oxford. “It was a challenging and enriching time of sharpening my research and argumentation skills within a community of like-minded peers from other top Christian colleges.”

“The Calvin Honors Program provided the perfect structure and guidance for exploring an intellectual curiosity that budded during my sophomore year. This curiosity about faith, learning and God's good world deeply informs my current work as a journalist who is asked to see the world and report back on it to other curious minds.”


Alumni news

Ben Shoemaker '10 (honors in international relations) taught English in Indonesia during the summer of 2010, and then he independently backpacked throughout the Middle East (Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Egypt, Israel, and Palestine) during the fall of 2010. The following spring, Ben took classes at Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia in Dénia, Spain (with Calvin's Spanish Department). He then started law school in the fall of 2011 and received a fellowship to conduct legal research in Buenos Aires, Argentina during the summer of 2012. Ben is currently finishing up his second-year as a law student at the University of Michigan Law School, and he is also pursuing a master's degree in World Politics through the Political Science department at the University of Michigan. Ben is expecting to receive both degrees next year, if all goes according to plan. This coming summer, he will be a summer associate at the Chicago headquarters of Mayer Brown LLP, which is one of the largest and most international law firms in the world.

Ashley Pace '11 (honors in IDIS) Ashley's paper presented at the CAS department honors presentation in May was accepted for a poster presentation at the Central States Communication Association Undergraduate Honors Research Conference. Ashley is currently a communication intern at International Justice Mission in Guatemala. She is enjoying this internship very much and plans on using the paper as a writing sample for applying to graduate programs.

Read about Ashley Luse '10 (honors in business) and the experiences she had while researching her honors thesis.

Update on Kingsley "Junior" Kanu '06 (honors in engineering—mechanical concentration)

Stephanie Vogelzang '07 (honors in religion) has been selected as a participant in the Yale Initiative on Faith and Globalization which is a collaboration involving the Yale Divinity School, the Yale School of Management and the Tony Blair Faith Foundation, an organization devoted to promoting understanding among the major faiths."

Melissa Smith '06 (honors in Asian studies) is a John K Branner Traveling Fellow at the UC Berkeley. She states "the Branner Fellowship from UC Berkeley has given me the amazing opportunity to spend the next 12 months traveling and researching 'aging modernism'."

Joo Eun Kim '05 (honors in political science—international relations) was awarded the Shattuck Award from the University of Southern California's Gould School of Law. The Shattuck Award recognizes top law students involved in public service and is given to students who demonstrate the greatest potential for becoming outstanding members of the bar. Joo, who graduated from the school in May 2009, is currently employed by Gibson, Dunn & Drutcher in Los Angeles.

Luis Avila '05 (honors in business) wrote on Jan. 18, 2007: "The biggest, and most special, change to my life since graduating has been, without a doubt, the fact that I am now married. I was married on July 8th, 2006 to Amanda, a Montcalm CC graduate and nurse at Metropolitan Hospital. Since graduating, I have been working for JPMorgan Chase as an analyst for the Commercial Bank here in Grand Rapids. Though it has been a blessing and a great learning experience, I have recently decided to pursue a different career, one where I believe the Lord is calling me. I recently applied and have been accepted to the University of Michigan Law School! I begin my studies in May of this year and I plan on studying international and comparative law. Please pray for us as we begin this new endeavor! I also wanted to thank you for all the encouragement while I was still at Calvin and the support I've received since graduating! It has truly been a blessing."

Jackie (Zhen) Tao '04 (honors in political science) has entered Columbia Law School. He told us he "was pleased to hear a distinguished visiting lecturer declare in class that Calvin is "the best college in Michigan." Jackie is especially grateful for the challenging honors courses he took at Calvin, which he says prepared him exceptionally well for the rigors of law school."

Susan Lyon Roustan '03 (honors in French): I am now in the Graduate Teacher Certification program at GVSU, which I will complete in April. I will be nine credits short of my masters in Education. I am finishing my student teaching, but am employed already by Forest Hills Eastern Middle School as the 7th and 8th grade French teacher. :) My goals for the future are to obtain a master's in French in addition to the one in education. I hope also to take some coursework to make me eligible to teach Spanish. My coursework at Calvin really prepared me for higher degrees. I feel that the work I did at Calvin was actually more rigorous than my masters work is (shh...don't tell). I know that I am a better thinker and a better person for being at Calvin.

Brandon Hunt '03 (honors in biochemistry):
"I thought you might be interested in getting an update from an old honors student. I will be attending the University of Bradford (UK) in the fall. I will be in the MA for International Politics and Security Studies program. The Bradford Peace Studies Department is the largest in the world and well respected as a center for peace studies and conflict resolution. I'm getting excited, although the task of preparing for the move and also trying to get a handle on the British way of handling things is daunting."

Megan Feenstra Wall '02 (honors in interdisciplinary—art and engineering) graduated from Columbia's Graduate School of Architecture with a Master of Architecture and is now working for Stephen and Tilly Architects in New York City. She and her husband, Josh Wall, will be leaving New York City at the end of 2006 to begin an adventure before Josh begins work on a second Masters degree and possibly a Ph.D. She writes "We plan to spend the first few months of 2007 teaching kids how to ski at a Colorado resort. Then, it's back to Michigan for my brother-in-law's wedding before we head to SE Asia for 4–5 months. We are planning on beginning the journey in HongKong, where my closest friend from grad school grew up and will be getting married, before heading through Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, etc. to India, where we will stay with close friends from my husband's grad school in Bangalore and with our current pastor's family in Mumbai."

Chloe Lauer '01 (honors in German) graduated from Harvard Design School in June 2004, with a Masters in Urban Planning. She is currently employed as a planner at Dyett & Bhatia, Urban and Regional Planners in California.

Tragic news regarding honors graduate Leslie Van Hemert O'Bannon '00. On Monday, November 13, 2006, Leslie perished as a result of a plane crash with three of her Two Rivers Marketing team and the pilot of the twin engine plane, ten miles south of South Bend, Indiana. Her sudden and tragic death has shocked and saddened many. Leslie leaves her loving husband John O'Bannon and her daughter Ellie, her parents Dr. Russ and Caryn Van Hemert of Pella, her brother Jonathan Russell Van Hemert currently residing in Managua, Nicaragua and her sister Brittany Noel Van Hemert currently attending Central College in Pella, Iowa.

Sarah Scott '97 (honors in chemistry) graduated from the Wayne State School of Medicine and will begin her residency in OB/GYN in Grand Rapids, Mich.

Alumni Testimonials