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Awarded Nagel Fellowships


Kevin den Dulk and Roman Williams


Roman Williamskevin den dulkKevin den Dulk (Political Science), and Roman Williams
(Sociology),“Visualizing Faith and Citizenship: A Cross Cultural Exploration.” Professors den Dulk and Williams, leveraging Calvin’s study-abroad programs as field sites, will guide students in these programs into some photographic research and audio recorded reflections on how their experience of faith andcitizenshipcompares to what they see Christians doing in these international settings. 

Tracy Kuperus

Tracy KuperusTracy Kuperus (International Development), “The Political Role of Christian Councils in Ghana and South Africa.” Professor Kuperus will do research on her topic while in Ghana directing Calvin’s semester abroad program there, and then travel to South Africa for more research.  She will work with two student research assistants to investigate how the Christian Councils of Ghana and South Africa have responded to religious and political challenges.




Stephanie Sandberg

“Faith-Based Institutions and their Attitudes toward Human Trafficking in Ghana”

Professor Sandberg will interview religious leaders about human trafficking in Ghana, and write a documentary drama on the topic that her students (in Ghana and Grand Rapids) will perform.


Debra Paxton-Buursma and Jo-Ann VanReeuwyk

“Longing, Learning, and Leaning toward Hope”

During Interim 2016, Professors Van Reeuwyk and Buursma will engage thirty-five Calvin students with Indonesian community and arts leaders from diverse traditions in an arts-based dialogue and inquiry. The students then will create new works of art which will be exhibited in the Center Art Gallery at Calvin.




David Hoekema

“Picking up the pieces and making peace: The churches and post-conflict community building in Uganda” Hoekema Nagel Fellowship

During Interim 2014, Professor Hoekema is leading Calvin students as they conduct interviews with Christian community leaders in northern Uganda about the social and political roles of the churches in their region’s recent time of troubles.


Marj Terpstra and Nalova Westbrook

“Zambian Education Developments”


This project will work with Calvin students to identify and describe culturally sustaining practices and beliefs among Christian educators in several schools in Zambia. Students will observe and engage education in Zambia in order to recognize the value of culturally relevant pedagogy.




Tracy Kuperus and Amy Patterson

"Citizen Mobilization in Africa: A Role for Christian Organizations?"

tracy smallamy smallTracy Kuperus (International Development Studies), along with colleague Amy Patterson (Political Science, University of the South), will conduct fieldwork during the summer of 2013 with two grassroots Christian organizations--JL Zwane Centre in South Africa and Jubilee Centre in Zambia. Their fieldwork will include interviews and analysis of organizational documents of the JL Zwane Centre and the Jubliee Centre, both of whom are engaged in citizen mobilization.



Pearl Shangkuan

Pearl ShangkuanPearl Shangkuan (Music), along with members of the Calvin Women’s Chorale, will address the role of music in the struggle for freedom in South Africa and its acknowledged emerging role in the reconciliation. During Spring and May 2012 interim experiences, the choir will visit high schools and universities, interacting with the South African students by sharing music with them and their leaders, and visiting key sites of the freedom movement.


Won Lee

Won LeeWon Lee (Religion) received funds to support the writing of a major article on “Korean” biblical interpretation for The Oxford Encyclopedia of Biblical Interpretation. Professor Lee will travel to Seoul Korea for library research and to interview at least five Korean professors on the history of Korean biblical interpretation.




Mark Fackler and Levi ObonyoMark Fackler and Levi Obonyo Nagel Fellows

Mark Fackler (CAS), will continue his collaboration with Levi Obonyo (Daystar University), on "Play and Humor in the Media of an Emerging Democracy." Facklerand Obonyo will conduct interviews with Kenyan editorial cartoonists, their editors, and others associated with media influence and political change to examine the role of visual media, specifically editorial cartoons, in Nairobi media from the early years of independence (1963), the Daniel Moi years (1976-2002), and the present era of a Second Constitution and a more open political and religious climate.



Joel Navarro and Melba MaggayJoel Navarro and Melba Maggay

Joel Navarro (Music) will work with Melba Maggay (Institute for Studies in Asian Church and Culture), to choose and translate into English the most widely-sung hymns from ISACC's pre-existing hymn collections, and enlist Philippinecomposers and congregations to submit hymn and anthems for consideration into "Songs from a Distant Shore: The Samba Hymn Collection," a worship resource foremerging multi-ethnic and multicultural Christian congregations across North America.




Susan Felch

Susan FelchSusan Felch (English) will collaborate with Dr. Song Min (Beihang University) and Xing Ling (Yunnan University) on "Telling the Story: English Language Learning through Bible Stories." Telling the Story aims to convert a course based on multiple English translations of eleven Bible stories into a textbook for use in upper-level secondary and university classrooms.

David Dornbos and Leonard De Rooy

David Dornbos and Leonard De RooyDavid Dornbos (Biology), and Leonard De Rooy (Engineering), will collaborate on Transforming Cambodia: Holistic Application of Sustainable Food Production Methods in Rural Cambodia. This project involves Calvin students and Cambodian Christian community development leaders in a project to try out some new rice production methods and to develop an agricultural training center.







Mark Fackler

facklerMark Fackler (CAS Dept.), to collaborate with Levi Obonyo of Kenya on "Media and Peace in East Africa: A Case Study and Call." Their research will concentrate on the ways in which the journalists of East Africa participate in the political process, and the extent to which their work can not only foster transparency and accountability in government, but actually promote civil restraint and conflict resolution.

Amy Patterson

pattersonAmy Patterson (Political Science Dept.), conducted an additional set of consultations with civic, healthcare and religious leaders in southern Africa to complete work on her book, The Church, Politics, and AIDS in Africa.

Ruth Groenhout

groenhoutRuth Groenhout (Philosophy Dept.), will collaborate with Yu Zhenhua of the East China Normal University to plan a conference, "Cultures of Knowledge, East and West."  Funding for her project is being provided by "Science, Philosophy and Belief," a joint initiative of the Society of Christian Philosophers, the Nagel Institute, and a network of scholars across China, and supported with a grant from the Templeton Foundation.




Mariano Avila

Mariano AvilaMariano Avila (Calvin Seminary), will research "Worship as Spiritual Warfare in Latin America." His research will concentrate on practices and theologies that inform Pentecostal approaches to worship and their relation to native religion and magic in Peru, Brazil, and Mexico. Dr. Avila is also interested to see the extent to which these theologies and practices have some origins or effects in North America.

Diane Slager

Diane SlaglerDiane Slager (Nursing, Calvin), will conduct research on the role of faith communities in HIV prevention in West Africa, particularly among African Instituted Church (AIC) leaders. This study will assess the knowledge and attitudes regarding HIV among pastors from mainline churches and AICs and evaluate the impact of HIV information programs they offer. She will be working with the Christian Education Foundation of Liberia, which offers training to 600 pastors annually from more than 200 denominations. Prof. Slager will help the Foundation develop improved training materials for combating HIV/AIDS in Liberia.


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