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September 5, 2000

Calvin Hires Broene Director

Dr. Randall Wolthuis, a licensed psychologist, marriage counselor and social worker, is the new director of the Broene Counseling Center at Calvin College.

Wolthuis is a 1976 graduate of Calvin College who went on to earn a master's in social work at Michigan, a master's in counseling psychology at Michigan State and a Ph.D. in counseling psychology at Michigan State. He comes to Calvin after having spent the last 11 years at Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services in Grand Rapids, including a four-year stint as corporate director.

"It was a tough decision," says Wolthuis of his move from Pine Rest to Calvin, "but I was so thoroughly impressed with Calvin's Student Life division -- the character of the people and the genuine love for students -- that I really wanted to be a part of that experience."

In addition, one of Wolthuis' primary areas of expertise is eating disorders and because of that expertise he often worked with college-aged students during his 20 years as a psychologist. Those experiences sparked his interest in the Calvin job (which came open when the previous director retired).

"The college age is such a crucial age in human development," he says. "They (college students) are at the cusp of so many key decisions -- everything from career to marriage and more. Their sense of identity is not hard and fast and they are open to guidance. It's an exciting age group with which to work."

Wolthuis, a former varsity basketball and baseball stand-out at Calvin, will head up a team of five counselors, including Cynthia Kok, who also was just hired. She too has a PhD., in clinical psychology from Purdue University, is a licensed social worker and formerly worked at Pine Rest. Kok most recently was a staff therapist in the Roanoke College Counseling Center prior to joining Calvin, her alma mater.

"With the addition of Cindy and myself, we now have over 60 years of experience in providing counseling and psychotherapy," says Wolthuis. He and Kok join Anamarie Joosse, Lavonne Zwart and Bob Reed on the Counseling Center staff. Last year over 600 students used the services of Calvin's Broene Counseling Center, all of which are free for Calvin students.

Wolthuis says Calvin students "come to the Center for compassionate and confidential help with such things as depression, anxiety disorders, drug and alcohol abuse, relationship problems, eating disorders and other personal concerns." "They," he says of Calvin's students, "face the same problems the rest of society faces. We're here to help with those problems." Students who use the Center go through an assessment and then are assigned to a counselor who provides input and, in most cases, counseling. Calvin also can work with outside agencies and make referrals in cases where that is deemed appropriate.

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Contact Phil de Haan.