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April 16, 2001

Student, Prof Plan D.C. Summit

A national summit on faith-based organizations in Washington, D.C. on April 24 and 25 will benefit from the behind-the-scenes touch of a Calvin students and a Calvin professor.

Political science professor Doug Koopman is leading Calvin's Paul B. Henry Semester in D.C. program, an effort which sees Calvin students working as interns in a variety of D.C.-area ventures.

But Koopman too is working as an intern this semester, or more accurately as a "fellow," assisting U.S. Representative J.C. Watts and staff in addressing charitable choice legislation and the controversial faith based organization efforts of President George W. Bush. It is in that effort that he and Calvin College senior Lisa DeMots (below) have joined forces.


On April 24 and 25 faith-based leaders from across the country, including Glenn DeMots of Grand Rapids-based Bethany Christian Services, will travel to Washington for a day-long summit on social service delivery from a faith-based perspective. There will be a dozen workshops that repeat during the day, sandwiched around a noon keynote speech.

Koopman has been working for weeks to line up presenters for the day, people who, he says, "are good at faith-based social service work and have a track record." Each workshop will include a practitioner, a member of the House, a member of the Senate and a member of the Bush administration. It is expected that the Summit will attract heavy media coverage, including live coverage on such outlets as C-SPAN and Trinity Broadcasting as well as live internet streaming and radio coverage.

This Summit follows closely the introduction of "Community Solutions Act" which Koopman helped review and refine. H.R.7 was introduced by Watts, Ohio Democrat Tony Hall and Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert.

This semester there are 14 students on the Paul B. Henry program, all of whom have four-days-a-week internships in the D.C. area. Lisa DeMots, a political science major, Byron Center native and South Christian graduate, is one of those students.

According to Koopman she's been doing yeoman's work on the Summit and Watts' office "is very pleased with her efforts and duly impressed with Calvin College."

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Contact Phil de Haan.
616-957-7069 (f)