A hall of fame coach
Calvin’s associate director of communications and marketing Lynn Rosendale has been inducted into the Grace Bible College Hall of Fame for her years coaching volleyball. She coached at Grace from 1989-1993, leading the Tigers to regional championships and national tournaments in all five seasons. In 1991, Grace finished third at nationals, the highest in school history. Rosendale ’85 was the middle hitter on Calvin’s volleyball team for four years, earning all-MIAA honors three times.
Jack Kent Cooke Scholar
First-year student Jennifer Lyu is a 2010 Jack Kent Cooke Scholar, an honor bestowed upon just 39 students nationwide. The scholarship is a continuation of the Young Scholars Program, which provides a tailored educational program for students beginning in the eighth grade. Lyu plans to major in psychology, and she has already worked as a researcher in a psychology lab in Ann Arbor.
A green stay at Prince
The Prince Conference Center (PCC) at Calvin College has earned Green Lodging Michigan (GLM) Steward certification from the Michigan Department of Energy, Labor and Economic Growth. The PCC has implemented several environmental initiatives at their facility, including; a linen and towel reuse program, low flow fixtures to conserve water and a computerized energy management system and programmable thermostats for common areas and conference rooms.
Speyers paints fair poster
A winter scene of a northern Michigan farm painted by Calvin art professor Frank Speyers was chosen as the official poster of the 2010 Port Oneida Fair, held in August. See more paintings by Speyers from his exhibition M-22: paintings along the way at the Center Art Gallery Web site.
Calvin College and ministry organization Young Life (YL) are partnering to encourage students in their spiritual growth. Young Life will offer the college the services of an area director to introduce high school students to the benefits of Christian higher education. Calvin will provide YL with access to facilities, services, programs and events on campus. Together, they will research the relationship of church and parachurch organizations. Calvin has also established the Young Life Leadership Scholarship program.
Felch honored for book
The Society for the Study of Early Modern Women has honored Calvin English professor Susan Felch with the 2010 Translation or Teaching Edition prize for her book Elizabeth I and Her Age (2009). The volume— which Felch co-edited with Donald Stump— combines letters, sermons, speeches, plays, poems, popular ballads, prayers, epigrams, histories and Parliamentary acts in a portrait of Elizabeth’s reign. Elizabeth I and Her Age is part of the Norton Critical Editions series.
A trio of new directors
Cindy Kok is the new director of the Broene Counseling Center at Calvin College. Kok ’92, a certified social worker and clinical psychologist, replaces outgoing director Randy Wolthuis. Calvin has also hired Rick Zomer as its new director of campus visits and hospitality. Zomer '91 has spent his entire career in higher education, including a stint in Calvin’s Student Life division from 1998-2008. Outgoing campus visits and hospitality director Jeanne Nienhuis '80 will continue her Calvin career as the new director of enrollment communications.
Calvin College chaplain emeritus Dale Cooper is taking his ministry online. Cooper recently started writing a column for the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship. Coop’s Column: reflections on the Christian walk, is a weekly article that explores numerous facets of corporate Christian Worship. Cooper hopes his column will both teach and encourage readers, while promoting dialogue.
A pair of Lilly Grad Fellows
Calvin alums Hannah Bormann '09 and Robert Zandstra '08 have been selected as Lilly Graduate Fellows for 2010-2013, an honor bestowed upon just 16 people each year. The program, an initiative of the Lilly Fellows Program in Humanities and the Arts, supports outstanding students in PhD programs who are interested in teaching at Christian institutions.
Luke Leisman, a physics and English double major, presented his research on galaxy clusters at the Great Lakes Cosmology Workshop in Chicago, June 14-16. Leisman, the only undergraduate to give an oral presentation at the conference of more than 200 cosmologists, is in his second year as a Goldwater Scholar and his third year of research with professor Deborah Haarsma. Their research was published this spring in the Astrophysical Journal.
Their vocal best
The Calvin College Alumni Choir finished third in the community chorus division of the American Prize in Choral Performance competition—a non-profit national competition that recognizes the best choral ensembles in the U.S. "This is very affirming for me as a conductor and for the choir members," said Pearl Shangkuan, the alumni choir's director. "The mantra of the quality of the work I strive for with my choirs is 'national industry standard.'"
An eye for research
Biology majors Ben Konynenbelt, Susan Bardolph, Dan Mlnarik and Leah Koetje presented their research on the health of the cornea at the annual meeting of the most prominent ophthalmology and basic vision research meeting in the world: the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO), held this Spring in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Konynenbelt, a senior, is the recipient of the West Michigan Optometric Scholarship. 2010 graduates Bardolph, Mlnarik, and Koetje will be attending the College of Human Medicine at Michigan State University; the Illinois College of Optometry and the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, respectively.
New director of communications and marketing
Calvin College has selected Tim Ellens as Calvin’s new director of communications and marketing. Ellens ’82 returns to his alma mater after a 25-year career in the marketing and advertising world, most recently heading up CHANGEffect, his brand consulting and design firm in Burr Ride, Ill. Ellens replaces outgoing director Phil de Haan who will remain at Calvin in a teaching and consulting role.
Van Arragon awarded prestigious fellowship
The Center for Creative Photography at the University of Arizona has awarded an Ansel Adams Fellowship for 2010 to Calvin College professor of art and art history Elizabeth Van Arragon. The fellowships support projects that require an extended period of research in the collections of the Center. VanArragon presented her research at the Center in April and is currently revising an article for publication with American Quarterly.
A trio of awards for Mulder
A 2009 Banner article written by Calvin College professor of sociology Mark Mulder recently received three writing awards. “A Silent Dwelling,” which details the challenges Mulder and his wife faced in adopting a child, was awarded first place by the Associated Church Press in the Feature Article: Short Format category. The Evangelical Press Association awarded it third place in the First-Person Article category and fourth in the General Article: Short category.
Calvin CS grads score high
Calvin's 2010 computer science majors scored well above the national average on a recent exam that measures student knowledge inprogramming, systems and discrete structures. The Educational Testing Services Major Field Test in Computer Science is given each spring for college and university seniors across the country at accredited computer science programs. The maximum possible score is 200. In 2010 the average student score was 150 and the median was 148. Calvin students had an average score this spring of 175, which exceeds the 96th percentile. The top Calvin student score was 196, while the lowest was 152. ~posted 5/20/2010
Brophy wins advising award
The Michigan Academic Advising Association (MIACADA) honored Calvin's Thea Brophy at its 2010 state conference as one of three winners of the MIACADA Outstanding Advisors Award. Brophy is the tutor coordinator and an academic advisor in the student academic services office at Calvin. She was honored for her ability to listen and provide direction for students, and her thorough knowledge of Calvin's course catalog, policies and procedures and requirements for professional programs. Brophy teamed up with colleague Jan Heerspink for a presentation at the conference on advising academically at-risk students. MIACADA members work with the intellectual, personal and career or vocational advising needs of the state's college and university students. ~posted 5/20/2010
NSF grant supports math research
Calvin College professor of mathematics Michael Bolt has received a $140,259 National Science Foundation (NSF) grant to support ongoing research in complex analysis. “RUI: Geometric Estimates for Complex Analysis and Applications” will focus on the relationships between geometry and analysis in a Mobius geometric setting. The grant will support eight Calvin research students over the course of three summers. They will work in pairs doing original mathematics-developing ideas and proving new theorems. The grant will also enable the students to participate in MathFest, a national mathematics conference put on by the Mathematical Association of America. ~posted 5/17/2010
Calvin's Van Kooten to speak on oil spills
Calvin professor Gerry Van Kooten will speak about the recent Gulf of Mexico oil spill in a talk titled “Oil on Water” as part of the regular seminar series of the Calvin geology, geography and environmental studies department. The talk will take place at 3:30 p.m. on Monday, May 10, 2010, in North Hall 078. Prior to joining the Calvin faculty in 2002, Van Kooten spent two decades as a petroleum geologist and oil and gas consultant in Alaska, and he worked on the 1989 recovery of Prince William Sound from the Exxon Valdez oil spill. He returns to Alaska each summer to work on Alaska energy projects and issues. His research interests include geochemistry applied to oil pollution and environmental recovery. ~posted 5/6/2010
Calvin College is one of 23 organizations in Michigan to earn a 2010 National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) grant. The college will receive $10,000 for programming in the Covenant Fine Arts Center (CFAC), currently closed for extensive renovations but slated to reopen in the fall of 2010. The CFAC will feature a new art gallery (see construction of exterior wall in image to right), a new 240-seat recital hall and a completely redone 1,100-seat performance hall. During the 2010-2011 school year, to celebrate the Covenant Fine Arts Center's reopening, Calvin will offer concerts, art exhibitions, dance recitals, lectures, storytelling, educational programming by professional artists and more. ~ posted 5/4/2010
Editor's Note: See a short, special video on Vimeo, added on April 30, of the kick-off to the 2010 MIAA men's tennis tournament at Kalamazoo College, including some inspirational words for the players as action began.
As Calvin junior tennis player Matthew DeVlieger continues his physical rehabilitation in Florida from a December 2009 scuba diving accident that left him paralyzed from the chest down, his former teammates and foes are organizing a special fundraising tribute for him at this weekend's MIAA tennis championships at Kalamazoo College. Andrew DeVlieger, Matthew's twin brother and lifelong doubles partner, has joined forces with Hope College tennis coach Steve Gorno to create a T-shirt that all seven MIAA teams are wearing on Friday, April 30, the first day of the MIAA tourney. The text on the back includes the words: "It is not the color of our uniform that defines us because, in the game of life, we are all on the same team. It is only in our capacity to love, the depth of our faith, and the magnitude of our commitment to others that we find the true measure of who we are." The shirt was for sale on Thursday, April 29, at Johnny's, Calvin's on-campus coffee shop and continues to be available via Facebook. All proceeds from the shirt sales will go towards medical expenses that the DeVlieger family is incurring as Matt recovers. ~ posted 4/28/2010Calvin hosts fifth annual native plant sale
The Ecosystem Preserve at Calvin will host its fifth-annual sale of native plants from 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday, May 1, 2010, at the Bunker Interpretive Center gardens. On sale will be such varieties as smooth aster, yellow coneflower, cow parsnip and blue-stemmed goldenrod. Plants are sold on a first-come basis (cash or checks only) and are $1.50 each for small pots (three for $4) and $3 each for large pots (four for $10). Shrubs, everything from red alder to black chokeberry, will be $1.50 to $15. All proceeds from the sale support the summer Wetlands and Woodlands camps for children ages four to 13. ~ posted 4/29/2010
Calvin honors academic success
Calvin College will celebrate academic success at the 2010 Honors Convocation, to be held at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 21 in the College Chapel. The 56th annual event brings together 60 students who will graduate with honors at the May 2010 Commencement ceremony as well as 170 seniors who have been on the Dean's List every semester at Calvin. Also attending will be underclassmen who made the Dean's List in either the spring or fall semester of 2009, families and friends, community members and faculty. Professor of biology Curt Blankespoor and 2010 honors history graduate Emma Slager will speak. Honors graduates will receive special medallions for their achievement, while the seniors who have been on the dean's list every semester they have been at Calvin receive a certificate. To graduate with honors from Calvin a student must complete at least six honors courses overall, including at least two outside the major, with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.5, and complete all departmental requirements for graduation with honors in the major. Calvin has beefed up its honors program in recent years, including adding an honors floor to its newest residence hall. ~ posted 4/20/2010
Calvin one of nation's best at teaching civics
Calvin College is among the nation's best colleges and universities when it comes to teaching civics. According to a 60-question, multiple-choice test given annually by the Intercollegiate Studies Institute (ISI), Calvin students gained knowledge at a higher rate in key areas such as American history and political and economic institutions, and key founding texts between their freshmen and senior years. The ISI test measures the difference between student results on the test as freshmen vs. their results as seniors. Calvin was fourth nationally with a 9.5 percent increase in knowledge between the freshmen and senior years. Rhodes College, Tenn., was first at 11.6 percent. ~ posted 4/15/2010
Michigan Undergraduate Psychology Research Conference coming to Calvin
Calvin College will host the Michigan Undergraduate Psychology Research Conference from 8:45 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 24 at the college’s DeVos Communication Center. The conference will include some 50 attendees representing a variety of state colleges and universities, including Calvin, the University of Michigan, Albion, Hillsdale and Kalamazoo colleges. The plenary speaker will be Calvin alumna and Hope College professor Charlotte vanOyen Witvliet, an expert on grudges, forgiveness, justice and gratitude, speaking on "Positive Reappraisals of Negative Interpersonal Experiences: The Psychophysiology of Compassion and Benefit-Finding." Calvin psychology professor Don Tellinghuisen said that the conference also will include a number of student projects. ~ posted 4/13/2010
Calvin plans events for Sexual Assault Awareness Month
Calvin College will host two events in mid to late April to mark Sexual Assault Awareness Month. A panel discussion at 7 p.m. on Thursday, April 22 in room 280 of the Hoogenboom Health and Recreation Center will cover definitions of sexual harassment, sexual assault and rape as well as state legal procedures and Calvin's own policy and procedures. Titled "Knowledge is Power: Discussions on Defining Sexual Assault," the panel will feature representatives from a plethora of Calvin administrative offices. Also at 1:15 p.m. on Friday, April 30 the college will hold a demonstration and prayer service on the Commons Lawn. ~ posted 4/12/2010
Student honored for philosophy paper
Chad McIntosh, a Calvin sophomore philosophy major, won first place in a student paper competition at the 2010 Evangelical Philosophical Society (EPS) regional meeting. His paper, "Theism and the Metaphysics of Meaning and Value," which was written not for a Calvin class, but, he said, "just for fun," examines the nature of meaning and value and their relationship to life and to God as Trinity. As the top winner at the EPS conference the paper beat out not only other undergraduate submissions, but also papers by Ph.D. students. McIntosh, a native of Cincinnati, Ohio, transferred to Calvin last fall after doing mission work in Thailand and studying for a year at a community college. He plans to eventually pursue a Ph.D in philosophy and hopes someday to teach at the college or university level.~posted 4/6/2010
Calvin offers times of resting, reflecting and remembering during Holy Week
Calvin will offer numerous opportunities for students, faculty and staff to rest, reflect and remember during Holy Week. Daily chapel services at 10 a.m., Monday through Thursday in the College Chapel, will center on various aspects of Jesus' final days on earth, culminating with an 11 a.m. Tenebrae service on Good Friday April 2, in the Chapel. Those services are available live online each day at 10 a.m. eastern standard time. During the week there also will be four spaces across campus where people can meditate upon the themes of Holy Week. In the lobby of Hekman Library, there will be two chairs and a small table plus a booklet created by the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship to guide one through scripture, prayers and hymns. The DeVos Communications Center will include a space in its library for reflections on denying Christ, while the Discovery room in the Bunker Interpretive Center will focus on the disciples in the garden and their struggle to watch and pray with Jesus. Finally the prayer room in the Chapel will be a spot for directed prayer and scripture on Christ's passion, including an opportunity to respond with prayer, poetry or a drawing (the room has a cross, Bibles, books of poetry and art, and songbooks as well as paper, pencils and markers). Calvin's Campus Ministries office has partnered with other offices on campus to provide many of the Holy Week opportunities. ~posted 3/29/2010
Calvin named to service honor roll
Calvin College has been named to the 2009 President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, the highest federal recognition a college or university can receive for its commitment to volunteering, service-learning and civic engagement. Honorees are chosen based on the scope and innovation of service projects, the percentage of student participation in service activities, incentives for service and the extent to which the school offers academic service-learning courses. Calvin students logged more than 40,000 service-learning hours this past school year, an increase of nearly 14 percent from the year prior. ~posted 3/11/2010
Calvin professors' book on agenda at Brookings Institution on March 16
Calvin College professor of political science Corwin Smidt will participate in a panel discussion from 10-11:30 a.m. on Tuesday, March 16 at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C. on the role of religion in the 2008 presidential election and in upcoming mid-term and presidential elections. Smidt, director of the Paul B. Henry Institute for the Study of Christianity and Politics at Calvin, is author of The Disappearing God Gap? which examined religion's role in the 2008 presidential elections. Brookings senior fellow William Galston will moderate the discussion, and Brookings senior fellow, and Washington Post columnist, E.J. Dionne, Jr. will offer his views on what the 2008 presidential election might mean for religion's role in the fall 2010 elections. Smidt will be joined in Washington by fellow author, and Grand Valley professor, Kevin den Dulk, a Calvin graduate. Other authors on the book included Calvin's James Penning, Stephen Monsma and Douglas Koopman. ~ posted 3/9/2010
New Skillen book looks at land management in American west
Calvin professor of environmental studies James Skillen has written "The Nation's Largest Landlord: The Bureau of Land Management in the American West." Published by the University Press of Kansas, the book examines the history of the BLM and its struggle to find direction. Skillen traces a six-decade history for an organization that has had a complex and sometimes contradictory relationship with the American public as well as with the U.S. political system. Skillen, who has a master's in theology as well as a PhD in natural resource policy, joined the Calvin faculty in 2008, and his research interests include federal land and resource policy as well as the American west. ~ posted 3/8/2010
Calvin to host Schuller on March 11
Dr. Robert Schuller will speak at 7 p.m. on Thursday, March 11, in the Calvin Chapel, reflecting on his 50-year career in the ministry in a talk that will be free and open to all. At 7 p.m. on Friday, March 12 at Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park, Dr. Sheila Schuller Coleman (Schuller’s daughter) will lead a presentation for clergy members and their families, intended to help participants learn how to prioritize the demands on their time (that event is $5 per person and includes dinner). A variety of local organizations, including Calvin and the Leader Renewal Institute, a Holland-based non-profit that specializes in care and counsel for church leaders, are sponsoring Schuller and Schuller Coleman, both of Crystal Cathedral Ministries in Garden Grove, Calif. ~ posted 2/11/2010
Calvin profs to speak about African American scientist
Calvin professor of astronomy Larry Molnar and professor of history Eric Washington will present "A Celebration of Benjamin Banneker: The First African American Scientist" at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, February 17, 2010, in Science Building 010. The talk is part of a variety of activities on campus in February to celebrate African American history month. The presentation, which will be followed by free tours of the Calvin Observatory, is sponsored by the Grand Rapids Amateur Astronomy Association, the Roger B. Chaffee Planetarium of the Grand Rapids Public Museum and the Calvin College departments of physics and astronomy, history, geology, geography and environmental studies and African and African diaspora studies. ~posted 2/15/2010
Calvin received a $20,000 grant from the JP Morgan Chase Foundation toward the college's summer 2010 "Readers in Determined Education" (RIDE) literacy program, which will provide tutoring to 20 Buchanan Elementary School students. Past RIDE participants have showed significant gains in reading comprehension, reading fluency and vocabulary skills. "For us, RIDE is a blessing," said Yolanda Valenzuela, principal of Buchanan Elementary. "Our students lose so much during the summer. Now they come back to school with better reading skills." Calvin communication arts and sciences professor Judy Vander Woude (right), a language development and literacy expert, coordinates the RIDE program, now in its fourth year. ~posted 2/5/2010
Calvin professors just back from interim trips to Cambodia, Belize and Costa Rica will be among the presenters at a February 3-4 forum at Calvin on issues related to water. David Dornbos and Leonard DeRooy, who led an interim to Cambodia, will join colleagues Dave Warners, Ryan Walter Rooks and Glenn Remelts from 9-9:50 a.m. on February 4 for a session on water use around the world, one of 14 events that day with water as the topic. Other sessions will be on water use at Calvin, climate change and water, water and religions and even water, the Great Lakes and Asian carp. The forum kicks off on February 3 with Calvin's annual "Re-Gathering" event to begin second semester. That day also will see the presentation of a film on water called Flow. Presenters at the two-day event will include Calvin professors and students as well as local business owners and elected officials. ~posted 1/28/2010
Calvin scientists continue to be prolific. Professor of chemisty Herb Fynewever has an article in the International Journal of Science Education titled "A Research Methodology for Studying What Makes Some Problems Difficult to Solve." Biology professor David Warners and student co-author Peter Hiskes published "Extirpated Glyceria acutiflora newly discovered in Kent County, Michigan," in the new edition of Michigan Botanist. The paper looks at a plant species the pair rediscovered in a bog in Kent County, pointing out, said Warners, the importance of preserving and protecting natural areas and the biodiversity they hold. And biology professor John Ubels has received a research grant from Alcon Laboratories to continue his work on developing treatments for dry eye disease and on product safety of contact lens solutions. Calvin students will assist him during the academic year and full-time in the summers. Ubels has some 30 years of continuous research support from Alcon. ~posted 1/28/2010
The Calvin College science division is the recipient of another National Science Foundation (NSF) grant. The latest, for $208,645, is the college's third Major Research Instrumentation (MRI) proposal funded in the past 12 months and brings the total for MRI grants to almost $1 million. Calvin chemistry professor Kumar Sinniah will team with colleagues David Benson and Amy Wilstermann, as well as Grand Valley professor Brad Wallar, on the latest project, titled "MRI-R2: Acquisition of Biophysical Instruments for Interdisciplinary Faculty and Student Research." Together the quartet will purchase an atomic force microscope, an isothermal titration calorimeter and a differential scanning calorimeter (DSC), instruments that will be used by faculty and students alike in an array of chemical and biological investigations. Said Sinniah: "The recently funded NSF-MRI grants provide students and faculty access to cutting-edge research instruments and will enable them to tackle research problems at the boundaries of biology, chemistry and physics." ~posted 1/20/2010
Fresh off an engaging talk (listen to the audio of that address) at the 2010 January Series, Calvin professor of philosophy James K.A. Smith has been honored by Christianity Today for his recent book Desiring the Kingdom: Worship, Worldview, and Cultural Formation. His work was one of 12 selected as the best of the year, books that the magazine's judges said "best shed light on the people, events, and ideas that shape evangelical life, thought, and mission." Smith's book, published by Baker Academic, was honored in the theology/ethics category. "Smith," the judges said, "makes a compelling case for considering the role of desire in our spiritual formation efforts."~posted 1/20/2010
The multicultural student development office at Calvin College has a host of events planned for Monday, January 18, 2010, to honor the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. A silent march will kick off the day's festivities at 9:40 a.m., beginning at the Spoelhof Fieldhouse Complex and ending at the Chapel where, at 10 a.m., dean of multicultural affairs, Michelle Loyd Paige, will lead a special service honoring the civil rights leader. That day's January Series lecture also will have an MLK Day focus as will a panel discussion that afternoon at 2 p.m. on the challenges and benefits of a multiethnic church. ~posted 1/12/2010
U-can Web site updated
U-CAN, a Web site for students considering private, nonprofit colleges and universities, has unveiled newly updated data for hundreds of institutions, including Calvin College. The updated Web site includes the most recent information available in areas such as admissions, enrollment, cost of attendance, student aid, faculty and more. This is the third update to U-CAN since the Web site launched in September 2007.~posted 1/6/2010
On the day that Christians around the world celebrate the miracle of Christ's birth, the Savior entering this world for our salavation, Calvin professor emeritus of psychology Martin Bolt entered into eternal life with that Savior, his beautiful Savior, Lord of the nations, son of God and son of man! Calvin College rejoices with the Bolt family in the promise of salvation and on a life well lived by professor emeritus Bolt. And we extend our condolences and sympathy to Martin's family and extended family, including his brother, Robert, professor of history emeritus, his son, Michael, a professor of mathematics, his nephew, Tim, of physical plant, and his niece, Lynn Rosendale, communications and marketing. Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, December 29 at LaGrave Avenue Christian Reformed Church. Visitation will be held from 2 to 4 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m. on Monday, December 28 at Zaagman Memorial Chapel on Burton Street in Grand Rapids. Also see the Grand Rapids Press obit for Dr. Bolt, including an online guest book.. ~ updated 12/27/2009
The Wednesday Wars, a book for young adults by English professor Gary Schmidt, will travel the world next year as part of an international library after being selected as the U.S. winner of the 2010 International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) award. IBBY, founded in Switzerland in 1953, includes 70 national sections around the world. Every two years those national sections select their outstanding, recently published books to become part of the IBBY Honour List. The Wednesday Wars is the 2010 U.S. winner in the writing category. Books selected are considered representative of the best in children's literature from each country. The 2008 list included 70 books from Argentina, China, France, Spain, Turkey, Rwanda, the U.S. and other countries. ~ posted 12/9/2009
Calvin professor of geology emeritus Davis Young won this year's Mary C. Rabbit Award from the Geological Society of America (GSA) for his work on the history of geology—particularly his 2003 book Mind over Magma. Young was presented the award, given annually to an individual for "exceptional scholarly contributions of fundamental importance to our understanding of the history of the geological sciences," at the 2009 GSA annual meeting in Portland. The GSA citation noted that Young, as both a conservative evangelical Christian and a geologist, is a spokesman for our science with a unique authority." ~ posted 11/20/2009
Calvin College is in the top 10 in the country in two categories according to the 2009 Open Doors report, a survey of both U.S. students who study abroad and international students who study in the U.S. The report, from the Institute of International Education, notes that over the past decade, the number of U.S. students studying abroad has increased by over 150 percent. That trend is true at Calvin, which offers numerous off-campus programs and was third in the country inits category for the 2007-2008 school year with 606 students studying abroad, down slightly from the year prior when it was first overall. The Open Doors report also notes a record number of international students studying in the U.S., another trend which holds true at Calvin, which in 2008-2009 was seventh in the nation in its category with 357 international students on campus. ~ posted 11/16/2009
A Calvin computer science professor has paired with a Calvin graduate serving in the U.S. House of Representatives to designate the week of December 7, 2009, as National Computer Science Education Week. House Resolution 558 was introduced by former Calvin physics professor Vern Ehlers, a long-serving member of Congress, because of concerns, raised to him by Calvin professor Joel Adams, about the small numbers of computer scientists that U.S. colleges are graduating. Ehlers' resolution, which passed 405-0, encourages greater exposure of students to computer science concepts and more opportunities for females and underrepresented minorities in computer science. ~ posted 11/10/2009
Calvin English professor Susan Felch has been awarded the Josephine A. Roberts Scholarly Edition Award for her book, Elizabeth Tyrwhit's Morning and Evening Prayers. Felch will receive the award, presented by the Society for the Study of Early Modern Women, on November 6 at the Attending to Women Conference at the University of Maryland. ~ posted 11/6/2009
Calvin College economist John Tiemstra has been named the 2009 winner of the Thomas Divine Award from the Association for Social Economics (ASE). The award has been given annually since 1986 and honors members of the ASE who have made lifetime contributions to social economics. Tiemstra, a former ASE president, will receive a medal and a $1,000 cash stipend at the ASE national meetings in Atlanta in January 2010. The association was established 67 years ago in Washington, D.C. to "advance scholarly research and writing about the great questions of economics, human dignity, ethics and philosophy." ~ posted 11/3/2009
Calvin professor of history Bert de Vries has begun an organization to bring kids injured in wars, particularly in the middle eastern wars, to West Michigan for treatment. Healing the Children of Conflict will host a fundraiser at 7 p.m. on November 5, in Grand Rapids to raise money for the fledgling effort. De Vries, who directs the college's archaeology minor, has been visiting the middle east for four decades now, including many years worth of work in Petra on archaeological digs. ~ posted 10/28/2009
A myriad of Calvin departments will be sponsoring a talk in November on clothing. Kelsey Timmerman, author of Where Am I Wearing? A Global Tour to the Countries, Factories, and People that Make Our Clothes, will speak at 3:30 p.m. on Thursday, November 5, in the Commons Lecture Hall. The talk will be free and open to all. The event is co-sponsored by the biology, business, geography, international development studies, nursing, philosophy, political science, and sociology and social work departments as well as the college's service-learning center. ~ posted 10/27/2009
Calvin's Shirley Roels will be coordinating a new national effort by the Council of Independent Colleges called NetVue: the Network for Vocation in Undergraduate Education. The CIC established NetVUE, through a grant from the Lilly Endowment, to encourage the theological exploration of vocation on college and university campuses across the continent. NetVUE will include a large national conference on the theological exploration of vocation in undergraduate education. It also will host regional gatherings, a NetVUE Web site (with online community networking) and a mentoring and consulting service to match institutions with successful programs to institutions developing similar programs. Roels, director of Calvin's Van Lunen Center, will work with an advisory panel as she provides part-time direction to NetVUE. ~ posted 10/27/2009
The Kuyers Institute for Christian Teaching and Learning at Calvin and the college's graduate teacher education program will partner with the Toronto-based Institute for Christian Studies on a November 7 conference called "Rekindling Christian Imagination." The conference, whose focus is on teaching, learning and living in a culturally interconnected world, will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the DeVos Communication Center at Calvin. It will include two keynote addresses by institute director David Smith as well as responses by Tony Campbell, a United Way vice president an associate pastor at Messiah Missionary Baptist Church, Calvin education professor Debra Paxton-Buursma, Oakdale Christian teacher Joyce Wandawa and Kent Dobson, a religion teacher at Grand Rapids Christian Schools. Cost is $40 ($15 for students) and includes lunch.~posted 10/16/2009
This past summer more than 80 Calvin students joined forces with 40 Calvin professors for research projects on everything from the effects of pollutants on waterbirds to fluorescence in narra wood to the dynamics of asteroids and galaxy clusters. From 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. on Friday, October 23 in the DeVries Hall Atrium, those students will gather with more than 75 posters that describe their work for the annual Science Division Poster Fair. The posters will remain on display until November 6. ~ posted 10/13/2009
Calvin computer science majors who graduated in 2009 were in the 95th percentile on the ETS major field test, which measures both factual knowledge and ability to analyze and solve problems. The ETS computer science test covers three areas: programming, discrete structures and algorithms, and systems. Calvin's average student score was above the 95th percentile score in all three areas, putting the college's majors among the top computer science students in the country. ~ posted 10/13/2009
Calvin professor of philosophy Ruth Groenhout will lecture at two Canadian universities in October as the 2009-2010 Calvin Worldview Lecturer. She will speak at the University of Waterloo and at McMaster University on "Care and Justice in Medicine." The purpose of the worldview lectureship is to develop and communicate Reformed Christian perspectives on crucial issues in academic disciplines or culture at large. The lectureship is jointly sponsored by Calvin and the campus ministries arm of the Christian Reformed Church Board of Home Missions. ~ posted 10/8/2009
Calvin professor of chemistry Kumar Sinniah has been awarded a National Research Service Award from the National Institutes of Health to work on "Biophysical analysis of folic acid-folate binding protein interaction." The $44,915 grant will allow Sinniah to continue research begun at the University of Michigan, where he spent a recent sabbatical. Testing of the folic acid-folate binding protein system will provide Sinniah and his colleagues information that they can apply to a wide range of problems, including cancer treatments, antibiotics and viral agents. ~ posted 10/7/2009
Mwenda Ntarangwi, an associate professor of anthropology at Calvin and a professor in the college's African Studies minor, has written East African Hip Hop: Youth Culture and Globalization. Published by the University of Illinois Press, the book looks at young hip hop artists in the East African nations of Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. Ntarangwi examines the economic opportunities brought on by the globalization of music, and the ways in which African musical traditions fuse in the young artists' work with North American and Caribbean styles of rap. The book also provides an overview of African political, economic and social thought. ~ posted 9/30/2009
A record-number of both international and AHANA (African American, Hispanic, Asian American and Native American) students are part of this year's 945-student, first-year class at Calvin College. According to the Day 10 Report, the 93 AHANA students and 91 students with international citizenship are the most ever in a first-year class in Calvin's history. Combined they represent almost 20 percent of the class, which also includes 353 children of alumni (37 percent) and 386 Christian Reformed students (41 percent). Calvin's overall 2009-2010 enrollment stands at 4,092 students, down slightly from last year's 4,171, but the lowest this decade. Just more than half are from Michigan. Calvin also had 110 transfer students this year, up from 92 last year.~ posted 9/25/2009
Calvin professor of religion Diane Obenchain will speak at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary on September 28-29 as part of the 2009 W. Don McClure Lectures. An expert on Chinese traditions, specifically the Ru (Confucian) tradition, Obenchain will address a variety of subjects at PTS, including "Why is 'Religion' Especially Suspect in China?" and "Chinese Calvinism Today: Partners in Prayer." Obenchain received her doctorate from Harvard University and two master’s from Stanford and taught at Peking University prior to Calvin. She is co-author of a forthcoming textbook which introduces the academic study of religion in China. ~ posted 9/21/2009
Calvin College will host a lecture and cycling event on Friday, October 9, 2009. "Go Green, Go Dutch, Go Bike" will begin with a 1 p.m. talk in the Commons Lecture Hall at Calvin on "Bicycle Use in the Netherlands." At 2 p.m. Calvin faculty, staff and students will bike from campus to downtown Grand Rapids' Rosa Parks Circle, a ride that will include Grand Rapids Mayor George Heartwell. The ride is a fundraiser for the local chapter of the Motion Initiative: An Urban Cooperative Youth Bicycling Ministry which makes bikes available for children from low-income families. The event is for not just those of Dutch ancestry, but for everyone who wants better access for bicycle transportation in urban areas. "Go Green, Go Dutch, Go Bike" t-shirts are available for purchase ($7 for students and $12 for adults) at the Calvin geo department's main office.
~ posted 9/20/2009
A Calvin College biology professor will speak at an international workshop on HIV to be held in December in the West Indies. Anding Shen will speak on her research on "Reservoirs and Latency in Animal Models," summarizing work she began as a post-doctoral fellow at Johns Hopkins and continued with Calvin students since coming to the college in 2005. Shen's session will be part of a module on "Animal Models and Reservoirs and will include researchers from the U.S. and Italy. The conference draws specialists from colleges and universities and research institutes around the world. ~ posted 9/18/2009
Calvin professor of geography Deanna van Dijk and professor of chemistry Crystal Bruxvoort have received a National Science Foundation grant of $185,003 for "First-Year Research in Earth Sciences (FYRES): Dunes." The project, said van Dijk, will develop a Calvin geoscience course in which first-semester students, mentored by upper-level students, learn science while researching Lake Michigan coastal dunes. The project builds on a decade's worth of research by van Dijk on Lake Michigan dunes.
Calvin has received grants totaling $1.4 million as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (passed in February 2009 by both the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate to create jobs and spur increased economic activity). Chemistry professors Eric Arnoys, David Benson and Chad Tatko, and biology professor Amy Wilstermann received $487,470 to purchase a 500 MHz NMR spectrometer to enhance faculty and student research. Wilstermann, Tatko and Benson will join colleagues John Wertz and Randall DeJong in a $279,000 grant to support a project called "MRI: MALDI Acquisition for Collaborative Species and Biomolecule Identification." Also chemistry professor Larry Louters received $223,050 for his diabetes research on "The Mechanism for the Acute Activation of GLUT1," and chemistry professor Carolyn Anderson received $170,000 for her work on synthetic peptides and Alzheimer's. Finally chemistry professor Doug Vander Griend received $126,000 to support research he is doing on supramolecular structures, nanomachines and thermochromic materials, while chemistry colleague Kumar Sinniah has received $55,077 for a project on biophysical analysis of enzyme inhibitor interactions. «Read a Grand Rapids Press brief on the recent awards»
Mark Muyskens, a Calvin College professor of chemistry, will be inducted into the Central College Athletics Hall of Honor as part of the college's Homecoming festivities in September. A 1982 graduate of Central, Muyskens (right) was a team captain, conference MVP and league champion in cross country and track. Muyskens has taught at Calvin in the chemistry department since 1989 and continues to be a regular recreational runner. The Karen Muyskens Family Fun Run is an annual event on Calvin's campus, named in honor of his wife Karen who died suddenly in January 2008. In other chemistry department/alumni award news, professor Ronald Blankespoor is being honored by his alma mater, Dordt College, as a winner of its 2009 Distinguished Alumni awards. Blankespoor has taught at Calvin since 1977 and in 1996 was named the winner of Calvin's Presidential Award for Exemplary Teaching.
Ben Konynenbelt, a Calvin junior from Zeeland, and two recent graduates, Rachel Hurst and Mary Lim, worked with Calvin professor of biology John Ubels on a research project centered on contact lens solution interactions with the human eye. Now Ubels and the students have learned that their paper, "Cytotoxicity Testing of Multipurpose Contact Lens Solutions Using Monolayer and Stratified Cultures of Human Corneal Epithelial Cells," will be published in a forthcoming issue of the journal Eye and Contact Lens. Konynenbelt is a recipient of the first West Michigan Optometry Scholarship, established at Calvin by a number of west Michigan optometrists in gratitude for their pre-optometry training at Calvin.
Paulo Ribeiro (right), a Calvin professor of engineering, is editor of a book on waveform distortions in power systems. Time-Varying Waveform Distortions in Power Systems brings together contributions from a variety of university professors and practicing power engineers and includes case studies as well as basic application examples. The publisher, Wiley InterScience Online, said the book will be valuable to engineers who work with power systems and also a useful source of information for researchers, consultants, university professors and graduate students.
Calvin College is considered a "Top Up-and-Coming School" by U.S. News & World Report, landing fifth in that category this year, up from 14th a year ago. That ranking, and several others for the college, will be part of the 2010 edition of America's Best Colleges, available on newsstands starting August 20. "Top Up-and-Coming Schools" are those that U.S. News said have recently made the most promising and innovative changes in academics, faculty, students, campus or facilities, schools that are “firmly focused on improving the job they're doing today.” Calvin also was tied for 17th in the category of "A Strong Commitment to Teaching.” And Calvin was tied for 112th in its main category of “Best Liberal Arts Colleges,” a national category that includes the nation's top colleges and universities. Calvin this year also has been named a top college by the Princeton Review and the Fiske Guide to Colleges.
Desiring the Kingdom: Worship, Worldview, and Cultural Formation, a new book by Calvin philosopher James K.A. Smith, has received a four-star (out of five) review in Christianity Today. In the book Smith calls for a temporary moratorium on the notion of worldview, something reviewer Eric Miller, a professor of history at Geneva College, says is "shocking," considering Smith's work at Dutch-immigrant founded Calvin College. Writes Miller: "Now, from the very fountainhead of the Dutch Calvinist stream, Smith intends to disrupt what has become business as usual and push the evangelical academy hard on its fundamental sense of identity. Rather than affirming worldview as a pathway to sophistication and solidity, Smith contends that it is a symbol of capitulation: capitulation to the very enlightened, rationalist conception of human beings that earlier Christian educators had (ostensibly) sought to unmask and defeat with worldview thinking."
Calvin College is a leader in Academic All-America awards, the national honor given to student-athletes who excel both in the classroom and in competition. According to the College Sports Information Directors of America, since 2000 Calvin has had 49 Academic All-Americans, eighth-best among all NCAA and NAIA institutions. Calvin is the only Michigan college or university represented in the top 15, which includes such schools as Notre Dame, Penn State and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
The Hekman Library is having a "Summer of Jubilee," three months during which overdue items can be returned without penalty. Library staff said the name refers to the biblical year of Jubilee, an ancient Jewish observance through which, every 50 years, all debts were forgiven. Like that biblical year, the three-month period at the Hekman Library is intended to return to the library materials that may have gone missing over the years. To quote the library Web site: "Simply return any library items you have, regardless of how long you have had them, and they will be checked in with no fines, no questions asked. After all, we never wanted to fine you in the first place. We simply want our items back."
Calvin College has again been named one of the country's best and most interesting colleges in the 2010 edition of the Fiske Guide to Colleges. Calvin is one of just 330 schools, and one of only seven from Michigan, included in this year's guide from among the more than 2,200 four-year colleges in the United States. The Fiske Guide praised Calvin as one of the country's top evangelical colleges, a place where Christian values are central to the academic experience. Edward B. Fiske, who served almost two decades as education editor of The New York Times, began the guide 25 years ago.
The Calvin College music department has received continued accreditation from the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM) for the college's bachelor of arts in music program and earned final accreditation for its bachelor of arts in music education program. Music department chair Bert Polman noted that the current Calvin Fine Arts Center renovation project was a plus for accreditation as it addressed concerns NASM accreditors had about practice and private teaching space. Calvin's next full review is set for the 2016-2017 academic year.
New master's degree
Calvin's speech pathology and audiology program will be taking a significant step forward with the introduction of a new master’s degree, only the third in Calvin’s 133-year history. Approved in May by the college's faculty senate, the new degree now awaits accreditation by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association and the Higher Learning Commission. A master's degree in speech pathology is the standard required for licensing in most states. Through the new five-year program Calvin graduates will earn both a bachelor's and a master's degree and enter the workforce nine months earlier. Calvin's speech pathology and audiology program is marked by a variety of hands-on opportunities for students, including a clinic for children and a stroke rehabilitation clinic.
Internships in Germany
Katrina Denny, a Calvin senior from Chicago, is one of five students working or pursuing internships this summer across Germany. A double major in engineering and German, Denny is doing an internship in Magdeburg, just west of Berlin on a project to make older apartment buildings more energy efficient by retrofitting them with photovoltaic arrays, The project is part of a national competition in Germany focused on reducing energy consumption. Denny, elected this past spring to be one of nine student senators in 2009-2010, also participated in Calvin's summer study program in Bremen in 2007.
Smith book reading
Calvin professor of philosophy Jamie Smith is the author of seven books, including Who’s Afraid of Postmodernism? and his latest The Devil Reads Derrida: and Other Essays on the University, the Church, Politics, and the Arts, a collection of popular writings from various periodicals. He will read from that book, and sign copies of it, at 7 p.m. on Thursday, June 18 at the Literary Life bookstore in Grand Rapids.
Calvin students Susanna Lynch, Heather Baker and Sarah Byker have had their paper, "Single Molecule Force Spectroscopy on G-Quadruplex DNA," accepted for publication in Chemistry: A European Journal. The trio's research at Calvin with professor Kumar Sinniah shows that single molecule quadruplex DNA structures can be unfolded by mechanical means by an atomic force microscope.
Nursing earns accreditation
The Calvin nursing department has received full accreditation status for the maximum 10 years from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Some of the key elements leading to CCNE accreditation are: a clear mission, goals and expected student outcomes; a curriculum that builds upon a foundation of the arts, sciences and humanities; and faculty members who are academically and experientially prepared. Calvin nursing became a full-fledged program in 2002, operating prior to that as a joint program with Hope College. Calvin now graduates 55-60 new nurses a year.
David Westfall, a rising junior from Naperville, Ill., has been named a 2009 Fund for Theological Education (FTE) Fellow. The honor goes to undergraduates who are exploring ministry as a vocation. Westfall, who was nominated by Ken Bratt, director of the Honors Program at Calvin, will receive $2,000 for 2009-2010 tuition and will attend the June 17–21 FTE Conference, "Becoming Rich toward God: Pastoral Leadership and Economic Justice."
Faith, justice, civic learning
The Kuyers Institute for Christian Teaching and Learning is a major sponsor of a conference on faith, justice and civic learning to be held June 25-27 at DePaul University in Chicago. Conference speakers include Vincent Rougeau, Nicholas Wolterstorff and Brenda Salter McNeil. Calvin Service-Learning Center director Jeff Bouman will present a paper with 2009 graduates Sarah Baker and Karah Leibovich. The conference has its roots in a spring 2007 gathering of faculty, staff and students from state Campus Compact offices and public and private colleges and universities from across the Midwest.
David Holquist, a former professor of communication arts and sciences (CAS), died suddenly on Sunday, May 24 after suffering an aneurysm. He was 77. Holquist spent almost three decades as a Calvin professor and led the CAS department from a small shop offering primarily speech courses to a multi-faceted department offering a wide range of academic offerings. His obituary noted that: "His passions were diverse: ministering to people in need, theater, puppetry, gardening, Civil War study, woodworking and reading everything from the New York Times to Our Daily Bread." Visitation will be from 6 to 9 p.m. on Wednesday, May 27 at the Zaagman Memorial Chapel, 2800 Burton S.E. in Grand Rapids. A memorial service will be held at 10:30 a.m. in the Calvin Chapel on Thursday, May 28.
Book from Calvin profs on Thomas Aquinas
Two Calvin philosophy professors have teamed with a colleague at Saint Louis University to write Aquinas's Ethics: Metaphysical Foundations, Moral Theory, and Theological Context, a book from the University of Notre Dame Press on 13th-century priest, philosopher and theologian Thomas Aquinas. Calvin authors Rebecca Konyndyk DeYoung and Christina Van Dyke hope the book will open up Aquinas' worldview to students and to interested general readers. One focus of the book is Aquinas' work in the areas of virtue, natural law and divine grace, revealing not only his approach to the moral life, but also his beliefs as to what human beings find truly fulfilling. One reviewer said the book is: "Very much like the work of St. Thomas himself, and suggests why so many lesser theories of ethics are unsatisfying for their lack of depth and comprehensive reach."
Summer research awards
Two Calvin biology majors, Susan Boersma (far right) and Andrew Wiersma (far left), have received grants to conduct student research this summer at the Pierce Cedar Creek Institute, located south of Hastings, through the institute's Undergraduate Research Grants for the Environment (URGE) program, now in its fifth year. URGE grants, which were awarded to 17 students for 2009, provide a $3,500 stipend for students along with a $3,500 faculty mentor stipend. Each award also allows for up to $4,000 in room and board expenses for the student and faculty mentor. Boersma and Wiersma will work with Calvin faculty mentor David Dornbos (middle) to measure carbon dioxide absorbed by the greenspace of the institute.
Worship Institute grants
The Calvin Institute of Christian Worship (CICW), through its Worship Renewal Grants Program, supports churches and organizations across North America. This spring the CICW awarded almost $500,000 for a variety of worship renewal projects.
A pair of Calvin students participated recently in a poverty simulation in Lansing as part of their Comenius Scholars internships. Senior Corrie Krol and sophomore Jin-Ha Kim played the roles of a single mother and her son in the exercise, sponsored by west Michigan state senators Mark Jansen and Bill Hardiman and hosted by ACCESS of West Michigan, a network of congregations and individuals working together to meet needs in Kent County. Krol, a Jenison native who will graduate this month, has worked with local food pantries as part of her internship. Kim, a South Korean who now lives in the Philippines, is interested in doing development work in Asia following his 2011 graduation from Calvin.
Lilly Fellowship for Byker
Devin Byker, a Calvin honors English major, and soon-to-be graduate from Ireton, Iowa, has earned one of 15 Lilly Graduate Fellowships for 2009 from the Lilly Fellows Program (LFP) in Humanities and the Arts, based at Valparaiso University's Christ College. Honorees, who are nominated by their college, must be graduates of LFP member schools and interested in working as teacher-scholars at church-related colleges and universities in the United States. Fellows receive $3,000 per year for each of the three years of the program.
Kuyers and Cortina
Calvin's Kuyers Institute for Christian Teaching and Learning has introduced a free, online Spanish curriculum based on video interviews with Elsa Cortina, an emerita professor of Spanish at Calvin who came to the U.S. as a Cuban refugee. The curriculum, created by current Calvin professors Marcie Pyper and Cynthia Slagter, includes video clips, teaching and additional resources. The project is designed to give students an understanding of a person as part of a larger community and a larger historical context—and thus a richer context for foreign language learning.
A Calvin senior and three Calvin professors have earned prestigious Fulbright awards, funded by the U.S. Department of State, for 2009-2010. Janel Curry, a geographer and dean for research and scholarship, will spend the spring 2010 semester in Hong Kong, David Hoekema, a philosopher, will spend a semester in Kenya and Jim Bratt, a historian, will spend a semester in the Netherlands. Eric Bratt, an honors student who will graduate from Calvin in May, received his Fulbright to study and do research in a Chinese village in Manchuria.
Full story posted on May 1.
Plantinga publishes two new film studies books
Carl Plantinga, a communication arts and sciences professor who specializes in film studies at Calvin, has written a book on the relationship between movies and audience. Moving Viewers: American Film and the Spectator's Experience, said Plantinga, is about "the power of movies to make audiences cry, scream, laugh and sympathize with characters; to appeal to our senses of sight and hearing; and to reinforce or alter our beliefs and values." The book has just been released by the University of California Press. Plantinga also is co-editor of the recently published Routledge Companion to Philosophy and Film, a 704-page, $190 reference work.
Cairns at Carroll Round
Calvin senior Jennifer Cairns, a native of Silver Springs, Md., delivered her senior honors thesis, “Global Agricultural Commodity Prices: The impact of investments on improved factor productivity,” at the eighth annual Carroll Round at Georgetown University from April 16-19, 2009. The Carroll Round is an annual international economics conference, providing a forum for research and discussion among the nation's top undergraduate students of economics. Participating students are selected from the country's leading economics programs.
Calvin education professor Jo Kuyvenhoven has earned a $50,000 grant as part of the Africa-U.S. Higher Education Initiative Planning Grant Competition. Her proposal was one of just 20 chosen from the 300 submitted nationwide. Kuyvenhoven will work with Milton Margai College in Sierra Leone on a project to develop higher levels of literacy in the country's primary schools. Kuyvenhoven is no stranger to Sierra Leone, having lived and worked there from 1981 to 1985 as part of a literacy development project. For the past four years she has regularly offered teacher training workshops for elementary school teachers. "It is completely thrilling to get this grant," she said. "I am deeply glad, less for me than for my educator friends and the school children in Sierra Leone. My co-director, Aske Gbla, said 'Glory be to God' almost a dozen times when I told him. Another partner Dr. J.Abdul Kargbo said: 'They had mercy on a country where education is in tatters.'"
Engineering team competes
The quartet of Sarah Evans, Val Horstman, Annie Stegink and David Tan was among 31 engineering teams representing 21 colleges and universities from across the U.S. and Canada at the 19th-annual Environmental Design Contest held in early April at New Mexico State University. The competition challenges student teams to develop solutions for real-world environmental problems that have been submitted by various companies and government institutions. Calvin's team, which demonstrated its system for use in brackish water pre-treatment for electro-dialysis reversal and reverse osmosis, was awarded a special Performance Award for outstanding showing by a first-time team.
Bays book out from SUP
Daniel Bays, a Calvin professor of history and director of the Hubers Asian Studies program at the college, is co-editor of a book released this spring from Stanford University Press called China's Christian Colleges: Cross-Cultural Connections, 1900-1950. In the 432-page book a variety of authors explore the cross-cultural dynamics that existed on the campuses of the Protestant Christian colleges in China during the first half of the century. "These campuses, most of which were American-supported and had a distinctly American flavor, were laboratories or incubators of mutual cultural interaction that has been very rare in modern Chinese history," said Bays.
Hull book wins FAW award
Calvin College professor of English Nancy Hull is this year's winner of the Juvenile Book Merit Award from the Chicago-based Friends of American Writers for her 2008 young adult novel On Rough Seas. Hull's book, published by Clarion, tells the story of a young lad in England who makes a dramatic transformation during World War II from galley boy on a fishing vessel to courageous seaman. Friends of American Writers, established in 1922, has awarded the Juvenile Book Merit Awards since 1960.
Documentary to air March 23
The Gift of All: A Community of Givers will be shown at 9 p.m., Monday, March 23 on WGVU. The film, created by communication arts and sciences professor Daniel Garcia from 50 hours of interviews with local philanthropists, tells the story of a generation of givers who guided the renaissance of downtown Grand Rapids.
The floor in Calvin's new Van Noord Arena has been honored as the Robbins Sports Surface of the Year for 2008 in the College/Athletic category, one of five categories in this year's competition. The floor, the first of its kind to be installed at a college or university in the United States, has a "sandwich layer" of foam between two layers of wood and was designed to cushion the pounding ankles, knees, hips and backs absorb in sports such as basketball and volleyball—the primary sports housed in the new arena. "The research that has gone into developing this floor is impressive and I'd expect that this will become the floor of the future in most major basketball and volleyball arenas,” said Glen Van Andel, chair of the committee that planned the Spoelhof Fieldhouse Complex, of which the arena is a part." Calvin's floor was installed by Michigan-based Foster Specialty Floors, which also installed an award-winning surface at Davenport University.
Henry lecture is April 14
The 13th-annual Paul B. Henry Lecture will be held in the Calvin Theological Seminary auditorium on April 14, 2009, at 7:30 p.m. Sponsored by the Paul B. Henry Institute for the Study of Christianity and Politics at Calvin College, the 2009 lecture will feature Michael Cromartie speaking on "No Final Victories, No Final Defeats: Doing Our Duty While Living in Exile." Cromartie is a vice president at the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington, D.C. and the vice chair of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom. He hosts Radio America's weekly show "Faith and Life" and has been quoted on issues relating to religion and politics in newspapers and magazines around the globe. The lecture and the reception to follow are free and open to all.
Dynamic Link 2009
The Dynamic Link 2009 conference is scheduled for Saturday, May 2 on Calvin's campus. Supported by a grant from the Lilly Vocation Project at Calvin, the conference is free of charge, but registration is required. The conference will look at what some authors have called "the Geek Gap," the tension between engineers and managers, especially as it exists in the field of software development. Keynote speakers Dorothy Graham and Quentin Schultze will address issues of software testing and project management. Dynamic Link 2009 is coordinated by professor of computer science Patrick Bailey and a 300-level Calvin information systems class.
Major paper accepted
Calvin biology professor John Ubels and physics professor Loren Haarsma have had a major paper accepted for publication in Experimental Eye Research. Co-authors on the paper include 2008 graduates Katie De Young Singleton, now in graduate school at the University of Colorado Health Science Center, and David Will, now at Rush Medical School, and junior biology majors Susan Bardolph and Leah Koetje. The paper is titled "Elevated Extracellular Potassium Inhibits Apoptosis of Corneal Epithelial Cells Exposed to UV-B Radiation," and the work that led to the paper was supported by a $564,527 National Institutes of Health grant. Ubels, Haarsma and team used a patch-clamp electrophysiology rig and a flow cytometer in the research.
Enterprise Center director
Calvin College has selected Michael Harris as the next executive director of its Enterprise Center. Harris is a University of Michigan graduate with undergraduate and graduate degrees in engineering. In announcing the hiring of Harris, Calvin president Gaylen Byker said: “Mike’s passion for development and marketing of meaningful innovations to meet today’s current needs, his understanding of the business and academic communities, as well as his desire to engage in furthering our students’ education will serve him well in this position.” The Enterprise Center was launched at Calvin in November 2007 to facilitate the commercialization of intellectual properties developed jointly by the college and partners in the business community.
Papers, textbooks and more
In recent months three Calvin professors have had papers published and a fourth was a key reviewer for a widely used textbook. Roger DeKock, chemistry, is a co-author of "Bond Multiplicity in Transition-Metal Complexes: Applications of Two-Electron Valence Indices,” which appeared in the Journal of Physical Chemistry. His chemistry colleague David Benson is a co-author of an article that demonstrates that small strands of DNA can be incorporated with small semiconductor spheres to generate sensors for a protein involved in blood-clotting: "Unimolecular, Soluble Semiconductor Nanoparticle-Based Biosensors for Thrombin Using Charge/Electron Transfer” appeared in Bioconjugate Chemistry. Meanwhile mathematics professor Michael Bolt and two student authors, Tim Ferdinands and Landon Kavlie, have a paper accepted for publication in the mathematics journal Involve titled "The most general planar transformations that map parabolas into parabolas." Finally Carolyn Anderson, chemistry, served as a key reviewer and consultant for the fifth edition of the textbook Organic Chemistry by Marc Loudon.
Tenure granted to seven
At its February 19-21, 2009, meetings the Calvin board of trustees approved the tenure of eight faculty members: Michael Bolt, mathematics; Debra Buursma, education; Mark Mulder, sociology; Christopher Smit, communication arts and sciences; Douglas Vander Griend, chemistry; Gerald Van Kooten, geology; and Julie Voskuil, business.
Budget e-mail sent to campus
Calvin College president Gaylen Byker sent a campus-wide e-mail on Monday, February 23, 2009, to faculty and staff. In it he wrote about the tuition and room and board increases approved by the Calvin board of trustees for 2009-2010, the budget concerns for the college for the coming academic year and the salary freeze for faculty and staff next year.
Henry Institute talks
The Paul B. Henry Institute for the Study of Christianity and Politics will host two high-profile speakers in March and April. Syndicated columnist and author Cal Thomas will speak on "Political, Cultural and Spiritual State of the Union" at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, March 2, 2009 in the Prince Conference Center. Thomas has been writing a newspaper column since 1984 which today appears in over 500 newspapers around the United States. On April 14, 2009 the 13th-annual Henry Lecture will feature Michael Cromartie, vice chair of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom and vice president of the Ethics and Public Policy Center. Cromartie will speak in the Calvin Seminary auditorium at 7:30 p.m. on "Doing Our Duty While Living in Exile." Both talks are free and open to all.
Blair Foundation partnership
Calvin College has signed onto a partnership with the Tony Blair Faith Foundation. Begun by former British prime minister Tony Blair, the foundation "aims to promote respect and understanding about the world's major religions and show how faith is a powerful force for good in the modern world." Calvin's connections to the foundation began last fall when professor of geography Jason Van Horn, an expert in geographic information systems (GIS) and cartography, worked as a consultant on a project to create online spaces where young people can learn about their own faith and other faiths. Calvin professor Shirley Roels is the college's liaison with the foundation. Calvin graduate Harry Stout, Jonathan Edwards professor of American Christianity at Yale, is a senior advisor to the foundation.
Calvin mourns Sluiter
Barb Sluiter, a long-time employee of Calvin College, died Thursday, February 5, 2009 after battling cancer. Sluiter began her work as a Calvin cataloguing librarian in 1951 and continued her service to the college until 2007, a 56-year tenure believed to be the longest in Calvin's history! Visitation will be Sunday, February 8 at Van Strien-Creston Chapel of Heritage Life Story Funeral Homes, 1833 Plainfield in Grand Rapids at a time yet to be determined. The funeral service will be held on Monday, February 9 at 11 a.m. at East Leonard Christian Reformed Church.
House resolution for Spoelhof
Former Calvin College physics professor Vernon J. Ehlers has introduced a resolution in the House of Representatives honoring former Calvin president William Spoelhof, under whom Ehlers served. House Resolution 91 concludes with these words: "Resolved, That the House of Representatives honors the life of Dr. William Spoelhof and his outstanding devotion and service as a member of the military, teacher, and professor, president, and friend of Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan." Ehlers is now a U.S. Congressman, representing Michigan's 3rd Congressional District, and the first research physicist to serve in Congress. He spent three years at Calvin as a student before earning his undergraduate degree in physics and his doctoral degree in nuclear physics from the University of California at Berkeley. He taught at Calvin for 16 years, beginning in 1966, including the final decade of Spoelhof's 25-year tenure as Calvin's president.
Needed: Organ Donors
Calvin is competing with other Michigan colleges and universities in a drive to get more people to sign on as organ donors. The annual Gift of Life Campus Challenge is a six-week contest (open to students, staff, faculty and alumni) to see which school can get the most people to sign up on the Michigan Organ Donor Registry. Now in its sixth year, the challenge already has resulted in almost 20,000 more Michigan residents signing on to be registered donors. It ends February 25, 2009.
NEH Award for Romanowski
Communication arts and sciences professor William Romanowski has been awarded a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) to support six months of dedicated research time on a forthcoming book on American Protestants and the movies. Romanowski said that this will be the first book-length treatment of the interactions between Protestants and the film industry. The book will explore "the struggle of two dynamic American institutions over the possession of cultural power and the function of entertainment." The highly selective NEH program annually receives some 1,200 applications from scholars across the country.
Van Reeuwyk Honored
Jo-Ann Van Reeuwyk, a professor of art, will be honored with a Michigan Campus Compact (MCC) Community Service-Learning Award on Thursday, February 12, 2009 at a special banquet in Grand Rapids. The award, for which Van Reeuwyk was nominated by Jeff Bouman, director of the Service-Learning Center at Calvin, recognizes the numerous ways in which she integrates service-learning into her art education courses, through which her students have collaborated with everyone from the Grand Rapids Public Schools to the Kent County Correctional Center. MCC, of which Calvin is one of 43 members, exists to "promote the education and commitment of Michigan college students to be civically engaged citizens."
Wake Up Weekend
Students for Compassionate Living (SCL), Calvin's student-led animal advocacy organization, is one of the sponsors of the upcoming Wake Up Weekend, to be held January 23-24 at locations, including Calvin's campus, around Grand Rapids. Wake Up Weekend will include speakers, food, a film festival and more. SCL was formed four years ago and grew out of a Calvin interim class taught by professor of philosophy Matt Halteman. It exists to encourage dialogue at Calvin regarding the relationships between humans and animals.
Smith Earns ICS Honor
David Smith, director of the Kuyers Institute for Christian Teaching and Learning at Calvin College, has been named the 2009 Worldview Lecturer for the Toronto-based Institute for Christian Studies. As the Worldview Lecturer, Smith, who earned a master’s degree at the institute, will offer a series of public lectures at a variety of venues throughout 2009 with the first slated for January 24 in Vancouver, B.C. at the "Rekindling Christian Imagination" conference. Other lectures will be delivered in Calgary, Ottawa, Toronto, Edmonton, Sioux Center and Grand Rapids. The series is sponsored by the ICS, the Kuyers Institute and Calvin's graduate programs in teacher education.
CCCS Gives Grants
A half dozen grants worth more than $150,000 total were given recently given by the Calvin Center for Christian Scholarship (CCCS) to Calvin faculty members. Religious faith in adolescents, the arts, creation care, musicology and Bavinck are some of the topics funded by the center for 2008-2009. Many of the grantees will collaborate with colleagues from other schools. The CCCS was founded in 1976 as a place where committed Christian thinkers from across the academic disciplines could reflect and write about pressing issues of public concern. Over the years its support has enabled scholars to produce some 60 books, numerous articles and more.
Research Paper Honored
A paper written by a 2008 Calvin graduate when she was a student was named best of the year by the Journal of Young Investigators. Hope Shaffer, now a graduate student at Scripps Research Institute in California, was a student researcher alongside biology professor John Ubels, a nationally renowned expert on dry eye diseases. Her paper, titled "Use of laser capture microdissection and cDNA microarrays for analysis of gene expression in lacrimal gland secretory cells of MRL/lpr mice," was published in JYI in November 2008 and honored in December 2008 as Research Manuscript of the Year. Shaffer graduated from Calvin with majors in biotechnology and classics and a minor in biochemistry.
Awards at Model U.N.
Calvin students were honored at a recent model United Nations competition held in Chicago. Dan Holtrop, a senior from Wyoming, Mich., and Ana Stutler, a sophomore from Florence, Ky., were voted by their peers as the best delegation in one of the several simultaneous simulations: the Economic and Social Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean. The 2008 competition drew some 120 schools representing about 140 countries— a total of approximately 1,400 students, including 14 Calvin students. The Calvin participants are students in Political Science 285, the model United Nations course offered each fall. Calvin political science professor Doug Koopman said Stutler and Holtrop's commission had two issues: the role of women in regional development and macroeconomic policies.
Calvin Garners Grants
Jim Rooks and KaiLonnie Dunsmore, professors of education, have won a $200,000 State of Michigan Improving Teacher Quality Grant, their third consecutive grant since 2004. The duo will continue to provide development in English Language Arts to elementary school teachers from Buchanan, Potter's House and Calvin Christian, and will add middle school teachers from Grand Rapids Public Schools, Potter's House and Calvin Christian.
Also Chad Tatko, professor of chemistry, earned $42,225 over the next two years from the Research Corporation for Science Advancement, founded in 1912 to stimulate advances in science. Tatko won a Cottrell College Science award to support his research on "Identifying the Role of Aromatic Networks in Amyloid Protofibril Formation and Anti-Alzheimer's Therapeutic Action." The funds will also support Calvin student researchers in the summer of 2009 and 2010.
Tall Turf award for DeGraaf
Don DeGraaf, a recreation professor, is the 2008 winner of the Building Bridges award from Camp Tall Turf, an inter-denominational Christian youth development organization. The award is given for exemplifying and contributing to Camp Tall Turf's mission of reconciliation and youth leadership development. "Don has made a tremendous personal contribution to Camp Tall Turf for nearly a decade,” said camp director Jack Kooyman. DeGraaf has served as board chairperson and also was the co-chair of the Connected Futures Initiative which raised $2 million.
Parish Nursing Course
In early 2009 the Calvin department of nursing will offer its 13th parish and faith community nursing preparation program for registered nurses. Calvin professor Bethany Gordon said parish and community nursing gives nurses an opportunity to practice nursing in a faith-based setting, either a congregation or the neighborhood it serves. "Parish nursing partners registered nurses and other caregivers with church staff, members and neighbors in a relationship that seeks to bring wholeness to the bodies, minds and spirits of the congregation," she said. The International Parish Nurse Resource Center in St. Louis, Mo., endorses the college's 36-hour continuing education program for registered nurses. The schedule for the 2009 parish and community nursing winter session is January 30-31, February 27-28 and March 20-21.
Calvin freshman Rebecca Kamp has received two of the highest honors awarded by the American Volleyball Coaches Association. A native of Orland Park, Ill., Kamp has been named the AVCA Division III National Freshman of the Year and also an AVCA All-American. Calvin finished second in the regular-season conference standings and earned an at-large bid to the NCAA volleyball tournament.
Calvin's $50 million Spoelhof Fieldhouse Complex, which includes an indoor track and tennis center, an aquatic center, a new arena and a complete renovation of the old gymnasium, is nearing completion. Henry DeVries, vice president of administration, finance and information services at Calvin, walks us through the new buildings, highlights some of the newest features and shows us what work is still left to do before the SFC opens in January 2009.
Calvin Hitter Earns MVP
For the first time in college history a Calvin first-year student has been named conference most valuable player in women's volleyball. Rebecca Kamp, who hails from Orland Park, Ill., led the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA) in both kills and blocks and was second in the MIAA in hitting percentage as she claimed the league's 2008 MVP honor. In additon Kelsey Sears, a junior, earned the MIAA's defensive player of the year award. Calvin finished second in the regular-season conference standings and earned an at-large bid to the NCAA volleyball tournament.
Kent County Congregations
The Center for Social Research at Calvin helped conduct a major survey of Kent County congregations last summer. The results were unveiled on November 10, 2008, at an all-day event for area religious leaders. "Gatherings of Hope," underwritten by the Doug and Maria DeVos Foundation, documents the many social services provided by congregations in the county to both congregants and the wider communities served by churches. Center for Social Research assistant director Neil Carlson said that compared to other areas of the country, Kent County congregations are larger in size, have more leaders, are better funded and are more likely to have participated in or supported a social service program. According to the survey congregations supply almost 3,000 volunteers for educational programs. Kent County congregations also offer higher numbers of social service programs than comparable national averages.
Student papers published
In recent weeks, physics and astronomy professor Stan Haan has published two papers about computer modeling of double ionization of atoms—a process by which two electrons are removed from an atom by lasers. Both papers were co-authored by student researchers. The first, authored with students John Van Dyke ’08 and senior Zach Smith, appeared in early September 2008 in Physical Review Letters which, Haan said, is widely considered the top journal dedicated purely to physics. The second, "Anticorrelated electrons from weak recollisions in nonsequential double ionization,” authored by Haan, Smith, junior Katie Shomsky and sophomore Peter Plantinga, was published in October 2008 in Journal of Physics B: Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics, as a Fast Track Communication—an outstanding short paper reporting new and timely developments in the field. Haan and his students have been using desktop computers and classical physics to model the double ionization process in simple atoms.
Young alum dies in accident
Ben Schaafsma passed away on October 25 at the age of 26 after being injured in a car accident. A Grand Rapids native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in art history and urban planning at Calvin. He co-founded G-RAD and the Division Avenue Arts Cooperative.
Students published in chem journal
Calvin students and their professors were published recently in Langmuir, the journal of the American Chemical Society. The paper "Estimating Kinetic and Thermodynamic Parameters from Single Molecule Enzyme−Inhibitor Interactions" was written by current students Laura Porter-Peden and Sarah Kamper, recent graduate Mark Vander Wal and professors Ronald Blankespoor and Kumar Sinniah, who currently is at the University of Michigan as a visiting professor of chemistry. The paper reports "the application of recently developed microscopic models to estimate the apparent kinetic and thermodynamic parameters in a single molecule force spectroscopy study of the carbonic anhydrase enzyme and a complementary sulfonamide inhibitor."
NIH grant of $1.3 million
Biology professor John Wertz will be part of a team, led by researchers from Michigan State University and the University of Michigan, that received $1.3 million in National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding for a project called "Cultivation and Characterization of the Microaerobes from the Mucosa of the Gastrointestinal Tract." The team is part of the NIH's "Human Microbiome Project," an exploration of how complex communities of microbes interact with the human body to influence health and disease. The microorganisms in the human gastrointestinal tract are critically important for human health and are involved in the development of diseases such as Crohn's disease and Ulcerative Colitis. "Though our part in this may be small, this will give several student researchers at Calvin an opportunity to collect and publish some very meaningful data that will, when everything is put together, increase our understanding of how the human microbiota contribute to health and disease," Wertz said.
Calvin stats from Day 10
The Day 10 Report is an annual compilation of data culled from Calvin enrollment figures for the 10th day of the semester. According to the 2008-2009 report, the total number of students enrolled at Calvin this fall is 4,171, of which 95 percent are enrolled full time, the largest percentage of full-time students in the last 10 years. And while 2008-2009 enrollment is down slightly from last year (when it was 4,224), the number of AHANA (African American, Hispanic, Asian American and Native American) students remained steady at 268 and increased as a percentage to 6.4 percent of the overall student population, a significant rise from a decade ago, when the college enrolled 175 AHANA students. This year, some 48 percent of the Calvin student body hails from outside of Michigan, including students from 47 different states plus the District of Columbia, nine Canadian provinces and 44 other foreign countries.
Cooper honored with award
Former Calvin chaplain Dale Cooper has been honored as one of four recipients of the 2008 Fr. John B. Zwers Award by the Michigan Association of Non-Public Schools (MANS) which represents 516 faith-based schools across the state of Michigan. The award, given to members of the clergy with a strong history of support for faith-based schools, is named for a founding member of MANS who served on the organization's board of trustees until his death in 2004. Cooper, who now works as a major gift officer in Calvin's advancement division, is "a tireless proponent of faith-based education on all levels," said fellow advancement colleague Larry Gerbens.
TRIAGE gets almost $100k
The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded Calvin almost $100,000 for its TRIAGE program. TRIAGE stands for Team Researchers in a GLOBE-al Environment and is a year-round science research program. Initially funded through a $720,000 grant from the NSF's "Academy for Young Scientists," TRIAGE brings middle school students from across west Michigan to Calvin's campus where the budding scientists hone their research skills and learn about environmental sustainability. The most recent grant of $99,968 will sustain the program through September 2010. Crystal Bruxvoort is the principal investigator for the TRIAGE program.
Pauley speaks on LBJ
In early October a Calvin College professor will participate in a symposium on the rhetorical power and legacy of Lyndon Baines Johnson. The event, sponsored by Texas State University, will feature scholars from around the country and will examine Johnson's rhetorical arguments and legacy relating to the civil rights movement and the Vietnam War. Garth Pauley, a professor of communication arts and sciences and author of LBJ's American Promise, will speak on Monday, Oct. 6 on "Lyndon Johnson and the Civil Rights Revolution."
Nursing professor honored
Gail Zandee, a professor of nursing, has been honored with the Leininger Breakthrough Award Honorable Recognition. The award, given at the Transcultural Nursing Society conference in Minnesota, honors Madeleine Leininger, a leader in transcultural nursing, a theory of nursing which says that culturally competent care can only occur when culture care values serve as the foundation for meaningful care. Calvin's nursing department teaches the Leininger culture care theory as part of its curriculum, and Zandee's work as community partnership coordinator at Calvin, specifically in neighborhood partnerships, was a significant factor in her being honored.
ISRI Launch Celebration
Calvin will celebrate the launch of its new Integrated Science Research Institute (ISRI) on Wednesday, October 1 with a 3:30 p.m. reception and a 4 p.m. talk by University of Michigan researcher and dean Brad Smith in Science Building room 010. Smith is associate dean for creative work, research and graduate education and professor of art and design. He also creates animations and graphics on developmental biology for museums and documentary film companies. He will speak on "The Art of Science: Using Visualization to Understand and Appreciate the Natural World." ISRI was created in recognition of the current trend in the sciences to work across traditional disciplinary boundaries.
Constitution Day event at Calvin on September 17
Calvin will hold a Constitution Day event at 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 17 in the DeVos Center Forum. "Does Experience Matter in Presidential Politics?" is being organized by the college's political science department and will consider whether the Constitution should require that a Presidential candidate have served a specific number of years in public office before running for President. It will include birthday cake, punch and pocket constitutions.
Several Calvin College departments are partnering with local organizations to bring a speaker to campus in October who will help his audience understand how to better balance numerous responsibilties and relationships. Christian psychologist, speaker and author of Boundaries Henry Cloud will speak on "Stress-busting: Making and Communicating Boundaries that Free You to Really Live" on October 9 at 7:30 p.m. in the Fine Arts Center at Calvin. The event is free and open to all.
This year's Convocation, slated for Monday, September 8 at 9:50 a.m., will include an historic touch. A mobile carillon will be stationed near the Fine Arts Center and the Hekman Library and will call the campus to Convocation. This will hearken back to Calvin's Franklin Street campus days when a carillon in the chapel tower regularly called the community to events. The carillon will be played by local organist Helen Hawley as students, faculty and staff are walking to Convocation, again as they are leaving and also during the all-campus picnic which will be held on the Commons Green from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Because of construction at the old fieldhouse, the 2008 Convocation ceremony will be held at three sites (the Fine Arts Center, the Chapel and Gezon Auditorium) so the Convocation committee arranged for the carillon as a special touch this year.
The Calvin College admissions office will be participating in CollegeWeekLive, a virtual college fair, in mid-November 2008. The event will bring together high school students and hundreds of colleges around the world. Participants will be able to watch live video presentations from college admission experts on such topics as financial aid and standardized tests. College officials will staff virtual booths, featuring electronic brochures, videos and real-time instant message and video chat. CollegeWeekLive is being billed as a "green college road trip."
Selles named Calvin Worldview Lecturer
Professor of French Otto Selles will be the 2008-2009 lecturer for the Calvin Worldview Lectureship. The annual series is co-sponsored by Calvin College and Christian Reformed Home Missions. Selles will speak at colleges and universities throughout the school year on "Tolerance's Boundaries," lectures that consider the world's shrinking boundaries, escalating conflict, tolerance, and the limits of tolerance, particularly in the face of the intolerable. Selles also will develop his lecture materials into a short book to be published as part of a series.
Remembering De Borst
James Henry De Borst, a longtime Calvin professor of political science, passed away over Labor Day weekend 2008 at the age of 81. After teaching at several Christian schools in Grand Rapids in the 1950s and 1960s, De Borst, known to most as Jamie, earned a master's and a doctorate from the University of Michigan, and joined the Calvin faculty as one of the founding members of the political science department in 1965. There he served until his retirement in 1992. Calvin professor of political science Corwin Smidt taught with De Borst for many of those years and remembered his former colleague via the Grand Rapids Press Web site, writing: "Jamie was an excellent colleague, department chair and instructor."
Caring for creation
Calvin connected with two agencies of the Christian Reformed Church in North America this summer for a series of conversations on caring for creation. The effort was led by Calvin biology professor Dave Warners, who partnered with Christian Reformed World Missions (CRWM) and the Christian Reformed World Relief Committee (CRWRC) for a week-long discussion on a plethora of issues related to missions and evangelism, development work and creation care.
U.S. News & World Report rankings
A year ago a change in categories meant a significant change in the rankings for Calvin in the annual U.S. News & World Report college guide. This year now marks the second year for Calvin in its new national category of "Best Liberal Arts Colleges," and the college made a slight improvement in rank, going from 116th in the 2008 guide to 115th in the 2009 guide. Also in a new rankings list this year called "Up-and-Coming Schools," Calvin was tied for 14th in the national "Liberal Arts Colleges" group. The new listing from U.S. News & World Report identifies schools that have made promising and innovative changes in academics, faculty, students, campus or facilities as identified by their peers.
New face in media relations
Calvin welcomes Matt Kucinski as the newest member of the communications and marketing team. He will serve as media relations manager, replacing Phil de Haan who now is director of communications and marketing. Kucinski, who has both a bachelor's degree and a master's degree from Grand Valley, spent four years at the Grand Rapids FOX affiliate as a general assignment reporter, sports reporter and sports anchor.
New string summit
The Calvin College music department is inviting high school and college students to its first-ever String Summit, an event that includes seven hours a day of lessons, coaching, master classes and optional discussions about issues related to faith and music. The August 24-30 summit will feature a nationally renowned faculty, headed up by Calvin professor of music David Reimer, and include Elisabeth Adkins, assistant concertmaster of the National Symphony; Peter Slowik, president of the American Viola Society; and many others. Registration for the event is now open.
Ericson on Solzhenitsyn in the Wall Street Journal
Calvin professor of English emeritus Edward Ericson, Jr. has a piece in the August 9, 2008 Wall Street Journal reflecting on his friend and colleague Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. "Imagine a weak, little calf butting his head against a huge, immovable oak tree, naïvely thinking he could knock it down," writes Ericson. In Solzhenitsyn's memoirs, titled The Oak and the Calf, he said the Soviet regime was the oak, Solzhenitsyn was the calf, and the book describes their battle to the death. Ericson is co-author of The Solzhenitsyn Reader and of The Soul and Barbed Wire: An Introduction to Solzhenitsyn, just released.
The face of evangelicals
Joel Carpenter, director of the Nagel Institute for the Study of World Christianity at Calvin, penned a piece for the Immanet Frame, a blog from the Social Science Research Council, on the face of evangelicals in the first decade of the new century. Wrote Carpenter: "But very soon if not already, the standard Protestant categories we have been taught to use, mainline Protestant, evangelical Protestant, and black Protestant, are going to become decreasingly clear, either for political purposes or for understanding American religious life more generally." The editor of the blog is Calvin graduate Jonathan VanAntwerpen.
Students win MIAA awards
A pair of Calvin College students has been honored by the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association. Bruce Van Baren is the first-ever winner of the new Hartman Writing Award, while Annalise Ven Huizen won the inaugural Renner Associate Sports Informartion Director Award. Van Baren, who will be a senior at Calvin this fall, was honored for a story he wrote on a Calvin soccer player. Ven Huizen graduated in May 2008 with a degree in English and worked as a student assistant to Calvin sports information coordinator Jeff Febus all four years she attended Calvin, winning the Renner Award for outstanding effort by a student assistant. She has accepted a teaching position at Grand River Preparatory Academy in Kentwood, Mich.
Sole EGR precinct residents
Calvin employees Dick and Carol Gootjes, caretakers of the college's Ravenswood guest house, are featured in the Grand Rapids Press after a recent land swap left them as the only people living in an East Grand Rapids precinct. The swap is a complicated story, involving Calvin's new Spoelhof Fieldhouse Complex, and the outcome is pretty complicated too, but the bottom line is that, as of this summer, the Gootjeses are the sole residents of precinct 1-B in the second ward.
Sophomore cyclist blogs
A Calvin sophomore is biking across the country as part of the Sea to Sea tour, an effort intended to eradicate poverty. Lisa Brouwer is part of a group of 127 cyclists, including many Calvin alumni and students, doing the entire route from the Washington to New Jersey. Another hundred or so riders are doing portions of the trip. Lisa is biking with her father, Bob Brouwer. Follow their blog for more details.
Summer camp slide show
Each summer the Wetlands and Woodlands camps at Calvin, run by Jeanette Henderson, provide a hands-on learning adventure for children ages four to eight with Calvin's expansive Ecosystem Preserve serving as the backdrop for the experience. Recently the Grand Rapids Press created an online slide show, including an audio track featuring an interview with camp counselor and junior Jodi Unema, after visiting one of the camp sessions.
Kurt Ver Beek, a Calvin College sociology professor who heads up a semester-long off-campus program in Honduras, has done studies on the impact of short-term missions trips by North Americans to foreign countries. His research was included in a July 5, 2008 Washington Post story titled "Churches Retool Mission Trips: Work Abroad Criticized for High Cost and Lack of Value."
Smidt elected to SSSR
Calvin College professor of political science Corwin Smidt, also the director of the college's Paul B. Henry Institute for the Study of Christianity and Politics, has been elected to the governing council of the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion. He will serve a three-year term, spanning the 2009, 2010 and 2011 meetings of the organization. The society was founded in 1949 and fosters collaboration among scholars from a range of discipline, including sociology, religious studies, psychology, political science, economics and more.
Finding refuge in soccer
A Calvin graduate is a key part of a program in Georgia called the Fugees Family, a wide-ranging effort that has at its heart an amazing youth soccer program that brings together refugees from three continents, young boys and girls who have seen unspeakable things during their short lifetimes, but have come together in America, through a game, thanks to the efforts of a woman from Jordan and the help of Calvin graduate Tracy Ediger. Read about this remarkable story in the June 23, 2008 issue of Sports Illustrated.
Grad on path of Immigrants
Calvin graduate Nathan Poel '08 is following the path of illegal immigration into the United States, traveling some 2,700 miles, beginning in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, home to two Calvin College off-campus programs, and finishing in Tucson, Arizona. He and a friend are journeying mostly by bus, making legal border crossings, while also visiting the places where illegal crossings happen. He is also interviewing migrants, their families and government officials.
Surviving in China
Calvin authors Larry and Qin Herzberg wrote the China Survival Guide knowing that plenty of guidebooks recommend where to stay and what to eat, but few tell about the nitty gritty problems one might encounter in China as a traveler-everything from toilets to haggling to crossing the street without getting killed!
On June 1, 2008, Calvin College professor of English Gary Schmidt was honored by the Los Angeles chapter of the Women's National Book Association, and the Judy Lopez Memorial Foundation, at their 23rd annual awards for excellence in children's literature (Lopez was a bookseller and founding member of the WNBA chapter in Los Angeles). Schmidt's book The Wednesday Wars will be receive the Medalist honor, the top award. Earlier this year his book was named a 2008 John Newbery Honor Book by the American Library Association (ALA).
Anker blogs from Cannes
Calvin professor of English Roy Anker is at the Cannes Film Festival and blogging about his experiences there. Anker is author of Catching Light: The Search For God in the Movies. The 400-page book, published in 2004, looks at a wide variety of films that explore where and how God does (and sometimes does not) show up amid the usually messy circumstances of life on this earth. Anker believes that God often shows up in the movies, and not only in explicitly Christian films.
Smith's dancing Calvinists
Calvin College professor of philosophy James K.A. Smith has a piece in Christianity Today called Teaching A Calvinist to Dance. Writes Smith: "It can be a little intimidating in a Reformed context to admit that one is Pentecostal. It's a bit like being at the ballet and letting it slip that you're partial to NASCAR and country music. Both claims tend to clear a room. And yet I happily define myself as a Reformed charismatic, a Pentecostal Calvinist."
Visit an archeological site
Bert de Vries, who heads up Calvin's archaeology minor, also is the director of the Umm el-Jimal Project. Located in Jordan, Umm el-Jimal is home to centuries of history and culture, and the newly unveiled Umm el-Jimal Web site is part of an ongoing effort to understand the area and its regional context via traditional academic research, cutting-edge technology and a deeply rooted community perspective. The new site is the work of Open Hand Studios, a non-profit partnership formed by three recent Calvin College graduates: Paul Christians, Craig Mulder and Jeff DeKock.
Healing for a broken world
Healing for a Broken World, a new book by Stephen Monsma, a fellow at Calvin's Henry Institute for the Study of Christianity and Politics, examines from Biblical principles everything from abortion to environmental policy. The book is not intended to help people decide who to vote for. Rather the former Michigan state representative and senator believes that applying one's faith to one's actions as a citizen is incumbent upon all Christians. The book is available with a DVD study guide produced by Calvin's Steven Niedzielski and can be purchased at the Calvin Campus Store or via the publisher, Faith Alive.
Quilted banners for the Bunker
Artist and Calvin professor of art emeritus Chris Overvoorde and a dozen quilters have been working to put together a new display of 26 quilted banners and two landscape triptychs at the Bunker Interpretive Center at Calvin. The installation will be hung in the expansive ceiling space of the Display Hall and the public is welcome to attend a reception at the Interpretive Center on the evening of May 14 from 7 to 9 p.m. when the paintings and first group of banners will be dedicated.
Bert de Vries honored
A Calvin College professor of history and longtime archaeologist has been honored with a significant award from the American Schools of Oriental Research. Dr. Bert deVries is the 2007 recipient of The W. F. Albright Award which honors an individual who has shown special support or made outstanding service contributions to one of ASOR's overseas centers or committees. Calvin has had a minor in archaeology since 1995, largely thanks to the efforts of de Vries who has spent the equivalent of close to 20 years doing field work in Jordan over the last 40 years.
Calvin grad missing
The search for a missing Calvin graduate has stalled. But friends and family of Kevin LaFleur continue to have hope and continue to pray. LaFleur, a 1998 grad who worked for four years as a student assistant in the sports information department under Jeff Febus, has been missing since April 26 when he set out to climb Mount Baker in Washington. An accomplished climber and backcountry skier, LaFleur had worked as a science teacher at Lynden Christian High School but left to pursue a master's degree.
Junior receives service award
Quinn Harr, a junior philosophy and classical languages major, has received the Frank M. Fitzgerald Public Service Award, which honors young staffers in the Michigan Legislature. Last year Calvin's Nate Knapper also was so honored. Above and beyond their legislative service, recipients are singled out for their abilities in academics, communicating and volunteering. Harr will be a 2008 McGregor Summer Research Fellow at Calvin and then will spend next fall overseas at Oxford. He also has earned the Kenneth J. Konyndyk, Jr. Scholarship in Philosophy and the Ernest Van Vugt Scholarship in Classical Languages.
Telly Award for Messiah
WGVU Productions recently earned a Bronze Award at the 2008 Telly Awards for its broadcast of the Messiah as performed by the Calvin Oratorio Society. The broadcast was produced and edited by WGVU's Deb Kirk. Last year's performance was the 88th annual presentation of Handel's Messiah by Calvin College.
Bays on missions in China
Calvin professor of history Daniel Bays, also director of the Asian Studies Program, has written a fascinating account of foreign missions in China and its impact on the modern-day Chinese church for Christian History & Biography, part of the Christianity Today family of publications. Bays notes that in the early 1900s the foreign missionary movement in China "matured, flourished, and then died." But, he adds, "in these same decades, a Chinese church was born-a church that is today growing incredibly rapidly."
Calvin catering medals
Calvin has won a bronze medal from the National Association of College & University Food Services (NACUFS) in the 2008 Loyal E. Horton Dining Awards Catering-Special Event category for a June 2007 Calvin Alumni Association event called "Welcoming a President Home" held at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum. The award was for the entire presentation that eveing, including a menu, managed by executive chef Tim England and catering and conference manager Marla Poterack, that had a specific Michigan focus, including Sutton's Bay cheeses, Oceana County asparagus mousse, smoked Michigan whitefish pate and more. The Horton Awards salute successful ideas in menus, presentations, special event planning and new dining concepts.
Telly Awards for Calvin Video Productions
Calvin Video Productions has been honored with two Telly Awards -- which honor local, regional and cable television commercials and programs, video and film productions, and work created for the Web. CVP won a Silver Telly Award (highest honor) for its DVD of last fall's performance by the Calvin Orchestra, and a Bronze Telly for the DVD of "Healing for a Broken World," a companion to the book of the same name by Steve Monsma of Calvin's Henry Institute. The 2008 Tellys received over 14,000 entries this year.
Baseball and bonding
Calvin's Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) hosted 30 local elementary school students in early May for a Calvin baseball game as part of Buddy Day, an event funded in part by a recent NCAA Division III Ethnic Minority and Women's Internship Grant. The students, from Ridge Park Charter Academy, enjoyed sub sandwiches, chips, cookies, pop and, of course, plenty of baseball plus bonding with 30 Calvin student athletes. They also got to test their throwing speed against the radar gun and collected autographs from the Calvin players. "It was a really great experience," said SAAC advisor Laura Bindon. See photos from the day.