Calvin faculty and staff
Joel Adams Professor, computer science
He helped to create OHM, Dahl and Microwulf, Calvin's first generation of supercomputers, and he helps children create imaginary worlds through "Alice." Joel Adams makes good use of the speed and ease of technology.
Carolyn Anderson Professor, chemistry
An aunt taught Carolyn Anderson about the "epidemiological mystery" of potato salad and other everyday items. Her father encouraged her to work at Calvin. And she loves researching with students.
Ken BrattProfessor, classics
After 30 years in the classroom, teaching is still a thrill for Calvin College classics professor Ken Bratt, the 2006 winner of the college's Presidential Award for Exemplary Teaching.
Randy BytwerkProfessor, CAS
CAS Randy Bytwerk maintains a Nazi propaganda archive that is a Google top hit. He he tracks his students with motion detectors. And, whenever possible, he escapes to New Zealand.
Barbara CarvillProfessor emerita, German
Beginning at age 10, when she and her family fled East Germany, Barbara Carvill has often felt like the new person in a strange place. But at most stops along the way, she was made to feel welcome, and she’s never forgotten what that was like.
Sergio da Silva Professor, psychology
Calvin psychology professor Sergio da Silva conducts research that puts people to sleep. He recently completed four years of research on sleep apnea, a disorder characterized by pauses in breathing during sleep.
Don De GraafProfesor, HPERDS
He showed up at Calvin as student in 1978, thinking he would get a degree in business and find a job. His initial plan has been expanded, and Don De Graaf has become things and been to places he has least expected.
Roger DeKockProfessor, chemistry
He does not have cable, and he subscribes to The Atlantic Monthly. He owns a 1983 Goldwing motorcycle, and his great uncle hid Jews in his barn in the Netherlands during WWII. His favorite molecule is water.
Bert de VriesProfessor, history
He has spent a large part of his career digging things up and an even larger part interpreting them. Bert de Vries, the excavator of Umm el-Jimal in Jordan and the founder of Calvin's archeology minor, says the focus of his career is making peace.
Dale De Young: 2009 Spoelhof AwardAssociate director, physical plant
For 27 years Dale DeYoung has been doing work at Calvin that he (almost) hopes no one notices. De Young, an associate director for the physical plant, serves as the general contractor for remodeling projects and additions.
Pennylynn Dykstra-Pruim Professor, German
As a Taiwan-born professor of the German language, Professor Pennylynn Dykstra-Pruim is used to a few double-takes. “For me, that is sort of like a little symbol of our increasingly multi-cultural world,” she said.
Ken ErffmeyerVice president, advancement
In his new post Ken Erffmeyer will oversee Calvin's alumni and public relations department, its communications and marketing team and the development office (Calvin currently is in the midst of a $150 million capital campaign).
Susan Felch Professor, English
She knows what it is to have a lantern. “In Papua New Guinea,” Susan Felch said, “when the lights went out, and there were only the stars, you had a little hurricane lamp, and it only showed you the next right step.”
Daniel Garcia Professor, communications arts and sciences
Calvin professor of film and filmmaker Daniel Garcia has found himself in some interesting situations, all in the name of his vocation. He has sneaked surveillance equipment into a jail. He has helped sell blue jeans.
Beth Gordon Professor, nursing
Beth Gordon learned about Christian service from being part of a closely knit, God-fearing family. Now she teaches Calvin's student nurses to be servants in Grand Rapids' communities and parishes.
Ruth Groenhout Professor, philosophy
College freshmen are notorious for a few things, one of which is changing their majors. Professor of philosophy Ruth Groenhout was no different when she was a Calvin student.
Lee HardyProfessor, philosophy
Lee Hardy learned some valuable lessons as a young boy, working for his dad in Fullerton, Calif., at the family-owned drugstore. "I got to see how my father related to people," he recalled.
Jeanette Henderson Manager, Ecosystem Preserve
The windows of Jeanette Henderson’s new office look over the South Pond in the Calvin Ecosystem Preserve, and she's always on the lookout for the green-backed herons.
Matt Heun Professor, engineering
Voyaging to Mars. Preventing ozone depletion. Achieving carbon-neutrality. Calvin engineering professor Matthew Heun has contributed to all three recent “scientific” challenges.
Tom Hoeksema Professor, education
When Tom Hoeksema was about to graduate from Calvin’s education program in 1968, education professor Bert Bos noticed the work he was doing with people living with disabilities at Pine Rest Hospital. “Maybe you can help us do that here,” said Bos.
Roland Hoksbergen Professor, economics
Roland Hoksbergen was 15 years old in 1968 when Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated. Hoksbergen has dedicated his life since then to helping the underprivileged across the globe.
Arlene Hoogewerf Professor, biology
She hated biology until a medical tech class changed her mind. Now she teaches microbiology and, during interim, trains Calvin students to be crime-scene investigators. And she loves proteoglycans.
Jim Jadrich Professor, physics and astronomy
Growing up, he had two ambitions: to be either a professional baseball player or a mad scientist.. The baseball dream did not pan out. The mad scientist dream, on the other hand, just might.
Cal Jen Professor, business
He left his architecture practice to teach architecture at Calvin. Now he teaches business. The 2009–2010 Professor of the Year, Cal Jen is perhaps the only Calvin professor named after the college.
Lori Keen: 2010 Spoelhof Award Lab services manager, science division
For nearly a quarter-century, Lori Keen has been getting it done in the Calvin biology lab: setting up experiments and "turning students loose" to do them. Though the job hasn't essentially changed, she said, somehow it's always
Lois Konyndyk: 2009 Spoelhof Award Director of foundation relations, development
After 23 years in the classroom, Lois Konyndyk traded teaching for fundraising. Since then she has hunted down the funds for telescopes and literacy programs. Most of all, Konyndyk loves finding the scholarships to keep students' costs low.
Youngkhill LeeProfessor, HPERDS
He calls Korea home, and he's lived in the U.S. for more than half his life. Raised a Buddhist, Youngkhill Lee treasures his Christian friends and is willing to follow his Savior far outside his comfort zone.
Ed Miller Professor, Spanish
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the average American will change careers three to five times in his or her lifetime. For Calvin professor of Spanish Ed Miller, that statistic does not apply.
Amy Patterson Professor, political science
For years, Amy Patterson has studied HIV/AIDS in Africa. In 2010, the Calvin professor of political science won a Fulbright Scholarship to study HIV/AIDS support groups in Zambia—and the college's first-ever Advising and Mentoring Award.
Charsie Sawyer Professor, music
The name, “Charsie,” is an heirloom worn by several women in her family, including her mother, whose other significant gift to her daughter was a generous musical legacy.
James Skillen Professor, geology and geography
A Calvin GEO professor is happiest on a ridge, in a trout stream or in nature's other classrooms. James Skillen studies federal land policy and its implementation. And he's on a quest for the perfect baguette.
Corwin Smidt Professor, political science
Reporters from The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Christianity Today, The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times and USA Today have sought the political opinion of Calvin political science professor and Henry Institute director Corwin Smidt.
Bob SpeelmanSupervisor, landscape operations
When this time of year rolls around, Bob Speelman is eyeing the willow buds: “They get very, very large and green,” he said of this first sign of spring on the Calvin campus.
Jennifer Steensma-HoagProfessor, art and art history
She learned photography by pointing an instamatic at the animals down on the family farm. After studying her craft at Calvin and the Rochester Institute of Technology, Jennifer-Steensma is still capturing wildlife images.
Jeff Tatum Professor, sociology
Lawyer turned professor is a common enough story. But Calvin professor of sociology Jeff Tatum’s story is anything but common—he was not supposed to survive a traumatic brain injury he got as a toddler.
Peter Tigchelaar: 2010 Professor of the Year Professor, biology
Peter Tigchelaar has taught in the Calvin biology department for three-and-a-half decades. In May of 2010, his students took an opportunity to show him that they appreciate his style. And they brought donuts.
Todd Vanden Berg: 2008 Professor of the YearProfessor, sociology
Worlds collided for Calvin professor of sociology Todd Vanden Berg on Wednesday, April 30, 2008. “I had just started teaching my anthropology of religion class, and my parents walked in … ,” he said. “It was a little disconcerting."
James Vanden Bosch: 2010 Exemplary Teaching AwardProfessor, English
He loves wordplay, dictionaries and tough competition. His handshake is fierce. James Vanden Bosch, the winner of the 2009–2010 Presidential Award for Exemplary Teaching, is known for instilling the love of grammar in his students.
Douglas Vander GriendProfessor, chemistry
Calvin inorganic chemistry professor Douglas Vander Griend plays with "molecular Tinkertoys" and Star Wars Lego sets. And he is the creator of the chemistry department's annual Chili Cook-off.
Elizabeth Vander LeiProfessor, English
"Many would call it staggering around and falling into things. I look at that as God’s providence,” said Calvin professor of English Elizabeth Vander Lei of what life has thrown her way.
Judy Vander WoudeProfessor, speech pathology
Growing up as one of 11 children, including four siblings adopted from Korea, Calvin College professor Judith Vander Woude had plenty of opportunities to listen to the conversations around her.
Leonard van Drunen Professor, business
As a college sophomore, Calvin professor of business Leonard Van Drunen was not on track to become a future employee at Merrill Lynch or JP Morgan, working in high rises in New York City, Tokyo and London.
Gerard Venema Professor, mathematics
Mathematics professor Gerard Venema works in dimensions four and above through analogy with the third dimension. He believes mathematics belongs with the liberal arts, and it should be studied for its own sake.
Dave Warners Professor, biology
He dropped out of Calvin to hike the Appalachian Trail, then worked in international development in Ethiopia. These days, Dave Warners teaches biology, cultivates native species and fights for every square inch of old-growth forest on Calvin's campus.
John Wertz Professor, biology
As a Calvin biology student, he mistook the office hours posted on his professors' doors for working hours and thought an academic schedule looked pretty cushy. As a Calvin biology professor, he gets a rush from his discipline and from teaching it.
Jeff Winkle Professor, classical languages
Jeff Winkle's love for myth came from an early exposure to Clash of the Titans and J.R.R. Tolkien. His love of music came from early exposure to a chronically out-of-tune piano. Both loves are lifelong affairs.
John Witvliet Professor, music and religion
He has a closet talent for mathematics. He holds five degrees. He is the chair of one Calvin department, teaches in two others, and is the director of the pioneering Calvin Institute of Christian Worship.