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Calvin faculty and staff

Joel Adams
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
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 BrattKen 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 BytwerkRandy 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 CarvillBarbara 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 SilvaSergio 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 GraafDon 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 DeKockRoger 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 VriesBert 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 YoungDale 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
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 ErffmeyerKen 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 FelchSusan 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 GarciaDaniel 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
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 GroenhoutRuth 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 HardyLee 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, Ecosystem Preserve managerJeanette 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 HeunMatt 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 HoeksemaTom 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 HoksbergenRoland 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.

Arelene HoogewerfArlene 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 JadrichJim 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 JenCal 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.

Calvin lab services manager Lori KeenLori 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

Jim JadrichLois 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 LeeYoungkhill 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 MillerEd 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 PattersonAmy 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 SawyerCharsie 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 SkillenJames 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 SmidtCorwin 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 SpeelmanBob 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-HoagJennifer 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 TatumJeff 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 TigchelaarPeter 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 VandenbergTodd 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."

Jim Vanden BoschJames 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.

Doug Vander GriendDouglas 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 LeiElizabeth 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 WoudeJudy 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 DrunenLeonard 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 VenemaGerard 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 WarnersDave 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 WertzJohn 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
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 WitvlietJohn 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.

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