The Magazine for Alumni and Friends of Calvin College
50's 60's 70's 80's 90's
Ralph Haan '59, Helen Petter Westra '58, Anne Laninga Kwantes '59, Connie Scheurwater '59 and George DenHartigh '69 spent the summer of 1999, as well as several previous summers, in China teaching English to Chinese middle school teachers. They served under English Language Institute based in San Dimas, Calif. The purpose of the six-week program they were involved in was to improve the listening and speaking skills of Chinese teachers of English, as well as to introduce them to aspects of American culture.
Robert Swierenga '57 recently published Family Quarrels in the Dutch Reformed Churches of the 19th Century with co-author Elton Bruins. Bob is Albertus C. Van Raalte Research Professor at Hope College in Holland, Mich.
John Hamilton '69, executive producer for the international film and video production company, Del Ray Communications, recently completed the Khmer language dubbing of the motion picture, The Hiding Place, as part of a World Vision project to teach the grace of forgiveness and reconciliation in that war-torn land. Last year, John also accepted an appointment to the faculty of Grove City College as associate professor of communication, where he will be directing a new program of film and broadcasting studies.
Brenda Bysterveld Ammeraal '63 was recently recognized for 15 years of service in the English department at Moraine Valley Community College in Palos Hills, Ill. A highlight of her teaching career there was being honored as Adjunct Professor of the Year in 1996.
Dirk Brinkman '68 was awarded the highest forestry award in Canada, the National Forestry Achievement Award, by the Canadian Institute of Forestry. President of the Canadian Silviculture Association, Dirk was honored for his contribution to public policy, innovation and quality assurance. His company, Brinkman and Associates Reforestation, co-founded with Joyce Murray , his wife, is Canada's leading reforestation service, celebrating their 500 millionth tree planted in 1997.
Patricia VanderBerg '73 has been appointed executive director of communications and strategic initiatives at Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Mass. Previously, Patricia was the assistant vice chancellor for communications and marketing for the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
Cheryl Bennett-Johnson ex'72, a speech-language specialist in Garfield, N.J., has been quite active with the New Jersey Education Association (NJEA). Cheryl, a local Education Association president, was recently featured in the NJEA public service announcement entitled "Pride in Education," which aired on the New York/New Jersey network channels. She was recently appointed as a member of the New Jersey's Professional Teaching Standards Board for a two-year term.
Rodney VanderPloeg '75 is the editor of the recently published Clinician's Guide to Neuropsychological Assessment, 2nd edition. Rodney is a clinical neuropsychologist in Tampa, Fla.
Benjamin Vander Kooi, Jr. '75 has been appointed to the Minnesota State Arts Board. Ben is an attorney in private practice in Luverne, Minn., and is heavily involved in volunteer activities in the community.
Tim Schaafsma '75 has been promoted to director of global inventory planning and distribution for Amway Corp. in Grand Rapids. In his new position he is responsible for all global inventory planning, scheduling and control activities and is also responsible for the two primary corporate distribution facilities in Ada, Mich., and Venlo, the Netherlands.
William Katt '76 has been appointed Wisconsin State Representative of the Defense Research Institute, the nation's largest association of civil litigation defense lawyers. He is the president of the Milwaukee, Wis., law firm of Leib & Katt, S.C., where he focuses his practice on litigation of federal and state cases including general liability, product liability, aviation accidents, fair dealership, trade secret and other commercial litigation.
Allen Parks '72 recently joined United Behavior Health's San Francisco corporate staff as senior director, quality and strategic initiatives. Allen resides in the San Francisco Bay area.
Kathleen Tjapkes Hanenburg '75 has been elected treasurer and executive board member of the Michigan Chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association. Kathy is a partner with the law firm of Warner Norcross & Judd LLP and currently chairs the firm's Immigration Law Group.
Hilda Schuringa Hardy '78 has been awarded a graduate teaching assistantship in the computer science department at the University of Albany in New York.
Ken Genzink'78 is CEO of Genzink Steel and its subsidiary, Code Blue Corporation, in Holland, Mich.
Connie VanderZwaag Kiers ex'79 and her husband, Wilfred, own and operate a dairy farm in Wellandport, Ont. Connie stays at home with her six children and enjoys doing art work, baking, reading and crafts.
Florence Kooiman Spratt '78 and her husband, Doug, are host parents for students around the world who come to Vancouver to learn English. "It's a great ministry as we share God's love in our house with many who do not know God," she writes.
Coba Koene '77 completed her Ph.D. in Latin American literature and is now chair of the modern foreign languages department at Anderson University in Anderson, Ind.
Karen Kass Dubay '70 has been a commissioned officer in the U.S. Navy Reserve since 1982. She was recently promoted to Commander.
Steve Borst '79 is a partner with Utah Ventures, a venture capital firm focused on financing and assisting seed and early stage companies in the healthcare and information technology markets.
Alice DeVries Houel '78 lives in St. Maur, France, where she teaches English to French students at Mairie de St. Maur. She and her husband, Christian, have lived in France for more than 20 years. They have four children.
Edward Speyers '73 and Linda Tinholt Speyers '75 have spend the last 20 years translating the Suriname Javanese New Testament (South America). The copies were expected to arrive in Suriname before the end of the year. This translation marks the 500th New Testament translated by the Wycliffe Bible Translators. The Speyers now represent Wycliffe in west Michigan.
Richard Posthuma '76 recently completed his Ph.D. in organizational behavior and human resources management at Purdue University. He is currently on the faculty of the College of Business Administration of the University of Texas at El Paso.
Mary Piersma Johnson '70 was honored with the 1999 National Early Childhood Teacher of the Year Award by Scholastic Company. Mary has taught early childhood for 15 years, the last five at Indian Hills Preschool, in Gallup, N.M., a preschool for developmentally delayed and at-risk Native American children. Mary is helping to implement a new early childhood program at Rehoboth McKinley Christian Hospital. She will collaborate with nurses in a parent/new baby health and literacy program. Her husband, Charles Johnson '69, teaches math and science at Rehoboth Christian School.
Shari Fiorino Bearce '89 is one of four new officers hired by the Lake County (Ohio) Narcotics Agency to implement a new drug education program in elementary schools. She teaches at six schools in 13 classes in one week. "I would gladly respond to any questions alumni might have about drug education," she writes.
Thomas Rietkirk '89 completed his three-year tour in Germany with his next assignment at Fairchild Air Force Base in Spokane, Wash. In Germany, Tom was working in the Air Force command bunker deploying civil engineer units to construct and operate various air bases. Denise Alderink Rietkirk '89 is busy with their two children and helping out at their local church.
Wayne Brouwer MDiv'80 ThM '85 earned his Ph.D. in New Testament through McMaster University in Hamilton, Ont. He published two books this year, Being a Believer in a Non-Believing World (Hendrickson, 1999) and Humming 'Till the Music Returns (CSS, 1999).
Susan Necita Hoekstra ex'82 was recently promoted to vice president at Cendant Corp. She and her husband, Larry, have two children, Ben, 7, and Matt, 5.
Steve Baas '86 is the press secretary to the Speaker of the Wisconsin Assembly. Recently Steve was invited to speak at a workshop for members of Parliament and the mass media. Steve discussed how the media reports on legislative action and how lawmakers can handle media encounters effectively. The seminar received nation-wide coverage.
Valerie Mann Smits ex'86 has recently started a position a office manager for the new Chicago office of the investment banking firm of Keefe, Bruyette, & Woods, Inc. Valerie and her husband, Scott, are expecting their third child in January.
Ellen Cairns '86 received a master's degree in library science and has since been employed as head of technical services at Indiana University Northwest in Gary, Ind. She was recently promoted to associate librarian with tenure.
Sondra Dunn Sula '83 currently has artwork on exhibit in Madrid, N.M. "But," she writes, "in the ironic world I call my life, I just got a contract to ghost write two books. My Calvin English professors would all get hearty laughs at this." One is a fictional adventure novel; the other, a memoir.
Gary Timmerman '82 has resettled in the beautiful Bulkley Valley of northern British Columbia. He is once again teaching at Bulkley Valley Christian School, with his old colleagues and friends from Smithers.
Randall Frieling '84 and Indiana University pianist David Duncan recently performed Mendelssohn's Concerto for Two Pianos and Orchestra and Vaughan Williams' Concerto for Two Pianos with symphonies in the Midwest. They have two compact discs Music for Two Pianos and Favorites for Two Pianos with a third CD of their own arrangements to be released next year. Randall is an associate professor of music at Anderson University in Indiana and organist at the Carmel United Methodist Church in Indianapolis.
Kari Post Renkema ex'89 and her husband, Marc, have moved from Southern California to Washington near Seattle where Marc is the pastor of Trinity Orthodox Presbyterian Church. Kari is at homewith and homeschooling their children, Julianne, 6, Marc, 4, and Joshua, 22 months.
Ronald Donkersloot MAT'80 just completed 15 years as principal at Vancouver Christian School in British Columbia.
Don Hornbeck '81 was recently accepted into the master's program at the University of New Mexico's College of Nursing to major in health administration and community health. He is currently working with the University of New Mexico in the internal medicine department researching diabetes.
Debbie Marshall '85 received the Michigan Aeronautics Commission's Award of Excellence for her success with championing aviation issues in Washington, D.C. Debbie was singled out for her efforts to extend federal funding for airport improvements and advocating for better access to Chicago O'Hare Airport by Michigan's regional passenger airlines. Debbie is currently the federal legislative liaison for the Michigan Department of Transportation.
Mark Herald '82 has been promoted to captain for the Grand Rapids Police Department. He is currently head of the Downtown Service Area.
Robert Wattez '87 is a registered nurse in the coronary care unit/paramedic for Emmanuel Hospital in Portland, Or. Julie Koster Wattez '89 is the director of child care services for the Southwest Washington Child Care Consortium.
Ken Heinen '94 has graduated from Palmer College of Chiropractic with a doctor of chiropractic degree and has moved to Sheboygan, Wis., to start a practice.
Jessica Rooks Westra '94 has joined Zondervan Publishing House in Grand Rapids, as media relations manager. She previously worked at the Grand Rapids-based public relations firm of Seyferth & Associates, Inc., as a senior account executive.
Ann Jarvis '93 received a master of library sciences at Wayne State University and is employed as research/outreach librarian at Grace A Dow Memorial Library in Midland, Mich.
Steve Ruis '94 has been promoted to an assistant director of admissions at Calvin College. Amy Heerspink Ruis '94 is a buyer for J. Mollema, a lawn and garden wholesale distributor in Grand Rapids.
Tim Westrate '94 is serving in the U.S. Army at Ft. Benning, Georgia, as an infantry officer. He is currently the personnel officer of the 2nd Battalion, 29th Infantry Regiment, but will be leaving soon to return to Michigan. He and his wife, Mary, along with their two children, Timmy and Taylor, will be relocating to the Kalamazoo area. Tim is leaving the army to begin a career with Stryker Instruments.
John '92 and Julie Vander Laan Van Eek '93 have moved to British Columbia, where John is starting up a new branch of the Farm Business Consultants.
Ray '90 and Ann Plantinga Kapteyn '90 have joined Wycliffe Bible Translators and now live in Brazil. Ray is working as a missionary pilot, flying the translators into the remote villages in the rainforest where they work. Ann, who graduated from Calvin Seminary in 1993, will use her knowledge of biblical languages to assist the translators with their work.
Bonnie Brush '95 has returned from Russia after serving there for two years as a Peace Corps volunteer. She now lives in Hickory, N.C., and teaches English at West Caldwell High School.
Terry Pahl '94 is a project engineer/manager for Earth Tech, Inc. in Grand Rapids. Terry works in the architectural, engineering and construction division, where he is responsible for the design and project management of heating, ventilating and air conditioning systems in state institutions and industrial and educational facilities.
Susan Ritsema Garrison '91 and her husband, George, have moved to Northwest Chicago to plant a new church in Arlington Heights, Ill., with the Presbyterian Church of America. "We recently named the church Hope Presbyterian with the goal of sharing the hope of Christ with those living in the northwest suburbs of Chicago," she writes.
Brenda Nyenhuis '94 recently finished her master's degree in nursing from Grand Valley State University and received certification as a family nurse practitioner. She is currently working at Family Tree Medical Associates in Hastings, Mich.
Jeanne Oosting Martin '93 recently joined the commercial litigation department at Bryan Cave LLP in St. Louis, Mo., after two years as a litigation attorney with Kirkland &Ellis in Chicago. She and her husband, Eric, also an attorney, live in the St. Louis suburb of Glendale.
Kiff VandenHeuvel '92 is a member of The Second City Touring Company in Detroit, Mich. They tour primarily in Michigan doing improvisational comedy. He also works as a producer for a multi-media company. Teresa Ter Haar VandenHeuvel '93 graduated from Bowling Green State University in Ohio with a Ph.D. in theater. She is teaching acting and theater history at Adrian College in southern Michigan.
Pete Roth '96 graduated from the University of Michigan Law School and joined Varnum, Riddering, Schmidt, & Howlett as an associate in their corporate practice group. Sarah Davis Roth '96 is currently the social work and activity director at Heartland Healthcare Center Greenview in Grand Rapids.
Michael Leestma '96 has begun graduate studies at the University of Chicago. He is working towards his MBA with concentrations in finance and strategic management.
Glenn Christians '91 in working as an architect in New York City. His wife, Allison deBoer Christians '91 graduated from Columbia University School of Law and is now working at Debevoise & Plimpton as a tax associate.
Sandra Ritsema '94 has moved to Bundibugyo, Uganda, to teach the children of the World Harvest Mission team currently working in that area. Sandra formerly taught fifth grade at Philmont Christian Academy in Philadelphia, Pa.
Alisa Tigchelaar '92 earned her Ph.D. from the University of Indiana in Bloomington, Ind., and is now teaching Spanish at Calvin College.
Sarah Dieleman Perry '95 received her master's degree in public and international affairs from the University of Pittsburgh and is employed by Allegheny County Department of Economic Development managing the rental housing rehabilitation program for low-income residents.
Amy Adair Bode '98 is an editor in the children's department at Publications International in Illinois.
Jillon VanderWal '93 recently received her Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of Missouri-Columbia.
Chad Van Iddekinge '96 received his master's degree in industrial/ organizational psychology from Clemson University. He began his doctoral studies in that program this fall. His wife, Allison, is a graduate student at the University of South Carolina.
Joel Toonstra '98 is a program manager for the Dispute Resolution Center in Grand Rapids. Jodi Van Noord Toonstra '99 is a teacher at South Elementary in Wyoming, Mich.
Kevin denDulk '92 has received a Charlotte W. Newcombe Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship to complete his dissertation on "Representing Christ in Court: Political Litigation and American Evangelicalism." Kevin is a student at the University of Wisconsin.