Alumni Profile: Allison Vander Lugt '06

Allison Vander Lugt '06

MAJOR: nursing
CURRENT OCCUPATION: nurse on a hospital floor for post-operative lung and heart surgery patients

Every day I have the chance to be Jesus to someone.

Allison Vander Lugt '06 keeps these words in mind every time she starts a new shift as a registered nurse at St. Luke's Medical Center in Boise, Idaho. There, she cares for patients who have recently undergone heart- or lung-related surgeries, as well as those whose heart rhythms need monitoring.

Nursing wasn't always in Allison's plan at Calvin; in fact, she tried out majors in English, Spanish and psychology before a job as a home health aide sold her on the joy of caring for others. And Calvin's nursing program helped to confirm she was in the right place. She recalls with enthusiasm her favorite class, a surgical nursing course that taught her about congestive heart failure, sepsis, and cardiomyopathy—serious conditions she would one day encounter in her everyday work.

But Calvin taught her something else in the process: a Christian perspective. Starting with a memorable first-year course where she was challenged to develop a Christian worldview, Allison spent her college years taking to heart the concepts of redemption, shalom, the kingdom of God and, ultimately, vocation.

"Calvin gave me the glasses through which I see the world," she says. "It absolutely shaped my worldview and helped me see that the place God calls me to be is the place where my deep gladness, and the world's deep hunger, meet."

It's thanks to God's calling, and her experience at Calvin leading her to this career, Allison says, that she is able to be an effective nurse to the patients she encounters.

"I am allowed to step into a person's life when they are most vulnerable and provide them not only physical healing, but also emotional and spiritual comfort. Not many people have this opportunity! So, every day I pray that I am a vessel of God's peace and love, and that I allow Him to shine through me."

VERGE: fall 2013

Becoming the hands and feet of Christ
Discipling athletes, growing leaders
GR Walks: An app to explore Grand Rapids
Leadership focus: Student Senate
Leading worship at Calvin
Making art that saves lives
Student organizations: Hammock Club
First-year experience: Ansley Kelly's schedule
Gallery: Cal's Guide to Getting a Campus Job
Gallery: Fall happenings on campus
Faculty Profile: Debra Bossenbroek & Suzan Couzens, nursing
Faculty Profile: James K.A. Smith, philosophy
Alumni Profile: Allison Vander Lugt '06
Alumni Profile: Tyler Smies ’10
Career results: Class of 2012
Caring for God's creation
First-Year Experience