Convocation

2015 Calvin College Honors Graduates

Honors Grads '13

 

The entire convocation ceremony was recorded. To view, click here. Prof. Julie Walton's speech,  Jedidiah Bell's speech, and the Convocation program are available online as well. Feel free to click on the links to read the full texts. Congratulations to our graduates and their families! We are proud of you and the work you accomplished! We are praying for God's richest blessings upon you as you embark on your careers. Be sure to keep in touch! 

Laurel Ackerman (Holland, MI) is graduating with honors in business as well as a major in Spanish and a minor in sociology. She spent time in Panama consulting with and teaching local businesses to increase their financial literacy. Laurel also studied abroad in Peru and has been interning at HR Collaborative. Her senior thesis was inspired by the book Reframing Organizations: Artistry, Choice and Leadership, by Bolman and Deal. She analyzed a non-profit organization and provided
valuable instructive analysis. Although Laurel is not certain what she will do after graduating from Calvin College, she is confident that God will direct her next steps. 

Hannah Albers (Hutto, TX) is graduating with honors in chemical engineering. Hannah has written research papers on a variety of topics, including eighteenth-century scientist and theologian Joseph Priestly, the Crusades, and modeling flux in forward osmosis. After graduating from Calvin, she plans to work as a process engineer at ExxonMobil oil refinery in Beaumont, TX.

Ojone Ameadaji (Lagos, Nigeria) is graduating with honors in strategic communication (rhetoric concentration) as well as a minor in business. She participated in an independent study in philosophy and theology in Switzerland. For her senior thesis she conducted in-depth research on African feminist discourse. She presented her findings to the communication arts and sciences faculty in a paper titled “The Afrocentric Struggle,” which linked perceptions of African feminism to post-colonial theory. After graduating from Calvin College, she intends to attend law school to attain a JD.

Stephanie Anderson (Sparta, MI) is graduating with honors in biochemistry as well as a minor in Spanish. Stephanie studied abroad in the Yucatan Peninsula, worked at the Hekman Library, and interned for Susan G. Komen as an education coordinator. She conducted research with Professor Kumar Sinniah analyzing trace metals, using a microwave-induced plasma with optical emission spectrometry. She optimized methods for the routine analysis of trace metals in bovine samples. Her senior thesis was titled “The Science and Ethics of Familial Adenomatous Polyposis.” Stephanie aspires to become a physician assistant.

Jedidiah Bell (Harare, Zimbabwe) is graduating with honors in biochemistry as well as a major in public health. He spent time researching with Professor Larry Louters and Professor Brendan Looyenga on GluT1. Ubiquitous in mammalian cells, this protein is responsible for the passive transport of glucose in and out of cells. A significant focus of his research was confirming the hypothesis that aggregation and the formation of multimers play a large role in activating GluT1. His hope is that this knowledge will lead to some new therapeutic approaches to cancer and diabetes—two diseases in which GluT1 plays a significant role. Upon graduating from Calvin, Jed plans to attend medical school.

Rian Bylsma (Grand Rapids, MI) is graduating with honors in biochemistry as well as a minor in psychology. He had the opportunity to work with a CRISPR/Cas9 system, an exciting new technology drawn from a bacterial, adaptive, immunity response. CRISPR/Cas9 vectors are the sexiest way to make a double strand break since Meiosis I. His lab used it to inactivate genes relating to glucose transport and membrane trafficking in isolated cell lines. After graduating from Calvin College, Rian will be interning to identify the specific field in which he will continue his studies. 

Andrea Bootsma (Kitchener, Ontario) is graduating with honors in chemistry as well as a major in mathematics. A Beckman Scholar, she has worked with Professor Carolyn Anderson researching axial chirality and organic synthesis. She focused on using computational methods to identify a synthetic target and worked to optimize the synthesis of that molecule. After graduating from Calvin, Andrea plans to attend graduate school to
attain a PhD in computational chemistry.

Tom Bouwkamp (Pella, IA) is graduating with honors in economics as well as minors in both Chinese studies and business. He researched anti-poverty programs and collected data to study poverty using regression analysis. He crafted his findings into an economics thesis titled “National Indicators and Poverty: An Economic Analysis.” After graduating from Calvin College, Tom will seek employment in the fields of economics and finance.

Maria Cupery (Istanbul, Turkey) is graduating with honors in linguistics as well as a minor in Spanish. She completed two honors projects in linguistics, one researching the impact of technology on conversation, the other comparing Turkish and American pop songs, which she presented at the PSU Linguistics Conference. In addition, she wrote an honors thesis on metaphor theory in popular songs, which she presented at the Michigan Academy of Sciences, Arts, and Letters. As Maria has been awarded the prestigious Lynn Fellowship, she will attend Purdue University after graduating Calvin to pursue a PhD in linguistics.

Lucas da Silva (São Paulo, Brazil) is graduating with honors in film and media (digital filmmaking emphasis) as well as a major in history and minors in business and French. He wrote a research paper about the effects of superhero films on conceptions of criminality. One of his film screenplays was selected to be read at Calvin’s Media Showcase and was chosen to be produced in communication arts and sciences. After graduating from Calvin, Lucas plans to produce historical documentaries and hopes to contribute to peace between the Middle East and the West. 

Lauren DeHaan (Grandville, MI) is graduating with honors in economics as well as a major in English and a minor in Spanish. She wrote her honors thesis on the consumer price index. Lauren completed her Spanish minor with a semester in Seville, Spain. She has served as Editor in Chief of the Chimes newspaper and as a member of Honors Student Council. Lauren has accepted a position as an analyst with Goldman Sachs. 

Hailey De Jong (Kalamazoo, MI) is graduating with honors in history as well as minors in sociology and film and media studies. She wrote her honors thesis on the topic of Roman Catholics in the Cold War. After graduating from Calvin College, Hailey plans to attend graduate school to pursue a degree in Russian and East European studies. 

Benjamin DeVries (New Lenox, IL) is graduating with honors in English literature as well as a major in English writing and a minor in German. His thesis, titled “My Job is to Take Care of You: A Reading of the Man in McCarthy’s The Road,” is an analysis of the novel’s nameless protagonist, the man, through the lens of psychoanalysis and gender. After graduating from Calvin College, Benjamin will get married and attend graduate school at University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana to earn a PhD in American literature.

Jenna DeVries (Grand Rapids, MI) is graduating with honors in psychology as well as a minor in social work. Her honors work focused on the effects of neighborhood environments on psychology. Following graduation Jenna will spend a year working and volunteering before beginning studies towards an MA in social work.

Jodie DeVries (Holland, MI) is graduating with honors in biology as well as a major in biochemistry. She has conducted research in the fields of chemistry and electrophysiology. In chemistry she focused on peptide metal binding, and in electrophysiology she focused on the effects of UVB light on surface cells of the eye. After graduating from Calvin, Jodie will be attending medical school with an Air Force Scholarship.

Cory Doot (Palos Park, IL) is graduating with honors in integrated science as well as a major in biology. She worked on a project with Professor Crystal Bruxvoort on science education. She wrote an article to be submitted to a teacher practitioner journal. She also traveled to Ecuador, where she experienced God’s creation in the Amazon rainforest and on the Galapagos Islands. Cory would like to express her appreciation to her parents. After graduating from Calvin College, Cory hopes to teach high school-level biology. 

Joshua Ferguson (Naperville, IL) is graduating with honors in history as well as a major in political science and a minor in urban studies. He wrote his thesis on urban renewal projects in Grand Rapids and the way they shaped segregation. After graduation, Joshua will pursue a career in urban community development in the non-profit sector.

Abigail Grace Fincel (Oskaloosa, IA) is graduating with honors in biology as well as minors in public health and biochemistry. She completed a research project titled “Molluscicidal Effects of Turmeric and Carica Papaya on Biomphalaria Glabrata.” She traveled to Jamkhed, India, to participate in a class, Partnering to Improve Health in Rural India. After graduating from Calvin, Abigail will attend the University Of Iowa College Of Dentistry.

Rachel Gabrielse (Allendale, MI) is graduating with honors in organizational communication, as well as a minor in Spanish. She researched the topic of reaching Millennials through imagery and presented her findings to the staff of Christian Reformed Home Missions. After graduation Rachel will continue to grow her small business in photography, as well as seek employment in the non-profit sector.

Serena Hamann (Grants Pass, OR) is graduating with honors in Spanish as well as a major in international relations and a minor in international development. She has had a variety of experiences, including studying abroad in Oviedo, Spain, and serving as a translation intern for Amy’s Kitchen Corporation. In addition, she worked as a Comenius Intern (Refugee Employment Specialist) at Bethany Christian Services and as an intern at Varnum LLP. She also earned the Grand Rapids Sister-City Scholarship for study in Perugia, Italy. After graduating from Calvin, Serena plans to get married, participate in a one-year LLM in international human rights law at the University of Essex, then attend law school.

Andrew Jordan Harris (Manila, Philippines) is graduating with honors in business as well as a minor in philosophy. He completed research on the economic forecast of the Philippines and compiled his results in a paper titled “The Philippines: Asia’s Bright Spot?” He also conducted a study analyzing trends and preferences in relation to Calvin Dining Services. He submitted the paper that described his analysis, “The Ethics of Indifference,” to the Elie Wiesel Prize in Ethics Competition. For his senior thesis he served as a student representative on Calvin’s re-branding team. After graduating from Calvin College, Andrew will work with start-up companies, specializing in the technology industry.

Alden Hartopo (Jakarta, Indonesia) is graduating with honors in economics as well as a major in international relations. He has completed several honors projects focused on the Indonesian economy. In an independent study he completed a research paper titled, “The Emerging Russian Financial Crisis.” In his honors thesis he examined the political and economic effects of the ASEAN Economic Community on Indonesia. He spent a summer as an analyst at Goldman Sachs. After graduating from Calvin, Alden will search for a career opportunity in consulting, think tanks, or financial services.

Matthew Haveman (Bloomington, MN) is graduating with honors in chemistry (ACS Certified) as well as a minor in mathematics. He has been examining the theoretical limits of SIVVU™ to identify unique chemical species in solution using artificial data sets. He presented the outcomes of his research to the Chemistry and Biochemistry Department. After graduation Matthew plans to earn a PhD in materials chemistry.

Taylor R. Hegg (New Era, MI) is graduating with honors in biochemistry (ACS Certified.) She completed research in the lab of Professor David Benson on the fluorescence detection of tyrosine-cysteine crosslinks. She gave presentations of this research at the Midwest Enzyme Chemistry Conference and the West Michigan Undergraduate Research Conference. In addition, she participated in an eye care trip to Mexico where she worked with other students to set up eye care
clinics throughout Tijuana and San Quintin, Mexico. She also presented a departmental seminar on methods of making organic chemistry accessible to the visually impaired student. After graduating from Calvin,
Taylor plans to attend medical school.

Paulina Heule (Ada, MI) is graduating with honors in English literature as well as a major in international relations and a minor in business. She wrote her honors thesis on the concept of identity as relative in the contemporary British novelist Zadie Smith’s works NW and White Teeth. In addition, Paulina studied abroad in Honduras and South Africa, focusing on transitional justice studies and conflict resolution. After graduating from Calvin College, Paulina will complete an internship at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York City and then attend law school.

Jonathan Hielkema (Nepean, ON) is graduating with honors in history as well as a minor in Japanese. He researched an American diplomat who served as a treasurer-general to the government in Iran in 1911 and compiled his findings in his senior thesis. After graduating, Jonathan will attend graduate school to pursue a PhD in history.

Brittany Hollemans (Hudsonville, MI) is graduating with honors in biology as well as minors in biochemistry and public health. She studied the behavior and trail following of adult and juvenile Biomphalaria glabrata snails and reported her findings to her biology research class. Upon graduating, Brittany will attend Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine to become a Doctor of Osteopathy.

Allan S. Jensen (Urumqi, China) is graduating with honors in business as well as a major in economics and a minor in Chinese. He created a marketing plan for an exterior painting business and then followed this by actually opening his own painting business. For his senior thesis he developed a business model directed at serving restaurants by helping them to optimize the usefulness of their data. After graduating from Calvin College, Allan plans to return to China to do quantitative analysis of the Chinese bean industry while studying the Chinese language to become more fluent.

 

Andrew Jo (Grand Rapids, MI) is graduating with honors in electrical and computer engineering as well as a minor in computer science. He worked with Professor Yoon Kim on an LED-based solar simulation device. This device is being designed to more accurately and controllably test solar panel performance. The researchers faced three main challenges: heat dissipation rates, light spectrum accuracy, and three-dimensional light uniformity. After graduating from Calvin, Andrew will work in Grand Rapids at GE Aviation in their Edison Engineering Development Program.

Jee Myung Kim (Seoul, South Korea) is graduating with honors in mechanical engineering as well as a minor in mathematics. His research focused on investigating the efficiency of a de-burring tool patented by Konkuk University, South Korea. He designed a lab experience for future students to reinforce and test the concepts involved in heat treating of metals. Jee Myung will attend graduate school after graduating from Calvin College.

Grace J. Kim (Korea and San Francisco de Macoris, Dominican Republic) is graduating with honors in Spanish, linguistics, and interdisciplinary majors as well as a minor in youth ministry. She completed linguistics research and presented her findings in a paper titled “Discourse Analysis on Code-Switching among Trilinguals” and completed an honors Spanish research paper titled “Spanglish, the Reflection of the Identity of Hispanic Immigrants in the US: What Teachers Should Know.” She presented it at the North American Christian Foreign Language Association (NACFLA). After graduating from Calvin, Grace will pursue a graduate degree in educational linguistics.

Jessica Koranda (Crete, IL) is graduating with honors in Spanish as well as a major in English. She spent a semester studying Spanish in Spain. She also researched and indexed nineteenth-century, Afro-Argentinian newspapers with Professor Edward Miller. For her thesis she conducted an in-depth study of the short stories in Isabel Allende’s collection Cuentos de Eva Luna. After graduating from Calvin College, Jessica will get married, seek a job at a non-profit organization, and possibly attend graduate school.

Anna Claire Lambers (Tampa, FL) is graduating with honors in elementary education as well as a major in language arts. She has completed research in various areas relating to education, language arts, and culturally relevant pedagogy. She’s researched American Indian children’s literature and Navajo culture to prepare for teaching in Rehoboth, New Mexico. Anna Claire plans to seek a teaching position in Florida after she graduates from Calvin College.

James Lamine (Dexter, MI) is graduating with honors in computer science. He holds the distinction of earning his bachelor’s degree in three years. As a research assistant in the Physics Department, he developed an artificial life simulator. He served as a software development intern at SalesPad and at Faithlife. He developed calvinwebprint.com—an alternate interface to Calvin’s printing system that is used by several hundred students. In addition, he traveled to nine cities in Germany, studying German culture and language. For his senior project he developed a system for the Phage Hunters biology course at Calvin. The system facilitates the analysis of the similarities between bacteriophage genomes. James has accepted a position as a software engineer at Indeed in Austin, TX.

Monica Langeland (Grand Rapids, MI) is graduating with honors in biology as well as minors in chemistry and environmental studies. She participated in three years of research assessing the impacts of pollutants on gulls and terns around the Great Lakes. Through field tests and laboratory analyses, she concluded that the birds’ immune function and reproductive success were impaired due to the chemical contaminants in the ecosystem. These data fit into a larger study that has been monitoring contaminants in the Great Lakes for many years. After graduating from Calvin College, Monica will pursue a career that combines her interest in the fields of biology and environment.

Sydney Lee (Elmhurst, IL) is graduating with honors in international relations as well as a major in Chinese and a minor in gender studies. She spent an interim in Vietnam and Cambodia where she was inspired to utilize interviews and site visits to create an honors project focused on the political and historical relationships that influenced and escalated conflicts in the region. Upon her return she remained intrigued and continued studying the many complexities. Her senior thesis, inspired by Vietnamese and Chinese relationships in the South China Sea, examines the abilities of international institutions to constrain state behavior. Prior to graduation, Sydney will complete an internship with the Department of State and plans to use this experience to pursue post-graduation employment opportunities in the field of Asian politics before attending graduate school. 

Zion Lee (Toronto, ON) is graduating with honors in engineering (chemical concentration) as well as a major in biochemistry. He completed two honors presentations. The first was “Entropy in the Tumor,” a literature review on biothermodynamics and applications. He presented his second, “Production of Helix Pomatia Agglutinin for Pancreatic Cancer Biomarker Detection,” in chemistry seminar. After graduating from Calvin, Zion plans to attend graduate school to study chemical engineering.

Abigail Leistra (Rochester, NY) is graduating with honors in biochemistry as well as a major in chemical engineering. She worked with Professor Kumar Sinniah to research riboflavin-receptor targeting nanoparticles for drug delivery and G-Quadruplex and insulin interactions to gain a better understanding of diabetes and cancer. After graduating from Calvin College, Abigail plans to attend graduate school to obtain a PhD in biochemical engineering.

Monica Limback (Grand Rapids, MI) is graduating with honors in electrical engineering. Growing up in a military family, Monica moved frequently and had opportunities to travel and study overseas. In her pursuit of a career in the military, she has worked to incorporate both engineering and the Army into her honors work by focusing on topics with defense application. Serving in ROTC she traveled to Romania to teach English to Romanian army paratroopers. After graduating from Calvin, Monica will serve in the U.S. Army as an active duty Signal Corps Officer.

Kyle Luck (Sturgis, MI) is graduating with honors in philosophy. He completed “Performance Theology” with Professor James K.A. Smith as well as “Just War, Nigel Biggar, and Pacifism in Oxford.” Kyle plans to attend graduate school after graduation to pursue a PhD in theology and philosophy.

Brianna Marshall (Fairfield, CA) is graduating with honors in geology. For her honors remote sensing class, she wrote a paper on remote sensing applications in Volcanic Hazard Evaluation. She wrote her honors thesis on pyroclastic flows in the Kamchatka Peninsula. Brianna would like to work in the fields of geology and geography for a year before attending graduate school to study natural disaster management.

Marlena Maria May (Naperville, IL) is graduating with honors in Spanish and business (marketing). She completed an honors project at the Kingdom Business Program in Nicaragua. She led small discussion groups, planned large events, obtained success stories, and more. She mentored businessmen and women to discover how the business program has changed their thought processes and has given them stronger missions and visions for the future. She wrote her senior thesis on the importance of empowering small entrepreneurs in Nicaragua using programs such as the Kingdom Business Program to stimulate the Nicaraguan economy out of its current state of poverty (on a micro-level). After graduating from Calvin, Marlena hopes to continue empowering entrepreneurs by teaching them valuable business skills from a Christian perspective, at the Kingdom Business Program or a similar organization.

Lauren Merz (Spring Lake, MI) is graduating with honors in kinesiology as well as a major in Spanish. She completed research in the lab of Dr. Dan Michele at the University of Michigan on cardiac hypertrophy in patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy. She also conducted an independent research project on the relationship between knee angles after a drop jump as well as quadricep dominance in female college athletes. This project gives insight into the causes of neuromuscular deficiencies that can lead to lower limb injuries in elite athletes. After graduation Lauren plans to attend the University of Michigan Medical School.

Okkar Myint (Taungoo, Myanmar) is graduating with honors in electrical and computer engineering as well as a minor in computer science. In his honors research he improved the circuit design of a maximum power point tracking (MPPT) controller and designed a printed circuit board (PCB) for it. He presented his research work in the Engineering seminar. After graduating from Calvin, Okkar plans to pursue a PhD in either power electronics or embedded systems.

Tran Nguyen (Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam) is graduating with honors in biology as well as a minor in biochemistry. She worked on an HIV research project with Professor Anding Shen and presented her project, “Investigation of the Role of Endothelial Cells in Infection of Resting CD4+ T-cells,” at the Annual Autumn Immunology Conference in Chicago. The project’s purpose was to uncover insights into how HIV extends its infection in the body. She hopes that this research will contribute to a greater understanding of mechanisms of HIV and to potential treatments in the future. Tina plans to attend medical school after graduating from Calvin College.

Ye In Oh (Chiang Mai, Thailand) is graduating with honors in psychology as well as minors in biology and English as a foreign language (non-education). She completed summer research in the biology department and co-authored a research paper with a neuropsychologist at Mary Free Bed Hospital. The paper, titled “Self and Informant Ratings of Executive Functioning after Mild Traumatic Brain Injury,” was published in the Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation. She won the inaugural Honors Contract Competition for her outstanding work in a contracted honors class with a project titled “Interhemispheric and Gender Difference in ERP Synchronicity of Processing Humor.” After graduating from Calvin, Ye In plans to attend a graduate program to study clinical neuropsychology.

Carrie Ott (Meadville, PA) is graduating with honors in linguistics and Japanese. Her honors thesis was an inter-departmental project titled “The Ownership of Abstraction: A Linguistic Analysis of English and Japanese.” This paper examining the role of abstract nouns in verbal noun constructs in the two languages was the first of its kind in researching this issue. After graduating from Calvin College, Carrie plans to attend Aston University to pursue an MA in forensic linguistics. She hopes to bring the emerging field of forensic linguistics into foreign languages such as Japanese.

Daniel Paulson (Plymouth, MI) is graduating with honors in history as well as a major in business (finance concentration). He has researched and written his senior thesis on the philosophical foundations of twentieth-century American fundamentalism, with a particular focus on the “King James Only” movement. After graduating from Calvin, Daniel plans to attend law school and pursue a career as an attorney.

Jenai Quan (Singapore, Singapore) is graduating with honors in biology as well as minors in biochemistry and French. She researched and presented the mechanisms and prospects of microbial fuel cells. She also wrote a paper titled “The Textual Authority of Imperial China.” She completed research at Wayne State University studying the variability of metals in Detroit urban gardens. Jenai will spend some time as a research assistant before pursuing a doctorate degree. She may eventually teach as well.

Julianne Schram (Elmhurst, IL) is graduating with honors in business as well as a minor in German. For her honors thesis she created a business plan for a hypothetical hard cider company. Her curiosity about the process of creating a successful business led to hours of research and planning, much like what actual businesses go through. By the end of her research, Julianne had drafted a plan to create an industrially viable and financially thriving hard cider company. Julianne finished her studies at Calvin in December, and she is currently a member of the Management Training Program for Innovative Client Connections.

John Sherwood (Hoffman Estates, IL) is graduating with honors in engineering. He gave a presentation to his Intermediate Thermal/Fluids Sciences class about the state of energy generation systems in the United States. This included examining current and projected energy supplies, along with current barriers for renewable energy. He also wrote a paper that explored the theological implications of the second law of thermodynamics, which hinges on the concept of entropy generation. After graduating from Calvin, John plans to attend graduate school to study energy resource engineering.

Soeyeon Shin (Daegu, South Korea & Dushanbe, Tajikistan) is graduating with honors in biology. She organized and conducted honors research in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, under Dr. Brian Zerbe’s supervision. Using the World Health Organization Quality of Life (WHOQOL) survey, the research examined the quality of life difference between normal and low vision groups in Tajikistan. She presented her results at a Calvin biology seminar and at the poster fair. After graduation Soeyeon plans to attend medical school.

Nathan Slauer (Grand Rapids, MI) is graduating with honors in history as well as a major in secondary education. He presented his honors thesis, “John Dewey and Republicanism,” to the History Department. He chose to research the connection between Dewey’s educational philosophy and the republican theology of early Americans. After graduating from Calvin, Nathan plans to seek a career opportunity in Grand Rapids in the non-profit sector or in education.

Alicia Smit (Dyer, IN) is graduating with honors in political science as well as a major in philosophy. As a McGregor Research fellow, she studied Hillary Rodham Clinton’s Methodist background and how it influenced her career in politics. Alicia’s honors thesis explored the rationale and decision-making process for initiating international conflict. In addition, she wrote a paper comparing the geopolitics of the Israeli-Palestinian water conflict to cases of water conflicts among countries in Africa. She also wrote a paper for the Philosophy of Gender course on shaving as a social norm titled, “From No Shave November to No Shame December.” She studied abroad in Kenya, Israel, and Palestine and served as an intern at the Department of Justice in the Office of International Affairs. After graduating from Calvin College, Alicia will pursue a Master’s Degree in security studies at Georgetown University.

Wendy Tabler (Milwaukee, WI) is graduating with honors in civil and environmental engineering. She completed an honors research paper outlining and analyzing Michigan’s transportation funding crisis and gave an honors presentation on the water problem in Waukesha, WI, where, less than 20 miles from Lake Michigan, they are running out of clean water. Wendy has traveled extensively, including a semester in the Netherlands, interim trips to Kenya and Ecuador, and a trip to Peru to study and practice civil engineering. After graduating from Calvin, Wendy will attend graduate school to pursue an MS in civil engineering with a structural engineering emphasis.

Josiah Valk (Paw Paw, MI) is graduating with honors in biochemistry. He studied “Evolutionary Transition from Limb to Tail Dominated Swimming of Early Cetaceans” under Professor Ryan Bebej and presented his findings in biology seminar. After graduating from Calvin College, Josiah will matriculate at Michigan State College of Osteopathic Medicine.

Kelsey Veldkamp (Holland, MI) is graduating with honors in biology and chemistry as well as a minor in Spanish. She has participated in research at Calvin in both the biology and chemistry departments. These projects included the study of viruses present in snail guts in a virology lab as well as the study of interactions between peptides and various metals in a bio-organic chemistry lab. She also had an internship in a biochemistry lab at Van Andel Research Institute studying a protein that helps maintain stable glucose levels within a cell. After graduating from Calvin, Kelsey plans to attend the University of Wisconsin-Madison in pursuit of a PhD in microbiology.

Kara Venema (Hudsonville, MI) is graduating with honors in strategic communication (professional track) as well as a minor in biology. For her honors project, she analyzed Dale Carnegie’s book How to Win Friends and Influence People. She studied Carnegie’s childhood and life experiences to better understand the role these played in influencing the book’s content. In addition, she examined the effectiveness of Carnegie’s persuasive techniques and the techniques advocated in the book. After graduating from Calvin College, Kara plans to seek a career opportunity in the communications field, hopefully at a public relations firm.

Carolyn Vos (Comstock Park, MI) is graduating with honors in psychology as well as a major in linguistics. She authored a paper titled “Development of the Character Trait of Humility.” She completed research as a McGregor Undergraduate Research Fellow. In addition, she traveled to Europe for an interim course in the Psychology Department and worked in Colorado. She hopes to eventually return to the mountains permanently, but after graduation Carolyn plans to attend graduate school.

Lusi Wang (Chongqing, China) is graduating with honors in philosophy. She wrote her philosophy honors thesis on Søren Kierke-gaard. She also completed an honors geography project on the Opium Wars, which tied to an honors project in economics on trade during the Opium Wars and the religious revolt in South China during that time period. Her career interest is urban planning and design. After graduating from Calvin College, Lusi will complete an internship at Priestman Architects in Chongqing and then attend the University of British Columbia to pursue a professional degree in architecture.

Erin Ward (Caledonia, MI) is graduating with honors in biology as well as a minor in biochemistry. Her senior thesis was titled “The Science and Ethics of Ectopic Pregnancies.” She also helped start and served as president of the Pre-Physician Assistant Club. After graduating from Calvin, Erin plans to attend the physician assistant program at Grand Valley State University.

Jeremy Ward (Edgerton, MN) is graduating with honors in engineering (electrical/computer) as well as a minor in computer science. Jeremy has accepted a position with Twistthink in Holland, MI.

Luke Wiers (Willard, OH) is graduating with honors in environmental science. He researched several environmental issues, including the possible effects of GMO’s on the ecosystem and on human health. He also made policy suggestions to mitigate any possible effect of hydraulic fracturing in the state of Ohio. He studied and mapped the relationship between people and their fresh food supply in the state of Michigan. In addition, he researched the social and cultural forces that shaped Julio-Claudian sculpture. After graduating from Calvin College, Luke plans to attend medical school.

Chad Westra (Dearborn, MI) is graduating with honors in history as well as well as a major in Chinese. He conducted extensive readings in Chinese history in order to create his senior thesis titled “Chinese Language Education in the United States Post WWII.” After graduating from Calvin College, Chad plans to seek employment in China where he can continue his study of Mandarin.