Dordt College News

Virtual tour by Dordt professor and alumni is Webby Honoree

April 18, 2011

“Mumbai is considered the richest city in India. Many global companies have offices in Mumbai, and it is the heart of India's financial industry. Also, Bollywood, the world's largest film industry, is centered in Mumbai. Yet at least half of Mumbai’s 14 million people live in slums,” says Chris Michael, the host and tour guide of My Passport to India.

Most Americans can’t truly understand what it is to live in a slum. My Passport to India web series is designed to help people understand what God is doing in India. “Each episode shows a different aspect of life in India, and helps viewers understand that, indeed, God is at work in fantastic ways in India,” said Mark Volkers, digital media production instructor. The tour guide takes visitors to adult literacy classes, plays cricket with the children, shops in the local markets, and visits a Hindu temple.

This unique tour was created through the collaborative effort of Volkers and Dordt graduates Dale Vande Griend, Paul Ten Haken of Click Rain, and Josh Visser of Mission India.

Their efforts were recently rewarded when My Passport to India was named a Webby Honoree by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences. “It’s pretty big news as Webby’s are very difficult to get,” said Volkers. My Passport to India had earlier received a 2010 Davey Award.

The Webby honor puts Dordt’s production team in the company of past Webby Award winners:, Twitter, iTunes, Google, The New York Times, PBS, and more.

The project combined a variety of unique talents. Mission India coordinated planning and production, Volkers and Vande Griend filmed the experience, Ten Haken created a web structure for smooth and easy access to the videos and the program, and Prairie Grass Productions began editing the content and produced the webisodes within eight weeks. Prairie Grass Productions is Dordt College’s production company. Volkers believes that opportunities such as this help set Dordt’s digital media program apart.

“Not only are Dordt students doing professional work while they are students, they’re making a difference in the world. In some other college programs, students hardly pick up a camera until graduate school,” said Volkers. To learn more about Dordt digital media production, go to

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