The Voice: Spring 2002

The Voice

Faculty News

The professional involvements of Dordt faculty members outside the classroom reveal Dordt’s commitment to provide educational leadership in the Christian community as well as among its own students.

By sharing these activities, we hope to provide fellow Christians with further resources, ideas, and encouragement as they work to be of service in Christ’s kingdom.

On March 16, Dr. Tony Jelsma, assistant professor of biology, spoke at Northwestern College in Orange City, Iowa, on nerve regeneration. The presentation was part of a “Brain Awareness Day” at Northwestern.

Dr. John Visser, professor of business, was a visiting scholar at the Harbin Institute of Technology in Harbin, China, over spring break. The Harbin Institute of Technology is the tenth ranked university in China. Visser led six sessions on economic development.

Dr. Calvin Jongsma, professor of mathematics, was a panel member for a ninety-minute session titled “Mathematics in a Postmodern Age” at the annual joint meetings of the American Mathematical Society and the Mathematical Association of America held in San Diego on January 8. The other three panelists were from other Christian colleges (Calvin, Trinity, Westmont); all of the panelists are also members of the Association of Christians in the Mathematical Sciences. The session was a spin-off from the book Mathematics in a Postmodern Age: A Christian Perspective, to which all four presenters had contributed chapters.

Dr. Paul Otto, associate professor of history, gave a presentation, “Europeans and Native Americans on the Frontier: Towards a New Understanding of Culture and Cultural Change,” at the meeting of the American Historical Association held in San Francisco on January 5, 2002. Otto also spoke on “Teaching History as Creational Development: Constructing a History Curriculum in Light of a Reformed Perspective,” at a Covenant College History Department Symposium on April 5.

Dr. James Schaap, professor of English, visited Christian high schools in Sioux Falls, South Dakota; Pease, Minnesota; and Ontario, California. He spoke to students about writing and read from his work. He is presently judging a state-wide competition in Wisconsin to select the best novel by a Wisconsin writer.

Schaap contributed a chapter on the Christian writer and realism titled “When a Spider is Only a Spider” to The Christian Imagination, Leland Ryken, Ed., Shaw Books, 2002. In addition, his currently in-progress novel Things Hoped For, Things Not Seen is being serialized over the next two years in The Banner and is available online as the chapters are published at www.thebanner.org.

“That Morning, on the Prairie,” an essay on the September terrorist attacks that appeared in the Des Moines Register in January, was reprinted in Image and was selected for a state-wide exhibition of the various arts titled “Beyond 9-11: The Art of Renewal” in Iowa. The exhibition features 105 entries from fifty-seven artists, musicians, and writers.

Education Professors Pam Adams and Jenny Van Ry attended The Learning Disabilities Association of America Conference from February 13-16 in Denver, Colorado. Adams and Van Ry received stipends of $1000 and waived registration expenses because they represent both regular education and special education and so have an interest in making sure that all students are aware of the special needs of students with learning disabilities. They were one of nine teams of college professors awarded the stipend based on a proposal they wrote.

Mary Lou Wielenga, adjunct keyboard instructor, performed on Dordt’s Casavant organ for the Northwest Iowa Choral Association High School Honors Festival concert held on campus on February 4. She has served as guest organist for the honors choir since 1994.

David Versluis, assistant professor of art, recently had his color photograph, “Kalkaska” accepted for publication in the 2002 spring issue of the Briar Cliff Review, a fine arts publication affiliated with Briar Cliff University in Sioux City, Iowa.

On February 14 and 15, Dr. John Van Dyk, director of the Center for Educational Services, conducted a two-day retreat for the board and staff of Manhattan Christian Schools in Manhattan, Montana. The topic was: Celebrating the gifts and meeting the needs of all of our students.

Dr. John Kok, professor of philosophy and dean of the humanities, was one of two main presenters at the 1st annual H.E. Runner Consultation in Philosophy held at the Institute for Christian Studies in Toronto on February 15.

Kok also presented a poster titled “Responsible Ecology: Knowing the mind of God when it comes to environmental ethics” at the Ecology, Theology, and Judeo-Christian Environmental Ethics conference at University of Notre Dame from February 21-24, 2002. The graphic work on the three-by-eight-foot poster was done by sophomore Reuben Vander Kwaak.

Social Work Professor Jim Vanderwoerd’s paper “Is the Newer Deal a Better Deal? Government Funding of Faith-Based Social Services” appeared in the Winter 2002 issue of Christian Scholar's Review.

“Jocund Day,” a poem by Dr. Mike Vanden Bosch, professor emeritus of English—and current adjunct, will appear in the spring issue of the Briar Cliff Review. Three of his poems will also be printed in a handbook for Chinese teachers used by the English Language Institute China (ELIC).