The Voice: Summer 2002

The Voice

Alumni Scholarship winners

Each year the alumni board awards three alumni scholarships to students in their junior year at Dordt. Applicants are asked to write an essay that describes their personal background, their experiences at Dordt and how they have been affected by them, and their personal and career goals. The alumni board then interviews selected applicants to make the final decision on awards.

This year’s recipients are Kraig Bleeker, Michelle Contant, and Beth Vander Ziel.

Kraig Bleeker, from Sioux Center, is majoring in theology and minoring in missions and evangelism. Following graduation next year, he hopes to work with a local church or para-church organization in an inner city ministry that reaches out to a broad range of people. Bleeker says he is open to church planting or other urban ministry and is content to see where God leads him next year.

Bleeker is particularly grateful for the opportunity he’s had to study with people from different places who have come to Dordt. He believes that diversity in the body of Christ is something to cherish and learn from. He’s grateful that Dordt encourages such diversity and hopes to expand his horizons much more in the years ahead.

Michelle Contant is preparing herself for a career with at-risk young people in an outdoor, physically-challenging recreational setting. She is majoring in social work and HPER (health, physical education, and recreation) and pictures herself working with groups of kids, teaching them about themselves, others, and the world around them.

One of the highlights of her Dordt experience has been her semester in the Netherlands.

“Learning about another culture while living in it has given me more of an appreciation for my heritage, while also expanding my view of the world. It has provided the opportunity to see North America from another perspective,” she says. She’s thankful for good friends, Shamar canoe trips, worshipping with peers, practical classes, and the way they have all contributed to her education.

Beth Vander Ziel will also leave Dordt with a double major, in accounting and computer science. Following graduation she hopes to attend graduate school to earn either an MBA or Ph.D. in a business-related field. She also plans to sit for the CPA exam and would like to work in a public accounting firm for a few years.

Beth says she’s appreciated the variety in her Dordt education and “the way Dordt asks us to weave it all together.”

“I love the interaction with people, the late night discussions, the challenging class work, the stress-releasing study breaks, plays, and concerts,” she says. “Dordt presents us with options and then lets us play in them, teaching us to enjoy our lives for what they are—a colorful praise collage to the Lord.”