The Voice: Summer 2003

The Voice

Faculty News

Write for Business: The Compact Edition came off the presses on May 4. English professor Dr. John Van Rys co-authored the 300-page book with Dr. Verne Meyer and Pat Sebranek. It is designed for busy business professionals who need to know how to write strong correspondence, reports, proposals, and presentations.

The book has an interesting Dordt connection. Van Rys and Meyer gathered many of the models in the book from Dordt alumni: business graduates, engineers, and others. Van Rys says that some of the pieces were written by former students in his Business and Technical Writing class.

Dr. Paul Fessler spoke at the fall Christian Educator’s Association in South Bend, Indiana, on “Operation Wilderness: Social Studies Simulations and on Mining the Past: How to Use Primary Sources.” He also presented “Bilingual Education, Ethnicity and Class: German-Bohemians in New Ulm, Minnesota, 1890-1920” at the Social Science History Association Conference in St. Louis, Missouri.

Dr. Dennis Vander Plaats, education professor, gave the keynote address at the Wisconsin Christian Teachers Spring Convention in Racine on March 7.
Titled “Let Your Light Shine,” building on the conference theme “The Christian School:
A Beacon in the Darkness.” He also led a sectional called “Junior High vs. Middle School” which dealt with the essential differences in educational philosophy and structure between the two.

An etching titled “Our Backyard Trees” by Professor David Versluis of the art department received second prize at the annual Nobles County area regional art exhibition. The work was exhibited during April 2003 at the Nobles County Arts Center in Worthington, Minnesota.

Dr. John Zwart, professor of physics, gave a presentation at the Iowa Academy of Science 115th Annual Meeting on April 25-26, 2003, in Des Moines. His talk was titled “Between Copernicus and Galileo” and discussed factors (including religious arguments and aesthetic appeal) influencing the reception of Copernicus’s heliocentric theory of the heavens before Galileo’s work.

On April 5, Dr. James Mahaffy took six biology students to an undergraduate research conference at Grinnell College. Three of them presented posters based on research they had done over the semester.

Dr. James C. Schaap recently spoke at Christian school fund-raisers in Lethbridge, Alberta, and Kanawha, Iowa.

His essay “A White Man Goes to Wounded Knee” was included in Best Christian Writing of 2002. It was originally published in August, 2002 in Books and Culture, subsequently in Pro Rege. Schaap also recently received a copy of an English edition of Things We Couldn't Say, the war memories of Diet Eman. The book has been published in Germany, the Netherlands, Finland (in translation), and now England, in addition to the Eerdmans publication (North American) of 1995.

Several Dordt College faculty members contributed to the 2003 publication Biblical Holism and Agriculture: Cultivating Our Roots (William Carey Library, Pasadena, CA) ISBN 0-87808-355-3. Dr. Ron Vos of the agriculture department, along with David Evans and Keith Wright, were the editors. Dr. Wayne Kobes, “Reclaiming a Biblical Vision for Agriculture,” Vos, “Social Principles for ‘Good’ Agriculture,” Dr. Robert DeHaan, “Production Principles for ‘Good’ Agriculture,” Dr. John Kok, “Affinity, Dominion, and the Poverty of Our Day,” and Dordt alumnus Greg DeHaan, “Redeeming Agriculture and Economics through Worldview Transformation,” all contributed a chapter to this volume, which evolved from a conference under the same title sponsored in May 2002 by Dordt College and Food for the Hungry International.

Theatre Arts Professor Simon du Toit will spend the next three years studying for a Ph.D. at the University of Maryland in College Park. His research will study the impact of religious views of the body, emotion, and sin on the acting process.

Costume Designer Esther Van Eek also will be leaving to study for an MFA in Costume Design at UMCP. She will be working with Helen Huang, one of the leading costume designers in American theater.

Dr. John Van Dyk, director of the Center for Educational Services, spent March 21 through 24 speaking and leading workshops at an ACSI-sponsored Christian teachers’ conference in Lvov, Ukraine. Lvov is a city in western Ukraine. About 300 teachers attended. On March 27-29, he spoke and led workshops at an ACSI-sponsored Christian teachers’ conference in Vladimir, Russia. Vladimir is about 100 miles east of Moscow. About 175 teachers attended. In all, he gave thirteen presentations at these conferences.