2003

The Voice: Summer 2003

The Voice

Where are they now? Alumni scholarship recipients over the years


Neil Culbertson, and his wife, Janie Lou, are missionaries in Guam.

Clarence Witten attended Calvin Seminary and then worked with the Seafarers Mission in Montreal, before becoming a pastor in Shubenacadi, Nova Scotia, for fifteen years. He is currently pastor at Dixon’s Corners Community Christian Reformed Church. He and his wife, Theresa, and children, Bonnie (8) and Colson (6) live in Morrisburg, Ontario.

Dan Zinkand is the agronomy/biotechnology editor for Iowa Farmer Today newspaper. Dan received his master's in journalism from the University of Iowa in 1990. In 2002, he received the Master Writer Award from the American Agricultural Editors’ Association and won first place in features in the North American Agricultural Journalists' writing contest. He was also one of ten journalists world-wide selected for a globalization fellowship at the University of Maryland. He is the vice-chairman of the food policy committee for HACAP Food Reservoir, which serves seven counties in East Central Iowa.

Ida Kaastra Mutoigo worked for CRWRC in Uganda for nine years, as a planning and development advisor and then as the Uganda field director. She moved to Canada, where she earned her master’s degree from McGill University. Ida, her husband, James, and her three children, Violet, Bryant, and Angela, have recently moved back to Africa, where Ida is CRWRC’s Ministry Team Leader for East and Southern Africa.

Gregg Vande Kieft completed medical school at the University of Iowa and his residency in Phoenix, Arizona. He taught at Michigan State University, where he also pursued an interdisciplinary master’s degree in health and the humanities, focusing on medical ethics. He currently works at Providence St. Peter, a teaching hospital in Washington. Gregg and his wife, Lynette, have three children: Luke, Emily, and Joel.

Lynn De Kruyf Otto recently moved to Newberg, Oregon, where her main job is homeschooling her four children ages 6 to 15. Lynn and her husband, Paul, who teaches at George Fox University, host Reformed Campus Fellowship, inviting college students into their home for dinner and discussion twice a month. In the past few years Lynn has helped lead workshops on marriage and taught homeschool cooperative acting classes.

Brian Kruis taught in Zuni, New Mexico, for eleven years, during which he obtained his master’s degree in administration. In 1996, he moved to Cary, Mississippi, to work at the Cary Christian Center. Since 2000, Brian has been teaching high school at Rehoboth, New Mexico. He lives there with his wife, Sheila, and his children, Amber (5), Elizabeth (4), and Josiah (2).

Brian Fikkert earned a Ph.D. in economics from Yale University, specializing in international economics and economic development. Upon graduation, he taught economics at the University of Maryland. Four years later, he accepted a similar position at Covenant College, where he now works. Brian and his wife, Jill, have three children, Jessica (9), Joshua (7), and Anna (3).

Randy Meyer received a master’s degree in animal physiology at the University of Minnesota. After a year at NOBL Labs in Sioux Center, Randy returned for a Ph.D. in the same area. He currently works at Sioux Biochemical and lives in Sioux Center with his wife, Marsha, and his daughter, Emily (2).

Eve Spykman Clayton taught with the English Language Institute in China for two years, then returned to Michigan. A year later she married Pete Clayton, a fellow teacher, and moved to Kentucky. For the past nine years, she has worked as a writer, editor, and project manager with a small communications firm called The Wordsmiths in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Eve and Pete have two children, Eli (3) and Audrey (1).

Ngoc Tran Le is a pharmacist in Los Angeles. She is married to Rev. Matthew Le.

Gailen Veurink worked at Citibank in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, for nine years. In 1999, he accepted a position as senior vice president at US Bank in Savage, Minnesota. He and his wife Stephanie have three children, Erika (7), Grant (4), and Sarah (1).

Paul Arkema worked at Wedgewood Acres, a juvenile facility, while attending Calvin Seminary. In 1992, he married Betsy Van Gunst and began to work for Country Dairy. He and his wife live in New Era, Michigan, with Riley (6) and Sawyer (1).

Long Ho is an engineer in Orange County, California.

Leanne Meadows moved to St. Louis, Missouri, where she received her master’s degree in social work from Washington University. She worked for Great Rivers Mental Health Services, doing outreach work to families affected by the floods of 1993. Since 1994, Leanne has been working as a school social worker for Central Junior High School in Belleville, Illinois.

Arlene Nydam Heynen attended California State University in Fresno, receiving her master’s degree in social work in 1995. Until 1999 she worked as a clinical therapist at Lutheran Social Services. Presently, Arlene is working as a clinical therapist at Bethesda Christian Counseling Services in Orange City. She and her husband, Dave, have a daughter named Emilee (8 mos).

Jennifer Van Weelden Baham teaches at San Jose Christian School in San Jose, California. She taught in the school’s small music program, which has since grown into a full-time position with more than 80 students in the band. Jennifer was recently married to Jeff Baham..

Lori Klein Huisken taught for eight years at Brandon Valley High School in South Dakota, serving as head volleyball coach there. She received her master’s in education and now teaches education and serves as head volleyball coach at the University of Sioux Falls. She and her husband, Chris, have a son, Gabriel.

Kirk Vander Pol worked at Roseland Christian Ministries in Chicago, Illinois, for three years and then as a foreman for Hills Property Development. In February,, Kirk, who is married to Christina, left his job to care for Noah, their first child.

Kerry Bussema Oolman taught at Ripon Christian School until 2000. She is married to Scott and now stays home to care for Sean (4) and Carissa (2).

Neisha Vos Horn worked for two years in the resource room at St. Mary’s in Martensdale, Iowa. She and her husband, James, now live in Sully, Iowa, with Jarret (6), Elizabeth (4), and Justin (2 mos).

Mitch Menning taught for one year at Timothy Christian School in Chicago while his wife, Kara, finished her nursing degree at Trinity College. He then taught high school math for three years at Christ Presbyterian Academy in Nashville, Tennessee. Mitch lives in Salt Lake City, Utah, where he works with an accounting firm and plans to start an MBA program at the University of Utah. He and Kara have a child named Isaiah (1).

Kevin Vos has been teaching second grade at Calvin Christian School in Escondido, California, since he graduated. He married Anna in 1997, and they are expecting a child in September.

Ryan Groen and his wife, Erin, work at Pan American Christian Academy (PACA) in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Ryan has been the elementary and middle school principal for three years. They await the birth of their first child in July.

Kristen Cnossen Nichols teaches English at Valley Christian Middle School in Cerritos, California. She earned an MFA in Creative Writing at Antioch University in Los Angeles. Kristen and her husband, Matt, live in Hawaiian Gardens, California.

Marla Kamerman Jea taught briefly at Rehoboth Christian School and then moved to New York to take a position as an assistant to the managing editor at Vintage Books. She is now a production editor. She lives in Manhattan with her husband.

Kristin Kobes Du Mez began work on a Ph.D. in American history at the University of Notre Dame following graduation. She is writing a dissertation on sexuality, gender, and Protestantism in early 20th century America. Kristin has taught at Notre Dame, and currently teaches at Williams College. Kristin and her husband, Jack, live in Troy, New York.

Nathaniel Zylstra attended Yale Law School and then spent a year as clerk for Judge Roger Wollman in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. He now works at the Hudson Institute in Arlington, Virginia. This summer, he and his wife, Kari, will move to the Twin Cities, where he will join the law firm of Faegre & Benson.

Margretha Kelderman De Boer has been the internal auditor for First National Bank in Sioux Center for five years. Marge married engineering professor Doug De Boer. She has six children, two of whom are at home, and four grandchildren.

Matt De Kam is an engineer at Thermoking. He and his wife, Lisa, live in Minneapolis.

Heidi Petersen De Jonge married Layton DeVries in 1999, living in Prinsburg, Minnesota, for a year while Heidi taught an 8-year-old autistic child and Layton taught band and choir. In 2000, Heidi began attending Calvin Seminary. That year, Layton was killed in a car accident. Heidi has since married fellow seminarian Tim De Jonge and continues to attend Calvin Seminary.

Mick Vande Griend is an attorney with Baird Holm, McEachen, Pedersen, and Hammann. He and his wife, Koty, live in Omaha, Nebraska.

Ryan Smit earned a master’s degree in choral music education from Arizona State University. He teaches choir, guitar, and music theory at Mount Ride High School in Glendale, Arizona. In addition, he is part of the Phoenix Bach Choir and a music director for Phoenix CRC. He and his wife, Amie, have two children, Caleb (3) and Emilyn (6 mos).

Shawna Prins has been teaching fourth grade at Nicaragua Christian Academy since graduating.

Brian Koning has been studying optometry at Pacific University in Forest Grove, Oregon. This summer he begins year-long rotations, which will take him out of the classroom and put him into the clinic full-time. In August, Brian married Melissa Abee, who teaches second grade at Portland Christian School.

Janel Kragt has lived in Washington, D.C. since graduating. After working as a program analyst for the Department of Education and then as a research assistant for the Wilberforce Forum, she stepped into a teaching position at Washington Christian Academy. She teaches high school literature and history. In August, she will marry Laryn Bakker, a fellow Dordt graduate.

Aron Zuidhof married Sarah Vriend in the summer following his graduation from Dordt. They moved to Vancouver, British Columbia, where Aron studied philosophy of science and health. He is now in medical school at the University of British Columbia.

Leah Kreykes is a social worker with the Sioux Falls Public School system.

Eunice Muthengi recently graduated from the George Brown School of Social Work at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. She plans to work for a time and then pursue a Ph.D. in public health before returning to Kenya.    

Adam Smit lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, where he is an acting apprentice at Pacific Theatre. He’s participated in workshops and acting classes, understudied for a role in a mainstage play, and acted in the final mainstage of the season. Adam will be mounting a one-man show, using Pacific Theatre’s stage as a venue.

Joy Vander Wal Roose teaches fifth and sixth grade at Newton Christian School. In December, Joy married Jordan Roose.

Joel Schreurs lives with his wife, Jill, in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he attends Calvin Seminary.