Dordt College News

New faculty, staff for new year at Dordt

August 24, 2006

A new dean of chapel, six professors, a football coach and three staff people have filled the personnel roster for the start of the 2006-2007 academic year at Dordt College, which begins Aug. 30.


Rev. Rod Gorter is Dordt’s new Dean of Chapel, coming to Sioux Center from the Ukraine, where he was dean of students and a theology professor at Evangelical Reformed Seminary of Ukraine, and was also involved in church and leadership development in the Evangelical Presbyterian Church of Ukraine. The mission agency through which they served served was International Theological Education Ministries.

Rev. Gorter has a B.A. in psychology from Dordt College, an M.A. in Religion and M.Div. from Westminster Theological Seminary, and a Master of Theology (Th.M.) from Calvin Theological Seminary.

Gorter has served as a pastor at Worthington Christian Reformed Church; Transcona Christian Reformed Church in Winnipeg, Manitoba; part-time youth ministry pastor at Borculo Christian Reformed Church in Michigan; assistant pastor intern at Cottage Grove Christian Reformed Church in South Holland, IL; and summer intern at the Lucknow Christian Reformed Church in Ontario, Canada.


Randy Baxter from Grand Rapids, Mich., has been hired as an instructor of social work and director of the social work program at Dordt. Baxter earned his B.A. (history and sociology), M.A. (sociology and social work), M.S.W. (Master of Social Work with a concentration in policy, planning and administration) and is a Ph.D. candidate (Public Administration) at Western Michigan University. Baxter is also a licensed Master Social Worker in the state of Michigan.

Baxter was previously a family preservation specialist at the Michigan Family Independence Agency and an adjunct faculty professor at Kellogg Community College. He has also worked as a volunteer services supervisor, welfare services specialist, and child welfare service specialist.

De Young

Dr. Gary De Young from Edmonton, Alberta, has been hired as an associate professor of math. De Young earned his B.S. in mathematics at Calvin College, his M.S. and Ph.D. at the University of Utah, and completed post doctoral studies at the University of California Davis. He is known for development of the De Young-Keizer model for Cellular Calcium oscillations.

De Young has been teaching for 14 years, most recently at The King’s University College in Edmonton, Alberta. He also taught mathematics at Western State College of Colorado, Calvin College in Michigan, and Mesa State College of Colorado.


John Heavner from Norman, OK, is Dordt College’s first head football coach. Heavner earned a B.S. in political science and a M.S. in education from East Central University. Heavner was the quarterback coach at Missouri State University (NCAA Division IAA) in Springfield, MO, and before that was an assistant coach at East Central University (NCAA Division II) in Ada, OK. Dordt College will field a junior varsity team in 2007 with a full varsity schedule in 2008.


Jason Lief from Pella, IA, has been hired as an instructor of theology. He earned a B.A. in history (with a secondary education endorsement) at Northwestern College, and a M.A. in theology from Wheaton College Graduate School, with a focus on Biblical Studies and Historical Theology.
Lief taught Bible and history courses at Pella Christian High School, and prior to that was a teacher/service and chapel coordinator at Faith Christian High School in Bigelow, MN.


Matt Mathias from Orange City will teach in the Business Administration Department. Mathias has both a B.S.E. in Mechanical Engineering (magna cum laude) and a M.B.A.(with distinction) from the University of Michigan, and comes to Dordt College with extensive international business experience, as well as teaching experience at Spring Arbor University in Michigan.

Most recently, Mathias was a senior consultant and trainer at Meta HR and Communication in Singapore, where he also conducted leadership research in Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, and Indonesia with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship. His previous professional experience includes managing global strategic planning and human resources as a senior manager for ETAS, GmbH; serving as a manufacturing operations manager for Procter and Gamble; and participating in an engineering co-op program with Delphi Chassis Systems, General Motors.


Natalie Sandbulte is an instructor of psychology and will direct that department’s student field experience program for an interim year. Sandbulte (Bosma) is originally from Hospers, but comes to Dordt from Illinois.

She earned a B.A. in psychology from Northwestern College (Orange City) and her M.A. in clinical psychology from Wheaton College, where she is also currently a candidate for a doctoral degree in clinical psychology. She also has clinical experience from a position at the Heartland Counseling Center, Elburn, IL.

Vander Veen

Kathryn (Kate) Fuller Vander Veen of Ocheyedan, IA, is a nursing instructor for the B.S.N. (Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree) program. Vander Veen earned a B.S.N. at the University of Utah, followed by a M.S.N. at Uniformed Services University.

Vander Veen has 22 years nursing experience with the United States Air Force, where she served as a staff nurse, nursing manager and supervisor, operating room nurse, flight nurse, nursing quality assurance officer, hyperbaric nurse, family nurse practitioner and medical information systems consultant. She was a Lieutenant Colonel at Falls Church, VA, prior to her recent retirement from the Air Force.

Den Herder

Diane Den Herder is the new HPER (Health, Physical Education and Recreation) Department secretary. She has an A.A. degree from Dordt College and has worked the past 13 years as a legal secretary for Oostra, Bierma and Schouten. Prior to that, she was a trust administrative assistant at Peoples Bank. Diane and her husband, Kirk, live on a farm near Sioux Center.

De Nooy

Leah De Nooy is a new admissions counselor who will be working with prospective students in Nebraska, Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Texas and some of the eastern states. De Nooy earned a B.A. in elementary education at Dordt College and taught at the Nicaragua Christian Academy in Managua for three years.


Barb Mellema, Sioux Center, is Dordt’s new Director of Annual Giving. She earned a B.A. in communication from Dordt College, and previously owned and operated Mane Attraction Hair Salon in Sioux Center. Mellema is primarily responsible for planning and directing the college’s annual fund drive for operational support, the spring debt reduction drive, and fund raising and donor cultivation activities in assigned territories.

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