Dordt College News

Vos receives John Calvin award

April 20, 2010

Dr. Ron Vos, professor of agriculture and environmental studies at Dordt College, was named the 2010 John Calvin Award recipient at a year-end event for Dordt’s faculty and staff Thursday, April 22.

The award, which comes with a privately-funded $500 honorarium, is presented annually to a Dordt College faculty member whose teaching demonstrates ability and commitment to articulating a Calvinistic perspective.

Recipients are selected based on nominations from graduating classes and faculty. Three selected graduating classes were asked which of their Dordt professors inspired and instructed them most in the development of a Calvinistic world and life view and in applying that view to issues of contemporary society. From the list of nominees, an external panel selects the final recipient.

An alumnus who nominated Dr. Vos said he was “committed to applying over and over again what it means to live out our daily lives in a Christ like way. He challenged me to think deeply about issues I have never thought about before. Most of all, he practices what he preaches.” Another remarked that Vos “exemplified what it means to be a Christian first and a professor/agronomist/husband hand in hand.”

Dr. Vos has a B.A. degree in secondary education (majoring in biology) from Dordt College; an M.A. in Environmental Science from Governors State University; and a Ph.D. in Agronomy from South Dakota State University. He taught high school science before accepting a teaching position in the agriculture department 25 years ago, in 1985.

Vos is especially interested in sustainable agriculture and transformational development, and he has extensive experience in international agriculture development. He has worked in Russia, the Ukraine, Honduras, Kenya, and Zambia, and has been instrumental in developing cross-cultural opportunities for Dordt students in these countries.

“Serving and Learning in Hungary and Transcarpathia, Ukraine,” is a summer course Vos has been teaching for about 10 years. He also teaches ecological agriculture at the Au Sable Institute of Environmental Studies Pacific Rim, and last summer taught summer courses at Northrise University in Ndola, Zambia. Dordt College is partnering with this Christian university to prepare African students for leadership in the church and business community.

Recognition was also extended at the event to three professors who have earned the highest degree in their field of study: Dr. Craig Stiemsma earned an Ed. D. from the University of South Dakota; Dr. Tim Van Soelen earned an Ed. D. from The University of South Dakota; and Dr. Gary Vander Plaats earned a D.B.A from Anderson University.

Seven employees received recognition for 25 years or more of service to Dordt College: they were Ron Vos, Dennis De Jong, Jim Bolkema, Jim Bos, Corinne Hentges, Duane Mulder, and Phil De Stigter.

Highlighting the evening was a tribute to Dr. Charles and Dr. Pam Adams upon their retirement and new status as emeriti faculty.

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