Dordt College News

New apartments, professors as year begins

August 23, 2010

StudentsNew staff and faculty at Dordt College this year include (front, from left) Aaron Baart, Sonya Jongsma Knauss, Bailey Sarver, Dustin Hamm, Linda Van Wyk, Heather Hoogendoorn, (back row) Clinton Lowin, Brandon Huisman, Mark Eekhoff, T.J. Lagestee, Randy Smit, Tony Tuinstra, (not pictured) Neal De Roo, and Simon du Toit. at Dordt College are being welcomed back to campus this fall with new apartment-style housing, completed just in time for the 2010-2011 academic year.

Kuyper Apartments is a new $12-million residence hall that will accommodate 192 upperclassmen in 32 six-person apartment units. Apartments feature kitchens, bath facilities, living rooms, and other amenities including wireless internet, central heat/air (powered with environmentally friendly geothermal energy), and laundry rooms on each floor. They come furnished with lofted beds, dressers, desks, sectional sofas, dishwashers, and more.

The apartments are ready for occupancy, but construction on a shared community area is still underway. Upon completion, a 3,000-square-foot gathering area will be available on the first floor, including second story balcony seating. A floor to ceiling fireplace, movable glass partitions, and surfaces finished in wood, brick, and polished concrete complete the space.

The student lounge is equipped with a coffee and snack bar, as well as a portable stage, sound equipment, and lighting options for student shows.
Officials say they anticipate a slight rise in enrollment at Dordt this year, with more freshmen, more transfer students, and excellent retention of underclassmen.

New Faculty

New professors on the faculty this year are Dr. Neal De Roo, philosophy; Dr. Clinton Lowin, theology; Randy Smit, business administration and accounting; Tony Tuinstra, engineering and construction management; and Dr. Simon du Toit, a visiting associate professor of theatre arts for the 2010-’11 school year.

Dr. Neal De Roo, professor of philosophy, received his B.A. in Philosophy from Calvin College, his M.A. in Philosophy of Religion from the Institute for Christian Studies, and his Ph.D. in Philosophy from Boston College. He and his wife, Tanya, come to Dordt from Fonthill, Ontario, and recently became the parents of a son, Hendrik.

Dr. Clinton Lowin, professor of theology, received his B.A. in religion and psychology from Wayland Baptist University in Plainview, Texas; his M.Div. in Theology and Biblical Language from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas; and his Ed.D. in Education and Leadership from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. He was previously an Associate Pastor of Missional Objectives and Young Adults at The Chapel in North Canton, Ohio. He has also served as a church planting coordinator for the Dominican Republic and a pastor/director of student ministry. Clinton and his wife, Amber, have five children: Cade, 10; Kailer, 8; Parkyr, 4; Macayla, 1 1/2; and Lailah, 6 months.

Randy Smit, instructor of business administration and accounting, received his B.A. at Northwestern College; did additional accounting course work at Buena Vista University; received his M.B.A. in accounting at the University of Phoenix; and is a registered C.P.A. He taught at NIACC and Buena Vista University, and has been employed as a CPA and marketing consultant. Randy and his wife, Sabrina, have three children: Caleb, 6; Chloe, 3; and Anna, 1.

Tony Tuinstra, instructor of engineering and construction, is a Licensed Professional Engineer, a Licensed Professional Quantity Surveyor, and a Certified Cost Engineer. Tony is on leave from the Ministry of Transportation in Vineland, Ontario, where he is employed as a construction engineer. During this one-year interim at Dordt, he will do curriculum development for the new construction management program, as well as filling in for a professor currently completing his Ph.D. Tuinstra received his B.S. in civil engineering at Lakehead University in Thunder Bay, Ontario. He and his wife, Lori, have four daughters: Alyssa, 13; twins Tara and Tia, 11; and Shauna, 7.

Simon du Toit is a visiting associate professor of theatre arts for the 2010-’11 academic year. He was a professional actor before becoming a theatre arts professor, first at Redeemer College in Ancaster, ON, and then at Dordt from 1992 to 2003. In 2003, he left Dordt to pursue a graduate degree, which he completed in 2008. Du Toit is married to Esther Van Eek.

More New Employees

Pastor Aaron Baart is Dordt’s new Dean of Chapel. Baart received his B.A. from Dordt College, his M.Div. from Regent College in Vancouver, British Columbia, and graduated from the Ecclesiastical Program for Ministerial Candidacy (EPMC) at Calvin Theological Seminary. Baart was previously senior pastor at Bridge of Hope Ministries in Sioux Center and has been leading weekly chapel services at Dordt College during this past academic year. Aaron and his wife, Nicole, have three children: Isaac, 6; Judah, 4; and Matthias, 1 month.

Sonya Jongsma Knauss is the new Director of Marketing and Public Relations at Dordt. She received her B.A. from Dordt College, and her M.A. in journalism and mass communication from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Jongsma Knauss was previously on the editorial board of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and more recently was editor and general manager for, owned by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s parent company. Sonya and her husband, Dan, have four children: Anneke, 11; Claire, 9; Maddy, 5; and Kate, 4.

Heather (Boer) Hoogendoorn is the new Administrative Assistant for Advancement. She graduated from Dordt with a major in business administration, an emphasis on human resource management, and a minor in psychology. She was previously employed as Human Resources and Marketing Coordinator at Harbor Group/Interstates Companies in Sioux Center. Heather and her husband, Paul, live in Sioux Center.

Linda Van Wyk is Dordt’s new Coordinator of International Students and Off-Campus Programs. She earned her B.A. at Dordt with a major in English literature and a minor in political studies. Van Wyk was previously an instructor of English at Kosin University in Busan, South Korea.

Dustin Hamm is a new Learning Community Area Coordinator, working with Dordt’s residence life program. Dustin earned his bachelor’s degree at Northwestern College, where he majored in business education and received endorsements in secondary education and coaching. Hamm was previously employed at Revival Animal Health in Orange City, where he has served as a Marketing Assistant. Dustin and his wife, Brittany, live in Orange City.

Mark Eekhoff is a new admissions counselor. Eekhoff is a 2010 graduate of Dordt College, where he majored in communication (emphasis in public relations) and art (emphasis on graphic design). Mark is originally from Manhattan, Montana.

Brandon Huisman is also an admissions counselor and a 2010 graduate of Dordt College. Huisman majored in business administration with an emphasis in marketing. He is originally from Orange City and currently lives in Sioux Center with his wife, Erica, who is also a Dordt alumnus.

T.J. Lagestee is a returning Dordt graduate who is also serving the college as an admissions counselor. After graduating in 2008, he was assistant store manager and produce department manager at his family’s grocery store in Beecher, IL.

Bailey Sarver is also a new admissions counselor and recent graduate of Dordt College. Sarver is originally from Pella and majored in theology with an emphasis in Biblical studies.

A convocation ceremony marking the new 2010-2011 academic year will be Friday, August 27, at 11 a.m. in the B.J. Haan Auditorium. Dr. Carl E. Zylstra, president of Dordt College, will speak on the topic, “Serious Education for Serious Christians.” The public is welcome to attend.

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