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Faculty News

Dr. Nolan Van Gaalen received the American Society of Mechanical Engineers Dedicated Service Award at the ASME regional student conference held in March. Van Gaalen was commended for his long-term work as an advisor to a successful Dordt College ASME student section, as well as for his efforts in helping student sections at other universities in the region become more involved in ASME's Ingersoll Rand Contest. The Ingersoll Rand contest recognizes and promotes quality year-round student section activities and programs. In the past few years, Van Gaalen has led workshops at several ASME student leadership meetings to help schools understand the details and reporting requirements of the contest. "It is not just as a matter of competing with other schools, but a way for student sections (including our own) to better serve the needs of engineering students," Van Gaalen says of the contest.

Dr. Duane Bajema, professor of agriculture, served as a consultant for the U.S. Grains Council earlier this year. He met with national leaders in the pork production industry on behalf of the Council to develop national strategies for the pork industry in Mexico. The U.S. Grains Council served as a catalyst for the meeting; Bajema's role was to provide advice.

Bajema also received author and article of-the-year awards from the Journal of Agricultural Education for his piece, "Aspirations of Rural Youth," published in Volume 43, Number 3, 2002. The journal is published by the American Association for Agricultural Education.

Dr. Jim Vanderwoerd, professor of social work, recently had an article published in the Spring 2004 issue of Nonprofit Management & Leadership (14, 3, pp. 239-262). The article is titled "How Faith-based Social Services Organizations Manage Secular Pressures Associated with Government Funding."

Dr. Thomas Wolthuis, professor of theology, has been selected to participate in the Wabash Center 2004 Workshop on Teaching and Learning for Undergraduate Religion Faculty. The program, which is funded by the Lilly Endowment, Inc., gives religion faculty an opportunity to reflect on teaching with colleagues, to discover new pedagogical methods and strategies, and to develop their own teaching projects.

Dr. John R. Visser, professor of business administration, contributed a story to the book College Faith: 150 Christian Leaders and Educators Share Faith Stories from Their Student Days. The book is to be published by Andrews University Press.

Dr. Ken Bussema

Dr. Ken Bussema

Dr. Ken Bussema, director of Off Campus Programs and Service Learning, spoke and conducted a workshop titled "Nurturing Children in the Lord: Relfections on the Nature of Children and the Teaching/Learning Relationship" at the International conference of Reformed Education held May 10-12 in the Netherlands. Bussema was also selected to participate in the Council of Christian Colleges and Universities sponsored "Exploring the Middle East Culture and Contemporary Issues" study tour in June.

Dr. Ethan Brue, professor of engineering, presented a paper titled "An Integral Approach to Teaching History across the Engineering Curriculum" at the Annual American Society for Engineering Educators Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah, in June.

In April, Dr. Bob De Smith of the Dordt College English department presented a paper titled "Storms of Biblical Proportions: Echoes of Shipwrecks and Storms in The Tempest" at the 12th Northern Plains Conference in Early British Literature held this year at Augustana College in Sioux Falls.

Dr. Charles Adams, dean of the natural sciences and professor of engineering, contributed an article, "The Role of the Humanities in Distinguishing Science from Engineering Design in the Minds of Engineering Students," to Liberal Education in Twenty-First Century Engineering: Responses to ABET/EC/2000 Criteria, edited by Ollis, Neeley, and Luegenbiehl, published by Peter Lang, New York, 2004.

Chris Rehn, J.D., professor in the business administration department, was chosen for the CCCU faculty study tour to China in May. The study tour is an abbreviated version of the full semester cross-cultural program the CCCU offers for students interested in studying in China.

Dr. John Van Dyk, director of the Center for Educational Services, spent time in Hungary in February, participating in planning sessions for the newly established Education Center in Nagykoros (about 50 miles southeast of Budapest). This Center is connected with Karoli Gaspar Reformed University and offers teacher training and a variety of educational services.

In April, Van Dyk co-chaired an Education Consultation in Grand Rapids, Michigan, at which representatives from fifteen organizations and agencies met to discuss ways to more effectively coordinate international educational outreach activities. The Consultation was sponsored by IAPCHE and Dordt's Center for Educational Services.

Dr. Wes Jamison, professor of agriculture, was the plenary speaker at the Agricultural Animal Alliance Summit in Washington, D.C., on March 23. His address was titled: "Fighting the Animal Wars: Open Conflict, Guerilla Insurgence, or the Long Twilight Struggle?" On April 5, he was the invited speaker at the Minnesota Corn Growers Association annual meeting in Minneapolis. He spoke on "Political Conflict in Animal Agriculture."

On April 27, Jamison spoke at the Food Systems Annual Meeting in Overland Park, Kansas, on "Fighting the Animal Wars." On April 30, he was the plenary Speaker at the European Union Intercoop annual meeting in Helsinki, Finland. His presentation was titled "Monster Foods and Consumer Angst: Understanding How Consumers Allocate Agricultural Blame."

Jamison has also had several articles accepted for publication: a chapter in the textbook Handbook of Plant Biotechnology, titled "Political and Social Risk Amplification of GMOs;" a paper accepted in the journal Crop Science (forthcoming) titled "BT Corn and Political Conflict: A Case Study of Biotechnological Conflict;" and a paper accepted in the journal Transgenic Research (forthcoming) titled "Weird Science: A Case Study of Risk Communications and Public Relations."

Drs. Tony Jelsma, Carl Fictorie, and John Zwart spent three days assisting teacher Rod Kroschell ('87) at Sioux Falls Christian School middle school when the state of South Dakota's mobile science lab was at their school.

Dr. James C. Schaap's "Chasing the Dawn," a meditative essay on northwest Iowa landscapes, was published in the May 2004 issue of The Iowan in a spread that also included several of his photographs. Fifty-five and Counting, a collection of short stories, was also recently published by Dordt Press.

Schaap also made several presentations recently. "Farming the Back 40: The Backyard as a Source for Writing" at the 2004 Calvin College Festival of Faith and Writing. He also spoke to students at Hull Christian School and South Christian High, Grandville, Michigan, and read stories at St. Joseph's Christian Reformed Church as part of a lecture series.

Dr. Joan Ringerwole, professor of music, was one of seven organists to play in a service for the retirement of her former teacher, Dr. John Hamersma. Hammersma taught at Calvin College for fifty years. The college held a service in his honor and invited seven alumni to perform and play a hymn during a service based on the Lord's Prayer

Two faculty members earn doctorates

Students weren't the only ones graduating this spring. Education Professor Pat Kornelis and Environmental Studies Professor Matthew Stutz also earned diplomas.

Dr. Pat Kornelis

Dr. Pat Kornelis

In her dissertation at the University of South Dakota, Kornelis looked at faculty and student perceptions of quality in M.A. programs at CCCU (Council of Christian College and Universities) schools.

Most studies about quality are based on factual information reported to organizations such as U.S. News and World Report, says Kornelis. She tried to look at quality in the context of student learning. Using something called engagement theory, she surveyed faculty and students at several institutions, asking them whether they felt each of seventeen catagories-such as mentoring and critical dialogue-were important to their programs and whether they existed in their programs.

Nineteen schools participated, and Kornelis is committed to sharing with each of these schools an analysis that compares the data she received from them to the overall findings. Most agreed that the qualities listed were important and that to varying degrees they did exist within their programs.

In general, Kornelis found that the greatest predictor of student satisfaction in each program was whether participants felt a strong connection between what was taught in the courses, the topic of their thesis, and classroom practice. To Kornelis this points out the need for faculty to stay closely connected with classroom teaching as they set up and plan their program. She believes the results of her study will be helpful in the education department for future planning, especially in regard to online programming, giving the department concrete data with which to make decisions.

Dr. Matthew Stutz

Dr. Matthew Stutz

Matt Stutz's dissertation, done at Duke University, focused on how barrier reef islands around the world change.

"It made me feel a bit like an explorer," says Stutz, who visited barrier islands in the Artic, the Netherlands, the Southeastern United States, and Brazil. But most of his exploration took place at the Library of Congress, studying countless maps-including satellite photos-of the more than 2000 barrier islands around the world.

His dissertation, "The Global Distribution and Morphological Variability of Barrier Islands," was prompted by Stutz's advisor and is the first study of all of the barrier islands.

"Storms are the big thing," says Stutz about how they change. Made up of sand shifted from coasts, the continental shelf, and other islands, where these islands are and how they change relates directly to sea level and storms of one type or another.

Stutz says the work piqued his interest in coastal hazards and the effect that such events have on geological formations. Relationships in the ecosystem are similar to those in human life: actions by one directly affect others.