Archived Voice Articles

Faculty News

Dr. Andrews Packiaraj, professor of social work, presented a paper on “Caste System and Christianity in India” at the First International Conference on Early Christianity in India held at Concordia College-Bronxville, New York, in August.

A book of James C. Schaap's Christmas stories was recently released: Startling Joy: Seven Magical Stories of Christmas (Revell, $14.99, ISBN 0-8007-1877-1).

Schaap was also an invited speaker at “Ad Lib 2005: The Annual Retreat For Literary, Visual, and Performing Arts” held September 29 - October 2 in Allenspark, Colorado.

Dr. John Visser, professor of business administration, gave a presentation at the IAPCHE (International Association for the Promotion of Christian Higher Education) conference in Moscow in August titled “A Simple Visual Model for Describing the Impact of Worldview on the Development Process.”

Visser also taught a course in Financial Management for not-for-profit managers in South Africa. Included among his students were managers from Habitat for Humanity, Beyond Borders, and World Vision. The course focused, among other things, on how to evaluate creditworthiness of borrowers and how to assess the health of micro-finance institutions.

Several Dordt faculty members participated in the Symposium “Ethics: Person, Practices and Society” sponsored by the Association for Reformational Philosophy, August 15–19 in Hoeven, the Netherlands. Dr. Jim Vanderwoerd was an invited participant on a panel on “Social Work as a Normative Practice.” Vanderwoerd presented a statement titled “Ethical Conflicts Between Religion and Sexual Orientation in North American Social Work Education.” Dr. John Kok participated in a panel on: “Agriculture, Nature and Ecology,” presented the paper “Environmental Ethics from a Reformed Perspective,” and led the Friday morning devotions/worship.

In July Kok presented a paper, “Learning to Teach from within a Christian Perspective,”at the 2005 International Institute for Christian Studies Conference in Kansas City, Missouri

Dr. John Van Dyk participated in a panel presentation at the International Symposium on Ethics in the Netherlands, and while there he continued his work with Christian educators from around the world. In May, he addressed the faculty of two large Christian school communities in the Netherlands—at the Ichthus College in Veenendaal and at the Jakobus Fruytier School in Apeldoorn. In August, he gave a presentation on “Themes in Christian Schooling” at the IAPCHE Regional Conference in Moscow. In September, in Queretaro, Mexico, he taught a course on teaching Christianly for seventy teachers from Christian schools in Mexico City, Queretaro, and Acapulco.

Van Dyk’s book The Craft of Christian Teaching was recently translated into Spanish.

Dr. Lorna Van Gilst, professor of English, spent July teaching English at Annie Soper Christian School in Moyobamba, Peru. Van Gilst worked with the director of English to develop a mission statement for the program and to articulate the perspective and objectives. She also taught classes and discussed curriculum issues with teachers.

Dr. Matt Dressler of Dordt’s engineering department has had an article, “Age-related changes in the biomechanics of healing patellar tendon,” accepted for publication in the Journal of Biomechanics. Dressler’s research for the article was done as part of his Ph.D. dissertation. He and his colleagues found that injuries to the patellar tendon heal just as well in older subjects as in younger subjects, which is contrary to conventional wisdom. The article has not been published in hardcopy yet but has been available online since August at (#35).

Dr. Ron Vos, professor of agriculture, and Dr. Robb De Haan, associate professor of environmental studies, both contributed chapters to the recently-released Not Just Science: Questions Where Christian Faith and Natural Science Intersect, a book published by Zondervan Publishing and edited by Dorothy Chappell and David Cook.

Vos and De Haan provide an analysis of agricultural practices in the past and present, challenging farmers and consumers to develop a food system consistent with a God-centered point of view. They also discuss biblical principles that apply to agriculture, concluding with questions and suggested readings for those interested in agricultural science.

Dr. Wes Jamison, associate professor of agriculture and director of Dordt’s Agriculture Stewardship Center, spoke at the Livestock Industry Issues and Trends Conference in Fort Wayne, Indiana, on Sept. 6. The conference was sponsored by the Indiana Farm Bureau, Inc. and the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation. Jamison’s presentation addressed how the animal rights movement is affecting agriculture.

Dr. Sandi Altena, director of resident life, gave three presentations on creating a growth-fostering classroom that enhances psychological well-being and gives voice to all students. Her presentation, “Spirituality, Justice, and Pedagogy,” was sponsored by the Kuyers Institute for Christian Teaching and Learning in September. She also gave the presentation at the 19th Annual Women in Educational Leadership Conference and at Northwestern College in October.

Dr. Jonathan Warner presented a paper titled “Capabilities and vulnerabilities: Freedom as an asset?” at the 5th International Conference on the Capabilities Approach, held at UNESCO, Paris, in September.

Adjunct English Instructor Leah Zuidema’s article, “Myth Education: Rationale and Strategies for Teaching against Linguistic Prejudice,” was published in May in the Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy and was selected to be reprinted again in September in the SLATE Newsletter: Support for the Learning and Teaching of English. The article can be viewed at

Dr. J.B. Hulst, president emeritus of Dordt College, recently completed his book of memoirs, A Doorkeeper in God’s Household: The Memoirs of John B. Hulst. The book was recently published by Dordt Press. (See ad on page 12.)

In September, Dr. Keith Sewell gave a presentation on the historiographical methodology of Herbert Butterfield at Northwestern College in Orange City, Iowa.

Dr. John Vander Stelt, professor emeritus of philosophy, is a contributing author to the newly released Ways of Knowing in Concert, edited by John H. Kok (Sioux Center: Dordt Press, 2005) 45-59.

Education Professor Cella Bosma led a day-long workshop on “Creating Classroom Climate” at Cornerstone Christian School in Bellevue, Nebraska, on September 30.

Theatre Arts Professor Dr. Teresa Ter Haar had an article published in the Spring/Fall 2005 issue of Christianity and Theatre. Ter Haar’s article, titled “Performance Studies: The Word Made Flesh,” appears on pages 9 – 15.

Dr. Ed Starkenburg, education professor, gave two presentations at the Heartland Teachers Convention held on the Dordt College campus on October 6 and 7. Starkenburg’s presentations were titled “Critical Literacy and Teaching Reading Christianly” and “What Research Tells Us About Teaching Math.”

Dr. Patricia Kornelis conducted a three-day workshop this summer for Annapolis (Maryland) Area Christian School middle school teachers. The title of the workshop was “Brain Research Implications for Christian Middle School Educators.”

Kornelis has been named to the “Who’s Who Among American Teachers 2004-2005.” Her biography was accepted for publication based on nominations from former students.

Education Professor Jenny Van Ry presented two workshops at the NWCSI-CTABC-ACSI Teachers Convention that was held in Surrey, B.C. on October 6 and 7: “Student Developed Assessments” and “Developing Differentiated Instruction in Mixed Ability Classrooms.”

Jim Van Ry, theatre arts technical director, presented two workshops at the NWCSI-CTABC-ACSI Teachers Convention held in Surrey, B.C. on October 6 and 7: “The Theatrical Nightmare” and “Basic Scene Painting.”