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Van Den Bosch

Van Den Bosch

Volleyball Coach Tom Van Den Bosch was one of three people selected for induction into the Iowa Girls Coaches Association’s Volleyball Hall of Fame in November. Van Den Bosch came to Dordt College in 1997 and has 327 college coaching wins to his credit. The Defenders have qualified for the NAIA National Tournament six times, reaching the national quarterfinals three times and the semifinals once. He has also been accorded conference coach of the year honors in the South Dakota Iowa Conference and Great Plains Athletic Conference seven times and was selected Regional coach of the year four times. In 2003 Van Den Bosch was named the NAIA national coach of the year.



Dr. Mary Dengler, associate professor of English, presented her paper, A Reformed Defense of Literature: An Apology for Literature’s Place in Christian Higher Education, at the Mid-East Conference on Christianity and Literature at Cedarville University in Cedarville, Ohio, in October.

As a member of the CCCU Board (Coalition of Christian Colleges and Universities), Dengler met with the other board members to review the Oxford Program and discuss issues that pertain to the Christian arm of the National Collegiate Honors Council.

Dengler and Dr. Tony Jelsma, co-directors of the Kuyper Scholars Program, attended the NCHC conference in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in November. They participated in seminars and workshops on honors courses.

Education professor Ed Starkenburg was part of an Iowa Department of Education program approval team that reviewed the Teacher Education Program at the University of Dubuque. This was the tenth state review team Starkenburg has worked on in the past eight years. Teams averaging six people work together to review the education programs according to the procedure outlined in Iowa law. They meet six to eight weeks before the visit to review the program’s institutional report and spend four to five days on the campus interviewing all stake-holders, administrators, and community members to verify the information in the report. They then issue a report to the program regarding strengths, weaknesses, and necessary improvements. Each of the thirty-two teacher education programs in Iowa go through such a review every five years in order to receive state Department of Education accreditation.

Dr. Paul Fessler, professor of history, presented a paper “The Alleged Drawbacks of Bilingual Education: A Longitudinal Tracing Study of Minnesota Germans” at the Social Science History Conference in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on November 2. The paper is part of Fessler’s ongoing research on immigration and bilingual education.

Dr. Edwin Geels, professor of chemistry, attended the annual meeting of the Iowa Honey Producers in Marshalltown, Iowa, on November 17 and 18. Geels presented a paper titled, “Reduction of Parasites and Diseases in Small Cell Honeybee Colonies.” Geels also participated in a round table question and answer session with other presenters.

Art Professor Susan Van Geest’s artwork “Waiting” will be published in the Winter 2007 issue of CALYX: A Journal of Art and Literature by Women.

On November 13, Dr. Douglas Allen, professor of physics and astronomy, participated in a panel discussion at Wheaton College on “Global Climate Change: A Faithful Response,” sponsored by Wheaton’s Center for Applied Christian Ethics. His presentation was titled “Is the Sky Falling? A Brief Overview of Climate Change Science.” More details along with audio archives are available at

A slightly revised version of the keynote address Dr. Calvin Jongsma gave at the 2006 B.J. Haan Education Conference on Teaching Math in the Christian School was published in October, 2006 in the online Journal of the ACMS ( The title of the article is “Mathematics: Always Important, Never Enough—A Christian Perspective on Mathematics and Mathematics Education.”

Librarian Sheryl Taylor participated in the National Center for Education Statistics’ week-long Cooperative Systems Fellows Program. The NCES, a branch of the Department of Education, selects thirty people each year to participate. The NCES Program was initiated in October 1990 to improve the quality, timeliness, and comparability of education data and, at the same time, improve cooperation among local, state, and higher education agencies, as well as libraries and the Federal Government.

Seven professors and students attended the National Council of Teachers of English conference in Nashville (Nov. 16-19): Professors Dave and Jeri Schelhaas, Lorna Van Gilst, Leah Zuidema, and pre-service English teachers Jason Elenbaas, Sarah Achterhof, Katie Dekins, and Leesa Schmidt. Zuidema participated in a panel of early-career English teachers who discussed their collaborative work under the topic “How Many Cups of Coffee Does it Take to be the Compleat Teacher?” The conference theme was “The Compleat English Teacher,” “compleat” alluding to Izaak Walton’s The Compleat Angler.

Professor Emeritus Dr. John Van Dyk continues his consulting work with teachers around the world. In August he conducted the orientation in-service session for the Rock River Christian Schools (Inwood, Doon, Rock Valley, and Hull Christian Schools) in Doon, Iowa. In September, he conducted teacher training sessions in the Philippines for BBK (Christian schools oriented to a Reformed perspective) on several islands, and he served as consultant to the BBK board in the planning for a Christian teacher training college. He also participated in and presented at the Educational Leadership Consultation (organized by Christian Schools Canada) in Toronto.

In October, Van Dyk was also busy: he conducted workshops on board-staff relations for board members and principals, at the Heartland Convention in Sioux Center; he gave four keynote lectures at the Christian teachers’ conference in Riga, Latvia (where about 350 teachers were present); he gave a lecture on fostering a reflective culture (the topic of his forthcoming book) for faculty and administration at Ichthus College in Veenendaal, The Netherlands, and consulted with various Christian educators in the British Columbia and Seattle area.

Dr. James C. Schaap was a keynote speaker in October at the Prairie Association of Christian Schools’ annual convention held in Lethbridge, Alberta. He spoke about helping students see God’s wonder through teaching. He also presented workshops on where stories come from, how to use writing and visuals in power point and podcasts, and what makes stories seem so real.

Dr. John Visser, professor of business, participated in the research expo at the IAPCHE Congresso Internacional in November. Visser discussed the relevance of religious beliefs for economic activity and the impact they have. He also discussed ways development agencies can take into account religious beliefs and how these issues can affect policy-making.

Professor Mark Volkers was the producer of DVDs for two Christian ministries. “Hope in the Delta: Cary Christian Center’s Delta Strategy” was produced by Volkers, with much of the camera work done by Dordt students Matthew Berkenpas, Jonathan DeWeerd and Aaron Huisman. The thirteen-minute video tells the story of what God is doing in the Mississippi Delta through the efforts of the Cary Christian Center.

A DVD for ATLAS highlights three mentors and three clients as they work together through some of life’s complicated issues. ATLAS is a Christian mentoring organization with branches in several states. Both the Cary and ATLAS DVDs were produced by Prairie Grass Productions, the production arm of Dordt’s digital media program.