Madison Van Soelen

Hometown

Sioux Center

The Story

FAvorite Spot on campus

The Grille

FAvorite Class

Social Psychology

A concept that blew my mind

A concept that blew my mind while at Dordt was the sodium potassium pump in Human Anatomy and Physiology. I really thought that wouldn't apply to anything after I graduated but it continues to be instrumental in my learning in graduate school.

Cool things i did at dordt

My favorite opportunities I had as a student were studying abroad in the Netherlands for a semester and participating in an AMOR trip to India over Christmas break. Living in the Netherlands allowed me to travel to several European countries throughout the semester as well as live with a host family and really engage in the Dutch culture. 

Traveling to India through AMOR included a partnership with Sarah's Covenant Homes, an organization dedicated to serving orphan with disabilities. We as students had the opportunity to create a music and play therapy program for the kids they served as well as see what therapy looks like in a different country. These experiences taught me a lot about my responsibility as a Christ-follower in loving and respecting people of different backgrounds and cultures.

obstacles i've overcome

One of the biggest obstacles I've had to overcome throughout my time at Dordt was overcoming a mindset that I was set in my own plans and was limited to the world I knew. It was easy to be set in my own experiences and opinions, so engaging with students different than myself or traveling abroad was critical for me in overcoming a mindset that limited the magnitude of who God is through His children and creation.

who i was when i came to dordt

When I first arrived at Dordt I had very clear picture of what I wanted my life to look at and the concrete steps I needed to take to get there. I was adamant about doing a semester in Chicago NOT the Netherlands, NOT doing an AMOR trip, and certainly NOT staying in Iowa post-graduation. However I did spend a semester in the Netherlands, I did an AMOR trip, and I am still in Iowa after graduation :). I think I was a little naive as to how God could work through friends, professors, and experiences in a way that wasn't always aligned with my plan.

how dordt impacted me

My time at Dordt was instrumental in laying a foundation for how I actively engage in the world outside of the Christian bubble. Dordt challenged me to take responsibility in my own faith as well as supported my growth through several campus opportunities such as praise and worship, AMOR, chapel, etc. This standard has allowed me to seek opportunities in my current community to participate beyond my classroom through volunteer, work, and church settings. Dordt has equipped me to root my identity in Christ which effects the way I engage in the society around me.

where i am now

I am currently in graduate school at St. Ambrose University in Davenport, Iowa pursuing my Doctorate in Occupational Therapy. Throughout this stage I am researching the resettlement process for refugees and how my profession can provide assistance to those transitioning to the United States. My hope is to continue this work after graduate school in my practice as an occupational therapist.

what i would tell prospective students

I would tell prospective students to purposefully challenge themselves to do things that may seem scary them or may not necessarily be in their life plan. Whether that means choosing to do AMOR or PLIA, or maybe choosing to be part of a club on campus, you grow a lot outside of your comfort zone. My favorite experiences I had at Dordt were a result of me choosing to participate in something that was far outside my comfort zone.

how dordt helped me do more

My experience at Dordt equipped me with the life-long skills necessary to participate in the world around me in a way that reflects Christ. I've been surrounded by a community of people who challenge me to engage in more than just my school work or my profession but also in the community through volunteering, church involvement, leisure, etc.