ISU Extension Recognized Dordt with Award

Dordt is recognized by ISU Extension with "Excellence in Partnership to Iowans" Award

Dordt University was awarded an “Excellence in Partnership to Iowans” award for the Northwest region by Iowa State University (ISU) Extension and Outreach and will go on to be submitted as a nomination for the state level award. Three Dordt staff and faculty were recognized as part of this nomination: Dr. Nolan Van Gaalen, emeritus professor of engineering; Gary De Vries, agriculture department instructor; and Vicki Vermeer, business department assistant and director of the Center for Economic Education.

“I nominated Dordt University as an Excellence in Partnership to ISU Extension and Outreach,” says Beth Bunkers, who serves as the youth program specialist for ISU Extension and Outreach. “Dordt has been an outstanding partner in STEMfest, multi-regional livestock, and ‘Your Future at Work’ events.”

These events provide elementary and high school students opportunities to learn and explore a variety of areas, outside of their classroom learning.

“We thank ISU Extension for giving our students the opportunity to have an impact on the broader community,” says De Vries. “We encourage our students to be lifelong servant-leaders in the communities that they live.”

Dordt has offered an annual STEM festival for middle school students and a Precision Ag Day for high school students. The institution is also in the process of adding events for fourth and fifth graders about showing livestock.

“Our partnership with ISU Extension enables outreach from Dordt University to our broader community, including opportunities for younger students from our region,” says Dr. Leah Zuidema, vice president for academic affairs. “The ISU Partnership makes it possible for younger students to benefit from the expertise of Dordt faculty members while learning more about exciting developments in science and agriculture. This is another opportunity to share a Christ-centered perspective with our community as we lead young people in exploring God’s world.”

"It's always nice to work with the people at ISU-Extension,” says Vermeer. “They are creative, resourceful, hard-working, and fun to work with. I mostly work with them on the ‘Your Future at Work’ event for high school sophomores. ISU-Extension helps with logistics, planning, and resources. Their contributions help turn a good event, into an excellent event."

As an institution of higher education committed to the Reformed Christian perspective, Dordt University equips students, faculty, alumni, and the broader community to work toward Christ-centered renewal in all aspects of contemporary life. Dordt, located in Sioux Center, Iowa, is a comprehensive university named to the best college lists by The Wall Street Journal,, Washington Monthly, and Princeton Review.

A picture of campus behind yellow prairie flowers