Thinking Creatively

Amy (Nugteren) Vander Vliet graduated in 2006 with a double major in political studies and history (international emphasis). She was accepted to all M.A. programs to which she applied and chose Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., for its reputation and financial aid package. Within a month she was selected as a graduate research fellow at the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs at Georgetown, a part-time student position that perfectly suited her interests.

In 2008 Vander Vliet graduated with a Master of Arts in Security Studies from the Graduate School of Foreign Service. She is now pursuing a Ph.D. in political theory and also had the opportunity to intern for nationally respected scholar Michael Novak at the American Enterprise Institute.

"I now appreciate even more Dordt College's effort to develop a comprehensive curriculum rooted in the Reformed perspective," says Vander Vliet. "Much of the rest of the academic world is beginning to recognize the influence religion has on people's behavior."

She felt well prepared academically for Georgetown and said Dordt's emphasis on internships and practical experience was beneficial, as was being in a small town.

"It can be an advantage, since you have to think more creatively about both your academic and extracurricular experiences," she said. "There's more diversity lurking under the surface than one might expect, if you're willing to search for it."