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Why the world needs aspiring doctors who go beyond grades and test scores—doctors who have heart. p. 12

“Every classroom I step into here allows me to become a part of a community.� Lindsay

junior, speech pathology

New for 2011: a five-year master’s degree in speech pathology

VERGE Vol. 1

A Calvin College publication Verge – the edge, rim or margin; the brink. The point beyond which an act, state or condition is likely to start or happen—as in “on the verge.”


The verge is a place where you’re finally able to see everything that’s in front of you. A place where you can say, “I can get there from here.”


At Calvin, you’ll find yourself on the verge of more than you can imagine. New ideas, unexpected opportunities, new territory in your life, your studies and your faith. From the verge, you’ll catch a vision of how to live. And Calvin will take you there.


CONTACT To submit a question or a letter: To change your address: PRODUCTION VERGE is produced three times a year by Calvin’s admissions and financial aid office.



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FFM Become a discerning listener. Hear your favorite bands and explore the ways that Christian faith is expressed in the world of popular music at the Festival of Faith and Music. WEB EXCLUSIVE

Watch chapel online:

Be a Man Engage in honest talk about how families, faith, culture and media have shaped our ideas about being men.






Get ready to be surprised. Calvin is the kind of place where you can grow in every direction.

Model UN Put your diplomacy skills to work as Calvin’s team travels to Model UN conferences in Chicago and NewYork.

WA Set your sights on becoming a worship apprentice (or WAs, as we like to call them). Your involvement may include playing or singing on a worship team, expressing worship through drama and the visual arts, or prayerful planning and preparation for worship.

Faith and International Development Conference Explore the intersection of faith, justice and international development at this annual student-run conference.

Unlearn Week Challenge the generalizations, stereotypes and assumptions that perpetuate racism in our society.



Tatjcha Huberts inspects a 2010 ArtPrize entry at the Grand Rapids Art Museum, where she was an intern.

There is a population of humans, modeled out of clay and installed on the wall–each to its own shelf–in an exhibition space on the second floor of the Grand Rapids Art Museum (GRAM). “That’s my favorite,” Tatjcha Huberts said, pointing at one figure in artist Kathy Stecko’s “Dreamscape.” Tatjcha, a Calvin senior art history major, was providing commentary on a few of the artworks already installed at GRAM for ArtPrize, the Grand Rapids-based art contest that has gained national attention. Tatjcha spent her senior year at Calvin as a GRAM intern, and one of her first jobs there was helping to pick the ArtPrize entries. “We had 1,600 artists apply to GRAM during ArtPrize,” she said. “We’ve had to sort through every one.”


Not all of Tatjcha’s internship involved the big contest. Much of her typical work week was taken up with cataloging art prints from the museum’s extensive collection: checking them for damage and noting how each piece was created. “For fine art prints it’s just imperative to know what the method was for making it: etching, engraving, lithograph, screen print, intaglio, aquatint. There’s so many ways to do things, and artists combine them to create their prints.” At Calvin, she majored in art history and studied in Spain. She also investigated internship opportunities, and GRAM was at the top of her wish list. “I wanted to work in an art museum in order to make a more informed decision with my life,” she said. After accruing a little museum experience, Tatjcha is ready for more. “I want to be a curator,” she said, “planning and organizing the exhibition and planning the layout and where we put it in the museum.”


LIFE She liked interning in downtown GR. “It’s beyond amazing. Growing up in Hudsonville, I’d go to Grand Rapids once in a while but I never got to explore it.”

If you like art (or even if you don’t), be sure to check out ArtPrize in downtown Grand Rapids, every fall. This art competition/social experiment brings over 1,700 artists to Grand Rapids to display their works on the sides of buildings, in alleyways, on coffee shop walls and in the middle of the Grand River. In its third year, ArtPrize is the brainchild of Calvin alum Rick DeVos ’04. In 2010, it brought over 200,000 visitors to downtown Grand Rapids. You can participate in ArtPrize by voting for your favorite pieces online, via text message or using the ArtPrize app for iPhone and Droid. The winners walk away with a total of over $450,000 in prize money.

Belle Lieu’s “Lure/Wave” won third place in ArtPrize 2010.

Tatjcha envisions a career in New York, Washington, D.C., or Chicago. She would love to travel to Japan, maybe do a whole tour of the Pacific Rim. Adapted from News and Stories, 2010.


Check out for an internship video and stories.

Fredrick Prescott’s “Elephant Walk” drew crowds to the sidewalk just outside the Grand Rapids Children’s Museum.


POTTERY STUDIO Oct. 20, 2010 6:50 p.m.



PROFESSOR LARRY HERZBERG QUALIFIED AND QUIRKY Professor Herzberg uses a Barbie car, a dollhouse and plastic vegetables in his lectures and alternates wearing a kimono and a Chinese silk robe to class every day. He knows eight languages, counting English. He is Jewish, and he loves the Chinese and Japanese languages equally. He has played violin with everyone from Dolly Parton to Itzhak Perlman to the Grand Rapids Symphony. He’s read Dante in Italian. He became a Christian in 1982 and was baptized with water from the Jordan River. Two years later, he came to Calvin to found a Chinese department and pioneered the Asian studies program. His colleagues describe him as an “excellent, enthusiastic and somewhat eccentric teacher.” His students love him. Professor Herzberg won the 2011 Presidential Award for Exemplary Teaching, the highest honor that Calvin College gives a faculty member.

ASIAN STUDIES AT CALVIN Calvin is the only Christian college in North America that offers comprehensive programs in Chinese, Japanese and Asian studies.

2011 interim in China

Check out these opportunities: • Take courses in Chinese, Japanese or Korean language and culture • Spend a semester in China, Japan or Thailand • Explore career opportunities in international business, global education, international development and more • Serve and learn in southeast Asia through a summer internship 7

He’s written over 30 books, most of them for children and young adults. Two of them have shiny silver medallions embossed on their covers, signifying that he’s won two Newbery Honors. He’s had one of his books (a particularly autobiographical one) made into a play performed by Calvin’s Theatre Company. These are the things that Calvin English professor Gary Schmidt wouldn’t tell you, especially if you’ve just met. So what would he say? He’d probably start by telling you about an exciting change to the English department’s academic programs. “Did you know that Calvin’s English department is now offering a writing major, starting in fall 2011?”



He would encourage you to register for “The Craft of Writing” and “Fiction Writing,” courses he teaches regularly, and to check out courses in business writing, poetry and nonfiction writing taught by other English profs. Professor Schmidt might mention the lively discussions, some of them held in front of the fireplace in his 19th-century farmhouse, as part of the English department’s “One Book, One Department” program. He might not mention the fact that he came up with the idea to get English majors reading a book together for fun, like Cormac McCarthy’s The Road, but he’d invite you to take part in the discussions when you arrive on campus in the fall. Another thing he’d tell you? To join him in the lobby of Calvin’s new Covenant Fine Arts Center each week during January for Soup Mondays. You don’t even have to bring a bowl—just come and enjoy the simmering sustenance compliments of Professor Schmidt and his fellow English profs.

He might add a plug for the popular “New England Saints” course that he co-teaches during Calvin’s three-week January interim. The trip, offered every two to three years, takes students to explore the homes, hangouts and graves of famous New England writers. You’ll read Emily Dickinson in the room where she penned great poetry; you’ll read Henry David Thoreau while standing on the frozen Walden Pond. At some point in your conversation, Professor Schmidt will certainly ask you about your writing life. Do you consider yourself a writer? What are you doing to become a better one? Have you considered publishing your work? He’ll tell you that each day, he gets up and writes at least 500 words. He might also tell you that the first work of fiction he ever wrote never made it to publication: “One night, really late at night, I was working on Latin prayers, and I was sick of it, so I sat down and wrote the first page of a novel for children. And it was terrible. ... And I sent it away, and it was rejected, for which I’m very grateful today.” All of this he’d say to encourage you in your journey to becoming a better writer—maybe even one who will someday bring home Calvin’s first Pulitzer Prize or add to its handful of Newberys. If you happen to meet Professor Schmidt on a campus visit or at firstyear student orientation, he will want you to know this: He and his colleagues work hard to create a collaborative community among English majors. Why? Because the best writing and reading is often done with the help of others. Then, he’d offer his help to you. English professor and department co-chair William Vande Kopple says: “For a prospective writer, you’re not going to get a more supportive mentor than Professor Schmidt.”

Children huddle under desks for a practice bomb drill in a scene from Gary Schmidt’s The Wednesday Wars.

THE WEDNESDAY WARS Professor Schmidt got to watch his Newbery Honor-winning book, The Wednesday Wars, come to life on the stage this January in Calvin’s Lab Theater. Calvin alum Kirsten Kelly (see page 11) returned to Calvin to produce this story-turned-play about Holling Hoodhood, a seventh-grader who is forced to read Shakespeare by his teacher, Mrs. Baker. In reality, Professor Schmidt was watching his own life on the stage—the story is about his seventh-grade experience reading Shakespeare while his Jewish and Catholic classmates left school for religious activities each Wednesday afternoon. The story is both inspiring and hilarious, a great read for a sick day, a beach day or any day, really. Check out the trailer for Professor Schmidt’s new book, Okay for Now at

Sometimes the real world is like Hamlet. —Holling Hoodhood

” 9


Grad year: 2010 Current occupation: AdWords account manager at Google in Ann Arbor, Mich.

Google is looking for out-of-the-box people ... that’s where a liberal arts education fits really well.




Ryan Bierma

Grad year: 1996 Current occupation: Changing Gears

Grad year: 2003 Current occupation: installs permanent GPS

Niala Boodhoo

reporter at WBEZ Chicago Public Radio

stations on volcanoes in Alaska

“One of the things that I left Calvin with that is so vastly important to me is the understanding that it is possible to balance your faith and your science.”


Jonathan Hirte

Grad year: 2008 Current occupation: legislative assistant at the office of Congressman Timothy Walberg, U.S. House of Representatives, Washington, D.C.



Alisa Volbeda

Grad year: 2005 Current and recent occupations: business development professional at DevPro India; senior account coordinator at Russ Reid Company, a marketing and advertising company, Los Angeles, Calif.

When Kirsten Kelly, Calvin grad and freelance director and producer, explores new projects for film or theater, she asks herself a series of questions: “Does this project have value in the world? Is it illuminating humanity? Does it expand God’s world?” She attributes this approach to two things: her love of storytelling and the overall sense of purpose she absorbed as a Calvin student.

KIRSTEN KELLY • MAJOR AT CALVIN: theatre/communication arts and sciences • GRADUATE STUDIES: The Juilliard School ’03, master of arts in directing


CAREER HIGHLIGHTS RECENT ACTIVITIES The Wednesday Wars – director and co-author (with Calvin grad Brian Farish) of the play based on Calvin professor Gary Schmidt’s Newbery Honor Awardwinning book

FILM CREDITS The List – feature documentary about homeless youth (projected release 2012-2013) Asparagus! (Stalking the American Life) – award-winning feature documentary, DVD released 2008, PBS broadcast 2009

PRODUCTION MANAGER for three National Geographic Explorer episodes, “Science of Babies,” “Ultimate Hippos” and “Inside North Korea with Lisa Ling.” THEATRE DIRECTING CREDITS CPS! Shakespeare – co-creator, Chicago Shakespeare Theater Boy Gets Girl – Helen Hayes Nomination, Best Direction Boston Marriage – After Dark Award, Best Director

Kirsten chose Calvin because it fit her current loves— basketball and liberal arts. “In high school, I loved everything. So Calvin’s liberal arts curriculum seemed to open a lot of doors.” Soon, she found herself cast in a play by the Calvin Theatre Company, and basketball became less important. “Basketball was hugely important to me and it was my bond with my dad. But life took a few new turns when I got to Calvin—as it does for everybody.” In theater, Kirsten found friends and faculty who shared her passion for the arts, people who became her Calvin family and helped shape her future. As a senior, she participated in Calvin’s Chicago Semester Program, where she was hired as the first intern at Chicago Shakespeare, a fledgling theater company. “There was something I connected with here—watching, listening, storytelling with visual images as well as words. It was at Calvin, in the last semester of my last year, where I found my very own direction. And it was CTC (Calvin Theatre Company) and the experience with the faculty and fellow students that gave me the courage to follow that direction.” Kirsten graduated from Calvin and stayed on at Chicago Shakespeare for the next six years. She left in 2000 to attend The Juilliard School, where she earned a master of arts in directing. Chicago Shakespeare beckoned again, and Kirsten returned to develop a new program that cast Chicago public high school students and teachers in productions like Macbeth, Romeo & Juliet and Hamlet. From there, career opportunities and new projects just kept coming. Today, Kirsten Kelly lives in Brooklyn, New York, and is currently working on a feature documentary about homeless teenagers in Chicago.

Consider the Chicago Semester Program



“My brain has been taken over by science!” Alex Cortez, a pre-med Spanish major, laughs and shifts in his seat as he recalls his switch from studying to be a Spanish teacher to preparing for med school. 12 VERGE

LIBERAL ARTS NERD “My first two years at Calvin were all about the humanities—things that I’d never even heard of before coming to Calvin, like sociology and philosophy. I had always wanted to be a doctor, but it was like I had to let my competing passions win out for a while.” Alex is a self-described “liberal arts nerd”: he considered majors in religion, sociology and several other areas before returning to his childhood dream. “I tell people three to five, but in my head I was considering six to eight different majors during my first two years at Calvin.”

After a life-altering experience in Honduras through Calvin’s Spanish-language semester program, he knew a couple of things about his future: it had to involve speaking Spanish, and it had to involve him being a resource to underserved people. At first, teacher education seemed the way to go. “I love teaching, speaking Spanish and hanging out with kids, so I thought, ‘Why not become a teacher?’”

GOING OFF CRUISE CONTROL In the summer between his sophomore and junior year, Alex had a realization. “I was driving through the streets of Grand Rapids, in neighborhoods where people were outside doing their thing. I looked at them and realized just how lucky I was to be able to go to college. Not everyone has that opportunity. Then I thought, ‘What am I doing with my life? I’m taking great classes and getting good grades, but I’m not really being challenged.’ I knew then that I needed to take my academic life and my career plans off cruise control.” For Alex, this meant doing an academic 180. It meant facing the possibility that he would have to stay at Calvin for a fifth year. It meant taking classes in biology and physics and chemistry—topics he hadn’t studied since high school. With the help of pre-med adviser and biology professor Rich Nyhof, Alex was able to figure out how to make Calvin’s rigorous pre-med program work and still graduate with Calvin’s class of 2011. The clincher? When he spoke with his education professor about dropping the teacher education program, he found encouragement where he’d expected resistance. “He said, ‘If this is truly where God is calling you, go for it.’ I expected him to be upset that I was leaving his program. Instead, he was kind.”

THE YEAR OF SCIENCE If Alex was going to be ready for the MCAT (the entrance exam for med school) by the following summer, he would have to “cram three years’ worth of pre-reqs into one year.” He got started with “General Chemistry” and “Intro to Physics”—and nearly stopped right there.

“Here’s something you should never do: open your textbook to the middle and start reading advanced material during the first week of class. I did this in the first week of my physics class—I saw stuff about magnets and immediately knew I couldn’t do this. And the truth was, I couldn’t do it. But God could. He helped me keep going.” Alex survived “Intro to Physics” and even the notoriously difficult organic chemistry, taken in 10 grueling weeks during Calvin’s optional summer term. The support he received during his “year of science”—extra attention from profs and stress management tips from Calvin’s Broene Counseling Center—made the year more than survivable. It was actually inspiring. “During my first two years in the humanities, I was encouraged to explore huge world issues. It was like God was telling me, ‘Look how big I am!’ Now, in the second half of my Calvin experience, as I’m studying tiny things like atoms and molecules, I feel like He’s saying, ‘Look how I work in the small things, too!’”


WHY CALVIN? Alex was looking for a college that had just the right sense of Christian community when he visited campus. He also wanted to know that he would have plenty of opportunities where clubs and sports were concerned.

Looking back, it just felt right when I visited. Now I know that was because Calvin had great opportunities for spiritual formation, leadership and community while also giving me a lot of freedom to choose those things instead of forcing me to do them.


GOOD STORIES Alex is starting to see his mid-college program change pay off. Because he didn’t take organic chemistry until the summer between his junior and senior year, he couldn’t take the MCAT and apply to med school until the fall. Still, he applied to 18 schools, interviewed at six and is now choosing among them. “Obviously, you need good grades and a good MCAT score to get into med school ... but almost everyone applying to med school has that.” He needed to stand out in some way, and Alex is convinced that the quality of his Calvin experience made him do just that. “College is a time that shapes the core of who you are. Calvin has prepared me to truly ‘be in the world and not of it,’ to be strong in faith and love.” Courses in the humanities and the sciences, a semester living with a family in Honduras, a volunteer experience mentoring refugee families, a leadership role with Calvin’s Student Senate, strong support from professors, deep relationships with roommates and friends—these things unite to make the difference Alex needed when competing with other undergrads for med school spots. “What you really need to get into medical school? You need good stories. More than anything, Calvin gave me that.”

Register for wilderness orientation at

In a one-week trip, it’s hard to go beyond pity for people who live in developing countries. When you’re there longer, living with them, you learn to get down on your knees with them. When you do, you realize that they are actually standing and are strong in so many ways that you are not.


Alex likes to say his Spanish professor “tricked” him into studying off-campus in Honduras for the fall of his sophomore year. “Just apply and see if you get in!” she said. Next thing he knew, Alex received a letter saying that he was going to Honduras. Since he wanted to beef up his Spanish skills, he decided to go with it. The experience helped him to go beyond the “oneweek mission trip” mindset to a new way of seeing the developing world.

ORIENTATION OPTIONS When Alex had to choose which Passport orientation session to attend, he opted for the Wilderness Passport orientation option. It became an unforgettable experience for him. “I tell every incoming student to choose Wilderness Passport! When I did it, not only did I earn some college credit, I also met three guys that became my closest friends and roommates to this day!”


OVER 1 0













Accounting African Studies Archaeology Pre-Architecture Art Art Education Fine Arts Art History Studio Art Asian Studies Astronomy Audiology Biblical Studies Bilingual Education Biochemistry Biology Biotechnology Business Chemistry Chinese Classical Languages and Studies Communication Arts and Sciences Computer Science Congregational Studies Dance Pre-Dentistry Digital Communication Dutch/Netherlandic Studies Ecology Economics Education Early Childhood Education Elementary Education ESL Graduate Studies (MA) Secondary Education Special Education Engineering Chemical Engineering Civil & Environmental Engineering Electrical & Computer Engineering Mechanical Engineering


English Environmental Science/Studies Exercise Science Film and Media Studies French Gender Studies Geography Geology German Health Education History Information Systems Interdisciplinary Studies International Development Studies International Relations Japanese Journalism Kinesiology Korean Latin Latin American Studies Pre-Law Linguistics Mathematics & Statistics Pre-Medicine Media Production Medieval Studies Ministry Studies Missions Music Applied Music Music Education Music History Instrumental Music Music Theory and Composition Vocal Music Worship Music Natural Resources/Natural Science Nursing Organizational Communication Pre-Occupational Therapy Pre-Optometry Pre-Pharmacy Philosophy Physical Education Pre-Physical Therapy Pre-Physician Assistant Physics Political Science Psychology Public Administration Public Health Recreation Religion

Scientific Computation and Modeling Pre-Seminary Social Science Social Work Sociology Spanish Speech Pathology & Audiology Speech Pathology (MA) Sport Management Strategic Communication Sustainability Theatre Theological Studies Therapeutic Recreation Urban Studies Pre-Veterinary Studies Writing Youth Ministry Leadership





11:1 student-faculty ratio

82% faculty with a PhD or highest degree

388 faculty members


Imagine a year like this...



Why go with the traditional college orientation experience when you could be going rock-climbing, kayaking and hiking instead? Sign up for a Passport orientation session that takes you into the wild.


$1 BUCK FRIDAYS Buck Fridays will ensure that you’ll never spend a Friday night bored as a Calvin student.

Chaos Day/Sept.

Dance Guild/Nov.

Tree Lighting/Dec.


The Rivalry/Jan.






Travel with Calvin students and staff to do disaster relief work, urban ministry or restorative justice. Invest one week and you’ll be changed for a lifetime.

A dazzling concert lineup, thought-provoking artists, critically acclaimed films—Calvin’s Student Activities Office teaches you to find where God is at work in popular music, film, video games, fashion and more.

• impact of mountain top removal on communities (Kermit, W.Va.) • work with at-risk women (Knoxville, Tenn.)

Gospel Choir/ April

• art, agriculture and development in rural communities (Three Rivers, Mich.) • Katrina disaster relief (Houma, La.) • urban ministry (Boston, Mass.) • disaster relief (Biloxi, Miss.) • adults with mental disabilities–L’Arche USA (Mobile, Ala.) MORE TRIPS:

Spring Arts Festival/May

Bachelor of Fine Arts Exhibit/May




SENIOR ENGINEERING TEAM 9: Andrew Rescorla • civil/environmental engineering Betsy Huyser • international mechanical engineering Alex Boelkins • mechanical engineering Katrina Denny • civil/environmental engineering

THE CHALLENGE: Create an innovative and sustainable temporary housing solution for millions of people who have no proper shelter in South Africa.

THE PROJECT: Using a standard shipping container, this senior project team designed and integrated all required systems to provide clean water, electricity and proper sanitation. All design work was based on a 40-foot container, which are in high surplus. The team constructed and tested a nearly full-scale prototype using a 20-foot shipping container. All the comforts of home. Senior engineering students transform a shipping container into sustainable housing for the urban poor in South Africa.




Watch the video:

It was Wednesday afternoon, and Calvin’s senior engineering majors were restoring order to the two wings of the engineering building, the site of Senior Projects Night—the annual student showcase of engineering ingenuity. As his colleagues cleared tables of debris and pushed brooms, senior civil and environmental engineer Andrew Rescorla was out on the loading dock explaining why his team had converted a steel shipping container into a home. “I was down in South Africa a couple of years ago and saw these post-apartheid townships. There’s just a huge need for sustainable housing, and there will continue to be a need,” he said.

A TEMPORARY SOLUTION The shipping container makes a good temporary housing solution for the world’s urban poor, Andrew said, and his team, named “Ship to Shanty,” equipped their model with some modern-day amenities: there’s a sink, a toilet, a living area, a ventilation system, a sewage system and a basic water treatment system. The unit even had a garden on the roof. Mechanical engineer Alex Boelkins was particularly enthusiastic about the water treatment unit, which converts water collected in a barrel on the roof into drinking water: “It was symbolic that our home could take dirty water and make it clean and safe,” he said. There were some unforeseen challenges to the project, said Katrina Denny, another civil and environmental concentrator—such as cutting out spaces for windows. “In the prototype construction, we were definitely thinking things would go easier than they did,” she said, laughing.

REAL-WORLD ENGINEERING EXPERIENCE The shanty project not only makes sense, it presents the students with a real-world engineering challenge—which is the whole point of senior design projects, said Calvin engineering professor Aubrey Sykes. “It causes students to put their skills and education together on an unstructured problem, unlike the homework they’ve experienced,” he said. Adapted from News and Stories, 2010

Other senior engineering projects: • a drinking water system for Cuchiverachi, Mexico • a wastewater treatment system for a village in Ecuador • a kayak course for the Grand River in Grand Rapids • a geothermal snowmelt system for Calvin’s Burton Street entrance


of Calvin engineering graduates pass the Fundamentals of Engineering exam on the first attempt.

Yes, there’s a garden on the roof! The green roof grows food and cools the container.

Nevertheless, the Ship to Shanty crew was pleased with their prototype, a completed version of which would cost $5,000. “Using a shipping container for (permanent) housing doesn’t make sense,” said Andrew, “but using it for short-term, temporary housing does make sense.”



It’s time to invest in a pair of hip-high waders and a few flannel shirts. You’ll need them to stay warm—and dry—in Biology 250, a class where you’ll explore the Plaster Creek Watershed, a system of streams and ponds in the greater Grand Rapids area. The point of BIO 250 is pretty simple: learn how to do sophisticated scientific research in teams of students under the direction of an experienced prof. The course, required for all biology majors, has applications to careers in ecology, health sciences and much more. Things get interesting when you start talking about what you’re researching (and why you’re researching it). The subject of your scrutiny is one of Michigan’s most polluted watershed areas. Your work, together with that of other students, professors, area churches and community organizations, aims to help the system slowly renew itself. BIO 250 begins with a study of how humans, starting with the Ottawa Indian tribe, followed by the European settlers and the area’s modern inhabitants, have contributed to the system’s health (or lack thereof). Once you understand the connection between human activity and the environment, you’ll actually take a tour of the system, from its source in southern Kent County to its discharge into the Grand River near downtown Grand Rapids.


In week three of the course, you’ll head to portions of Plaster Creek to do stream sampling. Your tasklist includes checking water quality, doing an inventory of macroinvertebrates (think creepy crawlies) and studying bacteria in the water. At this point, you’ll join a group and plan a more in-depth research project. You might study how the Talmadge Creek oil spill affects the watershed area, measure the levels of nitrogen and phosphorus in the water, or examine the impact of stream contamination on area wildlife. The results from your project will have real impact: They will be used by area organizations to influence and form policies to see the watershed area renewed over time. Can’t get enough of Plaster Creek? You could do paid research during the summer with a prof from the biology department. Or you might become a stewardship liaison for GLISTEN, a project that sees area colleges and community organizations collaborate on environmental projects in the Great Lakes area.

Water flowing through Calvin’s 90-acre Ecosystem Preserve is a part of the Plaster Creek Watershed, the research subject of BIO 250.

research it! Can’t wait to be in an academic environment where you can contribute to real research? Check out these opportunities:

PHAGE RESEARCH – biology Use cutting-edge genomics research tools to isolate and name a bacterial virus. Apply today: Search for “phage” on Calvin’s website in March and apply for this opportunity in your first semester at Calvin!

FYRES – first-year research in earth sciences Get outside and study Lake Michigan sand dunes in your first year at Calvin. Contribute to research that aims to preserve this natural feature, and get hands-on experience in earth sciences! Apply today: Go to

SUMMER SCIENCE RESEARCH* – astronomy, biology, chemistry, geology, geography, environmental studies, integrated science, physics and psychology Join over 80 students each summer who get paid to assist professors with research in the sciences.

MCGREGOR SUMMER RESEARCH FELLOWSHIPS* – all non-science disciplines Assist a professor with their research in religion, philosophy, communications, English and many other areas of study. *These research opportunities are available to you once you become a Calvin student. Apply in your first or second year.


6:32 a.m. / David Ribbens / Just passing by

7:46 a.m. / Jennifer Buck / Breakfast in Commons

10:10 a.m. / Tim Ellens / Chapel

CALVIN IN 24 Take a peek into everyday life at Calvin through pics taken during Calvin in 24, a photography event that gathered images from members of the Calvin community in Grand Rapids—and across the globe. 10:14 a.m. / Meredith Donnelly / Ceramics class

10:45 a.m. / Rachel Polet / Researching in biology

2:08 p.m. / Bill Vriesema / Self-defense class

3:51 p.m. / Matt Kucinski / Calvin Wind Ensemble

10:27 a.m. / Bill Vriesema / Heading to class

12:18 p.m. / Tanya Adams / Budapest

1:40 p.m. / Jorie Ellens / Boarding the Rapid

2:27 p.m. / Matt Lundberg / Calvin spirit

3:29 p.m. / Matt Kucinski / Art class

4:58 p.m. / Sandy Palmatter / Soccer game

8:00 p.m. / Megan Rose / Where we live


our ow y etition h t u comp g abo st inkin t, a dorm his conte h t e t r t a a d r a g o e ill-A-W itchin and l en— o gre eck out K organize e plants, d mption g o t ays mor at consu ents —ch for w f creation ility. Stud ty, buying open g n i b k i m me xtended o a c o ur i o n r r i o f l t w a c t e g in yo vi ’re in us te ele If you fects your nmental s sing less nd refrain points ge hang out u a n o af st faith d on envir points for wer time h the mo gender ca t o i s e e h s t i s w m u s ing po foc dor rms arns or ten he op k. Do that e water, sh f the wee eople of t d p o bottle tain days es when r m i e t c — n o rs y. e hou hous and hallwa room

? T T A W A L



Live on the creation care floor in Ven Reken hall and focus on environmental stewardship through programs, seminars and social events.


VERVE AMPS UP WORSHIP Calvin has plenty of worship opportunities on campus: LOFT (Living Our Faith Together), daily chapels, dorm worship and campus Bible studies. Now there’s a new edition: Verve, a student-led worship session that meets the second Friday of each month. There’s something just a little different about this worship service: It started in 2009 as a ministry for Korean students on campus. Now it has expanded, with more non-Korean Calvin students attending the monthly Verve. Junior Calvin student Auna Walker has gone several times, even when the service attracted mainly Koreans. “I didn’t feel uncomfortable. I thought it was awesome … I liked the genuine worship,” she said.


Each Verve service consists of praise music and an interlude. Interludes are not always sermons—they can be lectures by professors, talks by students, prayer sessions or videos. “We don’t have a permanent structure in order to allow flexibility and creativity,” said junior David Cheon, a praise leader for Verve. The student-led service is organized by a six-person leadership team and other student teams that organize prayer, communications and advertising, media and greeting teams. “Verve encourages any students with ideas, or just the heart, to serve,” said David. Adapted from the Dec. 3, 2010, edition of Chimes.


The rhythms of life at Calvin change each January as students and professors participate in a three-week term called interim. It’s a time when hundreds of students fan out across the globe. Some students cycle their way through Australia, while others explore the struggle for peace in Northern Ireland. Still others put their Spanish skills to the test in the Yucatan. This year, 11 teams traveled across the United States competing in Calvin’s version of “The Amazing Race.”

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Watch the highlight video:



Kelly Peterson’s college experience has been about community: “I did a Fridays (at Calvin) visit and that really was the deciding factor,” she said. “The people that I met here were genuine; I felt a real sense of community.” That feeling has only solidified three years into her collegiate career, particularly because of her affiliation with the Knights volleyball team. “Coming in I had the mindset that I just wanted to do the sport—just play volleyball. I didn’t realize how 26 VERGE

much my teammates would affect me. Now I know the team dynamic of having community that you don’t even realize your freshman year. “Now, I’m doing the sport because I like to hang out with these people, including our coach,” she said. “I had this perception of college coaches being detached from the team—just running practices and games. Our coach serves as a friend and a mentor and a mom.” Coming from Ramsey, Minn., Kelly discovered Calvin through an internet search, and Kelly is happy to feel such a connection to it now. As a biology major who hopes to work in conservation, Kelly found Calvin to

be the perfect fit on and off the court. “I’ve always been interested in studying creation. Calvin is a great place for that; I didn’t realize how much I would like being able to talk with professors about my faith.” Kelly is still letting the 2010 national championship feeling sink in—a part of the whole Calvin experience that she had never really thought possible. “Winning the finals was unbelievable,” she said. “I don’t necessarily remember the points we played during those games, but I remember the feeling, and I don’t think it’s going away anytime soon. We did it, we actually did it.” Reprinted from Knightfile, winter 2011.

RYAN BRATT ON THE FIELD A goalkeeper, Ryan Bratt posted a win-loss record of 16-3-5 this year along with a goalsagainst-average of 0.50. He collected 74 saves during the season and recorded 13 shutouts. An All-MIAA second team selection this fall, he was also named to the NCAA Scholar All-Region Team this winter. Ryan finished his Calvin career 4-0 in NCAA III Tournament shootout situations.

OFF THE FIELD Ryan came to Calvin from Washington Christian Academy. He posts a 3.44 GPA as an English and religion major with a philosophy minor. He hopes to apply for the Teach for America program and get a job in the education field. Ryan represents the fourth generation in his family to attend Calvin. “I always knew I was going to Calvin,” he said.

THE PERFECT FIT All of the puzzle pieces seemed to fit together at Calvin for midfielder Elaine Schnabel (Valparaiso, Ind.). “For me, it wasn’t just about soccer or academics. I took Japanese in high school, and Calvin offered [it] along with a great soccer program and orchestra—it just seemed like the right place for me,” said Elaine. Calvin’s strong Christian tradition also helped sway Elaine’s choice to come to Calvin.




square footage of the Spoelhof Fieldhouse Complex, including a 10,000-square-foot workout room, indoor track and tennis center, Olympic-sized swimming pool, a 40-by-80-foot rock climbing wall, and the largest D-III basketball arena on a college campus


MIAA Championships since 2000


in the NCAA for Academic All-Americans since 2000


National Championships since 1992

“Going to a Christian school was something that I really wanted. After being here for four years, I’m so happy for having the girls I had on my teams. Before I came to Calvin I expected people to be superficial and just focus on the soccer aspect, but when I played for Calvin, the girls really invested not only in their own goals but in the team aspect and really cared for each other.” Elaine brings a lot of energy to her college life. A regular on Calvin’s dean’s list, she also served as a student-organizer for Calvin’s biennial Festival of Faith and Writing, where she had the opportunity to talk personally with award-winning writers and publishers. She has earned spots on the MIAA Academic Honor Roll, the 2009 ESPN Academic All-District second team, and the 2010 ESPN Academic All-District team. 27



Summer days offer an individual visit for you and your family. Summer visit events

Choose from 18 Fridays dates during the school year

Find dates online

Calvin 101 provides an in-depth introduction to Calvin’s campus, academic programs and student opportunities.

Experience our most activity-packed visit program. We’re told by campus visitors that it’s one of the best college visit experiences around!

Dive deeper into a specific area of study such as engineering, health sciences, education, communication, psychology, social work, English and more. Department Days and Fridays at Calvin programs run concurrently, so you can pick the activities that suit your needs best.


Monday through Thursday


Saturday mornings during the school year

We’ll arrange an individual visit to help you get a feel for Calvin’s people, programs and places. We also offer in-depth visit days on Mondays that are national holidays, such as Columbus Day and Presidents’ Day.

Saturday mornings are pretty quiet around campus, it’s true, but we’ll gladly provide a group information session and tour.

Bring your parents along

too! 28 VERGE



› › › ›


Your completed application form, including one essay - the easiest way to apply! A high school transcript -print a form online and give it to your school

An academic recommendation -e-mail a recommendation link to a teacher, counselor or pastor ACT or SAT scores

International applicants may have different requirements, so please check In case you’re wondering, interviews are not required, but we’d love to meet you during your campus visit!


GPA 3.6 (4.0 scale) ACT 26 SAT 1200 50:50 male/female ratio ADMISSIONS DECISIONS

Calvin will waive the $35 fee for applications received by these dates: December 1 - U.S. citizens January 1 - Canadian and international citizens

Once we’ve received all of your application materials, please allow two weeks for an admissions decision. In some cases this may take a bit longer, but feel free to call if you’re wondering about the status of your application.Your admissions decision will come via e-mail and regular mail.

Applications are still welcome after the dates above and are considered on a rolling basis. International applications will be considered until April 1.




Calvin’s mission is to shape hearts and minds for Christian living and learning, equipping students to follow and further the ways of God on earth. We examine tough issues and big ideas; we wrestle with difficult questions and understand that answers can be complex. We believe that God wants us to be actively engaged in every aspect of culture and every corner of creation, renewing His world. If this sounds like something you’d like to be part of, we hope that you’ll apply!

General academic scholarships: Once you’re admitted, you will be automatically considered for Calvin’s general academic scholarships, which range from $1,000-10,000. Scholarship announcements are typically sent three weeks after admission. (Don’t forget to apply for need-based financial aid, too!) Additional scholarships: Explore other scholarships available to new students at scholarships/additional 29




Ed and Melanie Tolsma are no strangers to tuition bills. Their oldest daughter, Arianna, is a sophomore at Calvin College and their other daughters attend private schools. For this family, choosing Calvin was more than a matter of weighing costs. Calvin was a choice they made for Arianna’s future. Ed, a Calvin grad, currently works as a project manager at Zeeland Architectural Components while Melanie, also a Calvin grad, serves at Legacy Christian Elementary as a teacher aide. Ed says his wife’s work helps cover the cost of Arianna’s Calvin tuition. With Arianna’s on-campus job and financial aid package, Calvin is staying within reach.

Arianna at the Sea of Galiliee on an interim trip in Israel.

What makes Calvin worth it? Opportunities! I’ve gotten out of my comfort zone, traveled to Israel, served as an orientation leader, met professors who are passionate about their subjects, developed my faith—and learned a lot about myself in the process. —Arianna Tolsma, Calvin student

“Arianna also works on campus at Calvin in the Rhetoric Center. My guess is she works between five to 10 hours each week, which gives her spending money and book money.” Calvin provides tuition assistance for Arianna as well, through grants and scholarships. And a portion of her costs are covered by student loans. Ed reinforces the need to work hard. “We want to do all that we can to qualify for more scholarships,” he said. Ed advises other families to start looking for scholarship opportunities early. “We didn’t start until March or April, and we didn’t look for scholarships that we may have been able to pursue [with Arianna],” he said. “But, the other thing is . . . to realize that Calvin offers more intangibles than what you can put a price on.” Through Calvin’s study abroad programs, “Arianna has traveled to Jerusalem for interim,” said Ed. “And, she plans to go to Peru next semester. She is very comfortable and happy in life at Calvin. As a father I am struggling to pay for it, but understand that she is being called to be there and do what she’s doing.” For the Tolsmas, it’s working. “Calvin offers something that other schools don’t, an aspect of life that a lot of colleges leave behind—integrating Christ into everything.”


Think of the application process in terms of these two steps:

College costs can give you sticker shock, but don’t bypass a great school just because of the published price. If you’re excited about a college, apply. At Calvin, over 97% of students pay less than full price—a lot less, in fact.


STEP 1: Apply for admission The $35 fee will be waived for applications received by December 1 (U.S. citizens) or January 1 (Canadians and internationals).


STEP 2: Apply for financial aid Financial aid applications are available starting January 1.



Don’t let the financial aid process scare you—applying is easier than you think.

To receive maximum consideration for financial aid and scholarships, make sure you are admitted by February 1.

Don’t despair if you miss recommended deadlines for financial aid. Often there is still money available beyond these dates. Apply as soon as you can.

Be on the lookout for scholarships! Many communities, organizations and businesses also award scholarships to qualified students. Search them out and apply!




U.S. citizens

1. Free Application for Federal Student Aid 2. Calvin’s Supplemental Financial Aid Form (optional)

February 15

800-688-0122 616-526-6134

Canadian citizens

Canadian Financial Aid Form

April 1

800-688-0122 616-526-6134

International citizens

Declaration of Finances form

April 1

800-688-0122 616-526-6134


THERE’S 4 YEARS’ WORTH OF CITY HERE 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

ice skate or swing dance at Rosa Parks Circle Explore more of GR

share a mound of sweet potato fries at the Electric Cheetah Bistro

enjoy art at Calvin’s downtown (106) Gallery

take in fireworks at Celebration on the Grand and enjoy an empanada at the nearby Hispanic Festival

browse trendy consignment shops in East Hills

bike around Reeds Lake (just north of campus) and enjoy ice cream at Jersey Junction afterward

row down the Grand River with Calvin’s crew team

watch Grand Rapids Griffins ice hockey

stroll through the sculpture park or enjoy the gardens at Meijer Gardens


tour Frank Lloyd Wright’s Meyer-May house or the Heritage Hills Historic District

Grand Rapids

Lupe Fiasco Sufjan Stevens Over the Rhine Jeff Tweedy Fleet Foxes My Brightest Diamond Anathallo David Bazan The Mountain Goats Broken Social Scene The Decemberists Cornel West Andrew Bird Emmylou Harris Death Cab for Cutie Patty Griffin Gillian Welch Welcome Wagon Wilco Anberlin Joanna Newsom Explosions in the Sky Grizzly Bear Derek Webb

You care about pop culture. So do we. Should you reject popular culture or embrace it? Consider Calvin’s alternative: holy worldliness. Using the lens of our Christian faith, we help students engage with popular culture to discern its positives and negatives—to be in the world, but not of it. It’s a bold path, but we accept the challenge. Join the conversation.

Ratatat Switchfoot Sigur Rós Jon Foreman K’NAAN Jars of Clay The Blind Boys of Alabama

Office of Admissions and Financial Aid 3201 Burton St. SE Grand Rapids, MI 49546-4388


MAJOR AT CALVIN Communication arts and sciences



Syracuse University ’08, Master’s in communication and rhetorical studies

Uche Ilobi’s path to Calvin took some interesting turns. Born in Nigeria and educated in the Netherlands, she came to Calvin to study communications. It was her Calvin professors who gave her a perspective that would shape her life going forward—“everyone is called to be an agent in God’s world.” After graduating from Calvin with a degree in communication arts and sciences, she took a job at a prestigious public relations firm before heading to graduate school. With her master’s degree in hand, Uche took a position as the education outreach coordinator at the Society for the Performing Arts (SPA), an organization that brings the world’s finest artists to Houston, Texas, to enrich community life and inspire young people.

UCHE ILOBI Uche has called many places home—Nigeria, the Netherlands, Calvin and now, Houston, Texas.

Next on her journey? She’s leaving that in God’s hands.

God wants me to be an influence. Maybe it will remain in the arts, perhaps I’ll move to business or even diplomacy. But whatever it is, I’ve learned to give it all my heart.

VERGE 1.2  

At Calvin College, you'll find yourself on the verge of more than you can imagine. New ideas, unexpected opportunities, new territory in you...

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