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  • Thursday, August 23, 2018
  • 8:00 AM–1:30 PM

Join us for the 2018 Fall Conference for Calvin College Faculty and Staff

Thursday, August 23, 2018
Begins with coffee at 8:00 a.m. on the chapel patio
(rain venue: chapel undercroft)

President Le Roy will introduce the day with an address, "Looking Forward, Looking Back." The three breakout sessions will feature discussions led by colleagues from across the college on a variety of topics, including interactive sessions with the groups that have been working hard all summer on the four areas that flow from the vision statement (see breakout descriptions below). The morning will conclude with lunch at 12:30 p.m. on the commons lawn; in case of rain, lunch will be served in the commons dining hall.

All faculty and staff are strongly encouraged to attend this conference, which provides an ideal opportunity to welcome newcomers to the community and to begin the year together in worship. Emeriti and retired employees are welcome to attend as well. (If you have a Calvin name badge, please be sure to wear it.)


8:00 a.m. Coffee on the chapel patio (rain venue: chapel undercroft)
8:30 a.m. Opening worship
8:40 a.m. Keynote: President Le Roy
9:30 a.m. Refreshments served near session rooms
9:40–10:30 a.m. Breakout session one
10:40–11:30 a.m. Breakout session two
11:40 a.m.–12:30 p.m. Breakout session three
12:30–1:15 p.m. Lunch on the commons lawn (rain venue: commons dining hall)


Breakout Sessions

N.B.: Final schedule and rooms will be announced soon.

University Structure and Governance

By 2020, Calvin College will become Calvin University. What forms might the new university take? This session explores a range of possible models for university structure and governance that lend themselves to Calvin becoming a university “with an expanded global influence… a trusted partner… animated by a Reformed Christian faith.”

Presenters: Elizabeth Vander Lei, David Wunder, Kevin den Dulk, Irene Kraegel, Brian Paige, Jim Timmer, Leonard Van Drunen, Todd Dornbos, Nygil Likely, and Amy Wilstermann

Innovative Programs and Offerings

Higher education today finds itself in an increasingly disruptive environment. For Calvin to achieve its Vision for 2030, it must grow its capacity for developing innovative programs and offerings and adopt practices that allow it to respond more quickly to change. In this session, learn more about possible structures and processes that will enable Calvin University to be more innovative and adaptive.

Presenters: Sarah Visser, Thea Brophy, Peter Snyder, Jeremy VanAntwerp, Brian Bolt, Jeff Bouman, Arlene Hoogewerf, John Witte, Eric Washington

Trusted Partner

Vision 2030 calls Calvin University to be a “trusted partner for learning across religious and cultural differences and throughout the academy, the church, and the world.” Join this session to explore strategic options for developing ecosystems or platforms for forging new and broader partnerships for the university.

Presenters: Lauren Jensen, Adam Vedra, Derek Schuurman, Rick Treur, Will Katerberg, David Malone, Kieychia Likely, Susan Felch

Reformed Christian Witness in the World

In an increasingly religiously diverse world, what does it mean for Calvin University to be “animated by a Reformed Christian faith”? In this session, hear possible strategies for Calvin to equip its faculty, staff, and students in Reformed Christian belief and practice and to promote a global vision of Reformed Christianity.

Presenters: Cheryl Brandsen, Greg Elzinga, Michelle Loyd-Paige, Andy Rau, Kelly DuBois, Christina Edmondson, Jamie Skillen, Kurt Schaefer, Will Katerberg

Is Wellness Wimpy? The “Who, What, When, Where, and Why” of Resilience & Grit at Calvin College

Today’s college students face unique challenges to mental wellness, and your job puts you right in the thick of these challenges. In this session, Student Life professionals will share experiences and wisdom from a variety of perspectives to support you in cultivating a culture of wellness within your departments, your classrooms, and the college as a whole.

Presenters: Irene Kraegel (Center for Counseling & Wellness), Kieychia Likely (Intercultural Student Development), Ralph Johnson (Office of Student Conduct), Joella Ranaivoson (Campus Ministries), Liesl Zylstra (Health Services), Jason Shaffer (Residence Life)

Is My Networking Working?

Whether participating in “Fridays at Calvin” with students & parents, chatting with alumni at a Calvin event or attending a community event, networking is a skill that can make these interactions more engaging and entertaining, ultimately energizing both yourself and others. Networking is often construed as disingenuous at worst or tolerable at best, this interactive session helps participants find new ways to make the experience more beneficial, if not downright fun. Using the tools of improvisation, this session provides participants with tangible ideas on ways to be more agile in the moment, more spontaneous in conversation, and more focused in listening. Participants receive an overview of how these tools can help them think on their feet, connect in the moment and reduce their stress level.

Presenter: Mary Jane Pories (Calvin Alum) – Fishladder, Inc.

From Every Nation: Recruiting International Students to Calvin College

Calvin deploys a team of four professionals to manage the recruitment, transcript evaluation, financial screening, immigration support, admissions and enrollment of international students (including foreign nationals in U.S. high schools and U.S. students in high schools abroad. This year, the international team undertook a paradigm shift to a more data-informed systemic approach that engaged alumni partners and family members, current student ambassadors, academic program team members and resources of EdUSA. Results were very encouraging: a larger admit pool, stronger academic credentials, better financial profiles, lower yield and overall growth in deposits. Students from international territories will comprise 17.5% of our incoming FTIAC class this fall. Come and see how you can participate in the coming year!

Presenters: Tara Braun, Jeronica Andrews, Bryce Carlton (+ 1 or 2 more from outside the division)

Show me the money!

Over the course of the summer, the college implemented a chartered project to identify 3 - 5 actionable opportunities to expand its revenue through new and modification of existing programs, each generating significant annual net revenue. Attend this session for an overview of the 13 working groups and a reveal of those selected for further implementation.

Presenters: Russ Bloem & Sally Vander Ploeg (+ the Team Leads from the selected Projects)

What’s CCPD and What Does It Have to do With Me?

This session provides an overview of the Cultural Competency Professional Development (CCPD) requirement for both faculty and staff. The session begins with the results of the “80% by May 1” challenge followed by the unveiling of the newly revised Philosophy of Diversity Training document. The session ends with a preview of the Cultural Competency Professional Development events currently scheduled for AY18-19.

Presenter: Michelle Loyd-Paige

Consolidation Project (dining/campus union)

[Description coming]

Presenters: Russell Bray, John Witte, John Britton

Recap of Summer 2018 Projects

[Description coming]

Presenter: Russell Bray

Honors Program

[Description coming]

Presenters: Amy Wilstermann, Craig Hanson, key faculty

Setting a Firm Foundation for Wellness: The Healthy Habits program

Over the years, the Healthy Habits Program has seen incredible growth, powerful testimonials and substantial change as an integral part of our community. We are dedicated to keeping our wellness program alive in a way that is sustainable and provides maximum long-term impact across our workforce. Join us for a brief presentation of the redesigned Healthy Habits program and participate in the following panel discussion with our wellness administrators from Allegro Coaching and HR about the changes (and how those changes came about).

Presenters: Kendra Bylsma (Owner, Allegro Coaching), Amanda Blackburn (Program Manager, Allegro Coaching), Amber Lepard-Nichols (Manager of Employment Services, Calvin College)

The Gateway Initiative: Meijer-Funded Innovations for Student Success

Did you know that Meijer awarded Calvin $1,000,000 to support student success initiatives? Come hear about how we are using this gift to help high-risk students transition successfully to college learning through innovations in gateway courses, first-year seminar, advising, and coordinated care.

Presenters: Thea Brophy, Associate Director for Student Success, Center for Student Success; Todd Dornbos, Director of Retention and First-Year Initiatives, Associate Dean; Christina Edmondson, Dean of Intercultural Student Development; Kyle Heys, Associate Director for Access and Instruction, Center for Student Success; Dave Koetje, Professor, Biology; Stacey Wieland, Associate Professor, Communication Arts and Sciences

August 2018
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