The Henry Institute's Civitas Lab partners Calvin students and faculty to study the intersections of faith and public life. Every year, 6-8 students - the Civitas Scholars - enter the Lab as paid research assistants to work with Calvin professors across campus who are exploring the public role of faith. The students also build a research community by meeting together regularly to discuss their work, share project insights and challenges, and divide labor when necessary. During the year, Calvin's Center for Social Research introduces the Civitas Scholars to various methods and applications that will serve the students not only in their near-term projects, but also in their vocational pursuits after graduation.

The 2016-17 Civitas Lab

Challenges for the Next President SeriesAbbie Schutte and Jonathan Winkle are examining issue topics and producing position papers for each major "hot button" issue considered in the Challenges series panel discussions, working with Calvin College professor Micah Watson.

2016 jonathan winkle abigail_schutte Micah-web
Jonathan Winkle
Freshman, majoring in 
Political Science
from Grand Rapids, MI
Abbie Schutte
Senior, majoring in Political Science 
(Civic Leadership and Policy Studies)
Minors in Sociology, Urban Studies
from Olathe, Kansas
Micah Watson
Calvin College
Political Science
Department

The Globalization of Adoption Policy: Shiki Hino is working with Professor Becca McBride on her ongoing research into the global interaction surrounding international adoption. 

Shiki Hino mcbride
Shiki Hino
Senior, majoring in 
Economics and Mathematics
from Asago, Japan
Becca McBride
Calvin College Political 
Science Department

The Faith of Hillary Clinton: Isaac LaGrand is assisting Calvin History Professor Kristin DuMez with research for her forthcoming book, Journey of Faith: A Religious History of Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Isaac LaGrand Kristin DuMez
Isaac LaGrand
Senior, majoring in History
and Philosophy
from Grand Rapids, MI
Kristin DuMez
Calvin College History 
Department

The Civic Engagement of Latino Christians: Calvin Junior Erica Buursma is exploring the diverse patterns of Latino Protestant congregational civic engagement with Calvin Sociology Department Professor Mark Mulder.

2016-17 Erica Buursma Mark Mulder
Erica Buursma
Junior, majoring in Sociology,
minors in Gender Studies, 
Communication and Spanish
from Grand Rapids, MI
Mark Mulder
Calvin College
Sociology Department

Water and Justice: Jonathan Winkle is researching the appropriate role of government in addressing problems surrounding availability, stewardship and economic justice issues that surround distribution of water as a matter of public justice.

2016 jonathan winkle dendulk2014
Jonathan Winkle
Freshman, majoring in Political Science
from Grand Rapids, MI
Kevin R. den Dulk
Calvin College
Political Science Department
Henry Institute Exec. Director

Mapping Resources for Returning Citizens: Julie Bylsma is working with Jason VanHorn from Calvin's Geology Department to construct an interactive map of resources available for re-entering citizens in Kent County as they are released from incarceration.

Julie Bylsma Jason Van Horn
Julie Bylsma    
Senior,
from Grand Rapids, MI
Jason Van Horn
Calvin College 
Geology Department

Visualizing Faith and Citizenship: Kara Bilkert is assisting Calvin Sociology Professor Roman Williams in collecting photographic images from students studying off-campus which convey a momentary, unique perspective about faith and public life.

2016_kara_bilkert_web James Owen R Williams-web
Kara Bilkert
Junior, majoring in Social Work
and Sociology
from Cleveland, OH
James Owens
Sophomore, majoring in 
Sociology and Studio Art
from St. Louis, MO
Roman Williams
Calvin College
Sociology Department

As part of the Visualizing Faith and Citizenship project, Abbie Schutte is exploring how churches present political issues and views to their parishioners, working with Calvin Political Science professor Kevin den Dulk.

abigail_schutte Kevin den Dulk
Abbie Schutte
Senior, majoring in Political Science 
(Civic Leadership and Policy Studies)
Minors in Sociology, Urban Studies
from Olathe, Kansas
Kevin den Dulk
Calvin College
Political Science Department
Henry Institute Exec. Director

Public Lands and Water Resources:Noah Schumerth is working with Prof. James Skillen to map and explain conflicts over public lands in the Western United States. Over the last century, critics of federal land ownership have waged a number of "sagebrush rebellions," and there are indications that we are in the midst of a new wave of rebellion today. Their research is exploring the legal and ideological roots of this rebellion and its impact on the work of public land agencies.

2016-17 Noah Schumerth James Skillen
Noah Schumerth
Sophomore, majoring in Geography
minoring in Architecture
from Appleton, WI
James Skillen
Calvin College
Geology, Geography, and Environmental Sciences Department