The Civitas Lab is a research incubator at the Henry Institute. Every year, a number of Calvin students known as the Civitas Scholars partner with Calvin professors to explore the public role of faith through discipline-based research. 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.

The 2020-21 Civitas Lab

Critical Information Needs in Underserved Communities: Yejae Kim is working with Professor Jesse Holcomb on a research project supported by the William & Flora Hewlett Foundation. The two-part study, consisting of a public opinion survey and media content analysis, explores how communities of color stay informed about schools and education, and seeks to understand the role that media play in sharing education-related information to these communities.

Yejae Kim 2018-19 Holcomb 2018-19
Yejae Kim
Senior, majoring in International Relations and
Data Science from
Bogotá, Columbia
Jesse Holcomb
Calvin University English and Communication Department

Perspectives on Patriotism and Nationalism: Lauren Baas and Rich Mouw are focusing on the topic of love of one's nation, with the goal of clarifying how affection for a particular nation -- the one in which a Christian is a citizen -- relates to obedience to the will of God and participation in a global Christian community drawn from every "tribe, tongue, and nation." The investigation draws upon resources in political theory, history, and theology.

Lauren Baas 2020-21 Richard Mouw
Lauren Baas
Senior, majoring in
Political Science and History
from Sioux Center, IA
Rich Mouw
Henry Institute
Senior Research

A Cultural History of White Christian Womanhood: Karalyn Aardema and Karolyn DeKam are working with Calvin History Professor Kristin DuMez on a project that traces the recent history (1970s to the present) of the ideal of white Christian womanhood, exploring its religious, cultural, and political manifestatons. 

Karalyn Ardema 2020-21 2017-18 karolyn dekam DuMez
Karalyn Aardema
Sophomore majoring
in History, minor in
Global Development
Studies from
Holland, MI
Karolyn DeKam
Senior, majoring  
in Sociology, minors
in Gender Studies and
Communications from
Muskegon, MI
Kristin Kobes DuMez
Calvin University 

Mapping Applications for Re-entry: Alaina Kwiatkowski and Yejae Kim are working with Jason VanHorn and Kevin den Dulk to continue the expansion of the user-friendly intuitive map as efforts to provide state-wide information about facilities and organizations that would be indispensable to new parolees and individuals returning from incarceration in Michigan. (additional information about the project work)

Alaina Kwiatkowski Yejae Kim 2018-19
Alaina Kwiatkowski
Sophomore majoring
in Politics, Philosophy,
and Economics (PPE)
from Hudsonville, MI
Yejae Kim
Senior, majoring in
International Relations and
Data Science from
Bogotá, Columbia
dendulk2014 JasonVanHorn
Kevin R. den Dulk
Calvin University
Associate Provost of
Calvin Global
Education; Political
Science Department
Jason Van Horn
Calvin University
Geology, Geography,
and Environmental Studies

Former Civitas Lab projects and participants