Cheryl K. Brandsen


Education

  • PhD (2001) - Michigan State University, interdisciplinary program in social sciences with concentrations in sociology and social work
  • MSW (1981) - University of Michigan, social work
  • BA (1979) - Calvin College, sociology

Biography

Cheryl Kreykes Brandsen, PhD, is the eighth chief academic officer of Calvin College. She began her work at Calvin College in 1989 as a member of the sociology and social work department. At Calvin College, Brandsen has served as the director of the social work program, chair of the sociology and social work department, dean for the social sciences and contextual disciplines and now serves as provost.

Professional experience

Calvin College

  • 2014-present – Provost
  • 2008-2014 – Academic Dean for the Social Sciences and Contextual Disciplines
  • 2002-2008 – Chair, Department of Sociology and Social Work
  • 2001-present – Professor of Sociology and Social Work
  • 1996-2005 – Director, BSW Program
  • 1997 – Tenure, Calvin College
  • 1992-2001 – Associate Professor of Social Work
  • 1989-1992 – Assistant Professor of Social Work

Bethany Christian Services

  • 1985-1989 – Policy Specialist
  • 1981-1985 – Adoption and Family Services

Academic interests

Teaching Interests

Sociology of the family, social gerontology, sociology of death and dying

Research Interests

End-of-life care and health care policy; social welfare and the early Christian church; intersections between Christian faith and the social sciences

Courses Taught

  • Sociology: Introduction to Sociology (151); The Family (304); Social Gerontology (316); Sociology of Death and Dying (317); Integrative Capstone (395)
  • Social Work: Introduction to Social Work and Social Welfare Policy (240); Human Behavior in the Social Environment (350); Generalist Practice with Groups (372); Practicum/Seminar (380); Integrative Capstone (381)
  • Interdisciplinary: Is There a Duty to Die? (IDIS 29); Grief, Loss, and Healing (IDIS 51); Prelude (IDIS 149)
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Professional associations

  • American Council on Education (ACE)
  • American Sociological Association (ASA)
  • Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U)
  • Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU)
  • Council of Independent Colleges (CIC)

Board memberships/community service

  • Holland Home, Grand Rapids, MI (2008-2013)
  • Christian Counseling Center (1998-2003)
  • Grand/Kent Community Consortium on Successful Aging (2001-2010)
  • Hartford Geriatric Education (2002-2009)
  • HHS Health Services (2000-2006)
  • Michigan Society for Gerontology (2001-2007)
  • North American Association of Christians in Social Work (2004-2006)

Awards

Projects and Awards

  • NetVUE grant for Vocational Explorations in a Multi-Faith World: Cultivating Informed Engagement across Faith Traditions in Undergraduate Education. September 20–21, 2013.
  • Calvin College Summer Workshop on Qualitative Research in the Social Sciences, co-directed with Dr. Michael Emerson, Rice University. Funded by the Calvin Center for Christian Scholarship. June 2013.
  • Social Work Partnership – Mother Patern College of Health Sciences (Monrovia, Liberia), Calvin College, and Kuyper College. Richard and Helen DeVos Foundation, $60,000.00. January 2011.
  • Calvin College Summer Seminar co-director (with Prof. Terry Wolfer, University of S. Carolina) on A Virtue Perspective on Social Work Practice and Formation, Summer 2010. Funded by Sociology Deur award, the Calvin Center for Christian Scholarship and the Kuyers Institute. June 2010.
  • Social Work Partnership – Mother Patern College of Health Sciences (Monrovia, Liberia), Calvin College, and Kuyper College. Richard and Helen DeVos Foundation, $60,000.00. January 2010.
  • Faith Formation and Development Reading Group (co-director with Laura DeHaan, PhD), Calvin Center for Christian Scholarship, Calvin College, April 2009.
  • Social Work Partnership – Mother Patern College of Health Sciences (Monrovia, Liberia), Calvin College and Kuyper College. Richard and Helen DeVos Foundation, $60,000.00. January 2009.
  • Social Work Partnership – Mother Patern College of Health Sciences (Monrovia, Liberia), Calvin College and Kuyper College. Richard and Helen DeVos Foundation, $60,000.00. January 2008.
  • Appropriating Historical Scholarship for Integrating Christian Faith and Social Work Practice: The Early Church and the Provision of Social Welfare. Calvin Research Fellowship, awarded for 2007-08.
  • Calvin Seminars in Christian Scholarship Biblical Studies Across the Curriculum: Discerning Scriptures for the Disciplines. July 9-27, 2008.
  • Building an Agenda for Research in Christian Scholarship and Social Work, Summer Seminar in Christian Scholarship. Deur Awards granted in April 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007. Received to date: $60,000.00.
  • Justice and Love Reading Group (co-director with Jeff Bouman), Calvin Center for Christian Scholarship, Calvin College, April 2006.
  • Appropriating Historical Scholarship for Integrating Christian Faith and Social Work Practice. McGregor Fellowship Award; Calvin Summer Research Fellowship. May 2005.
  • Hartford Geriatric Enrichment in Social Work Education, Consultant Grant, April 2004; 2005; 2006. $18,000.
  • Geriatric Education Center of West Michigan. Sub-contract with Michigan State University and Grand Valley State University. Total grant: $19,000. July 2004.
  • Geriatric Education Center of West Michigan. Sub-contract with Michigan State University and Grand Valley State University. Total grant: $26,331.00. March 2004.
  • Hartford Geriatric Enrichment in Social Work Education, Implementation Award. $30,000. August 2002.
  • Hartford Geriatric Enrichment in Social Work Education, Planning Award: $30,000. January 2002.
  • Transforming Care: A Reformed Vision of Nursing Practice (awarded to eight faculty members). Calvin Center for Christian Scholarship Grant (2002-2005). $67,874. December 2001.
  • The role of communities of faith in sustaining a just society CCCS-sponsored reading group. Co-directed with Doug Koopman. 2002-2003.
  • Excellence in end-of-life care: Social work education and practice. Calvin Research Fellowship awarded fro 2001-2002. Additional support received from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation grant for the Advancement of End-of-Life Care in Michigan.
  • Excellence in end-of-life care project. McGregor Fellowship Award. May 2001.
  • Co-chair of Social Work Research Section, Michigan Partnership for the Advancement of End-of-Life Care. $495,000 three-year grant for the Partnership. Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. 2000-2003. 
  • Extending an ethic of care into the public sector: Application to gerontology. Calvin Summer Research Fellowship. 2000.
  • Selected participant in the Pew-funded Seminars in Christian Scholarship (June 20-August 8, 1998): Political Thought after Liberalism.
  • Calvin College recipient of the Michigan Campus Compact Service-Learning Award, an award given annually that recognizes faculty and/or staff who model, influence or instruct on student engagement. 1997.

In the news

Calvin 2019: Strengthen, Support, Secure

A conversation with the writers of the college's new strategic plan

Read more

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