Andrew Kofi Appiah Oppong

  • Major: Political Science and Philosophy
  • Grad Year: 2018
  • Hometown: Accra, Ghana

The political science faculty know your strengths and weakness – and while they may continually challenge you, they are always quick to remind you that your identity is not found in your grades but in God.

What was your interaction with professors like in this department?

I loved and cherished every single interaction I had with professors from our department. What I love most is how they see you as a real person – not as an ID number or just another face in class. They know your strengths and weakness, and while they may push you to the edge of your abiltiies, they are always quick to remind you that your identity is not in your grades but in God. I have had such genuine and authentic interactions with my professors and I would not trade that for anything.

What’s one thing you would want to tell someone starting their journey at Calvin?

Here at Calvin, the opportunities and possibilities are endless. Immerse yourself in whatever you do and you will see great results. Take classes that make you want to wake up in the morning – and take classes that challenge some of your beliefs. Above all, as our chaplain like to say, "if you do not have a minor, minor in your professors." In other words, build great connections with your professors.

How has your faith grown at Calvin?

I have come to see my faith as my own since coming to Calvin. I remember taking my first philosophy class and having everything come into full circle on how I had depended on my parents' faith and not crafted an identity of my own in Christ. I knew about Jesus, knew about the Bible and even had knowledge in some doctrinal beliefs. However, I had not come to know Jesus for myself. Jesus always sounded so far removed from me until my philosophy class challenged me to take responsibility for my faith and secure my own identity in Christ. Suffice it to say, I have greatly grown in my faith since coming here.

What part of Calvin’s mission resonates with you, and why?

The part of Calvin's mission which resonates most with me is "live wholeheartedly as Christ's agents of renewal in the world." This inspires a kind of hope in my heart – a hope rooted in the idea that we need to renew the word. Part of that is caring for the world and caring for matters of justice. It presents an optimistic view of the world which I like to hold unto.

Did you receive any scholarships or financial aid at Calvin?

The generosity of the scholarships and financial aid office here at Calvin made it possible for me to complete my degree. A big factor in deciding to come here hinged on this generosity.