Spark readers: We are no longer printing newcomers and marriages in the Class Notes section of Spark. This section will emphasize the service, vocational and Calvin reunion stories of graduates, along with “In Memoriam” notices. We have found over the past few years that Facebook and other social media sources have increasingly become the primary place where friends share personal celebrations.

However, the alumni association remains interested in knowing about these important family milestones. Please continue to send them to, and in return, we’ll send you a whimsical Calvin bib (for babies) or a beautiful Calvin chapel window nightlight (for marriages).


(graduated more than 50 years ago)

Dean Bok ’60, professor emeritus at the Stein Eye Institute at UCLA, has been named the Helen Keller Laureate for 2016. The Helen Keller Foundation for Research and Education bestows this honor jointly with the BrightFocus Foundation. An international panel of scientists and physicians independent of the foundation selects the laureate, and the Helen Keller Prize for Vision Research is awarded for excellence as demonstrated by significant contributions of exceptional importance to vision science. Bok, a recipient of Calvin’s Distinguished Alumni Award, will receive the honor in May.

Ralph Bronkema ’51 serves as visitation pastor, Bible class instructor and Stephen minister at Eastminster Presbyterian Church in Indiatlantic, Fla.

George Hiemstra ’52 serves as a driver for Love Inc., delivers meals for the Sunset Association and is on the visitation team at Ridgewood Christian Reformed Church in Jenison, Mich.

Cornelius Iida ’55 lives in Casa Grande, Ariz., and does mission work in Japan—preaching, counseling and baptizing.

Gordon Buys ’63 and Florine Van Andel Buys ’63 are both involved with their church in Grand Rapids, Mich. Florine serves at Coffee Break and is involved in the new member class. Gord keeps busy with the Kentwood Rotary and repairing cars. Both are involved in mentoring and small group ministry.

Connie Scheurwater ’59 previously taught English in China in a training program for teachers and served as a volunteer teacher at mission schools in New Mexico. Currently, she is volunteering at River City Scholars Charter School in Grand Rapids, Mich., as a reading assistant in the classroom where her grandniece Amanda Bareman ’11 serves as a third-grade teacher.

Arn Quakkelaar ’60 was called to launch a Milwaukee ministry in 1995—Brothers and Sisters in Christ Serving (BASICS)—after working for 40 years as an engineer and executive with Johnson Controls and Rockwell International. The mission of BASICS is to connect urban needs to Christian resources by “showing and telling” God’s love in ways that unite the community and bring transformation. “At 78, I continue to work as CEO part-time 12 hours a day with no plans to retire or expire,” he said. “I am currently working in prison reform as CEO with a new non profit organization called GENESIS in Milwaukee, providing new ways to restore the lives of hidden people coming out of prison, homelessness and the foster care system.” For more, see and


Theodore De Jong ’68 has been a professor in the department of pomology (a branch of botany that studies and cultivates fruit) at the University of California-Davis since 1981. His research program has mainly focused on understanding tree physiological and orchard management factors that control the carbon balance/budgets of fruit and nut trees.


In September 2015, Glenn Visbeen ’75 and Cal Tigchelaar ’76, former Calvin roommates who had not seen each other in more than 35 years, reconvened in Nashville, Tenn., and then went on a nearly 2,000-mile motorcycle trip through the Tennessee, North Carolina and Virginia mountains.

Carroll Arkema ’70 is a full-time pastoral psychotherapist and marriage and family therapist in Ridgewood, N.J., and Manhattan. He recently published Beyond Me: Poems About Spirit in Scripture, Psychotherapy, and Life (Wipf and Stock Press). His book seeks to capture and convey the wonder, mystery and healing power of the Divine Spirit and its activity in human beings, life and relationships.

After a 37-year career as a trial lawyer and trial judge in Minnesota, Rich Hopper ’70 returned to his high school and college theater roots and embarked on a new career of producing Broadway shows. During the 2015–16 Broadway season he co-produced, along with the Deaf West Theatre of Los Angeles, the limited-run revival of the Tony-winning musical Spring Awakening. The show received critical acclaim because of its innovative casting and staging, using both deaf and hearing actors, and using the spoken word and ASL. A national tour of the show is planned for the 2016–17 season. Rich has also been involved with the Broadway productions of the 40th anniversary revival of Godspell, It’s Only a Play, Bridges of Madison County and Tony-winning Kinky Boots, as well as the London West End production of Blithe Spirit, starring Angela Lansbury. Rich has been married to Gwen Groot Hopper ’70 for the past 46 years. They have six children and six grandchildren. They divide their time between Manhattan; Minneapolis, Minn.; and Naples, Fla.

Douglas Dozeman ’79 has been named managing partner of the Grand Rapids law firm Warner Norcross, one of Michigan’s largest. Dozeman is a seasoned litigator with more than 30 years of legal and management experience. He has been recognized as a “Top 100 Lawyer in Michigan” and elected to the American College of Trial Lawyers.


Michelle Van Dyke ’85 has been named president and CEO of Heart of West Michigan United Way. Michelle joins the nonprofit after 30 years in the banking industry, most recently serving as president of Fifth Third Mortgage Company.

Noralyn Hoitenga Masselink ’81, professor of English at SUNY Cortland, recently had a poetry chapbook Song of My Breast published by The Lives You Touch Press. The collection chronicles her journey through 10 months of surgery, chemotherapy and radiation for invasive ductile breast cancer. Her poem “Nests,” featured in this collection, was nominated for a Pushcart Prize.

Cal Ribbens ’81 has been named as head of the computer science department at Virginia Tech.Cal has been a member of the computer science department since 1987. His research has focused on advancing high-performance computing and its applications for computational science and engineering, with the goal of making high-performance computing an effective tool for solving important scientific and engineering problems.

Perrin Rynders ’82, a trial attorney and equity partner at Varnum LLP, in Grand Rapids, Mich., was recently elected to the firm’s policy committee. The eight-member committee serves as the primary governing body for the 170-member law firm. Among his recent accomplishments, Perrin was recognized by Grand Rapids Business Journal as the 2015 “Newsmaker of the Year” in law, based on outstanding success on behalf of his clients in high-profile litigation against Michigan’s largest insurer.


Laurence Baker ’90 has been appointed chair of the department of health research and policy at Stanford University School of Medicine. A leading health economist, Laurence has served as the department’s chief of health services research since 2001. He is also a fellow at Stanford’s Center for Health Policy/Center for Primary Care and Outcomes Research, a senior fellow of the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research and a research associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research in Cambridge, Mass. His current research focuses on how changes in health care delivery systems influence the cost and quality of care, with a particular focus on the growth of large, multi-specialty and hospital-affiliated medical practices.

Niala Boodhoo ’97, former host of “The Afternoon Shift” on Chicago Public Media station WBEZ, has been hired as host and executive producer of a new one-hour weekday talk show for downstate Illinois Public Media. “The 21st” was scheduled to debut March 14 on WILL in Urbana and WUIS in Springfield, Ill., and be available for simulcast on other public radio stations throughout Illinois. Airing at 11 a.m. CST weekdays, it should also be accessible via WILL’s streaming services and mobile app. Prior to WBEZ, Boodhoo worked in Miami for WLRN, The Associated Press, The Miami Herald and the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

Chad Van Iddekinge ’96 is the Bank of America Professor at Florida State University. Chad received his PhD in industrial and organizational psychology from Clemson University. His research focuses on how organizations make hiring decisions and evaluate employee job performance. Chad recently was elected Fellow of the American Psychological Association, the Association for Psychological Science, and the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology. He also directs Florida State’s Organizational Behavior and Human Resources doctoral program.

Todd Yonkman ’92 and his wife, Nicole Grant, are co-pastors at Beneficent United Church of Christ in Providence, R.I. Todd is the author of Reconstructing Church: Tools for Turning Your Congregation Around. They have two daughters, Fiona and Olivia.

Wendy BooydeGraaff ’95 authored a picture book, Salad Pie (Ripple Grove Press, 2016), illustrated by Bryan Langdo, about independence versus friendship, learned all in one afternoon at the playground. Wendy has her master of education from Grand Valley State University and a graduate certificate in children’s literature from Penn State University.

Rob Hyde ’97 and Betsy Haverkamp Frens ’97 have been awarded Male Masters and Female Masters Runner of the Year 2015 honors by Michigan Runner. Both runners were All-American cross country runners at Calvin. They participated in numerous races throughout the state, from 5Ks to marathons to earn their individual distinctions.


Lucas Wright ’07 is a field tech at ASTI Environmental in Grand Rapids, Mich., which provides professional environmental consulting services to government, private developers and industry.

Alison Troast Van Denend ’09 has been named curatorial assistant at the Montclair Art Museum in Montclair, N.J.


Nicole Michmerhuizen ’14 qualified for the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials in the marathon by running a 2:41:36 in the Indianapolis Monument Marathon last November. She is in graduate school at the University of Michigan, pursuing a degree in pharmacology.

Tyler Hanna ’13 has been hired as a staff engineer at Manhard Consulting in their Westminster, Colo., office.

Lara Baatenburg ’10, Jana Baatenburg ’10 (pictured) and Emily Howell Schipper ’10 are in the Michigan State University College of Human Medicine Class of 2016. The MSU-CHM awarded its Grand Rapids TIP scholarship (The Integrated Medical School and Family Medicine Residency Program) to these three Calvin grads. In addition, the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine named Jana a 2016 Student Scholar.