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)

Kay Bos Hoitenga ’52 recently completed her 20th year as docent at the Grand Rapids Public Museum, where she presents programs to schoolchildren and adults. Kay was privileged to write some of those programs, which she says is a wonderful way to continue her “teacher” talents.

John De Jager ’65 founded Partners in Learning Across Cultures 12 years ago to enable young people outside the U.S. to acquire a Christian high school education. If you are interested in assisting John in this endeavor, please contact him at

Abe Geertsma ’59 lives in Grand Rapids and volunteers for Crossroad Bible Institute, the Mission India Thrift Store and Gideons International.

For the last 22 years, Jeni Plooy Hoekstra ’57 has taught computer skills to young people in Africa. She and her husband, Dennis Hoekstra ’58, have shipped at least 5,000 computers to Kenya, where Jeni does basic teaching of keyboarding, Word and Excel. Due to excessive government duty on the computers, Jeni and Dennis now take laptops in their carry-on luggage. If the students acquire basic computer skills, they are allowed to keep the laptop. Donations of working (but perhaps slow) laptops are needed for the Kenya Computer Support Project. Please email Jeni at

Rich Hofman ’66 just completed his 47th year of coaching baseball in South Florida. He is the bench coach at Stoneman Douglas High School, which won the 9A Florida state title and was named 2016 National Champions by Baseball America and Perfect Game Baseball. It was Hofman’s 11th state and third national championship. Ironically, he was attending his 50th Calvin Class reunion and missed the state championship game, which he watched online after attending the Calvin Commencement ceremony.

Morris Vos ’66 and Mary Elizabeth Posthuma Vos ’66 recently took an Alaskan cruise and extended their travels to Denali and Kenai Peninsula to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary. They were also able to attend a family reunion to celebrate the event in their son’s home in Traverse City, Mich.

Carol Lindsay ex’65 has published her latest book, Rich Writer, Poor Writer, a basic instruction guide to writing. It includes unconventional beginning and advanced lessons along with chapters about rights, freelancing, publicity and more, to assist writers of all ages accomplish their goals. The book is available at

Bonnie VandePol Wiersma ’65 and her husband, Rick, have been active as volunteers with World Renew for the last 15 years. They have made 75 trips to disaster areas from coast to coast and expect to continue as site managers overseeing reconstruction following destruction caused by hurricanes, floods, tornadoes and fires. They encourage others who are interested in this kind of volunteer work to learn more at


Peter Northouse ’68 is the recipient of a 2016 McGuffey Longevity Award from Textbook & Academic Authors (TAA) for his text Leadership Theory and Practice (SAGE Publishing). The textbook was released in 1997 and is in its seventh edition. The award recognizes works that are at least 15 years old and continue to demonstrate excellence in areas of pedagogy, content, writing, appearance and design. Leadership Theory has been translated into 12 languages and is used in 89 countries. Peter is a professor of communication emeritus at Western Michigan University.


Phil Brondsema ’78 received an industry achievement award from the American Coatings Association (ACA), which is given in recognition of specific contributions to the paint and coatings industry. Phil is a global product steward for regulatory affairs at the Celanese Corporation in Irving, Texas. He chaired a study to gain a deeper understanding of the emissions from interior paint products and the potential effect on indoor air quality.

Sam Beals ’78 has been named CEO of the nonprofit Samaritas, formerly Lutheran Social Services of Michigan.

James Ten Cate ’79 is a seismoacoustician at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico. He serves as the team leader for wave physics in the geophysics group (earth and environmental sciences), focusing on the study of the nonlinearity and memory of rocks and using those features to track CO2 movement for carbon sequestration, to better image oil and gas reservoirs, and to also help research and eventually monitor underground water resources. Recently elected Fellow of the Acoustical Society of America, he holds master’s and doctoral degrees in mechanical engineering, acoustics from the University of Texas.

Gary Knoppers ’79 is the John A. O’Brien professor of theology at the University of Notre Dame. After graduating with a PhD from Harvard, Gary taught at Penn State University before coming to Notre Dame in 2014. His work on the book of I Chronicles and the early history of relations between Jews and Samaritans has been internationally recognized.

Laura Lunger Knoppers ’79 is a professor of English at Notre Dame. Laura also has a PhD from Harvard and taught at Penn State prior to her Notre Dame appointment. Laura’s specialty area is 17th century British literature, and she has been honored for her work on John Milton.


Char Bulthuis ’83 has developed a game that helps persons with Alzheimer’s access their own memories and connect with family. Kites & Candy is a brainstorming game that relies on long-term memory.

Steve Bootsma ’89 is now executive director of the Calvinist Cadet Corps in Grand Rapids, Mich.

Anastasia Aukeman ’89, assistant professor at Parsons School of Design, New York, was awarded the Meiss/Mellon Authors Book Award and the Wyeth Foundation for American Art publication grant for her book, Welcome to Painterland: Bruce Conner and the Rat Bastard Protective Association (University of California Press, July 2016). The study is devoted to the inflammatory, close-knit community of artists who called themselves the Rat Bastard Protective Association and lived and worked together in mid-century San Francisco. Aukeman is also curating an exhibition of works by these artists at the Landing, Los Angeles, Oct. 1, 2016–Jan. 7, 2017.

Glenn Paauw ’80 has been working in nonprofit Bible publishing and ministry for 28 years at Biblica (formerly International Bible Society), the copyright holder of the NIV. As the VP of global Bible engagement, his work has centered on helping more people learn to read and live the scriptures well. He led the development of The Books of the Bible (NIV), a new format without chapters, verses and other additives that distract from reading. His book Saving the Bible From Ourselves was released in May 2016 by InterVarsity Press.

Ronald Cok ’80 has left his longtime job with Kodak and now works for a small technology startup developing microtransfer printing of tiny electronic chips from wafers onto glass and other things. His three daughters are at Calvin, and he has recently completed a book about his childhood as a missionary kid in Africa. Down Bush: A Boy’s Life in Africa is, according to his wife, Suanne, “a warm and engaging memoir describing a boy’s adventures and misadventures in the African bush, from his early years living in a grass-roofed house, through riots and civil war, to the joys and struggles of life at a faraway boarding school. To his children’s relief, the book’s completion should spare them further recitals of their father’s stories about his life in Africa.”

This summer Jack Van Noord ’88 led a group of seven adolescent boys to mainland China. During their 12-day educational tour, they visited four cities, including Beijing and Shanghai. From 2009 to 2011, Jack and his family lived and worked at an international Christian school in Hong Kong, China. Currently, he teaches seventh grade in the suburbs of Chicago.

Kristen VanValkenburg DeStigter ’84 has received a 2016 Global Humanitarian Award from the American College of Radiology for her efforts to expand access to ultrasound imaging to underserved areas of Africa. In 2008, Kristen co-founded the nonprofit organization Imaging the World, which has adapted ultrasound technology that allows health care providers to capture scans that can be transmitted to an international network of medical volunteers. Those volunteers can pull them up, read them and provide consultation to local health care workers. She currently serves as the John P. and Kathryn H. Tampas Green and Gold Professor of Radiology at the University of Vermont College of Medicine.


Kyle Brennan ’98 is the deputy athletic director at the University of Utah, and Beth Van Elderen Brennan ’98 is the Utah football program’s academic coordinator.

Thomas Hegewald ’90 serves as executive producer and director for OnPoint Tutorials, Tips & Tours—a show about all things creative. This craft instructional series just wrapped up production on its first season with plans under way for its second season. OnPoint showcases tutorials and tips on quilting and craft projects as well as tours of local trade shows, guilds and artists’ studios. See for more information.

Peter Schuurman ’93 successfully defended his PhD in religious studies in February. His dissertation was aided in part by a Calvin Summer Seminar on “Congregations and Social Change” and is now available online. He continues to write, preach and teach from his home in Guelph, Ontario, where he lives with his wife, Joy, and three children.

Scott Stegenga ’93 was hired this spring as senior director of operations/head of the Los Angeles office for, an advertising automation platform for publishers and advertisers.

Joshua Moritz ’99, a lecturer in philosophical theology and natural science at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, Calif., and an adjunct professor of philosophy at the University of San Francisco, has published Science and Religion: Beyond Warfare and Toward Understanding (Anselm Academic, 2016). The text explores causes of contemporary conflicts and cases in which science and religion have interacted in mutually beneficial ways to demonstrate that, in the relationship between science and religion, harmony is more common than discord.

Marie Turner Haraburda ’93, associate director and career coach for the Kelley School of Business, Indiana University Undergraduate Career Services, nominated and earned for her team the Exemplary Career Center Program Award from the National Career Development Association for 2016. This award recognizes college/university career services offices and/or career centers that have made an active commitment through overall services, office mission, vision and strategic planning, while partnering with and engaging individuals or groups in the career development process.


Bob Flikkema ’07 recently earned his PhD in statistics from Western Michigan University. His doctoral dissertation focused on statistical methodology for data with multiple limits of detection. He currently works as a biostatistician with Premier Research in Naperville, Ill. He and his wife, Ruth Zeilstra Flikkema ’08, reside in Aurora, Ill., with their two sons, preparing to welcome a third son this fall.

These Calvin grads are all members of the 2016 graduating class of Michigan State University College of Human Medicine: Emily Schipper ’11, Jana Baatenburg ’10, Christine Timmer ’12, Daniel Oram ’12. Back row: Tammy Schoon LaRue ’98, Allison M. Cook ’00, Lara Baatenburg ’10, Josh VanderWall ’12, Kevin Harris ’12.

Jordan Hoogendam ’04 of Cobourg, Ontario, is president and senior engineer at Zon Engineering, an engineering firm based in Kitchener with satellite offices across Ontario. Jordan was named Solar Industry Leader of the Year by the Canadian Solar Industries Association at its annual “Game Changer” awards gala, held May 16, 2016, in Niagara Falls, Ontario. The Solar Industry Leader award recognizes an individual whose leadership has inspired the growth and development of the solar industry in Canada. The recipient is honored for leading by example, demonstrat-ing long-term thinking and a win-win attitude. Over the past decade Jordan has become an industry leader in the flds of building sustainability and renewable energy, and his future is at the nexus of solar and its relationship to buildings.

Christopher Becker ’06 graduated from the Boston Architectural College with a master’s in architecture. He works at the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Division of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance as a project manager for the Statewide Accessibility Initiative, which works to ensure people have equal access to state programs, facilities and resources.

Jess Vriesema ’09 has received a three-year NASA Earth and Space Science Fellowship. He is working toward his PhD in lunar and planetary sciences at the University of Arizona in Tucson, Ariz.

Issac Omondi Aduda ’09 is the founder and president of Mission of Hope Africa, a Christian nonprofit dedicated to the supporting the needs of the underprivileged and vulnerable members of society in East Africa. To learn more, visit

Northwestern Mutual financial representative David C. Fortosis Jr. ’08 has been chosen to participate in a professional leadership development program. He is one of nine selected for the Leadership through Education, Achievement and Development (LEAD) program that helps aspiring financial professionals determine whether a leadership path is right for them.

Nathan Zwagerman ’06, a neurosurgery resident at the University of Pittsburgh, was awarded the Synthes Skull Base Award in neurosurgery during the annual meeting of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons in Chicago this spring. The award is given to the best skull base abstract submitted for the meeting.

Matt Diehl Bussell ’06 was ordained and installed as the minister of Covenant-Community Presbyterian Church in Pittsburgh, Pa., this spring.

Jon Brown ’09 earned a Northern California Emmy Award for his work as editor of “What’s Your Style?” for KQED 9.

Megan Feenstra Wall ’02 has been named the Michigan Young Architect of the Year by the American Institute for Architecture. She is an architect for Mathison Mathison Architects in Grand Rapids, Mich.

Benjamin Alsdurf ’05 received a 2016–2017 Robert Bosch fellowship for study and work in Germany and recently moved to Berlin. The Robert Bosch Foundation Fellowship Program is a distinguished transatlantic initiative that offers 15 accomplished Americans the opportunity to complete a comprehensive professional development program in Germany. Ben worked for six years with The Global Alliance for Tuberculosis Drug Development in New York City, most recently as director of external affairs. Following graduation from Calvin, he received an MA in international relations from the University of Chicago in 2009.


Ryan De Groot ’16 and Will Thies ’16 have been hired as engineers-in-training at Prein & Newhof, a civil and environmental engineering firm in Grand Rapids, Mich.

Emily Resseguie ’10 successfully defended her thesis on the molecular mechanisms of oxygen toxicity and received her PhD in toxicology from the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry. She is working as a toxicologist at Envigo in Somerset, N.J.

After spending a year teaching English in a French high school, Emily O’Brock ’11 completed an MA at Indiana University in 2014. Emily is pursuing a PhD in medieval French literature at New York University. Her research interests include ecocriticism and animal studies, specifically in the context of medieval bestiaries. She is interested in the boundaries between animals and humans in medieval texts and their larger theological implications. She was recently selected as a Lilly Graduate Fellow, which supports graduate education for well-qualified students who are interested in becoming teacher-scholars at church-related colleges and universities in the U.S.

Meredith Donnelly ’11 teaches art at Doulos Discovery School in Jarabacoa, Dominican Republic. During college week at her school she proudly represented Calvin while her colleague Kristen Brown represented the other side of the rivalry!

Catherine Van Halsema ’11 led a high school study abroad program in Graz, Austria, this summer through the Indiana University Honors Program for Foreign Language. She has also been awarded a graduate student exchange fellowship to study at the Freie Universität in Berlin this year. She is in her third year of earning her PhD in Germanic studies.

Melissa Darusz ’15 is an account executive in business development for the Miami Dolphins football team.

Jack Musser ’10 earned his MBA from the University of Michigan School of Business, with a concentration in finance.

Cassidy Richard ’16 has been named a Woodrow Wilson Indiana Teaching Fellow for 2016. The highly competitive program recruits both recent graduates and career changers with strong backgrounds in science, technology, engineering and math and prepares them to teach in high-need secondary schools.

Brianna Roth ’17 traveled to Lubango, Angola, for eight weeks this summer to experience tropical medicine and health care in a developing nation. While there, the senior nursing major assisted with a marathon surgery weekend at Kalukembe, about 250 kilometers away. While there Brianna discovered that the obstetrican/gynecologist working there was Priscila Ribeiro Cummings ’02. “I never dreamed I would find such an incredible connection so far from the U.S. I was literally across the operating table from her, and we squealed in joy and gave each other a high five [upon discovering their Calvin connection],” Brianna wrote. “Thankfully, she was holding the scalpel in her other hand!”