Northwestern College honors employees

Northwestern College honored a number of employees at a banquet held on May 4. Faculty and staff were recognized for their years of service and accomplishments, most notably five new retirees.

Barry Brandt, associate athletic director, is retiring after 31 years on the staff. A 1969 Northwestern graduate, Brandt began as the head men’s and women’s track coach and assistant football coach. He became assistant director of athletics in 1997 and served as director of athletics from 2000 to 2014.

Lee Hofland worked in Northwestern’s maintenance department for 33 years. Serving in a variety of roles, including groundskeeper and housekeeper, his primary responsibility in recent years was cleaning the DeWitt Physical Fitness Center.

Dr. Jasper Lesage is retiring after 10 years at Northwestern, first as vice president for academic affairs and then as provost. The chair of the Strategic Planning Committee, he oversaw the crafting of the college’s Vision for Learning and the development of adult and graduate studies programs.

Bruce Roetman, campus carpenter, served for 12 years. He advised Spring Service Project teams almost every year and, with his wife, served as a host family for international students.

Karen Vander Pol is retiring after serving for 26 years. She first began as an office assistant in the Career Development Center and then as an assistant for the athletics and kinesiology departments.

In addition to the recognition of the five new retirees, numerous faculty and staff members were commended for their years of service.  

Cornie Wassink, director of planned giving, was recognized for 35 years of employment.

Jim Burmakow, housekeeper, and Dr. Eric Elder, professor of business and economics, were recognized for 30 years of service.

Four employees were honored for 25 years: Dr. Tim McGarvey, professor of music; Larry Netten, physical plant technician/plumber; Mark Vellinga, professor of computer science; and Diane Westenberg, housekeeper.

Those honored for 20 years at Northwestern include: Dr. Barb Dewald, associate dean of Christian formation; Dr. Adrienne Forgette, dean of the faculty; Dr. Keith Fynaardt, professor of English; Tamara Fynaardt, associate director of public relations; Jeff Guthmiller, associate director of admissions; Dr. Jackie Smallbones, professor of religion and Christian education; Jay Wielenga, vice president for advancement; and MaryLou Wielenga, lecturer in music/organist.

Those honored for 15 years of service were Julie Andersen, maintenance office assistant; Joan Andres, therapist; Dr. Ralph Davis, associate professor of biology; Dr. Thomas Holm, professor of music; Dan Lassen, associate director of administrative services in the computing services office; Dr. Jim Mead, professor of religion; Dr. Jennifer Rogers, associate professor of kinesiology; Ming-Chen Rohrer, international student counselor; Gena Schmidt, associate director of financial services; and Randy Van Peursem, science support services professional.

Honored for 10 years of service were Bob De Haan, lecturer in agri-business; Dr. Heather Josselyn-Cranson, associate professor of music/director of music ministries; Dr. Jasper Lesage, provost; Rick Loutsch, instructor in athletic training; Matt McCarty, defensive coordinator for the football team; Pam Reints, administrative services manager/instructional technology specialist in the nursing department; Phil Scorza, assistant professor of art; Kyle Van Den Bosch, head women’s volleyball coach; Brian Wede, head baseball coach; and Chris Yaw, head women’s basketball coach.

Awards for five years were presented to Ryan Anderson, data entry coordinator; Kelly Blok, lecturer in computer science (online); Lori Bonnema, housekeeper; Dan Breen, lecturer in communications; Jackie Davis, director of advancement; Laura De Boer, campus visit coordinator; Charles Dibley, lecturer in music; Sharon Foughty, lecturer in music; Kristyn Howe, lecturer in education; Dr. John Hubers, assistant professor of religion; Amber Huizenga, costume studio supervisor; Hannah McBride, resident director of Stegenga Hall; Dr. Karren Melik-Stepanov, lecturer in music; Lisa Miedema, lecturer in music; Cindy Moeller, lecturer in music; Lila Simmelink, administrative assistant in the Wellness Center; Diane Smith, assistant professor of nursing; Ashley Stanislav, campus visit assistant; Kara Verschuure, lecturer in education; Brandon Woudstra, instructor in business; and Bob Zeutenhorst, maintenance assistant.