Author Archives: Jim Van Sweden

About Jim Van Sweden

Director, College Communications

Kristian Bjørnard ’03

Kristian is a new faculty member at the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA), where he will teach courses in advanced design, interactive media and graphic design. Kristian is a designer, thinker and “sustainabilitist.” He is the director of “The Office of Kristian Bjørnard,” a design studio focused on publishing in all its forms. Kristian holds an MFA in graphic design from MICA; he earned his bachelor’s degree in art at Kalamazoo College. The artist nearly became an engineer. His exploration of physics and mathematics filtered through the lenses of painting and drawing led Kristian to graphic design. Current research includes “sustainable graphic design” and new publishing utilities. This has resulted in various “sustainable” aesthetic exercises, a more purposeful interest into systems, exploring reusable processes, a focus on rules-based design concepts, and investigating vernacular design methodologies. Kristian keeps abreast of current web trends, standards, and technologies, and explores time and motion in both digital and print media. His myriad interests make for interesting insights and connections among science, philosophy and the practice of design—-both in the classroom and in his professional practice.

David Kyvig ’66

David died unexpectedly on June 22, 2015, from complications of diabetes. David was a Distinguished Research Professor of History at Northern Illinois University (DeKalb). He was a prominent and prolific scholar of 20th century U.S. history who wrote nearly a dozen books and numerous journal articles, several book chapters, and countless encyclopedia entries.

He came to Kalamazoo College from Muskegon, Michigan, and cited the lasting influence on his life and career of several key professors: Wen Chao Chen (who also served as his faculty advisor), John Peterson (whose specialty was African history), and Ivor Spencer (U.S. history). David spent his career service quarter working in the office of Michigan Senator Philip Hart during the middle of the debate on the Civil Rights Act of 1964. He studied abroad in Muenster, Germany, and used that opportunity to study and listen to what Germans found noteworthy and intriguing about American history. His Senior Individualized Project (which focused on the U.S. Senate during the “100 Day Session” of President Franklin Roosevelt’s first term) immersed him into primary historical research, and he loved it.

After graduating with his B.A. in history (cum laude), David earned a Ph.D. in American history from Northwestern University. He spent a year in Washington, D.C., as an archivist in the Office of Presidential Libraries at the National Archives. He began his college teaching career in 1971 at the University of Akron. In 1999 he joined the faculty at Northern Illinois. He also taught as a Fulbright Fellow at the University of Tromso in Norway (1987-88) and was a resident fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.

The majority of David’s research and writing focused on the U.S. constitutional amendment process. His book Explicit and Authentic Acts: Amending the U.S. Constitution, 1976-1995 earned the Bancroft Prize, the most prestigious book-publishing accolade for American history. More recently he published the highly regarded book The Age of Impeachment: American Constitutional Culture Since 1960.

David was the subject of a LuxEsto story (Spring 2002) in which he cited the fundamental importance of history, “how looking at the past can be useful in coming to terms with contemporary moments, particularly moments of crisis.” He attributed his appreciation for that insight to his experiences at Kalamazoo College. “K,” he said, “took a provincial kid from West Michigan and exposed him to the possibilities of life. Working in Washington, D.C., going abroad, being surrounded by so many bright people, new ideas, new ways of looking at things—and discovering that I could hold my own in that environment—instilled a confidence in me that I could handle new experiences.”

David is survived by his wife, Christine Worobec. David was instrumental in establishing at Kalamazoo College the Wen Chao Chen Endowed Professorship of East Asian Social Sciences. Christine has established an endowed scholarship at K to honor David. It is called the “Dr. David Kyvig ’66 Memorial Scholarship for the Study of History,” to which alumni, classmates and friends are invited to contribute.

Joe Brockington, Ph.D., Associate Provost for International Programs

Joe died on August 12, 2015. In addition to his post in the Center for International Programs, he also served as professor of German language and literature.

He earned his B.A., M.A. and Ph.D degrees from Michigan State University, and began his career at Kalamazoo College in 1979 as an instructor in German language and literature. During his 35-year career at K, Joe served in several roles in the Center for International Programs before being named associate provost in 2000. He was recognized internationally as a safety and risk management expert in study abroad programming. During his career he served in various positions of NAFSA: Association of International Educators, including chair of the Section on U.S. Students Abroad and member of the International Education Leadership Knowledge Committee. He also served as a member of the founding board of the Forum on Education Abroad, the Association of International Education Administrators. Joe published and presented numerous papers on modern German literature as well as a variety of study abroad topics, including orientation and re-entry, international programs administration, and campus internationalization. He led best practices workshops in legal and risk management issues and co-edited the third edition of NAFSA’s Guide to Education Abroad for Advisers and Administrators.

“Joe interacted with generations of K students,” said President Eileen B. Wilson-Oyelaran, “and increased their opportunities for independent research and service learning abroad. He was a faithful advocate for international students at K, working with colleagues to ensure a full and productive K educational experience. Joe significantly expanded K’s reputation as a leader in study abroad and international programming. He will be missed by many in the K family and throughout the world.”

In the fall of 2008 Kalamazoo College celebrated its 50th anniversary of sending students abroad. Joe devoted his career to that important educational tradition. Some 80 percent of K students have studied in programs ranging from China and Japan to India and Israel; from Kenya and Senegal in Africa to Ecuador, Costa Rica, Chile, and Mexico in South and Central America. Their options have included European programs in Greece, Hungary, Denmark, Italy, and England as well as the opportunities that have continued (since the program’s origins) in France, Spain, and Germany. Most students study in a foreign language and live with host families. And most participate in an Individualized Cultural Research Project that requires them to get out into a community, participate in a service project, and write a report about the experience. All of that is part of the legacy of Joe Brockington. “The goal,” he once said, “is to help the student look at other cultures, other peoples, and say ‘we’ instead of ‘they.’”

Kate Jenks ’02

Kate is a conservation biologist at the Minnesota Zoo. Her mission is to reduce threats to wildlife by using science to solve conservation problems. “I seek to see a planet full of life and awe-inspiring wild places.” She assists the Tiger Species Survival Plan and Tiger Conservation Campaign, and she organizes the zoo’s Recycle for Rainforests Program. She continues her research on dholes in Thailand and is collaborating with the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in Mongolia on a project related to reintroduced Przewalski’s horses. Her former biology professor, Paul Sotherland, is a big fan. “CONGRATULATIONS,” he wrote to Kate, “on doing such cool stuff!”

Kevin Ferguson ’81

Kevin died on October 2, 2015. At K he majored in economics and business, studied abroad in Strasbourg, France, and played on the Hornet tennis team. He served in the U.S. Army, 101st Airborne Division, in Fort Campbell, Kentucky, from 1982-1988 and was honorably discharged as a 1st Lieutenant. Kevin also served his country as a diplomatic special agent for the U.S. State Department from 1986-1993. In 1996 he earned his law degree from Marquette University Law School. Kevin loved books and had many interests, including travel, art, golf and spending time with his daughter, Mara.

Lauren Trager ’07

Lauren is an investigative television journalist in St. Louis, Missouri (News 4 Investigates Team). She has spent the majority of her career as a reporter and anchor, and she has worked in newspapers, radio and television. Before moving to St. Louis, she worked as an anchor and reporter at KARK in Little Rock, Arkansas. She earned her B.A. in English at K.

Kathleen Buday ’90

Kathleen is assistant professor of art therapy in the Department of Visual Arts at University of Wisconsin-Superior. She earned her B.A. degree in studio art from K and studied abroad in Clermont-Ferrand, France. She earned her M.Ed. degree in art education from Wayne State University. Kathleen has more than 15 years of experience in the art and art therapy fields, including time spent as a visiting instructor of art and art history at K.

Carol (Spiro) Barger ’68

Carol died on June 28, 2015, in Columbus, Ohio, following a brief illness. She earned her B.A. at K in religion and studied abroad in Caen, France. She had recently retired from a 30-year career teaching first grade at Rosehill Elementary School in Reynoldsburg, Ohio. She is survived by her two sons, Kyle and Kurt, and their spouses, Tayah and Christianne, respectively.

Tyler Greene ’07

Tyler is the assistant house manager for National Public Radio’s quiz show, “Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me.” in Chicago. He’s also events coordinator for all of public radio station WBEZ’s live events in Chicago and producer for “The Moth – Chicago StorySLAM.” At K he earned his B.A. degree in theatre arts. He also studied abroad at the University of London, Goldsmiths College and participated in an internship as a production assistant on an off-Broadway play in New York City directed by Terry Kinney, one of the original founders of Steppenwolf Theatre in Chicago. After graduating from K, Tyler spent a year teaching English in South Korea before moving to Chicago.

Caroline Barnett ’15

Caroline has joined the Sojourners yearlong Christian discipleship internship program in Washington, D.C., working as an editorial assistant on Sojourners Magazine, which provides commentary, news, and analysis from a faith perspective, interviews with those on the forefront of theological and justice-oriented study, culture reviews, inspiration, and more. Sojourners envisions a future in which Christians put their faith into action in the passionate pursuit of social justice, peace and environmental stewardship, working in partnership with people of other perspectives, for the common good of communities, families and individuals. At K, Caroline majored in anthropology and sociology and studied abroad in Dakar, Senegal. She served in the Chapel’s Interfaith Student Leaders program, and an article on that endeavor appeared in the October BeLight.