Inspire and Educate Faculty Fundraiser - in Honor and Support of Au Sable Faculty

Students have impactful experiences when they learn from teachers they love. Is there a particular Au Sable professor who has made a distinct impression on your life, where it would be difficult to see your life trajectory taking the same course without them?  We've collected messages from former students who share those exact stories (below). Honor the professor that made an impact in your life and allow him to continue making those impactful experiences in the lives of Au Sable students by making a gift. Your gift will honor and continue the great work of past, present, and future professors who inspire and educate on behalf of God's kingdom.

Add your contribution and send us your short tribute to add to our list of faculty impact stories (.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)).

Au Sable Faculty through the Years

Rafe Payne ● Ron Vos ● Ken Petersen ● Bill Deutsch ● Dan Ippolito ● Ben Van Ee ● Scott Carr ● Al Bleeker ● Max Terman ● Tim Wakefield ● Orin Gelderloos ● John Korstad ● Michael Ferber ● Al Gebben ● Joe Sheldon ● Dave Unander ● Del Vander Zee ● Eric Steinkamp ● Dave Mahan ● Henry Brouwer ● Tim Van Deelen ● Dave Warners ● Tom Lee ● Ken Sytsma ● Luke Naeher ● Fred Van Dyke ● Randy Van Dragt ● Rafe Payne ● And Many More

Former students say...

Bill Deutsch, 'Watersheds in Global Development'

"Bill has a contagious passion for helping people and the environment through watershed stewardship and monitoring. This passion definitely spread to me, and I think to our whole class.The way he integrates faith into his work and life is inspiring too, and his example is one I would like to follow in my professional and personal life. He helped me understand how inquiries into faith and the meaning of life can animate work in community development and environmental restoration. My experience in his class and our discussions have influenced and will continue to influence me as I develop further into a servant of the Kingdom of God."

- Joel Betts, Au Sable Alum and Research Student, 2013-2014

John Korstad, 'Limnology (Water Resources)'

"I can literally say that [John's] course changed my life in several ways. First, God used it to help me distill a clear vision for my career. I had decided to go into college science teaching at this point in my education at Trinity Christian College because of my broad interests in science and my desire to encourage your Christian students to responsibly steward God's creation. The course introduced me to the field of Limnology, and I was drawn to the interdisciplinary aspect of this field with biology, chemistry, physics, and ecology all interwoven into God's complex creation. Second, Dr. Korstad was an example of a scientist who seamlessly integrated his Christian faith with his field of study. It was not unnaturally mashed together, but rather it was in his identity and spilled out into his teaching and mentoring. I have been able to ask him for advice on several occasions long after the class was over."

- Dr. Nate Bosch, Au Sable Alum 2000

Tom Lee, 'Animal Ecology'

"From the moment I met Tom, I could tell that he cared greatly about sharing his love for ecology with his students and helping them find their own passion. When Tom learned that I was interested in mammalogy, his own discipline, he began to help me develop my fascination anyway he could. I gained valuable research experience over the summer, along with an invitation to travel to Texas to attend a mammalogy conference with Tom later that year. I discovered my passion for field work at Au Sable, and it was all because Tom went out of his way to help me."

- Jonathan Stephan, Au Sable Alum 2011

Dave Mahan, 'Winter Stream Ecology'

"Without Dave Mahan I would not be a Macroinvertebrate Biologist. As a student, he challenged me, advised me on coursework, and took the time to develop me as a researcher. The opportunities and responsibilities he gave prepared me for an amazing job in aquatic biology. I have been blessed by both Dave and Au Sable."

- Nathan Sather, Au Sable Alum and Research 2009-2011

"I first heard Dave Mahan speak when I was a first year student during his visit to North Park University. I was just starting to be interested in Christian environmental stewardship, but Dave was one of the first to present to me biblical teaching on the topic. Even more memorable to me was that he discussed a practical problem such as how an urban stream could be cared for, and that learning about Creation through scientific study and courses was a place to start. During Winter Stream Ecology and integrative days, Dave consistently presented sound science, a practical view on how all people can learn about and care for creation despite the difficulties, the role of Christians in Creation stewardship, and encouraging those who go through the Au Sable program to do and teach likewise as we went to our own places."

- Peter Carlson, Au Sable Alum 2005-2006

Ken Sytsma, 'Field Botany'

"Before spending two summers at Au Sable, I knew I wanted to study botany, but had very little knowledge of plants.  Ken Sytsma's Field Botany class opened my eyes to identifying and respecting plants in a field setting, instead of using a microscope. Botany is not only something I still study and research today, but a hobby. I love being able to identify the plants I find on a daily basis! My time at Au Sable with professors like Ken Sytsma changed the way I see the world around me."

- Candace DeLong, Au Sable Alum and Research 2011-2012

"Ken Sytsma is the only person I have ever met who would slam on the breaks of a car to show you a new type of fern. He showed me that it is the glory of God to conceal a matter, but it is the honor (and great delight) of kings to seek it out and discover it. I have never seen a flower, shrub, or tree in the same way since."

- Hannah Boughton, Au Sable Alum and Environmental Education Intern 2013

Dave Unander, 'Tropical Agriculture and Missions'

"Dave is the unique type of professor who is able to go beyond teaching the course material and crossed over to being a great mentor and a great inspiration to me. In just one course, Dave influenced the direction of my studies and career path, likely without even knowing so. Through his passion, I was able to better locate and articulate similar passions I had, thus opening the doors for me to pursue them. I'm extremely grateful for the opportunity I had to interact with him for even a short period."

- Aaron Iverson, Au Sable Alum, 2004-2005 and Graduate Fellow, 2009-2014

Tim Van Deelen, 'Wildlife Ecology'

"Tim unearthed my interest in wildlife and helped get me started gaining experience within ecology. I aspire to teach and I can only hope to be as interested, patient, and thoughtful with my students as he is with his students. He sees the potential in students and is willing to go out of his way to ensure they succeed. Tim Van Deelen is an amazing example of how a Christian should live in the ecology realm and Au Sable is lucky to have him."

- Jacob Boone, Au Sable Alum and Research 2011-2012

Randy Van Dragt, 'Restoration Ecology'

"I came to Au Sable with a love of God’s creation, but no real direction or knowledge of how to use this passion. Then I met Randy Van Dragt. In and out of his Restoration Ecology class I discovered my calling to engage in the Divine act of restoring God’s creation. Not only did Randy and his class give me knowledge, but it gave me perspective and convicted me to do my part to better this world for God’s Kingdom. I’m forever indebted to Randy for helping give my life a direction and a focus."

- John Brittenham, Au Sable Alum and Environmental Education Intern, 2000-2002

Fred Van Dyke, 'Natural History in Spring' & 'Conservation Biology'

"It was an absolute blessing and privilege to have [Fred] as my professor. He speaks deliberately and with much purpose. Most importantly, he is a true disciple of Jesus Christ. I learned a great deal about the approaches and methods used to restore a degraded ecosystem [from him] and I don't think I will ever be able to look at soil or grass the same way. Just yesterday I was gardening in my backyard and as I dug my fingers into the rich soil I remembered Fred's devotional on 2 Chronicles 36:21."

- Janell Balmaceda, Au Sable Alum 2012

Dave Warners, 'Woody Plants' & 'Restoration Ecology'

"It happens when you come away from meeting Dave that you notice the flourishing of the small things, and you’re overwhelmed with an inspired desire to go out and put everything to right in the world so that there can be flourishing of all things everywhere. And as you set out to restore the earth, it occurs to you just for a moment that your personal flourishing was important to him also, and you feel blessed for having crossed paths with Dave."

- Hannah Boughton, Au Sable Alum and Environmental Education Intern 2013