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Kalamazoo College

David Vanderkloot


Hometown: Deerfield, IL
Majors: Religion and English
Best Adjective to Describe You: Curious (a cliché college student response)

In 20 words or less, what is the best thing about being part of this department?
The religious/cultural traditions, tools of analysis, and information learned in each class are completely different, making every class memorable.

What is your advice to first years and sophomores about getting connected to this department?
If a class sounds interesting to you, give it a try! Many people have returned to the Religion department (and even become majors) because they registered for a course their freshman year on a whim. 

What is the most valuable thing you’ve learned at K?
Learning happens outside of the classroom. The people you meet and experiences you have are just as important to your growth as the classes you take. Also, sometimes you have to do homework in college.

What has been your favorite class at K?  Why?
Intro to the New Testament…it is what brought me to the Religion department and the reason I am a Religion major today. It introduced me to a critical study of religion and changed my perspective completely.

How have you taken advantage of the open curriculum or experienced breadth in your education?
The open curriculum has allowed me to take classes in German, Classics, Political Science, History, Statistics, and Complex Systems.

What experiential education opportunities have you participated in?
I have worked with the Woodward program through the Center for Civic Engagement for 4 years now and have played football at K for 4 years. I also interned as a camp counselor for Northwestern’s Center for Talent Development (2 summers) and Peace House in Kalamazoo (1 summer).

What is your SIP?
My SIP looks at former-Catholic ‘Nones,’ their experiences with the Catholic church, their reasons for disaffiliating, and how they maintain a spiritual life outside of the institutional church.

What are your career aspirations/next steps after K?
I hope to go on to graduate studies in Religion and eventually work with a nonprofit organization.

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