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Janel M. Curry

Dr. Janel Curry is an award winning geographer and educator. She has authored over 50 publications on human-land relations, community resilience and theological perspectives on nature, and has received fellowships from the Fulbright Scholar Program and the Pew Evangelical Scholars Program.

Her outstanding work as a scholar and educator has been recognized through many accolades, including the John Fraser Hart Award for Research Excellence, the Lifetime Achievement Award for Excellence in Rural and Agricultural Geography, the Decade Alumni Award for Academic Achievement from Bethel University, and the Michigan Campus Compact Faculty/Staff Community Service-Learning Award.

From 1996 to 2012, Dr. Curry served on the faculty at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan. At Calvin, she held the Gary and Henrietta Byker Chair in Christian Perspectives on Political, Social, and Economic Thought from 2008 to 2012, and the Spoelhof Teacher-Scholar Chair from 1996 to 1997. As Dean of Research and Scholarship from 2000 to 2009, Dr. Curry facilitated the expansion of Calvin College’s various centers and institutes and successfully increased faculty and institutional capacity for obtaining external funding. She was previously a faculty member at Central College in Pella, Iowa, from 1985 to 1996.

The daughter of a Baptist minister, Dr. Curry grew up in Canton, Illinois. She attended William Jewell College, followed by Bethel College (now Bethel University), where she graduated with high honors with a B.A. in political science. Prior to pursuing graduate work, Dr. Curry served with the Mennonite Central Committee in Southern Louisiana. She earned her M.A. and Ph.D. in geography from the University of Minnesota.

Dr. Curry is the mother of two adult daughters, both of whom attend Calvin College—Marie, who will graduate in May, and Karis, now a sophomore.

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Janel Curry