Every year, hundreds of new students file onto Dordt’s campus and into the classrooms. A few more usually come at the semester break, causing mass amounts of housing confusion and interesting personality conflicts that arise with new roommates. But students aren’t the only ones that are new to campus, even after the utopia of Christmas break.
Jeni Kanis, a recent graduate of Dordt’s social work program, has now come back to work in Dordt’s theater department as the program’s Technical Director. It is a very important role, as Dordt has two upcoming plays this semester, needing brand new sets. But Kanis is not without theatrical experience. “I came here as a student, and I loved working in the theater department, especially in the scene shop,” Kanis said.
Kanis has a past with Dordt, a familiarity with the way the theater department works, and the enjoyment she had while going here. “As a student and now a staff person, I have always appreciated that professors and staff take time for students and each other,” Kanis said. “I think this attention to relationships within the learning environment encourages student growth that would not come just from reading a textbook.”
And it is this very attitude that makes the theater department, and Dordt in general, such a great place to be as a student. Professors take the time to invest in students and make their education worthwhile, and Kanis understands this, making her a wonderful addition to the faculty and staff already living out those ideals here on campus.
But even though Kanis may be busy with sets for Dordt’s productions of both “The Miracle Worker” and “Little Shop of Horrors,” she still has post-Dordt plans. “After this semester, I plan to move to the Minneapolis area, get married, and begin working professionally to gain even more experience. I hope to work in the field of social work and use what I have learned from theater to inform my work.” So even though she may not be here long, Dordt and its theater program are welcoming Kanis with open arms as she works alongside students for the next few months.
Alex Updike, Staff Writer