Higher Ed Connections

GVSU Interns

Three generations of GVSU Interfaith Interns 

Kaufman Interfaith Institute’s inter-institutional interfaith cohort is a group of students from Hope College, Aquinas College, Calvin College, and Grand Valley State University.  These students all design programming around interfaith cooperation at their respective campuses as well as work together to improve interfaith relationships in the West Michigan area.  They also all serve on the planning committee for the Made in Michigan Interfaith Lab.  For more information on the intern program, or to get your college or university involved, please contact Kevin McIntosh

Interns Presenting on Interfaith

Interns from GVSU, Hope, and Aquinas presenting at the 2017 Consortium 

Meet the Interns



Field of Study


Anne Elzinga

Hope Interfaith Intern

Religion, Communications, Peace & Justice

Anne is finishing up her senior year at Hope College. She has a major in Religion, and two minors in Communication and Peace & Justice. Anne will be attending Western Seminary in the fall, and hopes to continue doing Interfaith throughout her career.

Manato Jansen

Calvin Interfaith Intern

Sociology, International Development Studies, and Geography

Born and raised in Japan, Manato Jansen is a junior at Calvin College studying Sociology, International Development Studies, and Geography. This is his first year as the Interfaith Intern at Calvin College's Service-Learning Center. Manato is passionate about culture and music, and enjoys traveling, playing music, and learning languages.

Joe Volpe

Aquinas Interfaith Intern

Community Leadership and Communication

Joe is a junior at Aquinas College studying Community Leadership, Political Science and Communication. He is in his first year as the Interfaith Intern at Aquinas but has been involved in Interfaith activities since his freshman year. Joe loves exploring new religious and nonreligious belief systems in a way to better understand his own humanity and spends his free time  with his cat, watching RuPaul's Drag Race.

Lauren Gerich

Aquinas Interfaith Intern

Community Leadership and Communication

Lauren is a current Senior at Aquinas College, studying Community Leadership and Communication. This will be her second year as Interfaith Intern at Aquinas! She has been involved in interfaith work on campus and in the Grand Rapids community since her freshman year. Curious on learning and exploring new religious and nonreligious traditions, Lauren has found a great passion for interfaith work. If you're looking for her, you can usually find her at a coffee shop behind her second or third cup of coffee!


Ben Scott-Brandt

GVSU Interfaith Intern

Liberal Studies

Ben Scott-Brandt is a Liberal Studies major at GVSU, studying "sacred" space and the many places we find it, both inside and outside religion. Now a senior, he's completed an internship at two spiritual retreat centers, and hopes to continue exploring the role of sacred space here in West Michigan. Ben is also a husband and father, songwriter, professional hairstylist, and amateur mycologist. 

Christianna Ransom

Kuyper College Intern

Intercultural Studies and Bible & Theology

Christianna is in her last semester at Kuyper College, studying Intercultural Studies and Bible & Theology. This is her first year as an Interfaith Intern. Christianna is passionate about learning of other cultures, traditions and religions. In her free time, you can find her visiting new coffee shops, hanging out with friends and family or looking up plane tickets for her next adventure.

Twitter feed for @CIRGVSU

Follow @CIRGVSU on Twitter


View on Facebook

Twitter feed for @HIYAlliance

Follow @HIYAlliance on Twitter

Twitter feed for @AqInterfaith

Follow @AqInterfaith on Twitter

Interns in the News

Student cohort strengthens interfaith conversations on college campuses

October 17, 2018

A collaborative internship program between five local colleges, including Grand Valley, is providing students with opportunities to develop their interfaith leadership skills and generate interfaith conversations on their own campuses.

Q&A: Interfaith intern talks investment

April 16, 2018

An interview with Manato Jansen our Calvin College Intern

LDS members and Calvin students connect over pizza

March 30, 2018

An article about a recent interfaith program

View More Interns in the News

Page last modified September 9, 2018