Dr. Deb Van Duinen

Arnold and Esther Sonneveldt Professor of Education
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Dr. Deborah Vriend Van Duinen is the Arnold and Esther Sonneveldt Associate Professor of Education and the founding director of the Hope College National Endowment for the Arts Big Read Lakeshore and Little Read Lakeshore, an annual community-wide program that takes place in November. She recently published the book Widening the Lens: Integrating Multiple Approaches to Support Adolescent Literacy (Teachers College Press, 2024).

Deb received Hope College’s Towsley Research Scholar award in 2013 and the 2016 Michigan Reading Association’s Individual Literacy Award for her leadership with The Big Read and with English education. In 2022, the Big/Little Read program received the Community Impact Partner of the Year Award from Michigan Humanities, a council funded in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities. 

Her courses include the content area literacy course for education majors. She joined the Hope College faculty in 2010.

AREAS OF expertise 

Deborah writes and teaches in the area of English education, disciplinary literacy, young adult literature and adolescent literacy.


  • Ph.D., curriculum, instruction and teacher education, Michigan State University, 2011
  • M.A., curriculum and instruction, Calvin College, 2002
  • B.A. in English, religion and theology, Calvin College 1998


  • Community Impact Partner of the Year (NEA Big Read/Little Read Lakeshore), Michigan Humanities Council, 2022
  • Culture Champion, Hope College, 2022 
  • Editors Award for Column Excellence, The ALAN Review, 2019
  • Individual Literacy Award, Michigan Reading Association, 2016
  • Towsley Research Scholar, Hope College, 2014-2018

Selected Publications

See more of Deborah's publications at The Digital Commons.

Outside the College

Deb loves to read, write, and talk about books. Her favorite stories are the ones she gets to live with her husband Jon and their four pretty amazing kids. In her free time, Deb enjoys road biking, running, eating good food and traveling off the beaten path. Proud of her Canadian heritage, she is a huge Toronto Maple Leafs and Blue Jays fan and celebrates Canadian Thanksgiving every October. That’s pretty neat, eh? She is an active member of Third Reformed Church.

Profile photo of Dr. Deb Van Duinen
Dr. Deb Van Duinen

Phone Number616.395.7737

VanZoeren Hall Room 283 41 Graves Place Holland, MI 49423-3617
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