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spring 2015


K U R T D. D Y K S T R A


The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy. Psalm 126:3


his verse summarizes my year of service as interim president, for the Lord has done great and marvelous things for Trinity! The Trinity story is a magnificent one of God’s faithfulness, which continues with the announcement of Trinity’s next president, Kurt Dykstra. Please join me in extending a warm and enthusiastic welcome to Kurt and his family. This year has been an incredible journey as I witnessed students who flourish, deeply enjoy, and learn during their years at Trinity. Those same students become graduates who are courageous servant-leaders and do God’s work in the restoration of his world. Below I note a few recent highlights from the spring semester: • Vibrant faith: We aim for students to leave as graduates with a vibrant faith that is evident in their callings and actions. This year’s spring break was no exception as students volunteered to be part of our annual student service outreach. While in Tennessee, students participated in work such as repairing a house damaged in a fire. • Student-scholars: Students are stretched to learn and explore their academic gifts. In April, we celebrated student scholarship with OPUS, an annual festival in which students present their best work from the past academic year. The day was filled with presentations, entertainment, our senior art show, and musical performances. Ben Hoekstra ’17 of Andover, Minnesota, presented on prayer and the digital age. “I was blown away by the opportunity to discuss my research and work with other students, particularly those outside my discipline, and with professors,” Ben said. • Faculty-scholars: Dr. Craig Mattson, professor of communication arts and Association of Reformed Colleges and Universities (ARCU) Lecturer, presented “The Rhetoric of TOMS” at Trinity and several other colleges. The lecture tour has allowed Craig to reflect on the importance of a liberal arts education that cares for “things all too easy to forget: inquiry and curiosity, text and context, pathos and perspective, meaning and wisdom, grace and truth." • Connections with local organizations: Biology major Jessica Jacobi ’15 of San Marcos, California, hosted the Junior Trolls Science Fair as part of the honors work for her major project. We welcomed 60 students from Daystar Academy, Master's Academy, and a local homeschool group and focused on DNA in the fields of physics, chemistry, molecular biology, and ecology. “To be able to teach students about how crazy awesome God’s creation is through science and to shape their understanding of the world is something that makes me really excited,” Jessica said. • Curriculum that is responsive to needs: In the fall, we will add two new science majors, Environmental Science and Bioinformatics. Bioinformatics is one of the fastest growing areas in biological sciences, and this interdisciplinary major combines math, computer science, chemistry, and biology. Trinity is the second college in Illinois and the only college in the Reformed Christian tradition in the country to offer a Bachelor of Science degree in bioinformatics. This and much more leads me to “Sing to the LORD with grateful praise” (Psalm 147:7a) as I see evidence of God working on Trinity’s campus. I reflect on this year with delight and gratitude, thankful for God’s faithfulness, and sure of his future care for Trinity. I return to the opening verse: "The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy." In Him,

Liz Rudenga, Ph.D. Interim President, Trinity Christian College












• Soldier Field Event - 5

• Opera, Theater, Internship - 10

• Papers & Presentations - 24

• Alumni Nursing Association - 7

• Science Through the Lens of Faith - 12

• Adult and Graduate Studies - 26

• Pitching ideas into the “Shark Tank” - 9

• Music Major Singing Scripture - 15

• Athletics - 28

• A Bright Fiber Optic Future - 20

• Class Notes - 31

TRINITY CHRISTIAN COLLEGE BOARD OF TRUSTEES 2015 Bryan Bandstra Bonnie Beezhold ’77 Paul Boice Keith E. Bruxvoort Robert Buikema David J. Buter John M. DeBoer ’85 Dianne De Groot Henry Doorn, Jr. ’81 Gary K. Foster Lynn Hollender ’72 Terry Katsma Cindy Bosma Klinger ’92 Kevin L. Koeman ’02 Peter Madany ’82

Jonathan Marcus Frederick V. “Fritz” Olthof, Jr. Martin Ozinga III Henry Perez John G. Stob, Jr. ’80 Grace Tazelaar Felecia Thompson Zachary J. Thomson ’01 George J. Vande Werken Steven G. Van Drunen ’86 Dan W. Van Prooyen ’71 Marjorie Vis Boerman ’83 Lynette Vos Kevin Walker ’05 Calvin Walstra ’62

MAGAZINE EXECUTIVE EDITOR Kimberly Fabian Executive Director of Marketing and Communications


Amanda Cleary Assistant Director of Public Relations and Communications Amy Strong ’86 Sports Information Director

LAYOUT AND DESIGN Peter Clevering ’01 Associate Director of Marketing


Peter Clevering ’01 Kevin Johnson ’13 Marketing and Media Associate

The Trinity Christian College magazine is published bi-annually for alumni and friends of the College. Reproduction in whole or in par t without written permission is prohibited. ©2015 Trinity Christian College admits students of any race, color, and national or ethnic origin. Trinity Christian College is a community of Christian scholarship committed to shaping lives and transforming culture.

Visit Trinity Christian College’s website at: POSTMASTER: Send address changes to:

Trinity Christian College Magazine, 6601 West College Drive, Palos Heights, IL 60463


PRESIDENT-ELECT KURT D. DYKSTRA ANSWERS THE CALL TO LEAD TRINITY President-elect Kurt D. Dykstra believes that a college president has both the duty and privilege of influencing how the Christian faith finds expression at Trinity. Dykstra was appointed to the position of Trinity’s eighth president on April 22 and officially takes office July 1. Dr. Liz Rudenga, former provost, has been serving faithfully in the role of interim president since June 1, 2014. She will continue her committed leadership of the College through June 30, the end of the academic year. A consummate leader, Dykstra currently serves as the mayor of the City of Holland, Michigan, and the senior vice president and community president of Mercantile Bank of Michigan. He said he

The Trinity community welcomes Kurt D. Dykstra, his wife Leah, and their daughters Emma-Elisabeth and Juliana (far right).




has felt a long-time call to serve in the role of college president, and he brings many years of experience as an attorney and adjunct professor at Hope College where he taught law and political science-related courses. Dykstra believes that faith is expressed in two ways: institutionally and personally. As president, his institutional duty involves continuing to ensure that those hired to serve as faculty and staff embrace Trinity’s mission; that opportunities are provided for interactions with those outside of the campus community who offer fresh insights and

a shared appreciation of God’s redemptive work; that the nonacademic experience—from student life to athletics—is aligned with the mission; and that, as a leader, he provides a steady voice, reminding the campus and friends of the College that Trinity’s purpose is a high and noble one. Second, Dykstra said the president also has the privilege of personal influence. “Both the president and the college will be known by their fruits,” he explained. “Students who chose Trinity should expect their president to want to be in relationship with them, to both know and serve them.”

That is a hugely important distinction. That means for us, the task is not only large and the journey long, but it requires of us the very best. This is not a place that wants to rise to a level of ‘okay.’ We demand excellence, because we follow One who demands our very best.” “It’s an exciting time,” Dykstra said, “and I am so pleased to have the opportunity to join you in this adventure.”

During the reception, many students, including Student Association President Julian Garcia ’15, had the opportunity to talk with the future president. “From what I was able to see in his vision for Trinity, he is ready to take this college to the next level. He is a man with a plan,” Garcia said. “I cannot wait to look back For many, that relationship (l-r) President-elect Kurt Dykstra, Vice President for and see the amazing things that began on April 23 when Dykstra Student Life Becky Starkenburg, and Student Association will take place. I believe with President Julian Garcia ’15 addressed students, professors, President-elect Kurt Dykstra in staff, and board members for the office, that fire and passion will flow down first time at an informal welcome reception and introduced his throughout this college.” family, including wife Leah and their daughters Juliana and Emma-Elisabeth. Following his thanks to Interim President Liz Rudenga, Ph.D., the Board of Trustees, search committee Read more about Dykstra’s members, and others, Dykstra delivered an inspiring message appointment and view the welcome to his expectant audience. reception video at He acknowledged that many schools are looking at big and important questions, the sum of human knowledge and the history of cultures and places and what that means for people today. “We think about those things, too,” Dykstra said. “The difference is, we think about the people involved as being image bearers of our God. That influence broadens as that expectation is shared by the broader Trinity community. “The College should expect that its president be a person of deep Christian faith manifested in how he acts and reacts, deals with others, and engages in worship and service.”

Q & A with President-elect Kurt D. Dykstra What do you envision for your first year as president, for the College, and for you and your family? My first task is to listen, meet, and learn. We’re excited to join the Trinity family, and we think of ourselves at this point as part of the “extended family.” We know about Trinity and have relationships with people who go to, graduated from, and work at Trinity. I want to deeply understand this place and her wonderful history. So, I look forward to having a lot of on and off campus meetings, visits, and gatherings. At the same time, I want to hit the ground running and expect to be very active with, among other things, student recruiting, campus planning, campus life, and fund raising. As for our family, Emma will start her 8th grade year in Chicagoland and start living in Palos Heights later this summer. Juliana is a senior, and Leah and I want her to be able to finish her high school career at Holland High School. As a result, Leah initially will spend significant amounts of time in Holland and both of us will know the twohour trip back and forth very well! Trinity students have been incredibly hospitable to our daughters. Both Juliana and Emma already feel at home on campus, which is remarkable and a testament to the marvelous people at Trinity!




Now that you have been to campus, what three words come to mind to describe Trinity? Wow. That’s hard. (No, those aren’t my three words.) Hospitable. Genuine. Hopeful. What abilities or insights from your past career experiences will be most applicable in your new role? I think that I have excellent training and preparation for the varied roles and duties of president. Lawyers are trained to be analytical and think through decisional ramifications, which is a very good perspective to have when leading a multi-layered organization like Trinity. Bankers know a thing or two about finance--not a poor skillset for a college these days! Public service is a wonderful opportunity to serve and help people and the common good; it is a mindset more so than a set of policy positions. Plus, in every one of these roles, including as a college instructor, I am expected to write and speak, so being with and in front of people is only natural and something I relish. What abilities or insights from your decade of experience as an instructor at a Christian liberal arts college will be helpful in your new role? College students have breathed life into my family’s life. We have been blessed during our careers (Leah in college admissions and me as adjunct faculty) to be surrounded by remarkable young adults who are earnestly seeking God’s will. Students have nurtured the lives of our daughters and given energy to our family. The college years can be so incredibly meaningful and impactful, and at their best, can alter the trajectory of a person’s path. That’s what happened to me and part of the reason I am so excited to be able to know and spend time with Trinity students. How does having teenage daughters deepen your understanding of college students and their challenges and dreams? Seeing Juliana and Emma navigate the world, process new information and experiences, and learn to deepen an integrated Christian faith give Leah and me great insight into the minds of the students gracing Trinity’s campus. I hope that, from a student’s perspective, having a president with children who are near-peers makes us especially approachable. Finally, we understand more clearly the process and thoughts on college “fit” and selection because our kids are thinking about those things. How do you think social media plays a part in relationship building with students? I’ve had great Twitter interaction with students, faculty, staff, and alumni since the announcement. Social media lets people get a




feel for who this “new guy” is and lets me better know the greater Trinity community. For those so inclined, I encourage people to follow and interact with me on Twitter: @kurtdykstra. Some people question the value of college. What would you say to put that concern to rest? In what way does your own college experience and varied career path illustrate that value? Today a sizable part of our population is asking whether a college education is worth the investment-- questions that were all but unheard of a generation or two ago. For many people, college is worth it. The economic advantages possessed by those with a college degree still are evident. Education done well remains a significant gateway to success. However, as important as economic opportunity is, we at Trinity also understand that education is a part of growing in faith and wisdom. It equips us to make a difference in this world that God created, redeemed, and loves. I know that, personally, I would not have been able to think and live with as much impact had I not spent four years at Northwestern College. I would not be the person I am today had I not spent the time to study, converse, and grow in that environment. As a result, I could not have done the kinds of things that I have been fortunate to do without that experience. What we offer at Trinity--excellent educational programs infused with an integrated and robust Christian faith--makes us distinct in the panoply of higher educational offerings. We are not alone in that space, but when you look at the whole of higher education, Christian higher education is a relatively small slice. Our challenge, and our opportunity, is to capitalize on our unique market position. I like what we have to offer the higher education marketplace and look forward to competing hard and well. What will you miss most about Michigan? The Lake Michigan beaches. Holland. Our family, friends, and Pillar Church community. But not the month of March. Definitely, not March. How can the Trinity community pray for you during the transition? Please pray that the transition will go well as the College adjusts to a new family in the community. Pray for Juliana and Emma, both leaving the only place that they have known as home. And please pray that I will be given the capacity to lead well, minimize missteps, and that I’ll be able to quickly recognize the difference between the two.

JOIN FRIENDS, ALUMNI, FACULTY & STAFF Join us for a special evening of live music, delicious Chicago-style appetizers, and wine and local craft beer, as you socialize and reconnect with fellow alumni, faculty, staff, and friends of the College. The event will also include brief presentations and a silent auction.

Saturday, June 20 Soldier Field’s United Club-Level One

On Saturday, June 20, the Trinity community will be honoring 25 alumni from the past 25 years at Chicago’s historic Soldier Field. Many of these alumni are especially engaged in work and service in the Chicagoland areas that Trinity also serves as part of its mission to make a difference in the world. This will also be a great opportunity to meet President-elect Kurt Dykstra and his wife Leah. Dykstra will become the 8th president of Trinity Christian College on July 1, 2015!

6 to 10 p.m. $65 per person Cocktail attire

Tickets must be purchased by June 8, 2015.

Visit If you prefer to make reservations via email or phone, please contact us at or 708.239.4806.





For more information, visit



ith the growing emphasis on STEM studies—science, technology, engineering, and math—Trinity is expanding its offerings in science to provide even more options to students. In Fall 2015, the College will add two new majors, including Environmental Science and Bioinformatics. Trinity is the second college in Illinois and the only college in the Reformed Christian tradition in the country to offer a Bachelor of Science degree in bioinformatics. In addition, an Environmental Studies minor and a Bachelor of Arts in biology join the existing Bachelor of Science in biology. Last year, the Bachelor of Science in biochemistry and molecular biology major was added to Trinity’s growing list of science programs.


Bioinformatics is an interdisciplinary major uniting math, computer science, chemistry, and biology. New technologies in the biological sciences produce incredible amounts of data to analyze, which requires expertise in mathematics and computer science. This has led to the creation of the field of bioinformatics, one of the fastest growing areas in biological sciences. Ethical issues that arise in this area will be discussed from a Christian worldview throughout the program.


Environmental Science equips students as agents of renewal in God’s kingdom through a focus on environmental stewardship. The Environmental Science major provides opportunities for students to explore the interactions of the natural world through study and investigation, which will then provide the foundation for Christian earth keeping. Students will enhance their classroom studies with off-campus opportunities at Morton Arboretum, Shedd Aquarium, and AuSable Institute for Environmental Studies. For more information go to






ollowing recommendations from Trinity’s business faculty and from students working with Chicago Semester during a class project in organizational consulting, Executive Director Mackenzi Huyser ’98 and her staff have launched the Chicago Semester summer program. The program aims to reach students interested in Chicago Semester but whose curricular requirements, athletic commitments, or other responsibilities have made it difficult for them to participate during the fall or spring semester. After approval by the Chicago Semester Policy Board in November 2014, work immediately began on surveying prospective students and approaching internship sites to gauge specific interest. Kendra Wright ’10, internship coordinator, is leading the effort. Several Trinity students are participating in the program this summer and will live on the near north side of the city where semester students live during the academic year. They will intern at their sites four days a week and take a cross-cultural foundation course that will help them explore issues of diversity and inequality specific to Chicago. Additionally, students will participate in a practicum group experience that encourages them to reflect on what they are learning through their internship. Several social outings are planned as the summer is a wonderful time to explore the city. Trinity junior Evan Geels of Sheldon, Iowa, is a business/ entrepreneurial management major and will be working at the American Medical Association as a marketing and communications intern.



ursing alumni understand the great rewards that come with the profession.They also understand the academic, emotional, and physical challenges of pursuing a nursing degree.

In an effort to support the current students and faculty of Trinity’s nursing department and establish a way for nursing alumni to stay connected both personally and professionally, a group of alumni established the Trinity Alumni Nursing Association (TANA). One of the initiatives of TANA involves matching each nursing student with an alumnus/a prayer partner. In addition to praying, prayer partners can send notes of encouragement to their students.

“Wouldn’t it be great to have every nursing major covered in prayer by Trinity nursing alumni?”

TANA member Amy Nagelkirk ’92

Alumni interested in participating in this wonderful initiative to support Trinity nursing students can contact Amy Nagelkirk at or Jamie Hop ’12 at This year marks the 30th anniversary of Trinity’s nursing program, which has graduated over 750 nurses. TANA board members and class representatives have been updating information on nursing graduates to improve networking. If you have not been contacted by a classmate yet, please email Alumni Director Bill DeRuiter ’09 at

“One of the things I found most appealing about the program was that they connected me with a company and secured an interview for me, which in turn allowed me to secure my internship,” said Geels. “Chicago Semester will also provide me with the experience to live and work in the city. “ SPRING 2015




Mallory Boyce



s an integral part of its commitment to diversity, Trinity recently awarded a total of $84,400 in scholarships to 18 Diversity Scholar recipients for the 2015-16 academic year. “The purpose of the Diversity Scholars Program is to recognize outstanding scholars from under-represented populations who have demonstrated academic excellence, leadership, and Christian commitment,” said Josh Sinnema ‘12, senior admissions counselor. The recipients were chosen after a two-day event that began with a formal dinner and concluded the following day with rigorous panel interviews.

SEERVELD GALLERY EVENTS Artist as Educator: Education as Art Cecil McDonald collaborative works August 25-December 2, 2015




Emma Darcy



he recipients of the 2015 Founders’ Scholarship were Mallory Boyce of Alto, Michigan, and Emma Darcy of Morton, Illinois.

Throughout high school, Boyce participated in band and student government, was a member of the National Honor Society, and participated as a youth leader in several ministry environments. She looks forward to majoring in social work. Darcy was involved in cross country, cheerleading, theater, peer and mission tutoring, and was a member of the National Honor Society. At Trinity, she plans to study nursing, with a minor in Spanish. The Founders’ Scholarship is a renewable, full-tuition award available annually to two incoming freshmen.

• Score a minimum of 30 on the ACT or 1320 on the SAT • Exhibit leadership in their church, school, or community Applicants must: • Display evidence of personal faith in • Rank in the top five percent of their Jesus Christ graduating class or achieve a 3.8 grade-point average

Thursday, September 24 Lecture, Leah Myers: 6 p.m., Reception: 7 p.m. Thursday, October 29 Lecture, Cynthia Weiss: 6 p.m., Reception: 7 p.m.

Thursday, November 12 Lecture, Cecil McDonald: 6 p.m., Reception: 7 p.m.



ver spring break, a group of 32 Trinity students travelled to Coalmont, Tennessee to serve with Mountain T.O.P. (Tennessee Outreach Program), an organization dedicated to helping families in need.

The crew fulfilled needs such as repairing a house damaged in a fire, hanging drywall, and building an access ramp for an elderly resident. Throughout the week, the team enjoyed time together in evening worship and other activities.



he audience at the sold-out 2015 Gospel Fest in February enjoyed stellar performances by Trinity’s Gospel Ensemble, directed by Nicole Saint-Victor ’12, Trinity’s Harmony group, recording artist Erick David Townsend, and Homewood Flossmoor High School’s Inspirational Voices.



usiness students had the opportunity to propose their ideas to a panel of local business men and women during Trinity’s version of ABC Television Network’s “Shark Tank.” The popular show gives entrepreneurs the chance to pitch their products to successful business people who offer critiques and consider investing. Eight student teams presented ideas from smartphone apps to home remodeling services. The event, “Is This a Good Idea?”, was the first in a twopart series that culminated with “Will You Support Me?” on May 11.

Business student Evan Geels ’16 presents to the panel.

Panel members included: Kimberly Cunnea, vice-president of Providence Bank, Aaron Ozinga ’03, president of Ozinga Materials, Inc., Omar Sweiss, entrepreneur and attorney, Calvin Tameling ’72, CEO of SET Environmental, Inc. and Jack VanNamen, director of sales at KBC Direct Floral







The internship melds her studies in both business communication and theater and integrates a passion for the stage that began as a child. Birthdays for Williams meant a visit to the theater with her mother, who hoped to instill a love of the arts in her daughter.

heater is meant to mimic life,” said Cait Williams ’16, likening the adage to her liberal arts education and her exposure to not only her major but to biology, theology, and art history. “Art provided background for stage design. Organizational behavior helped me recognize management techniques in my internship,” said Williams.

Williams has played out that passion on the stage of her community theater in Western Springs, Illinois, and in Trinity’s Marg Kallemeyn Theatre.

And in her internship at the Chicago Opera Theater, Williams said she can relate every class she’s taken to her work. Williams serves as a public relations and marketing intern for the innovative, nationally recognized opera company, which features new and rarely performed works. She said she has had the amazing opportunity to work with Chicago professionals, including Chicagoan of the Year, Andreas Mitisek, and to market for the widely popular mezzo-soprano Frederica von Stade. “My education at Trinity gave me a spring board into this internship,” said Williams. “The experience has been tremendous.”





She credits director and professor Dr. John Sebestyen with her ever-growing love of theater, and Assistant Professor of Communication Arts Darren Zancan with teaching her the writing skills that helped her achieve her new role as marketer. Internship, professors, and classes have all played a part in her education, but the most important role for Williams has been that of Christianity. “The theater business is primarily secular,” said Williams, “but learning at Trinity has allowed me to bring my faith into the discipline.”






he study of science at Trinity expands the student’s understanding of creation and the Creator. Whether peering through a microscope or field binoculars, students study their chosen science majors through the lens of faith.


Collaboration and research with professors, as well as field education and internships at world-renowned institutions such as Argonne National Laboratory, give students the opportunity to apply their classroom knowledge. Trinity graduates are well prepared to pursue advanced degrees and to excel in a wide range of fields, including medicine and teaching. Deep study and discovery doesn’t stop when summer begins. Anna Bos ’15 and Patrick Page ’14, under the guidance of their professors, spent last summer’s break delving further into research projects they began during the previous academic year. Often this research extends beyond the requirements of the student’s major or the role of professor into the realm of mutual collaboration, a shared love of science and desire to discover answers. Trust, built over the semesters, opens doors for students whose professors wish to encourage their research and help prepare them for graduate study.

RESEARCH BECOMES THE TEXTBOOK Anna Bos ’15, of Rockford, Michigan, joined Assistant Professor of Chemistry Mike Bosscher in his research last summer as part of the new biochemistry major. Bosscher said the goal of the research was to develop indicator molecules that would detect certain heavy metals during the processes of water remediation or purification at lower levels than other researchers have achieved. Bos appreciated that her professor provided her with an opportunity to collaborate during the summer and to gain more experience before she applied to graduate school. Although the research goal hadn’t yet been reached, Bos said she learned that setbacks are to be expected. “The experience provided me with honest exposure to research.” Recently, Bos, who graduated in May, was awarded a full scholarship to the Molecular and Environmental Toxicology Ph.D. program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Anna Bos ’15 and Assistant Professor Mike Bosscher




A PASSION FOR RESEARCH Professor of Biology Bob Boomsma ’77, Ph.D., said that the study of science is “not an accumulation of facts, but a process of understanding.” This process of understanding most often happens in the lab, a place Patrick Page ’14 of Palos Park, Illinois, has spent summers, evenings, and weekends, pursuing research on three different projects: one with Dr. Clay Carlson, assistant professor of biology on epigenetics and another on antibiotics; and a third with Boomsma on gene expression. Which is his favorite project? “That’s like asking me to choose between my children,” he said. “I love the opportunity to have a diversity of research projects.” The goal of Page’s work with Boomsma is to understand how adult (mesenchymal) stem cells derived from bone marrow affect the cells of hearts damaged by heart attack and how various conditions, such as low oxygen or low nutrient levels, affect the release of hormone-like factors from the stem cells. Page chose to stay for a fifth year at Trinity in order to add a second bachelor’s degree, this one in philosophy, to his current bachelor’s in biology. As a Vander Velde junior scholar, he will also be able to continue his stem cell research, which he previously conducted with classmate Joshua DeJong ’14.

Patrick Page ’14 and Assistant Professor Clay Carlson

GOD’S NATURAL WORLD AS CLASSROOM Biology students, and even those from other majors, can often be seen studying fish and plants in the aquaponics system or planting vegetables in the new organic gardens erected beside the Bootsma Bookstore Café. Students and Assistant Professor of Biology Abbie Schrotenboer, Ph.D., are often up to their waists in flowers and wild grasses in the native plant basin located near the Ozinga Chapel. To ensure the proliferation of native plants on campus, students collect seeds from the basin, start the seeds in the Heritage Science Center greenhouse, and transplant the seedlings back into the basin. Nearby Lake Katherine Nature Center provides another location for students interested in studying the environment. This semester, students in Schrotenboer’s Plants and Animals course have been collecting and cataloguing insect and plant species along the lakeshore, with the goal of better understanding the habitat and how to best care for it. This work is done in collaboration with local high school groups who are ridding the area of invasive plant species. Trinity students are making similar efforts in Trinity’s campus woods and Lake Katherine’s prairie property. SPRING 2015





Eric Los ’16 enjoys the hands-on interaction with wildlife offered through the AuSable Institute of Environmental Studies program.


he forest became the classroom for biology major Eric Los ’16 of Hudsonville, Michigan, last May. Los enrolled in Field Ecology in Spring 2014 as part of a program offered by the AuSable Institute of Environmental Studies, one of the organizations with which Trinity partners to offer hands-on experience to students. Rain or shine, Los and his classmates hiked into the woods each day and learned about the ecosystems of northern Michigan and its glacial history. During the course, Los memorized over 100 species of plants, over 30 species of birds, and 15 different species of mammals and reptiles. “The course was a great collaboration of young Christians who were committed to serving God by learning to be stewards of his creation,” said Los. This year, Los has been putting his scientific knowledge into practice on Trinity’s campus through his work with the biology department’s aquaponics system.




The biology department’s aquaponics system provides a way for students to put their scientific knowledge into practice.

“Studying science in the context of liberal arts adds to my understanding by providing me with a variety of outlooks on science and faith.” His work involves finding the ideal conditions in the system to encourage reproduction of tilapia fish. This involves altering the ratios of males and females, adding structure to the tanks, and altering temperatures. Los is also experimenting with growing sod, the success of which could potentially reduce soil waste from sod transplants.

Music Major

Singing Scripture C

By Anna Phillips ’15

assie (Nelson) Rogalski ’15 has a love for music and a love for the Church, two loves she brought together in completing her Vander Velde Scholar research.

Rogalski’s project, “Chanting the Church Year: Theology and Practice,” looks at using chants from the Psalms in the modern church. Her study focuses on memory development and specifically how congregational singing aids in remembering Scripture. “When we hear texts sung rather than read, it engages a different part of our brain, allowing us to listen differently and better,” Rogalski said. Rogalski’s work has included developing a resource of Psalms chants to distribute to churches; writing her own chants for Year B of the Revised Common Lectionary, a book of readings from the Bible used for worship; and providing Trinity Lutheran Church in Tinley Park, Illinois with one chant each Sunday. When developing chants, Rogalski often takes Psalms, pairs them with hymnal refrains, and writes a short melody for the congregation to sing. The project does not solely focus on memory, Rogalski explained, but also demonstrates the modern church’s ability to answer its call to worship. Through conducting her research, Rogalski has discovered that singing Scripture also demonstrates corporate participation, enabling worshipers to publicly declare the Gospel. “Singing is a physical act of worship, one that unites and bonds the worshippers,” said Rogalski. “Chant unifies God’s people today with those throughout the ages that have sung Scripture.” Her work with chant extends into other places as well, including campus chapels, Outcry (Trinity’s student-led worship), and summer work at Camp Manitoqua, where she served as a worship leader. Rogalski also sees her work with chant as something that will extend into the rest of her life. “Chanting the Psalms has given me a love for God’s Word,” said Rogalski. “I have come to realize just how essential it is for Christians to gather and sing to the Lord as one body.” SPRING 2015




building powerful relationships


t’s about building powerful relationships, said Dilaun White ’09.

As a business communications major at Trinity and later the assistant director of admissions, White enjoyed building relationships with professors, staff, and prospective students and soon realized the professional advantage of networking. “The saying goes, ‘It’s not what you know, it’s who you know,’ and while there is some truth to that, I have also learned, ‘It’s not who you know. It’s who knows you,’ ” said White. “The last part of that is the foundation of a good network, which I learned from my Trinity education, my previous employment at Trinity, and my current experiences.” That current experience involves her role as corporate account manager at The Cara Program in Chicago. White explained that the organization provides personal and professional job training for unemployed adults facing barriers to quality employment in and around Chicago. “My job is to maintain strong relationships with old and new corporate partners




who will hire our students while also coaching students in our program on developing professional skills in the areas of brand development, career planning, research, applying for jobs, interviewing and networking,” said White. Sharing an example of the work she does, White said she recently helped a program student prepare for her first job interview in eight years. The social service agency interviewing the student was new to The Cara Program and had high expectations. They offered her the job the next week. “The student and I worked as a team to get the door open,” said White. “Those moments give me goosebumps.” Her own career opportunity came through a Trinity professor who connected White with an alum who introduced her to the organization. “After I became employed at Cara, I circled back to give thanks to those who helped me along the way,” she said. “I preach and practice networking because it truly works to deepen relationships and support.”

discovering a passion for

“walking people through” F

rom the day he first saw the junior high gym teacher wearing a Trinity t-shirt to the day he was awarded the Greater Chicago Christian Leadership Scholarship, Marlin Exton ’07 immersed himself in the Trinity experience. But he said it is his sophomore year that stays with him to this day. “I had gone through some trying experiences, and the professors here embraced and supported me through that time,” said Exton. “They didn’t just speak about Christian love, they lived it. That support saved my life.” In addition to his undergraduate education as a music major, working as a Trinity admissions counselor after graduation and later as the assistant director of admissions helped Exton discover his own passion and gift for “walking” people through challenges. Today he serves as a professional development specialist at The Cara Program in Chicago. Exton works with adults--primarily through teaching and one-on-one coaching--to help them develop professionally as they seek quality,

permanent employment. He recently taught an interview skills class for 33 adults, some of whom had never had an interview. Exton said the class helped the students realize that, with a little work, it is possible to have an excellent interview for the job they want. “I love helping people,” he said. “In this role, I have an opportunity to meet great men and women, who, in many cases, have endured incredible life hardships and challenges, and through working with them, see their lives transformed through employment.” From seeing students enroll at Trinity and make an impact on campus to witnessing adults at The Cara Program achieve employment and turn their lives around, Exton said these experiences have bestowed a blessing on him that is hard to put into words. “I am grateful to have a career that works to redeem God’s creation, one life, one family at a time.”





Jeff and Ken Dryfhout at the Chicago Semester offices.

CHICAGO SEMESTER A FAMILY TRADITION The young businessmen who founded Trinity in 1959 realized the need for a Reformed Christian college near the city it could serve, and in turn, learn from. Since then, career-making internships, life-altering service opportunities, and diverse cultural immersion have built on and enhanced Trinity’s rigorous classroom experience. A long-time and integral aspect of the College’s connection to the city has been through the Chicago Semester, which is celebrating its 40th year. Thousands of students from Trinity and other colleges have gone through the semester program, including four members of the Dryfhout family. The experiences of Jeff Dryfhout ’95 and his cousins - brothers Matt ’00 and Ken ’03 - are testaments to the enduring value of both Trinity’s proximity to Chicago and the Chicago Semester program. Jeff ’s brother Brian, a 2000 Hope College graduate, also went through the program and said he enrolled because of Jeff ’s success in his internship and the job offer that resulted.




Jeff Dryfhout ’95, CEO, Pivot Marketing/ Global Marketing Director, AeraMax Major: Business, Marketing Jeff spent most of his career in food marketing and innovation, working on brands such as Chef Boyardee, Slim Jim, Butterball, and Sara Lee. Three years ago, he founded Pivot Marketing (, an agency that helps brands move forward in the areas of strategy, creative design, and digital. A year ago, he also started working with Fellowes to launch a new air purification division globally. Jeff said Trinity was a great fit both from a geographic and business program standpoint, and that the College’s partnership with Chicago Semester was the catalyst for his career. His internship led to full-time employment at Quaker, which laid the groundwork for opportunities at other Fortune 500 companies like ConAgra Foods and Sara Lee.

“What most impressed me about Chicago Semester was the opportunity to get real-world internship experience,” Jeff said. “The quality of the companies the program has on board is highcaliber, which future employers and hiring managers highly value.”

“Chicago Semester stretches you both professionally and personally, which proves to be invaluable in preparing you to enter the world post-college. The internship experience is rewarding and has the potential to lead to exciting opportunities.” Jeff Dryfhout

Matthew Dryfhout ’00, Director of Business Development, TRISTAR Machinery Major: Business Communications Matt directs a team in building and maintaining profitable business relationships in the pharmaceutical manufacturing industry in the efforts to establish cyclical revenue streams for TRISTAR. Matt said his decision to enroll in Chicago Semester was also influenced by his cousin Jeff ’s excellent experience in the program. Although he eventually chose a path that veered from the direction of his internship at McConoughey, Stein, Schmidt Advertising Agency, he said he gained a better appreciation for overall responsibility through the program and that his liberal arts education became a foundation for his career. “Learning business strategies in the context of economic (supply and demand) practices, I gained a much better understanding of how a business functions effectively,” he said.

“I would encourage students to step outside their comfort zone and enroll in the program. Even if they decide to change their career path, the experience alone is rewarding.”

Ken Dryfhout ’03,Vice President, Finance at BCU Major: Business With over $2 billion in total assets, nearly 200,000 members, and operations in 11 states and Puerto Rico, BCU is one of the nation’s top 100 credit unions and the fourth largest in Illinois. Ken’s areas of responsibility include transactional and savings-related deposit products, balance sheet strategy, institutional investment portfolio management, retail investment services, and performance analytics. Ken chose Trinity because he preferred the more intimate setting of a smaller student body, knowing he wouldn’t have to sacrifice diversity of experience or academic rigor. During the first meeting with his advisor his freshman year, Ken, well aware of this brother’s and cousin’s Chicago Semester experience, said, “No matter what, I have to attend this program.” The flexibility of the liberal arts program allowed Ken to pursue coursework in computer science while pursuing a major in business. His Chicago Semester internship with Feldman Securities Group became the crossroads of math and business and led to a full-time position with the firm and served as a catalyst in his development as a financial professional. “I also had the unique opportunity to serve as the internship supervisor for Chicago Semester students,” he said. “This provided an opportunity to give back in a small way to the program that gave me so much.”

“The value of a solid internship experience has never been higher than in this post-recession economy. Chicago Semester provides valuable connections in a major U.S. city wrapped in an incredible cultural experience.” Ken Dryfhout

Matt Dryfhout










Lostutter listed the professors most influential in his time at Trinity, including Dr. Mary Lynn Colosimo, professor of psychology, who encouraged him to follow God and his dreams; Dr. Lou Sytsma, professor of chemistry, who connected him with Argonne; Dr. Clay Carlson, assistant professor of biology, who bridged the gap between science and faith; and finally Dr. Thomas R. Roose, professor of physics, who offered a wealth of experience and connected him with Molex.

ome things are more important to the college decision than a full ride to a state university.

That was the case for Calob Lostutter ’14 who transferred from the University of Arizona to Trinity his sophomore year. At Trinity he said he enjoyed small class sizes, professors as mentors, the diversity of a liberal arts education, and networking that led to his current career as a process engineer designing fiber inter connectors in the fiber optics division of Molex, a leading provider of electronic components and solutions. Originally majoring in pre-med, Lostutter had the freedom to pursue his interests in chemistry and psychology through a double major in those disciplines. So how did the career in fiber optics happen? Through a series of field education and internship opportunities at Argonne National Laboratory and Molex, Lostutter learned invaluable lessons and was eventually offered a position at Molex in September 2013 during his senior year. “I felt like a fish out of water, but the employer was interested in my chemistry background,” Lostutter explained. He spent the early days of his then part-time employment shadowing engineers and learning modeling software. Then, “doors opened, and I walked through them.”

“You can be doing amazing work in the lab, but it doesn’t matter if no one knows about it,” said Lostutter. “It is important to be able to communicate as a professional.”

In addition to his professors, Lostutter credits his liberal arts education and his experience as a First Year Forum mentor with teaching him the skills needed to present himself well in a professional setting. “You can be doing amazing work in the lab, but it doesn’t matter if no one knows about it,” said Lostutter. “It is important to be able to communicate as a professional.” Above all, the integration of science and faith influenced his education. “I was able to see science as the fingerprint of God and an exploration of God’s nature,” he said. “That was transformative for me as a student.”











ven on the subway, out of his innercity Brooklyn neighborhood, the teenager was not safe.

He stood unsteadily in the train car, face to face with the gang leader he had carelessly joked about that week, and the gang leader was here for revenge. At 14 years of age, overweight, and bullied, Dr. Erick Sierra had developed skills that many children never have to. Some of his friends could fight. Others could run fast. But what defense mechanisms did he have? “I couldn’t run to save my life…literally,” Sierra recalled years later. So, on the subway that afternoon, he found himself face to face with the gang leader and, he said, “staring into my grave.” What happened next he described as an almost out-of-body experience. Words began to pour from his mouth as fast as the train racing between stops, a steady flow of thought ending in a seemingly ludicrous question: “Now do you really want to beat me up?”

But somehow it worked. The gang leader grunted and walked away. “At that point, I discovered language. Its power. Its ability to protect me,” Sierra said. “Language now became my most cherished friend.”

He would go on to base his entire career on the verbal skills he discovered that afternoon, later in life effortlessly scoring in the 97th percentile on the Graduate Record Examination and eventually becoming a published scholar. “The irony—and tragedy—is that when I had stepped into my middle- and highschool classrooms as a young man, teachers labeled me ‘cognitively deficient’ and ‘delayed,’ ” Sierra said. “How could that be? There were powerful verbal-linguistic skills at work in me. Why couldn’t they see what I had to offer?” Today, Trinity’s Associate Professor of English advocates for students who grow up in challenging environments and develop skills not easily identifiable within the standard educational system. “It can be easy to miss the intelligence of some students,” he said. “In the worlds many African American and Latin American students come from, they are developing unbelievably sophisticated cognitive skills. We have to overcome the systematic and pedagogical blindness to what these minority students bring into the classroom.” Sierra works to equip teachers to tap into these intelligences, to render them visible, and to re-channel them toward life-giving ends. This spring he offered a workshop that discussed the multiple intelligences proposed by Harvard professor and developmental psychologist Howard Gardner, Ph.D., illuminating the ways in which emerging teachers in the education program might engage teaching strategies that unleash students’ individual and varied aptitudes.

As a high school student in the Brooklyn borough, Sierra continued to explore and develop his own verbal-linguistic and interpersonal intelligences. For four years, his father was absent from their family in order to deal with a drug addiction. But he said that God sent him some crucial “life rafts,” one in the person of his sophomore biology teacher, who was a Christian. “He had this idea that I was actually a great man called by God. At the time, I thought he was crazy. But he never, ever gave up on me.” As powerful as the influence of his teacher was in his life, the rehabilitation and conversion of his father through Teen Challenge Brooklyn had the deepest impact on Sierra’s own decision to follow Christ. His family gradually reunited, his parents remarried, and Sierra witnessed the miraculous hand of God at work in his life. His father would later become executive director of the organization. “My father’s transformation was so deep and real that it was the final impetus for my decision to accept Christ,” Sierra said. “His belief had made him a new creature. And my ultimate mentor. At the age of 15, I now had an older male in my life who, like nobody else, saw greatness in me and was willing to fight for it.” Sierra followed the call to be part of God’s restorative work through the gift of language; he would go on to pursue degrees in teaching and English literature, earning both his Master of Arts and Ph.D. from Rutgers University. He has taught across a wide range of cultural and socioeconomic lines, finally realizing his desire to teach in a small Christian college located near a large city when he joined Trinity’s faculty in 2010. Sierra said he hopes to instill the beauty of God’s gift of story in his students and to help them discover themselves in that story. Sierra’s most recent contribution to the conversation about the value of literature in the life of students, “The ‘Story Behind the Story’: Making Lit Matter,” was published by the Chronicle of Higher Education in April.




PA P E R S & P R E S E N TAT I O N S Sara Baillie, assistant professor of special education, published “A Systematic Review of the Check In, Check Out Intervention Program.” Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions. (In Press.)

Dr. Brian Dennert, assistant professor of theology, published a review of Jens Herzer’s, ed., Papyrologie und Exegese in Bulletin of Biblical Research, 24/4 (2014): 596-98.

Dr. Deb Majewski, instructor/practitioner of psychology, presented “Ever Expanding Ripples: The Role of Compassion in Fostering Community.” November 2014, Illinois Counseling Association Conference.

Todd Barre, assistant professor of business, with Dr. Deborah Windes, Dr. Rick Hamilton, Kyle Harkema, and Dr. Lynn White, presented “Engaging Our Students in Pursuing a Richer Sense of Vocation.” October 2014, Christian Business Faculty Association (CBFA) Meeting, Nashville, TN.

Dr. John Fry, professor of history, published a review of Brian Dirck’s, Abraham Lincoln and White America in Fides Et Historia. Summer/Fall 2014, 133-135.

Dr. Craig Mattson, professor of communication arts, presented “Attention Shoppers! Rhetoric of Attention in the TOMS Campaign” as an Association of Reformed Colleges and Universities Lecturer at Redeemer University College, Ancaster, Ontario, Covenant College, Lookout Mountain, GA, LeTourneau University, Longview, TX, and Trinity Christian College.

Dr. Bill Boerman-Cornell, associate professor of education, published “In Defense of Reading.” October, 2014, Christian Educators Journal, 33-36. Dr. Robert Boomsma ’77, professor of biology, published “Evidence for transfer of membranes from mesenchymal stem cells to HL-1 cardiac cells,” Stem Cells International, Volume 2014, co-authored with Dr. Dave Geenen from Grand Valley State University, and “Effect of serum and oxygen concentration on gene expression and secretion of paracrine factors by mesenchymal stem cells,” International Journal of Cell Biology, Volume 2014, co-authored with Trinity students Patrick Page ’14, Joshua DeJong ’14, and Alaina Bandstra ’13. Dr. David Brodnax, Sr., professor of history, published a review of Nikki M. Taylor’s, America’s First Black Socialist: The Radical Life of Peter H. Clark in The Historian, 2014. Dr. Dennis Connelly, assistant professor of criminal justice, with Dr. Bob Rice, professor emeritus, presented “Transforming Future Crime Fighting Media Bred Cops into Empathetic Criminal Justice Students.” November 1, 2014, Associated Colleges of the Chicago Area: 2014 Scholarship of Pedagogy Symposium, Elmhurst College, Elmhurst, IL.




Dr. Rick Hamilton, assistant professor of business, with Dr. Deborah Windes, Kyle Harkema, Dr. Lynn White, and Todd Barre, presented “Helping Develop the Leader Within.” October 2014, Christian Business Faculty Association (CBFA) Meeting, Nashville, TN. Kyle Harkema, assistant professor of business, with Dr. Deborah Windes, Dr. Rick Hamilton, Dr. Lynn White, and Todd Barre, presented “Making Experiential Learning Come Alive in the Classroom.” October 2014, Christian Business Faculty Association (CBFA) Meeting, Nashville, TN. Rebecca Harkema ’05, assistant professor of special education, with Kaylee Wilson ’13 and Katie Brickman ’03, presented “What’s Mental Health Got to do With It?” November, 2014, Illinois Council for Exceptional Children Conference, Naperville, IL. Dr. Bethany KeeleyJonker, assistant professor of communication arts, with Dr. Craig Mattson, published “Stop Talking That Way! An Affective Approach to Uncanny Speech in the Christian College Classroom.” Christian Scholar’s Review.   Dr. Dave Klanderman, professor of mathematics, with Dr. Mary Webster Moore, presented “Elementary Number Theory Links to Elementary and Middle School Mathematics.” December 2014, in-service workshop presented to teachers in District 144, Illinois.

Dr. Mark Peters, professor of music, with Dr. Bill Boerman-Cornell, presented “No Syllabus on Syllabus Day?:  Engaging Students on the First Day of Class.” November 1, 2014, Associated Colleges of the Chicago Area: 2014 Scholarship of Pedagogy Symposium, Elmhurst College, Elmhurst, IL. Dr. Pete Post ’74, associate professor of education, served as editor/ advisor to Lisa Cesal and Chris Lenart, “Getting through the Boundaries of Life.” October 20, 2014. Dr. Patti Powell, professor of education, presented “How Small Programs Strive for “Clinically Rich” Educator Preparation.” November 4-7, 2014, Teacher Education Division of the Council for Exceptional Children Conference, Indianapolis, IN. Dr. Erick Sierra, associate professor of English, published “The ‘Story Behind the Story’: Making Lit Matter” in the Chronicle of Higher Education, The Conversation, at April 10, 2015. Dr. Rick Snoeyink, professor of education, with R. Hoey, F. McCracken, and M. Gehrett, published “Evaluating the Impact of the Administrator and Administrative Structure of Online Programs at Nonprofit Private

Colleges.” 2014, Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration, 17(3). Dr. Yudha Thianto, professor of theology, presented “Historical Linguistics Research.” December 19, 2014, General Lecture (Studium Generale), English Department, Universitas Jendral Soedirman, Purwokerto, Indonesia. Ryan Thompson, associate professor of art and design, published Bad Luck, Hot Rocks: Conscience Letters and Photographs from the Petrified Forest. The Ice Plant, Los Angeles, CA. November 2014. Dr. Mary Webster Moore, associate professor of mathematics education, with Dr. David Klanderman, presented “It’s a Pleasure to Measure.” December 2014, inservice workshop presented to teachers in District 144, Illinois. Dr. Lynn White, professor of accounting, with Dr. Deborah Windes, Kyle Harkema, Dr. Rick Hamilton, and Todd Barre, presented “Engaging Our Students in Pursuing a Richer Sense of Vocation.” October 2014, Christian Business Faculty Association (CBFA) Meeting, Nashville, TN. Dr. Deborah Windes, associate professor of business, with Dr. Lynn White, Dr. Rick Hamilton, Kyle Harkema, and Todd Barre, presented “Engaging Our Students in Pursuing a Richer Sense of Vocation.” October 2014, Christian Business Faculty Association (CBFA) Meeting, Nashville, TN. Dr. Se-Hyoung Yi, assistant professor of political science, published “Democratic Inclusion and “Suffering Together” in The Eumenides: Duality of Immigrants,” Political Theory 43(1): 30-53.




dean for ethnic diversity and multicultural programs, began teaching as an adjunct professor of education at Trinity in 2001 and joined the faculty in 2004. “I realized I loved teaching at Trinity and was revitalized by the opportunity to interact with college students who wanted to become teachers. I had literally rediscovered my passion for teaching.” As dean for the past several years, Woo has led campus-wide efforts to support what he calls “a communal commitment” to diversity, based on God’s command to love one another. Those efforts have included guest speakers, multicultural events, and off-campus excursions into Chicago and its diverse neighborhoods.


has served on Trinity’s faculty since 1998 as a professor of education and mathematics education. In addition to her role as associate professor, previous administrative roles included director of teacher education and later certification officer. Moore has taught in the traditional program and in the Adult Studies program, since its inception. Currently, she serves as director of P-16 School Initiatives. Each semester since 2006, Moore has invited third and fourth grade students from local and Chicago Christian schools to campus, providing an opportunity for future teachers in her classes to work directly with the children on activity centers and in one-on-one clinical interviews. Moore has also directed professional development sessions in several surrounding districts as well as in Chicago.

Continued >






has been serving students for 31 years through a variety of roles. She began her work at Trinity as a residence director in 1984, continued as dean of students, then became vice president for student development in 2004. In those roles she supervised campus safety and security, personal counseling for students, career development, residence life, campus ministries, community partnerships and service learning, student conduct, and student government. As dean of student engagement and international services for the past two years, Carpenter has made strides in creating a welcoming environment for international students through the design and implementation of an international student orientation and year-long seminar series. Over the years, Carpenter has led groups of Trinity students seeking crosscultural experiences to Honduras, South Africa, Jamaica, and South Korea.


has been a faculty member since 1998, teaching courses in special education and directing Trinity’s Office of Learning Services where she works with the faculty to ensure that students with physical, emotional, attentional, and learning disabilities receive the accommodations to which they are legally entitled. Both positions have played into her life-long passion for enabling all students to achieve their potential. Kwasteniet has led numerous student trips to Central and South America, the Philippines, Spain, India, and Egypt. “It’s exciting to engage with students as they grapple with issues of distribution of wealth and world hunger and to see some begin their careers in developing countries.”






he Adult Studies department has been serving adult learners in the Chicagoland area since 1999. Now, with the upcoming launch of three new online degree completion programs, that service will expand throughout the state of Illinois. Recruitment is currently underway for the online Criminal Justice degree to launch this fall. Online Psychology and Business will follow the Criminal Justice launch. These 100% online programs have no required login or class times and feature a new Virtual Campus interface. Students will also have the convenience to attend either full time or part time. Such flexibility is ideal for Adult Studies students who are juggling a fulltime job and family commitments, but desire to finish their degree. The programs will provide many of the benefits that on-campus Adult Studies students experience, including one-on-one help from faculty and staff, courses taught from a Christian perspective, and access to the library’s website and resources. In addition, a video introducing Trinity’s history and tradition will be available for students to view. The video will serve as a welcome and emphasize the importance that community has at Trinity, which now extends to students in the online environment. For more information on these new online programs, visit, or call 708.293.4567.



ne night (or in some cases two nights) a week can change your life. That’s a common phrase heard around Trinity’s Adult Studies and Graduate Studies departments. The accelerated programs are designed with the working adult in mind, so that students can continue to work and care for families while pursuing their dreams of finishing their bachelor’s degree or earning a master’s degree.

Lisa Porter Adult Studies Psychology “I’m a wife and mother of three. I’ve begun programs at other schools and just felt overwhelmed and had to stop. At Trinity, I feel motivated by the support of my professors and classmates. They provide a second support group in addition to the support of my family. The work is rigorous, but I don’t feel overwhelmed. Dr. Tiffany King provides a classroom atmosphere grounded in mutual respect and a motivating atmosphere that is perfect for adult learning. If I had one word to describe Trinity’s community, it’s supportive. Even though I’m only on campus one night a week, I still feel connected to the campus.”

Latasha Fields Adult Studies Business “Initially, I was looking at Trinity for my daughter who is 18. I saw the information about the Adult Studies Business program, and my husband encouraged me to finish my degree. I have learned a lot, and more important, I’ve been able to implement aspects of the program immediately in my life and interactions outside of class. I wanted a program that was taught from a Christian perspective, and each professor brings that perspective into the class. The professors care about you; they want you to succeed and thrive.”

Scott Zablotny Adult Studies Psychology “I’ve had an enriching experience so far. The small cohort size allows you to get to know and interact with your classmates. When you compare sitting in a larger lecture room, you realize there’s no connection in that environment like you have at Trinity. I was initially hesitant about going back to school, but the transition has been very easy. The staff was helpful during the initial application process, and the faculty brings a holistic approach to psychology through discussions and group projects.”

Donna Brown Graduate Studies Counseling Psychology “My experience has been eye opening. I have grown so much as an individual, and I’ve had the space to explore some of my beliefs as it relates to the Christian faith and what it means to be a Christian counselor. ”






he Athletics Department has named Jim Butski as the new head coach of its recently added intercollegiate men’s volleyball program. Butski comes to Trinity from Bluefield College in Virginia where he served as head coach for their women’s program for the past two years and started their men’s program this past season. “We are excited about the addition of the men’s volleyball program at Trinity and gaining Jim as the new head coach,” said Athletics Director Bill Schepel ‘85. “His coaching experience, outgoing personality, and strong ability to recruit will accommodate what is needed to start and build the men’s program.”

WEB STREAMING MAKES HOME EVENTS AVAILABLE Through Trinity Athletics Club membership and other donation venues, the athletics department has been able to utilize Stretch Internet to provide web streaming of all home contests for the 2014-15 sports season. Working alongside the audiovisual department, athletics expanded their coverage to include live video and statistical information for more teams and games than were available previously. “It has been a collaboration and evolving effort to get all the pieces into place to provide the web streaming,” said Amy Strong ’86, sports information director. “The result has been a positive addition, and I am pleased that we are able to provide this service for fans who cannot be at the games. With continued support we look to resume and improve the services in the future.” The web streaming coverage link can be found on the athletics web page at or directly at






Butski has been involved in coaching volleyball at the collegiate, high school, and club levels for 15 years. Prior to his time at Bluefield, he coached the women’s volleyball team at Florida Christian College (now Johnson University-Florida) for three seasons and coached and taught at two different high schools in Florida. Throughout his career he has coached multiple club teams and has been involved in camps and clinics for various age levels as both an instructor and camp director.

“I am really looking forward to coming to Trinity, re-starting the men’s volleyball program, and working with the passionate coaching staff and strong leadership in athletics and on campus,” said Butski. He feels that Chicago has an abundance of talent in both men’s and women’s volleyball. Additionally, “Trinity, with the energy of the student body and fantastic facilities, is a great draw to potential student-athletes.” Butski will make the transition to Trinity this spring and start his duties of recruiting a roster and preparing for the 2015-16 season. Building a program will take time and effort, but he has previous experience and a vision. “I will start with recruiting student-athletes who buy into the present and future of the program and are willing to work hard to lay a foundation,” he said. “Around that core, we look to add key pieces in the next couple of years to form a highly competitive team. It is my hope to provide an exciting and dynamic program for the Trinity community. I also look to connect with Trinity alumni who were previously a part of the program and welcome them back into the men’s volleyball family.” In addition to coaching the men’s volleyball team, Butski will serve as an assistant coach for the women’s volleyball program and will assume other duties in the athletics department.

VOLLEYBALL TEAM RECEIVES TOP HONORS Two of the top honors given by the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) were awarded to Trinity’s volleyball program. Senior setter Erynn Schuh ’15 of Frankfort, Illinois was named the 2014 AVCA NCCAA National Player of the Year, and head coach Bill Schepel ‘85 was named the 2014 AVCA NCCAA National Coach of the Year. The formal presentation of these awards was made on December 19 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma in conjunction with the AVCA Annual Convention and NCAA Division I Women’s Volleyball National Championship.

Erynn Schuh ’15 (center) receives her award for national player of the year.

Schuh helped lead the Trolls to the program’s first NCCAA National Championship title. At the national championship, she was named the Tournament’s Most Valuable Player. In addition, Schuh also received honor as the conference Player and Setter of the Year. In his eight years as Trinity’s head coach, Schepel has led the team to four NCCAA and two NAIA national tournaments. This past season he directed the Trolls to a 38-10 overall record, which ties the program’s record for season wins. Bill Schepel ’85 (center) receives his award for national coach of the year.

TEAMING UP TO HELP THE COMMUNITY For Trinity athletes, teamwork extends beyond the playing field. Trinity’s baseball and softball teams have served communities both near and far during the academic year and over spring break. Helping out the Village of South Holland, members of the baseball team painted playground equipment at 10 of the village’s parks and spent a few hours unloading a semi-trailer of donated office equipment for Bethel Church in Gary, Indiana. “We had the park project on our radar and took full advantage of the baseball team’s desire to serve our community,” said South Holland Public Works Director George Gunkel. “Not only was their work ethic outstanding, but their passion and enthusiasm throughout the day was commendable.” The softball team spent an afternoon of its Florida spring break trip serving the residents of Living Hope, a transitional home for women in Orlando. The athletes made improvements to the property by raking, weeding, mulching, and planting. “Living Hope was an eye-opening experience,” said April Lynn ’16 of Pontiac, Illinois. “It felt great to serve, because they were in need and depend on donations.”

ACADEMICS NO. 1 FOR STUDENT-ATHLETES The Athletics Department’s mission is to “develop each student’s gifts, talents, and abilities to their fullest.” Coaches strive to fulfill that mission by giving athletes the opportunity to not only excel on the field and court but also in the classroom. The importance of academics is evident in the high number of athletes who receive scholar-athlete recognition. In the 2014 fall semester, one-third of all the student-athletes were named to the Athletics Department Honor Roll for earning a semester grade point average of at least a 3.50. In addition, nearly 50 athletes have already been recognized, and another 30 will be honored, as scholar-athletes by the conference and national affiliations for their cumulative GPAs.





GIFTS SEPTEMBER 30, 2014 – APRIL 30, 2015

MEMORIAL GIFTS Robert H. Buikema Natalie Buikema Robert & Danette Buikema Scott Friesema Ken & Margie Boss Kenneth De Vries Brian & Theresa Dobiecki Elite Chiropractic and Sports Care PLLC Phyllis Friesema Henry & Carol Goesel Donald & Carol Haan Matthew & Marguerite Ham Pete Hiemstra John & Sandra Lindemulder Michael Millette George & Charlene Mullen John & Dorothy Norman Randall Reinsma Dan & Sheri Rozendal Henry & Ann Schenkel James Tock Kenneth & Linda Verkaik David & Marjorie Wegner Bob Gritters Ellen Gritters

Edward & Yvonne Borkhuis Ken & Margie Boss Eleanor Burrows Roger Close Daniel & Kathy Davis Joyce Dean Derk & Sandra Deckinga Michael Drucker Faith CRC John & Lori Kamphuis Bernard Kooyenga Glenn Kooyenga Angenette Korringa Raymond & Judy Kraft John & Maureen Kristin James Lindemulder Shirley Oetman James Pillman Gregg & Sharon Robbert Jack & Elizabeth Rudenga Timothy & Diane Scott Larry & Claire Smith George & Mary Van Dahm Lance & Lynn White Ann Wright Tom J. Krygsheld Donald & Carol Haan Anna Mae Krygsheld Fern Myroup Todd & Sallie Barre Edward & Donna Biesboer

Kuok K. Ho Ken Erickson

Pauline Schaap Rodney & Jean Korthals Luke Schaap John & Marjorie Verbeek

Audrey Kooyenga Anonymous Gift Kay Bolman

Henry Schuringa H. David & Mary Schuringa




Conrad Timmermans Dale & Gladys Alfrink Sheryl Arnold David & Julie Arnoldink Ken & Margie Boss James & Angie Bosscher Robert & Carol Buist Sally Jo Bulthuis CRCNA Dean & Cynthia De Vries Droge and Associates Thomas & Julie Gee Raymond & Magdalene Gort Richard & Lynn Guider Lillian Oosterhouse Bernard & Vivian Potgeter Jack & Elizabeth Rudenga Donald & Debra Snow Frances Timmermans Lois Timmermans Steven & Barbara Timmermans Melvin Van Farowe Jack & Joanne VanderWal Ruth Ann VanZanten Char Veenstra David & Deborah Wolfsen Judith Valentine Robert Valentine Gerard Van Groningen David & Dawn Van Groningen George Vander Velde Howard Anderson Charlene Behrends Dean Buntrock Ross Edwards Peter & Heidi Huizenga Arthur & Judith Jongsma Robert & Carolyn Keizer John Kieft

Philip Knox Douglas Kutzli David and Karen Menconi Jack & Elizabeth Rudenga University of Illinois – Urbana – Champaign James & Janice Vander Velde Bruce & Lyn Veldkamp Andrew & Jane Voss Bill & Jackie Wagner Richard J. Veldman Peter & Heidi Huizenga Marybeth Reynolds Christopher & Rebecca Van Til Cornelius & Rosemary Van Til James & Virginia Van Til Judy Weaver

HONOR GIFTS 90th Birthday of Marilyn Ozinga-Istel Charles & Shirley Vander Velde Grace Rosenwinkel Wilbert & Berendina Wichers Derek L. VanAlthuis Tri-States Concrete, Inc.

WILLS & ESTATES Estate of David G. Bulthuis Estate of Frances Eizenga Estate of Benjamin and Kathleen Tameling Estate of James and Grace Hoekstra

CLASS NOTES TRINITY CHRISTIAN COLLEGE ALUMNI CLASS NOTES POLICY The Alumni Class Notes of Trinity Christian College are published as a way for the Trinity alumni community to share in each other’s lives. They are not intended to reflect the views of the College or to support a particular point of view. Trinity Christian College reserves the right to edit or to not publish submissions for space, tone, and content that does not reflect Trinity’s mission. As alumni, we are still a part of and responsible to this community and mission. Class Notes and photos can be submitted online at or mailed to Trinity (attn: alumni office) or e-mailed to


John ’04 and Jamie ’04 (TenHaaf) Wind

Stephanie (Oswald) Dykema ’01

We welcomed a new son Jacob Henry on May 30. He was welcomed home by big brothers Will (4) and Zach (2).

Kara (Koopmans) Eisenga ’01

In Memory: Dr. George Vander Velde ’63 On April 1, 2015, the College mourned the passing of Dr. George Vander Velde ’63, former vice president for campus development. He was 71. Vander Velde served faithfully as he provided oversight of two of the largest expansion projects in the College’s history—the DeVos Athletics and Recreation Center and the George and June Schaaf Athletics Complex (Rt. 83 athletics fields). Vander Velde instituted the College’s Maurice Vander Velde Junior Scholar Award in honor of his father, a former trustee. The Vander Velde program has supported scores of original scholarly research projects in the exact sciences, humanities, social sciences, and fine arts. Vander Velde is survived by his wife, Harriet (Wiersma); his children, Anya (Jeffrey) Herlien, Erica Vander Velde, and Jonathan (Jennifer) Vander Velde; as well as his grandchildren, Tyler and Justin Herlien.

We moved to Naples, Florida, in December 2013. After a twelve-year break from my career to be a stay-at-home mother while my kids were young, I am now back to work. I am a realtor with Premier Sotheby’s International Realty in Naples. My website is

Laurie (Johnson) Gates ’01

In October 2014, I defended my dissertation, which was a comparison in student success in online college math classes before and after the implementation of MyMathLab. This completed my doctorate of education in higher and postsecondary education. I am an assistant program director in the math department of South University Online, and live in Florida with my husband and two kids.

Curt DeGraff ’02

On October 8, 2014, Curt, Katie, and big sister Gracyn welcomed little brother Silas Alan Scott to the family. Silas was 8 lbs. 15 oz. and 22 inches long.

Nicole (Schroeder) Rose ’03

Daniel and Nicole were married in Knoxville, Tennessee at Two Rivers Church on November 14, 2014. They had a reception in Fulton, Illinois at Second Reformed Church on December 27 for friends and family who were not able to attend the ceremony. They live in Knoxville with their deaf pit bull, Ish, and Maine Coon, Izzy.

God blessed us with Kieleigh Lillian born May 16, 2014. She joins Samantha 10, Cameron 7, and Brooklinn 3. Also, recently John and our family were chosen as one of four dairy families in the state of Idaho to represent the industry as “future leaders.” John has done a wonderful job speaking out to the public about milk quality and animal care.

Nichole (Oswald) Granquist ’06

Brad, Nichole, and Liam welcomed Elisabeth Elise to the world at 4:50 p.m. on November 25. Ella weighed in at 7 lbs., 6oz. and 20.5 inches long. She has been such a blessing to our family. We enjoyed travelling to Europe with our new family of four for the holidays.

Jennifer (Derks) Hoekstra ’06

Jenni and her husband Matt welcomed their 3rd child, a son, Zachary, into the world on May 1, 2014. His twin siblings just adore him and want him to grow up much faster than mommy does!

Rachel (Lindbloom) Navis ’06

This July my husband and I will be married six years. We live in Sheboygan and enjoy living by the lake and spending time at the beach. I have been working in the Oostburg School District as the high school special education teacher for six years as well. We have a son, Kellin, who is three and a daughter, Mina, who was just born in November.

Rita (De Jong) Wario ’07

Rita and Hussein welcomed their first baby boy, Ebbah Immanuel, on July 9, 2014. He was 7lbs., 13.5oz., and 21.5 inches long.




CLASS NOTES ALUMNI ASSOCIATION 2014-15 BOARD OF DIRECTORS Kutu (Morris) Baker ’05 of Westchester, IL

Suzanne Jonkman ’90 of Gary, IN

Liz Brice ’12 of Chicago, IL

Brad Laninga ’89 of Holland, MI (Vice President)

Jason Bruxvoort ’99 of Mokena, IL (President)

Mike Macco ’04 of De Pere, WI Leanne (Bylina) Schatz ’06 of Phoenix, AZ

Jim Buiter ’87 of Crete, IL Kiana Carr ’02 of Chino Hills, CA

Deb (Bergsma) Van Prooyen ’74 of Lombard, IL

Daron Dykema ’99 of Anchorage, AK

Ethan VerVelde ’09 Palos Park, IL

Kyle Geenen ’10 of Holland, MI Kathy (Van Drunen) Gesch ’79 of Cedar Grove, WI (Secretary)

Ben Zumdahl ’06 of Lafayette, IN

Barb (Ribbens)Horn ’81 of Normal, IL

Kindra (Glashower) Back ’08

Following a professor’s recommendation, Kindra continued her education at Mt. Mary for her masters in art therapy immediately after graduation from Trinity. In that time she met Aaron at a small church plant. Their life has been quite a journey since then and the next chapter includes an international adoption! When one surrenders one’s life to God, the journey is never boring! They look forward to all God has in store for them.

Amanda (Nowak) Comstock ’08

Dr. Amanda Nowak is practicing as a clinical psychologist in Naperville and Hinsdale at Matter Clinical Services. She also taught last year as an adjunct professor at Trinity Christian College in the undergraduate and graduate psychology

programs. Amanda married Kevin Comstock on March 21, 2014 at Patrick Haley Mansion in Joliet. They are happily living in Plainfield, Illinois.

Bethany (Nykamp) Franken ’08

Bethany and Josh Franken welcomed their second son, Rhys Lawrence, into the family on May 7. Big brother Drew is loving being a big brother!

Tracy (Mels) Voss ’09

My husband Stephen Voss and I were married January 5, 2013 and almost two years later we welcomed our first son Willem Scott on December 28, 2014. We are living in Tinley Park and I am currently working as an operating room nurse at Lurie Children’s Hospital. We are so blessed to see what God has done since graduating from Trinity!

2010S J.R. ’11 and Lindsay ex’10 (Koedyker) Wydra

It has been a busy but exciting few months for us. We are so thankful for the many blessings God has given us during this time. In May I graduated from law school and began preparing for the Indiana State Bar Exam, which I successfully passed after taking it in July. Following that, Lindsay and I were married at the Valparaiso University Chapel of the Resurrection on September 27, and on October 6 I was sworn in as an attorney in the State of Indiana. To God be the glory!

Katie (Matthuis) Werkman ’12

Katie and Adam were married on September 20, 2014. Katie is currently working at MetroSouth Medical Center as a labor and delivery nurse and Adam works for a water damage restoration company. They are currently living in Mokena, Illinois.

Caleb ex’13 and Jenna’13 (Stech) Dutton

Jenna and Caleb got married on September 13, 2014. Jenna is currently working as the marketing and event coordinator at a graphic design company in Lafayette, Indiana. Caleb is currently

attending a local college to finish his bachelor’s degree in elementary education. The two of them are now living in Lafayette with their new puppy Nike!

Samantha Rowe ’13

I graduated from Trinity in December 2013 with a degree in Elementary Education and Special Education. After graduation I took some time off before looking for a job. I was hired on at Nathan Hale Elementary School, the elementary school I attended as a child, to fill a maternity leave in February 2014. I then was hired on at R.H. Lee Elementary in July 2014 as a special education resource teacher.

Megan (Huizenga) DeYoung ’14

Megan married Christopher DeYoung on January 24, 2015. Megan currently works as an RN at Munster Community Hospital, and Christopher (Purdue University Lafayette) works as a civil engineer and land surveyor at Thomas Engineering Group.

Rebecca (Reed) Koning ’14

I’ve had a whirlwind-type of life since graduating in May of 2014. I began my teaching career in September and am now teaching middle school language arts and reading (and some Bible and social studies) at Sheboygan Christian School in Wisconsin. I also got married in January to Kyle Koning and am enjoying life with him in cold, but welcoming, Wisconsin.

CONNECT WITH OTHER ALUMS “Trinity Christian College Alumni” “Trinity Christian College Alumni” @TrollAlumni

CHANGE HAPPENING IN YOUR LIFE? Whether it’s a new job, contact info, family additions, or a graduation, take a minute to update the alumni office. We will be happy to share it with the Trinity community, or simply update our records so that we can keep you better informed and connected.




NOV. 6 -7, 2015 Mark your calendar! Homecoming and Family Weekend are now one BIG Weekend. It's all together! These are THE days for alumni, parents, friends, grandparents, brothers, and sisters to come to campus.


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Spring 2015 Magazine  

Trinity Christian College Spring 2015 Magazine

Spring 2015 Magazine  

Trinity Christian College Spring 2015 Magazine