Fall 2013 TRINITY Magazine, Career Ready, Life Ready
Courtney Randle ’12
Major: English Education
Title: 8th grade composition and literature teacher at Viking Middle School in Gurnee, Illinois,
Courtney Randle, today an 8th grade composition and literature teacher at Viking Middle School in Gurnee, Illinois, said her first field placement as a student teacher opened her eyes to the improvements she needed to make as an instructor.
“It took time to get used to being in the classroom,” said Randle. “I found that in order to excel in my field, I would have to get over my apprehensiveness.”
After completing her first seven-week placement at Arbor, Randle began her high school placement at Warren where she learned varied teaching styles and alternative ways of teaching English. She said another highlight of her internship was the chance to interact with various students, faculty, and staff as well as the ability to network within a district. Randle credits that networking with leading to her current position at Viking.
“The opportunities to teach at multiple levels before graduating from Trinity allowed me to see how different schools work, how different ages work, and how I would work in diverse environments,” said Randle. “Allowing education majors to break their experiences into various residences reflects Trinity’s dedication to its motto of education and excellence.”
Spring 2010 TRINITY Magazine, Career and Calling
Bethany Lotterman ’09
Major: Communication Arts and English
Title: Communications coordinator
Finding a job today has proved to be a difficult task for many college grads, but the solid preparation of a Trinity education combined with God-given gifts can open doors of opportunity. Bethany Lotterman ’09 (December) is one graduate whose education and talent led her to a job within her field of study just weeks after graduation.
Her work study experience as a writer in Trinity’s marketing and communications department; time as head copy editor for the school paper, the Courier; and her work revamping a website for a small business for her senior project sparked the interest of her current employer, the Reformed Free Publishing Association (RFPA) in Jenison, Michigan.
Her portfolio, created in her Senior Seminar class, proved to be a great tool. “Not only did the portfolio boost my confidence in the skills and abilities I developed while at Trinity,” she said, “but it was also a great way to show potential employers what I can do.”
While at Trinity, Lotterman’s various academic achievements included publication in Trinity’s literary magazine, Openings, and her Senior Seminar paper “Living Life as Encounter: A Christian Philosophy of Communication,” which seeks to explain her approach to Christian communication as shaped by a Reformed world view.
That view of the world has also been shaped by a quote that hung on her dorm room wall throughout college: “A job is a 40-hour paid position. A vocation is a calling from God for which we have been shaped and molded and strengthened to carry out for his glory and for the good of his kingdom using our gifts and talents.”
“A deep warmth and a spontaneous smile come to me each time I think about this award,” said Dr. Michael Vander Weele ’73, professor of English at Trinity since 1986 and the 2011 Alumnus of the Year. “It is humbling considering the colleagues and students I have been able to work alongside.”
Vander Weele’s connection with Trinity began when his father Ed became a professor of education and dean of students in 1968. Vander Weele enrolled as a student the next year. His sisters and brother attended Trinity as did his late wife Albertena ’74, who served as director of the College’s Cooper Career Center from 2000-2006. Their daughter, Corenna Roozeboom, graduated in 2007.
Trinity Christian College web story, Spring 2011
Jeffrey Tigchelaar ’99
Alumnus Jeffrey Tigchelaar ’99 never planned to be a writer when he first came to Trinity. Upon graduation, he was under a different mindset.
“I would say that I came to Trinity in 1995 to play baseball but left as a writer,” said Tigchelaar. “My horizons were definitely broadened.”
A recent recipient of the Langston Hughes Poetry Prize and nominee for the Pushcart Prize, Tigchelaar said that Trinity played a part in changing his focus and shaping him as a writer. “Trinity was the turning point for me,” he said. “I entered the school somewhat directionless, and then one of my English professors freshman year helped me see I was a writer.”
From there, Tigchelaar’s journey progressed as he started writing and editing for the College’s student newspaper and worked as a reporter and editor after graduation. The theme of many of the lessons Tigchelaar has learned is to accept change.
“I’ve learned that life is change,” he said. “It can be agonizing to look back at some of the writing I did in the past. Some of my old papers and editorials would make me cringe today, but the challenge is to see it all as formative and necessary steps.”
Those steps have been rewarding for Tigchelaar, who had a poem selected for Verse Daily. A few years ago, he also received a grant for his poetry from the Ohio Arts Council. “[The grant] came at a point when I was unsure about the direction my writing and career seemed to be going,” he said. “I remember realizing that if there’s someone out there willing to award me for writing, then there must be something to what I’m doing.”
What keeps Tigchelaar passionate is that, to him, writing is more than putting words on a page.
“I see writing as art—as creativity, expression, freedom, and imitation of God as Creator,” he said.
When Matthew Vander Laan ’97 was a senior at Trinity, he took an internship in Chicago at Edelman, a leading independent global public relations firm. “I was hired on full time before I even graduated, and that internship experience set the stage for the next 15 years of my life,” he said.
Today as Edelman’s executive vice president for corporate affairs, Vander Laan leads a team of 20 professionals who develop public relations campaigns for Fortune 500 clients.