When Dr. Liz Rudenga agreed to become Trinity's interim provost in 2000, she did so with the intent of resuming her teaching duties a year later. Those teaching plans remain on hold today since Rudenga now occupies the provost's chair on a full-time basis.
"The College was conducting a national search," she recalled. "I had the chance to get a sense of what the provost's office required as I taught education classes at the same time. I felt the Lord calling me in this direction, and a couple of people encouraged me to apply for full-time appointment."
Her transfer from chair of the education department in 2001 came 20 years after she started at Trinity as a part-time education professor. It was not easy for her to switch gears, but she has embraced the challenge that administrative leadership brings.
"I love the different aspects of teaching: interacting with students, learning, reading, and explaining ideas. It was difficult to give that up, but I also felt that this was an opportunity to serve the College that I should accept. I am able to help Trinity continually strive for academic excellence."
A native of Ann Arbor, Michigan, Rudenga graduated from Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, with a degree in elementary education. She completed her master's at Purdue University Calumet in Hammond, Indiana, and her doctorate at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana. She also is certified to teach special education, which she did for four years prior to joining Trinity in 1981.
"I've seen this College grow through adolescence into adulthood. Our faculty is outstanding, our emphasis on faculty and student scholarship remains strong, our community is becoming more diverse, and our facilities have improved greatly. Our growth over the years has been remarkable, and I want us to remain committed to our mission."
Since she spends most of her working hours indoors, Rudenga enjoys many recreational activities outdoors. Camping and hiking are her favorite leisure pursuits because they take her "away from cell phones and email, and I can see the beauty of this wonderful world that God has created."
While a student at Calvin, she met her husband, Jack, whom she married in 1975. They have three children -Sarah '02, Jayne '03, and Ben - and live in Dyer, Indiana. They attend Bethel Christian Reformed Church in Lansing, Illinois.