Trinity Christian College web story, Summer 2011
Michael Vander Weele ’73
“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.
Vander Weele, who earned his Ph.D. from the University of Iowa, finds great satisfaction as a professor in watching students discover their “deep joy” as they discover their talents and paths.
Teaching is his calling, but learning nurtures it. Vander Weele said he “loves nothing more than to be a student in the summer.” Summer “vacation” normally finds the professor and perpetual student attending education summits or conducting research. On a research grant this summer, Vander Weele studied Homer, Hesiod, and Rhetorical Aesthetics in the Ancient Mediterranean World, an offshoot of his work last summer at the Seminar on Hesiod and the Homeric Songs.
“It is good to be on the other side of the classroom once in awhile,” he said.
Vander Weele was married in July to Mary McKinstry, a nurse practitioner at Edward Hines, Jr. VA Hospital.