Spring 2012 TRINITY Magazine, Real World Success
Sarah Seegert ’08
Major: Elementary and Special Education
Title: Middle School Teacher at Elim Christian School
Sarah Seegert works with students in a special education classroom. Her students have disabilities in a variety of categories, including autism, cerebral palsy, emotional disorders, and cognitive delay.
Value of college: “Trinity helped prepare me in all ways for my future, from giving me the skills and knowledge that I needed to do my job, to deepening my faith and preparing me for independent adult life. The people I met and the relationships I formed were amazing and still impact my life today. I was given opportunities and experiences that I never would have had otherwise.”
Partnering with profs to learn: “What still helps me in my teaching today are the relationships I formed with many Trinity professors. I worked with both Dr. Patti Powell, professor of special education, with Young Authors in Jamaica, and Dr. Joy Meyer, associate professor of education, through the VanderVelde Junior Scholar program. These women showed me how research can greatly impact an educational setting and situation. They provided examples of balancing projects and family and life, while giving God all the glory.”
Field experience: “I had teacher aid hours starting in my sophomore year. Before I graduated, I was in a variety of classroom types, in a variety of communities, and all the experiences helped prepare me to become a teacher. I was especially grateful that I was able to student teach at Elim, an organization I had wanted to work for since 7th grade. That helped prepare me for my current job.”
Spring 2012 TRINITY Magazine, Real World Success
Marisa Albarran ’09
Major: K-12 Spanish Education major, ESL endorsement
Title: International Baccalaureate Spanish teacher at Bouchet International Academy in Chicago
Marisa Albarran teaches grades 5 through 8 at this inner city public school, formerly known as Bryn Mawr. She said the knowledge she attained from Trinity professors prepared her for the classroom and the exposure to various education theorists prepared her for the multiple types of learners she teaches. She earned a master of school leadership with a Type 75 endorsement from Concordia University.
Becoming Wonder Woman: “My college experience has helped mold me into the intellectual role model I want to become. I was the first in my family to graduate from college and didn’t have many role models. During my junior year, I found great inspiration in Dr. Trina Vallone ’99, associate professor of education and coordinator of the ESL program. In class, I observed how caring and compassionate she is and how eloquently she spoke. My senior year, Dr. Rhoda Mattson, associate professor of education, solidified for me the woman I hoped to one day become. I knew that upon graduating Trinity, I would not stop there. I have earned my first master’s, but I yearn for the day I receive my doctorate and join the ranks of these wonder women who have served as my greatest role models.”
The next step: “Graduate school was a stressful and time consuming experience but nothing that Trinity had not prepared me for. I had to balance a full-time teaching position, a part-time job, and graduate school as well as commitments to family, friends, and church. If I had not had the challenging student-teaching experience at Trinity, I would have thought I could not handle such a work load. But if I could handle student-teaching under the mentorship of Professor Mattson, I knew I could handle anything. I am currently working on a second master’s degree in elementary education.”
Spring 2010 TRINITY Magazine, Career & Calling
Kathy Nimmer ’91
Title: Author and teacher
Kathy Nimmer ’91, author, teacher, and motivational speaker, has been named Alumna of the Year. An English teacher at Harrison High School in West Lafayette, Indiana, for 18 years, Nimmer, who is blind, has strived to inspire and educate the public about disabilities.
In 2009, she was named one of nine Distinguished Fellows by the Lilly Endowment. The award was accompanied by a $25,000 grant to fund Nimmer’s book project Two Plus Four Equals One, an anthology of true stories about people with disabilities and their service dogs. She said the book will “celebrate the fascinating partnership between the disabled and their working dogs.”
She writes and edits the Harrison High School newsletter and in 2007 created the Elena Awards Poetry Contest for elementary and middle school students. Nimmer won the Helen Keller International Memoir Contest in 2006 and the Butler-Cooley Excellence in Teaching Award in 2004.
After graduating from Trinity with a degree in education, Nimmer earned a master’s degree in English from Purdue University.
Spring 2011 TRINITY Magazine, Called to Go Global
Jill (Olson) Paredes ’05
Major: Elementary education
“I am thankful for the many field experiences I had at Trinity, especially the opportunity to student-teach overseas. Through God’s calling on my life to attend Trinity, I was equipped to continue to follow his calling to teach and to serve,” said Jill (Olson) Paredes ’05.
For the past few years, Paredes has been teaching junior high language arts and social studies to 6-8 grade international Christian students at Asuncion Christian Academy, a co-educational Christian day school in Asuncion, Paraguay.
She received her bachelor’s in elementary education from Trinity and her master’s from the University of Alabama in the overseas program. “Most rewarding for me is the knowledge that I am helping the families that are serving in Paraguay and that I am having an impact on the lives of those that will make a difference in Paraguay someday.”
Paredes said that because of Trinity’s intimate campus and class sizes, she received the attention and support she needed when making decisions in her education, spiritual growth, and the realization of her goals.
“Trinity provided an environment that enabled me to work toward the things I was truly passionate about,” she said. “I had many mentors and influential people from Trinity, both classmates and staff, who encouraged me to pursue my desire to serve overseas.”
In January 2005, Paredes traveled with her Trinity softball team to the Dominican Republic to work with SCORE International. But the Trinity experience that influenced Paredes most was serving with Dr. Patti Powell, professor of education, at the Caribbean Christian Center for the Deaf (CCCD) in Montego Bay, Jamaica, during the College’s two-week Interim.
As a student, Paredes traveled with Powell each year to work on various projects and interact with the children who attend the CCCD. She completed her student teaching there in 2004 and, after graduating, continued to co-lead the Interim trips with Powell until 2009.
Brittany Storkel ’08 remembers Friday nights in Haiti. While her friends in the United States were shopping at the mall or seeing a movie, she was sitting on a cold, tile floor with a group of orphans playing Go Fish beneath the small glow of a flashlight. “It’s tough to not have your normal ‘American lifestyle,’” Storkel said of her most recent time abroad, “but God wanted me in Haiti for a purpose. I learned a lot and felt blessed because of my efforts there.”