2015 Alumni of the Year Awards

 

Written by Ellie Sterenberg ’17

 

With the institution of the alumnus of the year award in 1981, Trinity Christian College has sought to specially recognize graduates who have made an outstanding contribution to Trinity, their families, and their local communities. The College also recognizes as honorary alumni those who did not attend Trinity but have made similar lasting impacts. The criteria for both awards are

Excellence in vocation – this person stands out as an asset in their profession

Spiritual impact – this person is a Christian role model for students, nurturing faith and facilitating spiritual growth

Concern for students – this person is concerned with the welfare of the students, eager to help them learn and grow

Lasting influence – this person has a continuing influence on former students and has demonstrated a love for Christian higher education at Trinity

Trinity is proud to announce the winners of the 2015 Alumni of the Year Awards.

 

Alumna of the Year

Amy Nagelkirk '92Trinity Christian College has named Amy Nagelkirk ’92 the 2015 Alumna of the Year.

As a graduate of the College’s nursing program, Nagelkirk has proven to be an excellent example of a person who deeply cares about her profession and Trinity as an institution. After graduating, Nagelkirk sought to maintain connection with Trinity and provide a valuable resource to nursing students who would complete the rigorous program after her. Volunteering her own time and efforts, Nagelkirk helped create and now serves as the president of the new Trinity Alumni Nursing Association (TANA). The mission of TANA is to support the Department of Nursing through student-related activities, public relations, and fundraising, and to foster personal and professional relationships among alumni.

Nagelkirk largely credits the instruction and inspiration of her professors at Trinity as the reason she is in this spot today. Connected to professors like Lois Roelofs, Patsy Klaasens, Betty Doig, Connie Turner, and Kathy Sliekers, Nagelkirk states that even though she has not seen all of them in the past twenty years, the knowledge she received from them has informed every shift she has ever worked.

Nagelkirk’s first job out of college was at Loyola University Medical Center in the pediatric unit. From there, she spent eight years working in a family practice. For the past fourteen years, Nagelkirk has cared for patients in the family birth center at Spectrum Health Zeeland Community Hospital.

Currently living in Western Michigan with her family, Nagelkirk hails from Wisconsin. She has been married to her husband Tom (also a ’92 graduate) for twenty-two years. They have three children: Drew, a current freshman at Trinity, Carly, and Trevor.

Trinity Christian College is pleased to honor Nagelkirk with this recognition.

 

Honorary Alum of the Year, Staff Category

Nancy KwastenietThe 2015 recipient of the Honorary Alum of the Year, Staff category is Nancy Kwasteniet.

Kwasteniet has been a valuable asset to Trinity Christian College for twenty years, first serving as a Special Education professor and later moving to the Office of Learning Services.

Because of her involvement in many different areas in the Trinity community, she has been a positive influence on a wide range of people. Over the course of her career, Kwasteniet has led students on eight interim trips throughout the world to India, Egypt, the Philippines, Central America, and South America.

A dedicated professional, Kwasteniet has presented at many conferences and participated on many committees at Trinity. Through her hard work in the Office of Learning Services, she facilitated and implemented the Bridge program and worked closely with many students who benefited from academic assistance.

The College thanks Kwasteniet for her dedication and extensive contribution to the Trinity community.

 

Honorary Alum of the Year, Faculty Category

Bill Boerman-CornellThe 2015 recipient of the Honorary Alum of the Year, Faculty category is Associate Professor Dr. Bill Boerman-Cornell.

Previously an adjunct professor, high school teacher, and consultant, Boerman-Cornell joined Trinity’s full-time faculty in the education and English departments in 2005. While serving his first year at Trinity as the Director of Publications and Publicity, Boerman-Cornell earned his master’s degree. He completed his doctorate in literacy studies from The University of Illinois – Chicago in 2011.

The Trinity community holds a special place in Boerman-Cornell’s heart—as he battled cancer for the past five years, he felt the prayers that surrounded him.

One of Boerman-Cornell’s favorite memories from his time at Trinity was an interim class that he taught called College Pranks, in which students honed their prank-pulling skills and were able to implement them around campus for two weeks.

Boerman-Cornell continues to mentor his students with a touch of humor and a full heart of love and dedication. He greatly appreciates Trinity’s deep commitment to the liberal arts, and his own commitment to Trinity’s mission is clearly evident through his work.

The College thanks him for his efforts and is proud to recognize him as an honorary alum.

 

Honorary Alumni of the Year, Friends Category

Bill and DebTrinity Christian College recognizes Friends of the College Bill and Deb (Meyers) Davids as 2015 Honorary Alumni.

Bill was initially connected to Trinity through his father, who had been assisting Trinity with landscaping through the years. He attended night class at Trinity after he graduated from Michigan State University with a degree in Horticulture and Landscape Nursery Management. Bill also continued to work with Trinity by serving its growing landscaping needs.

Trinity has been a blessing to Bill and Deb; they attend many events and are happy to see its growth, especially the addition of the new athletic fields. One of their fondest Trinity memories was the College’s 35th anniversary, held at the Chicago Symphony Center. They have been involved with and have enjoyed the company of each president, as well as Dr. Bootsma and Rick Van Dyken, faithful representatives of the College.

Bill grew up in Evergreen Park, Illinois, while Deb grew up in Palos Heights. This year, Bill celebrates his 40th anniversary with Clarence Davids & Company, where Deb works part-time as well.

The Davids have four adult daughters, three of whom are married. They have six grandchildren, three boys and three girls. Their greatest enjoyment comes from traveling to visit their children and grandchildren. They are active and involved members of Palos Heights Christian Reformed Church.

The Davids say they are blessed and humbled to receive this award. The College is equally blessed to honor them as honorary alumni.