Writing for the Professions Panel Educates Students

Writing for the HumanitiesStudents in Trinity’s English department courses filled the Marg Kallemeyn Theatre last week to hear two speakers discuss the importance of writing skills in various vocations.

The Writing for the Professions event welcomed guest panelists Professor Rick Riddering, Trinity’s director of Adult Studies Business, and alumnus Russ Hollender ’71, vice president, appraisal review with Great Lakes Bank.

Dr. Michael Vander Weele ’73, professor of English, introduced the panelists, who each shared a summary of their college and career experiences and their discovery of the importance of solid writing skills necessary for effective and efficient communication no matter the job.

“Communication is probably more important than it has ever been,” said Riddering, who started as a college computer programming major and changed to public relations. He worked in PR for the Chicago White Sox and for more than 28 years in business and higher education.

Hollender studied English at Trinity and has always been a voracious reader. Most of his career has been in the area of banking, and it was his writing skills that opened up new opportunities. He has spent much of his career writing policy manuals, proposals, and real estate appraisal policies.

“We want students to realize that writing is important in every profession,” Vander Weele explained. “We also want them to know, as our panelists made clear, that writing and thinking are closely connected, so that good thinking contributes to good writing, which contributes to good thinking. The desire to be purposeful and to be helpful for your audience both fit our response to God’s covenant, and the more formal matters of grammar, spelling, and organization are meant to serve those larger goals.”

A question and answer period followed the presentation.