Student Works with Professor on Conference Planning

ConferenceStudent Melissa Kwafo ’12 of Naperville, Illinois, has been working alongside Dr. Rose Malinowski, professor of social work, and Nikki Bruna, social work project coordinator, on the planning committee for the To Heal the Heart conference to be held at Moody Church in Chicago, October 6-8.

The conference, To Heal the Heart: Responding to Family Violence in a Community of Faith, will feature keynote speaker Dr. Steven Tracy, author of Mending the Soul: Understanding and Healing Abuse.

“This is a great opportunity for a Trinity student to join with other Christian professionals addressing this issue of family violence,” said Bruna. “Melissa is learning from them and sharing her unique perspective as a college student and social work professional.”

Trinity’s social work department values engaging students in opportunities to work with partners who serve the greater community, helping students gain skills and knowledge that compliment classroom teaching and help them gain confidence and expertise in social work practice. 

Kwafo has been working on various collaboration projects with Set Free Ministries at Moody Church for the last two years and has worked on the planning committee over the last year. She was invited to join the planning committee based on her interest in working in the area of family violence and developing strategies to strengthen families. Trinity’s social work department has collaborated with Set Free Ministries for five years in various capacities. 

At the conference, Malinowski and Becky Starkenburg, director of Trinity’s First Year Experience, will present “The Heart Hurt of Date Rape.”


Dr. Rose Malinowski

Malinowski graduated from Loyola University in Chicago with a master’s of social work and from the University of Illinois at Chicago with a doctoral degree in public health. Areas of clinical expertise include family violence, medical social work, and child welfare. Malinowski has also worked in various capacities as an administrator and educator. Currently she teaches and coordinates the field education program in Trinity’s social work department.


Becky Starkenburg

Starkenburg serves as the director of the First Year Experience at Trinity, where she develops programs to help new students thrive in college. She also volunteers time to coordinate “safe church” efforts at the church she attends with her husband and three young children. She received a Master of Arts in student affairs administration from Michigan State University and has mentored, educated, and served college students for over 15 years.