Recognizing Emeriti Professors Meyer and Snoeyink

May 20, 2021

Along with celebrating graduates on May 8the College also honored the emeritations of two long-time faculty members who have retired at the end of the 2020-21 academic year: Joy Meyer ’78, Ed.D.associate professor of education, licensure officer, and dean of education; and Rick Snoeyink, Ph.D.professor of education and director of online instruction.  

Dr. Joy Meyer
A Trinity alumna, Meyer said that around the time of her graduation, she heard God telling her she would be back at the College someday. That was a truly prophetic moment. After teaching elementary school for 11 years, she was taking some time off to raise her young children and decided to look for a part-time job. A friend kept encouraging her to apply at Trinity. Meyer did, and after interviewing with Liz Rudenga, professor of education emerita, she was hired to supervise Trinity’s student teachers. 

Meyer did so well that she was invited to teach a general teaching methods class the next semester. “I continued to teach that class during my time at Trinity,” she said. “In fact, I still taught that class my last semester here.” Gradually, she began teaching more classes, joining Trinity’s faculty full time in 2000.  

But her gifts extended beyond the classroom. Along with teaching, she also served as department chair, then became director of teacher education, a role she held for 15 years. Meyer also worked as licensure officer, a role she will continue to fill. During that time, she also earned her doctorate from Aurora University.  

As a teacher of teachers, Meyer said the College has always worked hard to ensure students would be successful.  “I just really wanted to see students flourish and make an impact for Christ on the next generation,” she said. “I really wanted them to learn the best teaching practices they could. I work with wonderful colleagues and learned a lot, even through the challenges. I got to serve on interesting committees. It was great run. 

Among her fondest memories are helping with Young Authors Festival. Meyer said she also learned to be flexible and adaptable in working with the Illinois State Board of Education and other agencies. “We became known as a quality program, andthose qualities are still in place now. Our alumni have been very positive of their experience, and we have alumni as far away as Malaysia. They go where they are called.” 

Meyer said she also appreciates Trinity’s work around diversity. “It challenged me to do a better job and make sure I wasn’t bringing any biases to my work. And it was a challenge at times to open the eyes of students who didn’t have a lot of exposure to diversity before coming here.” 

While she will continue to serve as licensure officer at Trinity, Meyer is looking forward to spending more time with her family, including three grandsons. She and her husband are also planning to travel and spend more time at the family summer home in Michigan.  

Dr. Rick Snoeyink
Before coming to Trinity in 2001, Snoeyink worked for 23 years as a teacher and coach at the Berrien Springs, Mich., public schools, Terra Ceia Christian School in North Carolina, and DeMotte (Ind.) Christian School. 

During his time at DeMotte, Snoeyink realized he wanted to continue his own education and earned a master’s degree and Ph.D. from Purdue University. His interest in educational technology was sparked during that time, and he realized he wanted to teach at the college level.  

“I knew [Professor of Education Emerita] Liz and Jack Rudenga, and I came to Trinity to spend a day consulting on technology standards. Liz let me know there was an opening in the Education Department. I applied and got the job.” 

Along with his teaching responsibilities, Snoeyink impacted the College and its community in many other roles, including as chair of the Education Department, chair of the Teacher Education Committee, and chair of the Education Student Advisory Committee. He has also served faithfully as Director of Online Instruction for the College. And as long-time chair of the Technology and Student Learning Committee, he has trained more than 100 professors in Trinity’s online instruction course. 

When Snoeyink started focusing on educational technologies, his tools included cassette tapes and Commodore 64 computers. That evolved to far more sophisticated tools and approaches, including quickly moving the entire Trinity community to the Brightspace learning management software after the campus closed down in March 2020 because of COVID-19. “We weren’t planning to move that quickly, but everything was in place and ready,” he said. “It was a crazy year and a half. So many faculty had to learn so quickly. It was a challenge, but I’m glad I could help.” 

During his classes, he always encouraged students to use technology, but more importantly, to understand how technology can be used. “It’s not about the tools. The technology always going to be changing, so you can’t get too hung up on that. It’s about the pedagogy and what are you doing with the tools. It’s about what works.” 

A graduate of Calvin University, Snoeyink and his wife are considering a move back to the Grand Rapids, Mich., area to be closer to family. An avid bicyclist and photographer, he plans to continue those hobbies. “I would like to stay involved in learning somehow. One thing I’m thinking about would be bicycle mechanics class,” he said. 

Congratulations to both professors on this well-deserved honor!