The Associate Academic Dean of the College & Graduate School at Trinity International University was recently invited to spend five days facilitating professional development on the integration of faith & learning with about 150 faculty members at the International Christian School of Hong Kong.
Dr. Karen Wrobbel’s visit to Hong Kong represents the fruition of an invitation five years in the making. Two faculty members from the International Christian School heard Dr. Wrobbel present on the integration of faith & learning at the International Children’s Educators Conference, sponsored by the Association of Christian Schools International (of which Trinity International University is a member), and invited her to come facilitate more in-depth training with the rest of the faculty.
In addition to three days of focused workshops in which faculty members received feedback on individual lessons, Dr. Wrobbel also led a weekend workshop that was attended by faculty from other East Asia Regional Council of Overseas Schools member schools. This included attendees from countries such as Kuala Lumpur and Korea.
“At a Christian university, or a Christian K-12 school, we look at everything through the lens of our faith,” Dr. Wrobbel said in a recent interview. “We don’t want to trivialize it…this group was working well at it, and they wanted to avoid having integration as [merely] a tack-on.”
Dr. Wrobbel noted that one challenge for international schools comprised largely of international faculty members is that there is frequently a high turnover rate, since teachers often sign on for two-year commitments and then leave. This is not the case, however, at International Christian School, and she believes this helps them integrate faith and learning throughout their curriculum much more effectively. “[Faculty members] have a unit planning structure in which they ask essential questions and have schoolwide major learning outcomes. They have a broad picture, and they’ve made very intentional efforts to link these outcomes with concrete actions, even down to particular units within subjects.”
International work is a large part of Dr. Wrobbel’s ongoing scholarship; she currently plans to speak at an educators’ conference in Guatemala in November.
One month into the 2013–14 school year, Trinity International University Athletics’ fall sports have already experienced dramatic finishes, exciting victories, heart-breaking losses and, for the TIU Football program, the best start since 2004. TIU quarterback Stephen Anderson and running back Chris Elliott continue to leave their mark on this team, both winning NCCAA Player of the Week awards and leading the Trojans to a key victory against a nationally ranked St. Francis (Ill.) team. Led by Head Coach Kirk Wherritt, the Trojans are displaying a promising chance of putting up their first winning season in nine years.
The men’s and women’s soccer teams, coached by Patrick Gilliam, concluded their non-conference season on a road trip to Nashville, Tenn., and are now a couple games into the CCAC schedule. The women’s team is off to another impressive start as they drew a tie from No. 19 Judson University and took care of business against new conference member Purdue University-Calumet, defeating them 5-0. Forward Sam Yasatan has helped lead the Trojans to their 5-2-1 record (1-0-1 in the CCAC) with eight goals entering homecoming week. The men’s team can’t seem to find a win but have shown serious potential tying worthy opponents in Siena Heights and Purdue University-Calumet, and losing an overtime heart-breaker to NCAA Division II powerhouse Trevecca Nazarene University.
Trojan Volleyball is well under way in their season, and with a 2-12 start, coach Karen Hall knows that her team has some work to do. The 2-12 start does not accurately represent the potential of this team, as a young TIU volleyball program has been challenged entering tournaments with talented, experienced teams, and already facing some of the strongest teams in their conference such as Judson, Roosevelt, and Saint Xavier.
The TIU men’s and women’s cross country teams continue to improve as they approach the middle of their season. Both the men’s and women’s teams entered the Midwest Classic in Bourbonnais, Ill. Senior Dane Christiansen lead the men’s team to an 8th place standing out of 12 worthy opponents. Christiansen was honored as NCCAA Men’s Cross Country Athlete of the Week because of his solid performance. Men’s and women’s coach David Tingley knows that cross country is all about progress, and he is excited to see his teams continue to improve moving towards the CCAC Championships.
For scores, schedules, videos and more information on TIU Athletics, visit tiutrojans.com.
Graham Aitken, assistant dean of students at Trinity College, and his wife Lizzy, will be leaving the Trinity community at the beginning of September as they answer God’s call to work with Samaritan’s Purse in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Throughout his years of service at Trinity, Graham has shared his passion for cross-cultural ministry and the developing world with our students in a variety of settings, both in the classroom and in the field. Trinity is excited to see how the Lord will continue to develop his passion during this next chapter of their lives.
Though it’s tough to see him go, Graham will not be a stranger after being a part of the TIU community for so many years. Please join us in celebrating this new opportunity for Graham and Lizzy to participate in God’s redemptive work in the world.
Dr. William Washington, senior vice president of Student Affairs, and dean of students at the college, said that “Graham has made a significant contribution to Trinity in his varied roles, but most recently as assistant dean of students. He has lead with passion, humility, effectiveness, and a deep-seated love for Christ. Although we are saddened that he will be leaving, he goes with our fullest blessing.”
Anne Tohme will be assuming the position of interim director of Residence Life as well as continue her role as residence director for Trinity Hall, effective August 5, 2013. The remainder of Graham’s duties as assistant dean will be maintained within Student Affairs. Graham’s last day at Trinity will be September 2, 2013.
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The University Records Office has extended the deadline for fall 2013 applications for graduation. Applications for students planning to complete their degree requirements in fall 2013 will be due to Records no later than August 9, 2013.
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Trinity Athletics has announced the recent hire of Laurel Wartluft as the new head women’s basketball coach. Wartluft comes to Trinity with extensive experience as a collegiate basketball coach, having served at Kent State, Moody Bible Institute, and, most recently, at Walsh University, where she was the head women’s basketball coach and assistant athletics director.
“As a highly successful coach at previous institutions, Coach Wartluft has the background and experience necessary to develop a highly successful program at Trinity International University,” said TIU Director of Athletics Dr. Tony Ladd.
She has career coaching achievements that include consecutive trips to the NAIA National Basketball Tournament in 2010 and 2011, as well as a Final Four appearance in 2011. Coach Wartluft is replacing Summer Fine who resigned the position earlier this year.
Trinity International University is engaged in training leaders for global kingdom service. One of the many ways this happens is through our online undergraduate degree completion programs, in which students like Karen Edwards have the opportunity to complete their degree in formats that fit their lives.
Karen and her husband are full-time missionaries in Costa Rica. In the midst of training women through life-on-life discipleship, she has been completing an online BA in Christian Ministries (one of three online Bachelor’s completion programs Trinity offers). She also recently spent six months stateside to augment her program with REACH counseling courses on the Deerfield campus, which is where we recently caught up with her.
When asked about her experiences with our online programs, she said, “Overall, it’s been great. My husband and I travel a lot; I can do my work from South America or whatever country I’m in, so that’s awesome.” For Karen, Trinity’s flexibility in delivery and timing provide the perfect educational complement to her full-time vocational pursuits.
Karen is excited about the training she’s received. When asked about how her recent counseling courses will affect her discipleship ministries once she returns to Costa Rica, she laughed and said, “Well, I’m still processing.” She went on to speak about some of the challenges and opportunities facing some of the women she disciples; she is especially excited about how her ministry is beginning to raise up married couples who, after growing in discipleship alongside one another, feel called to become overseas missionaries in Muslim countries. Karen hopes to someday visit and strengthen some of these couples using some of the theological and practical skills gained through her program.
She isn’t sure about what new opportunities will come in the future, but the unique combination of gospel-centeredness and flexibility Karen found in Trinity’s online BA in Christian Ministries degree completion program has given her training that will shape her ministry for years to come.