By Trinity Christian College Alum
Troll Talks are conversations that happen with alumni, parents, faculty or friends of Trinity Christian College. Our purpose is to provide authentic stories and perspective from a broad network of individuals who want make a difference in the lives of current, former and prospective students.
Andrea Mercier '06
Andrea serves as the Family Minister Director at Chillicothe Christian Church, is a Christian Women's speaker and recently published her first book - Unraveled: Torn by Life, Renewed in Faith. She shares how God led her to Trinity and opens up about some of the personal struggles with health and family that challenged her faith immensely but ultimately drew her closer to the Lord through his grace.
January 19, 2022
Stephanie Reichert '14
Stephanie talks about accounting, music and clean water while reflecting on how the relationships during her time at Trinity greatly shaped who she is today. For her, faith goes well beyond the 9-5 work crunching numbers and involves making a difference for those who need clean water all over the globe, raising funds the last five years as she runs marathons and races around the country for a greater good with Team World Vision. To help support Stephanie's fundraising efforts for her 2022 race in Berlin, Germany, please visit her sponsorship page.
January 10, 2022
Jordan Perry '17
For Jordan Perry, personal fitness isn't about helping clients get a killer bod. His work is highly relational, helping others become the best version of themselves mentally and emotionally through physical exercise and healthy habits that they can sustain the rest of their lives. At age 26, this young entrepreneur also made the move to open his own facility in October 2020, and recently launched his personal fitness app in February 2021. Listen in to hear how Forge Fitness is making a difference in Mokena, IL and beyond each and every day. Alumni who may be interested in learning more can check them out on Facebook, Instagram, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
February 18, 2021
Rosario Dominguez '15
Holding a microphone and reporting the news can look easy when you know what you are doing. Now working at Univision Chicago, former Communication Arts major Rosario Dominguez shares about her path into journalism and the experiences that helped shape her faith and ignited a passion for telling stories to keep others in her community informed.
February 11, 2021
Bill Boerman-Cornell, Professor of Education
Professor by day, and author by night, Dr. Bill Boerman-Cornell shares some insight into The Use of Graphic Novels in the English Classroom, a book he recently co-authored with Jung Kim. Bill shares about his introduction to comic books as a kid and gives some insights as to why graphic novels can be beneficial to students during their middle and high school years. Bill has been a staple of the Trinity Education department for decades, beginning as an adjunct professor before moving into the role full time. In 2015, he was also recognized as an honorary Trinity Alum for his many contributions within the community. Alumni who wish to purchase this book can do so at a discounted rate by going to this link and utilize the promo code USING35 to save 35% off the price of the book. His blog, Book Commercials, which he references in the podcast, is another resource for teachers with short reviews and summaries about books that could be used in the classroom.
February 02, 2021
Zack Jones '17
Lots of kids dream about playing professional baseball. Zack Jones '17 talks about his experience getting to play with the Arizona Diamondbacks organization and shares a few stories about bubble gum, breaking in a wood bat and how to sleep on a bus.
January 21, 2021
Dr. Michael VanderWeele '73
"Teaching for me was never a product. It was trying to think together with our full lives." Professor Emeritus Michael Vander Weele shares about his life long love of English and teaching students at Trinity. He recounts a few stories along the way about being a student in the 70's, the Grateful Dead and and offers his unbiased opinion on C.S. Lewis.
December 07, 2020
Alumni Equity and Inclusion Town Hall, Part II
In November 2020, the alumni board hosted an equity and inclusion town hall that was streamed live via Facebook to provide a conversation on race, identity and belonging. Alumni board president, Christian Perry '16 moderated the dialogue from alumni. Participants in the panel included: Dymica Brown '94 Myron Graham '04 Marlin Exton '07 Crystal Allen '11 Justin James '12 Dominique McGee '14 Noel Huddleston '17 Josiah Rosario '18 Part I of the discussion focuses on each of the panelists sharing what it meant to them to belong at Trinity as they reflect on their experiences that span the past 30 years. Part II takes a deeper look at this sense of belonging and discusses some of the opportunities that exist for faculty, staff, alumni and administrators to help current and future black and brown students find a deeper sense of belonging at Trinity.
November 30, 2020
Alumni Equity and Inclusion Town Hall, Part I
In November 2020, the alumni board hosted an equity and inclusion town hall that was streamed live via Facebook to provide a conversation on race, identity and belonging. Alumni board president, Christian Perry '16 moderated the dialogue from alumni. Participants in the panel included: Dymika Brown '94 Myron Graham '04 Marlin Exton '07 Crystal Allen '11 Justin James '12 Dominique McGee '14 Noel Huddleston '17 Josiah Rosario '18 Part I of the discussion focuses on each of the panelists sharing what it meant to them to belong at Trinity as they reflect on their experiences that span the past 30 years. Part II takes a deeper look at this sense of belonging and discusses some of the opportunities that exist for faculty, staff, alumni and administrators to help current and future black and brown students find a deeper sense of belonging at Trinity.
November 30, 2020
Joshua Koonce '05
Josh shares about his unique work in urban planning and why a kid from Southern California decided to go to school in Chicago. He also dialogues about the benefits of being an English major in his work and offers a restaurant recommendation for the next time you're in the Pilsen neighborhood.
October 07, 2020
Becky Eller, Women's Volleyball Coach
New head coach Becky Eller chats with alumni of the women's volleyball program about her vision for Trinity volleyball in the years ahead and talks about the unique circumstances of this 2020 season. Athletic Director, Mark Hanna, and Director of Communications, Kristen Keller, also share some insights on the season ahead. Follow Coach Eller and the team on Instagram or Twitter and cheer them on as they prepare for their upcoming season.
September 30, 2020
Lawrence Weller '06
As a part of the Fusion Friday series on campus, Lawrence Weller '06 speaks with Haley Heeg '20, Trinity's Entrepreneur in Residence about his career path that took him from Michigan to San Diego, CA in the middle of the 2008 recession. Lawrence shares about his passion for personal finance and wealth management and offers some tips and guidance for students who might be looking to own their own business some day.
September 15, 2020
Al Roberto '05
Ever wonder what it's like to work for Amazon? Al Roberto shares his insights on working at the company as well as his story from finding Trinity as a high school student in Brazil to working in supply chain management.
May 13, 2020
Abbie Wilson '19
Feeding America has been helping care for the hungry in the United States for over 35 years. Abbie Wilson '19 shares about her work as a Direct Marketing Coordinator for one of the most prominent non-profits in the COVID-19 pandemic, helping make a difference for hungry children and adults all over the country.
May 07, 2020
While Home Education and E-learning are not the same, there are some great insights one can take away from a parent who educated all three of her children in the home and saw those kids choose Trinity! Allison Meyrick shares about her family's decision to home educate and reflects on some of the ways her kids were able to learn and grow in ways that can't always be covered in a textbook.
May 04, 2020
Leah Ipema '18
Nursing is not just a job, it's a calling. Leah Ipema moved to Baltimore, MD on March 15, 2020 to pursue her Nurse Practitioner degree at Johns Hopkins University. Little did she know that her time in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at the University of Maryland would change immediately as the Coronavirus pandemic escalated. Leah shares how Trinity prepared her for the work she is doing and offers ways alumni and friends can support nurses and health care workers during this time.
April 23, 2020
Nadia Friesen '89
Good parenting isn't easy. It takes effort, intentionality, and a whole lot of prayer! As a writer and speaker with a passion for empowering moms to embrace intentional parenting, Nadia Friesen takes a walk down memory lane living in South Hall from her days as an RD in South Hall and shares some insights as a parent and mentor during a time when many parents are spending a lot of time with their children. If you are a parent, give yourself some grace and have a listen. Your kids need you now more than you realize! For more information about Nadia's work, you can visit her page on Facebook as well as her website.
April 21, 2020
Jennifer Dornbush '93
Along the way to living in LA and pursuing her dreams of being a screenwriter and author, this small-town story teller learned how to stretch outside her comfort zone to become an entrepreneur while staying grounded in her faith and making a difference through her work. To learn more about Jennifer's story, or to order one of her books you can visit her website as well as her Facebook page.
April 16, 2020
Antione Brewer '17
"Be the change that you want see." Antione was challenged to do this as a Trinity student, which has helped shape him to be a mentor and lead young men in the Lawndale neighborhood on Chicago's West side. For more information about the Young Men's Educational Network, or to support the ministry of YMEN, please visit https://www.ymenchicago.com/.
April 15, 2020
Brad Ericks '94
Buying or selling a home can be incredibly overwhelming and intimidating. Brad Ericks offers some insights as a real estate professional and reflects on his time as a student (and athlete) that taught him the importance of relationships in life, and how competition can be a good thing in the workplace.
April 13, 2020
Dr. Helen VanWyck, Professor of Music
As she wraps up her final year of teaching at Trinity, Dr. Helen VanWyck talks about her love of music, those that helped shaped her as a professor and conductor, and reflects on some memorable moments in her thirty-two years at Trinity.
April 08, 2020
Latishia Elliott, M.A. '16
Latishia Elliott offers some insights as a personal counselor on how to navigate anxiety and reflects on her days as a Residence Director in Alumni Hall.
April 06, 2020
Joe Wathen '19
Joe Wathen, Assistant Vice President with Merrill Lynch and financial adviser talks about going back to school to finish his degree in Trinity's Adult Undergraduate program, and offers some advice on meeting your financial goals.
March 30, 2020
Joe Velderman '04
Joe Velderman, Vice President of Innovation at Cypress Living in Fort Myers, FL shares how technology is making a difference in the senior living community, helping residents thrive in their environment while also giving more peace of mind to family and friends back home.
March 27, 2020
Jesse VanMaanen '12
Jesse VanMaanen talks about his Trinity experience, his calling as a doctor and surgeon and what it's like to come down with Coronavirus.
March 26, 2020
Troll Talks: An Introduction
Curious what Troll Talks is all about? Director of Alumni and Family Engagement, Jeremy Klyn, overviews the purpose of the podcast, its origins, and how you, too, can get involved.
March 25, 2020