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INAUGURATION SEMINARS ENGAGE AUDIENCES

Is it possible for order and randomness to exist at the same time? Dr. Gerald Gabrielse ex'73 believes they can, and during a seminar October 4, he challenged his audience to acknowledge their coexistence.

Gabrielse was one of four speakers who led afternoon seminars in the Heritage Science Center and Fireside Chapel following the inauguration ceremony of President Steven Timmermans. He defined randomness as "the inability to predict an outcome" and explained how college administrators encounter it.

"God built randomness into His creation," said the chair of the Harvard University physics department. "The laws of physics are His way of maintaining the universe, and they can be measured and never change. That's good because we can rely on Him.

"Administrators face randomness from students, faculty, staff, and administrative reviews. There is also a level of self-randomness that we have to account for if we are to manage it well."

Dr. Denise Isom, an education professor at Calvin College, spoke about the effects of race and gender on the identities of African-American girls in school. She reiterated the necessity for education experiences that address divergent cultural factors with holistic approaches without omitting individual attention.

"There is a complexity of race, gender, and identity, but each child is different," Isom said. "We need more places in schools for girls to find their voices. Much of what they believe about themselves comes from external sources. We have to empower them to deconstruct their environment and identify what is authentic about themselves."

Trinity biology chair Dr. Robert Boomsma discussed embryonic stem cell research from a Reformed Christian worldview. He admitted that the field has stirred much controversy, but it also has produced a great deal of hope and anticipation for scientists looking for cures to diseases and other health problems.

Board member Jinny De Jong shared information about the ministry of KIDS HOPE USA, of which she is president. The organization in Holland, Michigan, teaches local churches how to mentor at-risk children.

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