Trinity students honor 150th Anniversary through community service
150 Years of Community Impact Trinity’s campus, located in the heart of one of America’s most dynamic cities, connects students to a vibrant community where they can leave a powerful mark. Throughout Trinity’s history, this impact has taken many different forms. In response to the massive social and political upheavals of the 1960s, Tigers started their own community service program in 1965, known today as the Trinity University Volunteer Action Community (TUVAC). TUVAC has promoted on-campus unity and connected Trinity students to the needs of the community for decades: running study programs for children from local housing projects, volunteering with wounded warriors from San Antonio’s extensive military network, launching volunteer projects to rebuild homes and clear waste from neighborhoods, and even tackling modern-day crises. In response to a string of worldwide disasters, TUVAC organized a successful blood drive that gathered enough donations to affect hundreds of lives. Volunteerism isn’t the only avenue for Tigers to connect to the outside world. Initiatives such as Trinity’s Arts, Letters, and Enterprise program are placing students in nonprofit internships with community-driven missions. And, Trinity’s alumni network is full of Tigers who have launched socially conscious startups and businesses. With a 9:1 student-to-faculty ratio and small class sizes, Trinity cultivates opportunities for students to launch individual passion projects right here on campus. Surrounded by supportive professors and award-winning facilities, students not only learn the hard skills they’ll need to succeed, but also how to apply their empathy, leadership, and social consciousness to put those skills to work for good. Through collaboration and an enduring spirit of enterprise, Tigers leave campus prepared to change the world.
The Trinity Perspective magazine is produced quarterly. Through these pages, explore the many facets of life at Trinity University and get to know the students, faculty, and staff who call Trinity home. With the vibrant city of San Antonio as a backdrop, discover the many benefits and opportunities our community has to offer. We invite you to read these pages to explore some of the many ways we make a great education possible, then visit our 125-acre campus to see it firsthand.
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ABOUT TRINITY Trinity University is a private, residential, co-educational institution with an undergraduate focus. So, what does that mean? It means that we focus on YOUâ€”connecting you with the best possible resources, caring faculty members, committed staff members, and other world-class students destined to have a positive impact in our community.
Interns with an Impact Trinity ALE interns make their mark on nonprofit world Trinity’s Arts, Letters, and Enterprise (ALE) program connects students to high-powered nonprofit internships. ALE provides these interns with free housing and stipends, which has a powerful, two-way effect on both the students and nonprofits: Trinity students develop the skills that give them an edge in the workplace, while nonprofits receive the much-needed help their budgets may not usually allow. See how five of Trinity’s 2019 ALE interns have made a lasting impact on San Antonio’s nonprofit scene.
Robin Bissett ’20 GEMINI INK
Bissett, an English major and creative writing minor from Midland, Texas, immersed herself in the literary community at Gemini Ink. This creative writing nonprofit connects the local literary community by hosting an annual writer’s conference, book fair, and other events featuring prominent authors such as Margaret Atwood and Terrance Hayes. “Creative writing is how I found a community in San Antonio,” Bissett says. “Writing can bring together a room full of all sorts of different people to support and listen to each other.” This summer, Bissett helped the nonprofit with marketing and artistic design, social media management, and networking. Bissett also took home some new skills, such as video and audio editing. “The staff and community of writers were really welcoming and made me feel right at home,” Bissett says. “My time here was really wonderful.”
Connor Helsel ’21 A R T PA C E
Helsel, an environmental studies major from Tunkhannock, Pa., helped keep the local arts scene thriving at Artpace San Antonio. Artpace is San Antonio’s only free-admission, seven-days-a-week art gallery. The organization runs a residency program that brings in one international, one national, and one Texas-based artist every three months, then displays and programs their work. Helsel worked as Artpace’s grants intern, where he drafted and reviewed grant questions, catalogued the grants calendar, and even wrote a needs statement for a submitted grant. “If I was going to have a desk job this summer, I still wanted to make an impact,” Helsel says. “I like Artpace’s work, I like their mission to support the arts, and that makes the work a lot more interesting.”
PHOTO BY SCOTT BALL
Kara Killinger ’20 THE RIVARD REPORT
Killinger, an English and communication double major from Katy, Texas, helped advance the cause of local journalism at the Rivard Report. The Rivard Report is a nonprofit newsroom that provides the community with free, locally focused, nonpartisan news supported by advertisements and donations from the community. At this organization, Killinger served as a marketing and audience engagement intern along with fellow ALE intern Jenna Ashworth ’21. The pair sent hundreds of appeal letters for
donations, kept contact information up-to-date, performed data entry, pitched the Rivard Report to potential members at networking events, helped manage digital communications, and shadowed journalists on assignment. For Killinger, a two-year veteran of the Trinitonian, the opportunity to support a local newsroom was an exciting prospect. “I had a lot of different options to work in marketing,” she says, “but interning at the Rivard Report—which has a mission I care about deeply— made this a perfect opportunity for me.”
Arianna Siddiqui ’21 B U R N A M | G R AY
Siddiqui, a political science major and economics minor from Houston, Texas, helped Burnam | Gray build stronger communities by advancing stronger nonprofits. Burnam | Gray, a nonprofit consulting firm founded by John Burnam ’10, helps rising nonprofits break onto the scene, scale up, and reinvent themselves. The firm has helped causes ranging from Texas Infectious Disease Readiness to the San Antonio Area Foundation’s Big Give campaign. “This helps me feel like I’m giving back to the city that’s given so much to me as a college student,” Siddiqui says. The firm gave Siddiqui the chance to run her own meetings, conduct brand research, lead social media audits, and do “a little bit of everything.” “An ALE internship recognizes that humanities majors have an array of skill sets that can translate into any field,” Siddiqui says. “It puts you in a role you couldn’t have imagined yourself.”
Tayler Weathers ’20 C O N N E C T I O N S I N D I V I D U A L A N D F A M I LY S E R V I C E S
Weathers, a psychology and ancient Mediterranean studies double major from Fort Worth, Texas, helped support at-risk youth at Connections Individual and Family Services. This nonprofit provides outreach and counseling, substance abuse prevention, and a transitional living program for at-risk youth and kids in foster care. “Connections’ mission is something that’s so close to me,” Weathers says. “To work with a team that looks at these teens every day and says,
‘I believe in you’, and to keep them emotionally thriving—that’s impact.” At the nonprofit, Weathers spent her days auditing counseling files and verifying that case notes were accurate to ensure successful grant applications. She also got an invaluable, on-the-ground look at the world of counseling. “This is basically unheard of for undergraduate students to be doing, and it’s a phenomenal opportunity,” Weathers says.
Chikanma Ibeh ’22 Ibeh is a sophomore who is passionate about empowering black women and other marginalized groups to fight for acceptance in professional and social spaces. Ibeh brings a valuable perspective to her role as treasurer of Trinity Diversity Connection and social justice peer educator for the Diversity and Inclusion Office, where she has helped organize events such as the “How To Be An Ally” workshop. In her short time at Trinity, she has already published an article in the firstever volume of Trinity Diversity Connection Journal. Ibeh is also an accomplished entrepreneur. Her startup, StorySpread, aims to take digital storytelling software to local classrooms and recently won $5,000 at Trinity’s 2019 Stumberg Venture Competition finals.
Making Their Presence Known Female Tigers are changing the face of San Antonio Of Trinity’s 2,500 undergraduates, more than half are women. Meet some of the female trailblazers making waves on campus.
Jennifer Ochoa ’20 Ochoa is a first-generation student who wants to use her bilingualism and financial acumen as a double major in Spanish and accounting to promote financial literacy among under-resourced communities. Through the Upward Bound program, she led academic success workshops for local high schoolers. Ochoa has also trained as a tax preparer and wants to help working families in San Antonio prepare their taxes for free. As community service chair for business fraternity Delta Sigma Pi, Ochoa has helped provide business literacy workshops to women from Family Violence Prevention Services. Ochoa also revived the Trinity University Latinx Association and established a new cultural event, Primavera Fiesta Fest, which brings San Antonio’s Fiesta tradition onto campus.
Leah Woehr ’20 Woehr is a theatre and communication double major who strives to carve out a space for Asians in theater. She has won a prestigious Mellon research grant to fund her study on intercultural communication within theater. For this project, she worked with human communication and theatre professor Kyle Gillette at an international theater festival called Invisible Cities in Italy. She is inspired by how bringing one’s culture to the stage through performance can make us better humans, travelers, and artists. For her honors thesis, Woehr will be conducting extensive background research to write her own play conveying the intricacies of adoption, Asian culture, and personal identity.
Carson Bolding ’21
Yasmeen Alayli ’19
Bolding is a communication major who lives and breathes politics—in fact, she was personally congratulated by Hillary Clinton over a conference call for her work promoting political awareness in the community. This was made possible through her fellowship with Battleground Texas. Bolding’s political aspirations are also shaped by her position as Class of 2021 senator for Trinity’s Student Government Association. And, as vice president of Trinity Progressives, she helped bring Bernie Sanders to campus. During last year’s midterm elections, she ran a huge voter registration drive to encourage voter turnout. Bolding was also a field organizer for the state senate race in San Antonio in the fall of 2018. This fall, Bolding is in Vietnam for a study abroad program centered on economic development in Southeast Asia. She aims to eventually work in public policy research.
Alayli, a neuroscience major and chemistry minor, is part of the Joint Admission Medical Program, which provides internships, mentorship, and assistance to financially disadvantaged students passionate about medicine. Alayli babysits at SAMMinistries to offer a break to working moms and also volunteers at University Hospital, where she assists nurses in feeding and caring for neonates. Alayli does pediatrics research at UT Health Science Center at San Antonio and has been published for her work on using mesenchymal stem cells to treat neonatal diseases. Alayli accomplished all of this while caring for her termilly-ill mom throughout her time at Trinity. This past spring, she graduated summa cum laude.
Molly Lenihan ’19 Lenihan is committed to environmental sustainability both on campus and in the San Antonio community. She has done research under biology professor Kelly Lyons about the growing practices and germination rates of the native milkweed plant, where endangered Monarch butterflies lay eggs. Lenihan has also been a board member at Friends of San Antonio Natural Areas for nearly three years and was part of Trinity’s Sustainability Committee. Lenihan studied abroad for a semester at the Universidad Nacional in Costa Rica, where she performed field-based research on competitive dynamics between native and invasive grass species in Texas.
Trinity alumnus and student pair up to give job-seekers a second chance. Shortly after graduating from Trinity, Yousef Kassim ’08 was arrested for a misdemeanor crime. Kassim wanted to clear his name by expunging the charge from his record. But when he turned to a lawyer for help, Kassim was shocked by the size of the lawyer’s fees. So, he decided to change the game. In 2010, Kassim created EasyExpunctions, a software-driven company that helps seal and expunge criminal records for citizens with certain minor offenses, helping them get their lives back on track. “Sometimes, EasyExpunctions is the first call people make when they leave the courthouse
because this is something that has impacted their life,” Kassim says. “I have customers leaving the courthouse on cloud nine because now they can apply for a job or gain some closure. That is rewarding, as a business, to know that this transaction really meant something to them.” Kassim’s company, which offers the expunction service at a fraction of the cost of a lawyer and uses a unique, automated system that speeds up the process, has already had a tremendous track record. The company has finalized a partnership with Bexar County’s Goodwill Industries that will give the charity giant access to a specialized version of Kassim’s product. This partnership has the potential to annually help more than 18,000 local jobseekers figure out whether they’re eligible for an expunction. Thanks to this type of success, Kassim’s company has expanded to seven states and more than 30 employees. This past summer, the company even brought on a current Trinity student, Daniela Molina ’20, as a summer intern.
Molina, a business analytics and technology major from Seattle, Wash., worked with the company’s delivery team to generate legal documents for filing in court. “It’s hard to do this work in a way that’s fast and accurate and good,” Molina says. “But that’s a challenge I don’t shy away from, and that’s what we’re doing at EasyExpunctions.” Molina wasn’t just a basic intern at the business: her internship gave her the chance to contribute to high-level discussions with Kassim and other company leaders. It’s the type of internship opportunity, Molina adds, that’s unique to Trinity’s alumni network, and unique to San Antonio as well. “I love collaborating, so to work in a place where you feel like you’re being heard, that was amazing,” Molina says.
Trinity Kicks Off 150th Anniversary with Day of Service Hundreds come together to support community partners Founded in 1869, Trinity celebrated its 150th year in 2019. And what better way to kick off the festivities than with a day of service? Last February, President Danny Anderson called on Tigers to do what they do best: serve our communities. More than 500 students, faculty, staff, and alumni stepped up to the challenge, not only in San Antonio, but also through various alumni chapters throughout the country. In one day, Trinity Tigers provided 13 community agencies in San Antonio and seven across the U.S. with more than 1,500 hours of service. “From the moment the pep rally started in the afternoon to the fireworks show in the evening, there was so much pride in our community, and to be a part of something amazing and historic was so memorable,” says Esther Kim, assistant director for orientation programs.
Witnessing 500 Trinitonians offer their sweat equity to make San Antonio a little bit better filled my heart with such joy.
– Jacob Tingle ’95 “The sheer number of family and friends of Trinity in the evening celebration shows that this was a success.” Volunteers began the day with inspirational remarks by Goodwill San Antonio CEO Kevin Bergner ’79, who encouraged students, faculty, staff, and alumni to embrace Trinity’s tradition of thinking deeply and acting meaningfully.
From there, hundreds of participants fanned out across the city to perform acts of service, from assembling food boxes for senior citizens at the San Antonio Food Bank to clearing brush at McAllister Park. Following an afternoon of service, participants returned to campus to celebrate with food and drink, carnival rides, a beer garden, petting zoo, and live music. San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg ’99 shared his Trinity memories with the crowd. A spectacular fireworks show capped off the evening, illuminating the sky over Northrup Hall. “Witnessing 500 Trinitonians offer their sweat equity to make San Antonio a little bit better filled my heart with such joy,” says Jacob Tingle ’95, director of Experiential Learning and 150th Anniversary co-chair. “And that party … I have no words for how amazing it was!”
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San Antonio is often known for having a small-town feel, though it is the seventh-largest city in America. This combination allows students to enjoy the perks of a close-knit residential campus while having the country’s fastest-growing city at their doorstep. In San Antonio, you can dive into different cultures, explore various career paths, and never get bored.
Big City. Big Fun.
No Car? No Worries!
Enjoy all San Antonio has to offer!
■ Explore four art museums all within five miles of Trinity—and all offer free admission to students!
■ Take in the music at the historic Majestic Theatre or the Tobin Center ■ Take a walk in Brackenridge Park, just across the street from Trinity, named the No. 1 “Best Thing to do in San Antonio.”
■ Pick out a new plant or a tasty treat from the farmers markets at the Pearl, an old brewery reimagined into a complex with shopping, restaurants, a jazz club, movies, and yoga on the lawn. ■ Root for four professional sports teams: the five-time NBA champion Spurs; the Triple-A Missions baseball team; the Rampage hockey team; and the FC soccer team.
There are plenty of ways to get around San Antonio. ■ VIA buses run right by campus. ■ Use Uber or Lyft. ■ Rent a Zipcar on campus.
■ Canoe on the Guadalupe River, hike at Enchanted Rock, and float on the Comal River. ■ Visit the Alamo, as well as four other historical Spanish missions that make up a UNESCO World Heritage site.
■ Use Trinity’s student shopping shuttle. ■ Bike share with SWell Cycle.
Visit Campus Trinity In Focus open house programs welcome all prospective students and their families. These events provide an excellent opportunity to take a comprehensive look at our campus and learn about our curriculum, student life, application process, and financial aid options.
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faculty ratio 93% of faculty hold doctoral or terminal degrees
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