Being a First-Year Seminar Mentor at Trinity

Being a First-Year Seminar Mentor at Trinity

I believe a very strong piece of Trinity is our First-Year Seminars and First-Year Programs. I remember mine well. I interviewed my roommate, Chandler Solimine ’19, on what it is like being a First-Year Seminar Mentor.

What is a First-Year Seminar Mentor?

-A mentor is an upperclassmen who assists a professor in running their first-year seminar. My role is to help the students with their work for the seminar as well as their work for other classes, but more importantly, to guide them through their first semester at Trinity and answer any questions they have about all aspects of life on campus.

What is your seminar about? Who teaches it?

-My seminar is titled “Mind, Body, and the Concept of Mindfulness,” taught by Dr. Randy Lee. Over the semester we have and will continue to look at a number of different aspects of the relationship between mind and body, and understanding the difference (or lack thereof) between them. We look at some interesting questions and issues about mind and body and their interrelationship such as: exactly where in the “body” does the “mind” reside? What are hallucinations? Is depression physical or psychological? What really happens in hypnosis? Is meditation an effective way to stay physically healthy? How does stress affect us? Can the brain really rewire itself throughout our lives? Can stress cause cancer and other health issues? We also examine different practices of mindfulness and experiment with them ourselves to learn how we as individuals can be more mindful in our everyday lives.

How did you get this position?

– I was in this exact seminar with Professor Lee when I was a freshman, and I continued to have a great relationship with him after the class was over and into my sophomore year. Last winter he reached out to me and asked if I was interested in the mentor position and I didn’t hesitate for a second to accept.

What kind of responsibilities does it entail?

-My main responsibilities are to take part and facilitate class discussions, meet with students outside the class to help them prepare their classwork, talk to them about how they are assimilating onto a campus and Trinity’s culture, etc.

What is your favorite part about being a First-Year Seminar Mentor?

-My favorite part is being about to meet so many new students and build relationships with freshmen that I probably never would’ve met otherwise. I enjoy being in a mentor sort of role and taking what I struggled with as a freshmen and turning it into advice for them.

What is most challenging about being a First-Year Seminar Mentor?

-Sometimes it is challenging to help the students find answers to questions I am unsure of because it is out of my realm of knowledge.

How is your seminar unique from the others?

-I would consider my seminar to have a very relaxed and friendly environment because the topic we are studying itself as well as the open environment that Professor Lee creates. There is a never a lecture, but always a group discussion where everyone chimes in with whatever is on their mind. While I am sure most first-year seminars foster this sort of environment, I feel that the lack of “black and whiteness” of the topic we are focused on allows for even more back and forth discussions to flow.

 

ACES Thanksgiving Drive

ACES Thanksgiving Drive

Right before thanksgiving break every year, ACES, the community service club on campus, holds their annual thanksgiving drive. They ask for any donations people are willing to make, whether that be money, or food. They also ask students to donate their meal swipes at the end of the week (the swipes that are left over, and won’t be used).

Once they have collected all the donations and the money, the presidents, Alex Donald ’19 and Lexie Axon ’19, and a few other members of the club go to Stop & Shop and buy food to donate. Since the goal is to make 100 full Thanksgiving meals for people who cannot afford them this season, they buy whatever is still needed after people donate food. The goal is to have 100 of each item -turkey, juice, mashed potatoes, stuffing, corn, beans, peas, cranberry sauce, gravy, dinner rolls, pie crust and pie filling. The workers at Stop & Shop are extremely helpful in this process, since there is so much food to buy. This season, we wound up filling 9 carts full of food, and the workers helped us take it all to the front, check it all out and were even willing to store some of it in the back, so we could come back the next day.

Once all the food has been brought to the community service office, the presidents ask the members to spend just 30 minutes to an hour at the community service office on the Sunday before Thanksgiving. The more members that come the more efficient the process, because the office is set up so that the members can make a chain and pack each of the bags efficiently and with all the ingredients. Trader Joe’s donates 200 bags so that each family can get a double bagged meal, since it is very heavy. Once all the bags are packed, the presidents, and their advisor, Joe Barber, take the bags to Hands on Hartford so that they can be donated to families without the means of providing their own Thanksgiving dinner this Thursday.

Homecoming Weekend 2017

Homecoming Weekend 2017

Trinity just welcomed back Alumni with their family and friends to Homecoming Weekend 2017. This past weekend, the campus was alive with an a cappella concert Saturday morning, a tailgate tent, and of course the football game main event.

Starting early Saturday morning, cars rolled into campus. Hatchbacks opened up and tables laid out with hot chocolate, “Box O’ Joes”, donuts and other snacks popped up around the Hansen parking lot. Current students and alumni mingled and chatted despite the briskness of the morning, their gloved hands wrapped around warm coffee cups. Homecoming is a great time of year for all generations of Trinity students and their families to come together. Even though it tends to get colder around this time of year, Homecoming is always an exciting and warm time on campus. Saturday was certainly no exception!

Trinity’s five a cappella groups all put on a concert in Vernon Social. The Dischords started, followed by the Accidentals, The Trinitones, The Trinity Pipes and The Quirks. Alumni from each group were also able to attend the concert and they each got up on stage with their groups to sing their traditional Homecoming songs. It was a wonderfully musical way to open up the weekend.

Outside of Vernon Social, there was a tent set up with a complimentary lunch buffet, tables with face-painting and other fun games and activities. After the tailgating reception, families and students went over to their tables in the Hansen parking lot and waited for the flag ceremony and the kick off of the game.

Around fifteen minutes before kick off, an impressive 30x50ft American flag was carried out onto the field in honor of all the veterans and their families in the Trinity Community. Veterans attending Homecoming were also able to sign up to be flag bearers.

Finally, after the morning’s festivities, the football game against Wesleyan started and proved to be quite an exciting game. Trinity maintained a 4pt lead through halftime. After the Trinity Men’s Squash team was presented their national championship rings, the game continued and Trinity came out on top, beating rival Wesleyan 28-3.

Overall, Homecoming 2017 was a beautiful weekend. And it was amazing to have campus so lively and full of the excitement of the Trinity Family across generations.

Washington Semester Program Guest Speakers

Washington Semester Program Guest Speakers

A key part of American University’s Washington Semester Program is the guest speakers. Sometimes my class travels downtown to the office of the speaker while other times they travel to American’s campus to speak to us in the classroom. Our speakers range from a partner of the media firm that produced all of Bernie Sander’s presidential campaign advertisements, to Republican and Democratic Congressmen, to people from lobbying and advocacy groups in various areas of policy.

The speaker’s organization is usually related to what we are learning about in class. They typically talk about their career and their organization and its mission. Usually the speaker will end by providing their contact information. People in Washington are always looking for the next generation that will be replacing them so they can ensure their goals and messages will persist. Students walk out of these class sessions with a new knowledge about the way Washington works, new career paths not previously known, and specific organizations they can contact to get involved.

I myself have gotten numerous business cards from speakers in organizations I found inspiring. I have also explored new parts of Washington. Such as the bookstore Politics & Prose owned by the class speaker and former speech writer for Hillary Clinton. I have also learned about different ways to get involved and influence policy.

The Washington Semester Program does an excellent job combining experiential learning through internships, traditional learning through seminars and lectures, and career development through guest speakers. I believe I will be leaving this program with growth in so many different areas that I may not have expected, which I am very grateful for!

How I’m Breaking Barriers with My Hockey Internship

How I’m Breaking Barriers with My Hockey Internship

I don’t think there’s ever been a better example of how Trinity gets internships for students than my experience. I currently have an internship with the minor league hockey team downtown called the Wolf Pack. I’m doing PR and Media Relations with them, and though I’ve only been on the job for a few weeks, I’m loving it. But let me start from the beginning and walk you through how I got this amazing opportunity.

I’ve been writing for years and knew I wanted to major in English when coming to college. I loved that Trinity had a creative writing concentration within the English major so I knew I could really pursue what I wanted to do. I’ve also been going to hockey games since I was about seven, starting with the Lowell Lock Monsters, a minor league affiliate of various NHL teams over the years. So it was only natural that I would start writing for Trinity’s newspaper The Tripod my first semester here.

I loved covering for the hockey team and getting my stories in the paper, even if it was just a college newspaper.

Fast forward a year and a half to my sophomore year. I had been writing for the Tripod for almost four semesters and looking for internships.

I wanted to do something in the PR,  Communications, or Marketing field so I looked on the Trinity College Career Development Center website and found internship and job postings. Alums and local businesses, who have hired Trinity students in the past, tend to advertise there. One of the internships listed was with the Wolf Pack, who has different interns each semester, all of them from Trinity (and, unbeknownst to me, all of them male, but we’ll get back to that point in a minute). So I applied for the PR and Media Relations internship. I sent over my writing samples, and I went downtown to the XL Center for an interview. I aced the interview and during this time, my future boss told me that I was the first female to apply (and eventually be hired) for this job. At this point, I was feeling pretty good about myself. It’s a good feeling to achieve something you’ve really wanted, but it feels even better to be the first female to do so and to start breaking down that barrier.

So now, I have this amazing internship this semester where I’m writing game stories, interviewing players, and learning about what it takes to make it in this industry. Not only is my work getting regularly published, it’s an incredible experience and I’m so thankful I am the first woman to do so.