Trinity College Class of 2017

Category: Related Courses

Illinois v Caballes

This is a collaborative legal brief written by myself and a classmate for our final exam for our Law & Argument class. The brief argues in favor of the Petitioner, the State of Illinois, for the actual court case Illinois v Caballes. In addition to this brief we prepared an oral argument, which we then argued against our seasoned, Harvard-bred professor, Ned Cabot.


NESCAC All-Academic Team

During the spring season of 2015, I was selected to the NESCAC All-Academic Team. This award honors student-athletes in the New England Small College Athletic Conference that have reached sophomore academic standing while being a varsity letter winner with a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.35.



Research Methods

The spring of my sophomore year I enrolled in Research and Evaluation, a course that “aims to give students the ability to comprehend policy research and evaluation, as well as the tools to design and conduct basic qualitative and quantitative analysis.”

The tools mentioned include both Microsoft Excel and Atlas ti. Regarding Excel, I am now confident in my ability to calculate descriptive statistics using aggregation worksheet functions (SUM, AVERAGE, COUNTIF, STDDEV.S, ETC.) Additionally, I am able to sort and filter data, which in turn allows…

Atlas ti. serves as a means for analyzing and coding qualitative research, such as interviews.

The course beyond simply making spreadsheets and learn the commands that are applicable in accounting, finance, marketing and other various professions. Currently, we are experimenting with Excel as a statistical software, using it to calculate the correlation coefficient between a number of variables.

Intro to American Public Policy

The fall of my sophomore year I enrolled in Intro to American Public Policy with Renny Fulco. My intention was to further my knowledge that I had previous obtained in my intro level American National Government course. However, as the semester went on, I not only cultivated a relationship with the professor, but I also gained an appreciation for the subject as a whole, and later concluded that I would major in Public Policy & Law.

The Public Policy and law major allows me to analyze problems that affect our country and others, and devise various solutions for those problems. For example, for one assignment we were asked to construct an essay regarding the policy responses to the Ebola outbreak in the United States. Within this essay, Professor Fulco asked us to identify the various proposed solutions to the problem, analyze them, and later choose what we believed to be the best fit. The skill of problem analysis is something that I have unknowingly developed over the course of my life, and have further developed by taking this course.

I look forward to serving as the teaching assistance for this course during the fall of my senior year, as I will be studying abroad during the fall of my junior year.

Freshman Year Seminar

Prior to my arrival at Trinity, I was given a variety of  “Freshman Year Seminars” to choose from, in hopes that I would receive my first choice for the upcoming semester. From what I understood, these courses intended to introduce and prepare incoming freshman to a college level course load, but also to help us newcomers adjust to life on campus, socially and academically. With all that being said, I was assigned to the seminar: Dangerous Decisions and Cheerful Choices. Honestly, I had absolutely no idea as to what that could possibly entail, but I remained optimistic.

Day one of class, it was syllabus week, but the only difference with this seminar as opposed to my other courses was that I couldn’t drop it. Therefore as Professor Rachael Barlow began reading the syllabus I prayed for light reading and a fair workload. My eyes began to enlarge as the word “Interviews” appeared on the page. We would be conducting up to four interviews over the course of the semester. At the time I was panicked and uneasy, however, today, I am so grateful that I was assigned to Dangerous Decisions and Cheerful Choices.

Interviewing was embarrassing, nerve-wracking, and uncomfortable. It placed me outside of my comfort zone, even as a person who feels relatively confident communicating with others.  Different than conversing with a friend, interviewing seemed formal and pressured. I found myself searching for follow-up questions, which at first, I never found. The conversation between my early respondents and I were choppy, rehearsed and awkward. It wasn’t until my third interview when I found my way. I jumped, leaped out of my comfort zone, forcing myself to look away from my question sheet and create my own. My stammers and pauses began to lessen as I became less focused on staying on task, and more focused on creating a fluid, natural exchange of thoughts.

Interviewing is a skill I can now say I’ve acquired. Furthermore, I believe that in acquiring a skill such as interviewing, I have also developed the ability to think and react quickly and efficiently, as well as the abilities to speak in front of others and to communicate my thoughts effectively.

© 2021 Meghan H. Collins

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