SOPHIA GOURLEY ’19
Taniqua Huguley ’15 is the Trinisition Fellow for the Minty and Roosevelt nests. After having a very positive experience during her four years at Trinity, Taniqua returned to the College as a Trinisiton Fellow to first year students as they begin to navigate college life.
Taniqua visited Trinity for the first time when she was in high school. “I had no clue what Trinity College was until I came on a college tour with my college bound program, Legal Outreach.” Legal Outreach is a non-profit organization that helps students throughout their high school careers by providing legal curriculum and valuable skills such as writing, debating, mock trials, and SAT prep. She also noted that some Legal Outreach alumni have also gone to Trinity and proved to be a great resource as she was beginning her college search. Taniqua was then awarded the full-tuition Posse Foundation scholarship. Upon visiting Trinity again, there were various events happening on campus, and she got the chance to connect with people from different groups. She also mentioned that she got the chance to attend Trinity’s annual “Take Back the Night” event. “It was interesting to see different student organizations supporting “Take Back the Night”, because although it was addressing and raising awareness about sexual assault, it showed how the whole Trinity College campus can come together and address issues.” After this visit, Trinity became a clear top choice.
After moving to Trinity from her home of Long Island City, New York, Taniqua immediately became involved on campus because she wanted to showcase the characteristics of what it means to be a Posse scholar, and got very involved with the Trinity and Hartford community. She immediately became involved with the Trinity College Black Woman’s Association (TCBWO), and became the president of this organization her sophomore year and remained in this position for the remainder of her time at Trinity. As president, she helped establish a Girl Scout troop in Hartford. During her undergraduate career at Trinity she created two mentoring programs that featured academic and social workshops for kids in local schools. In addition, she worked in the Office of Multicultural Affairs, as a cultural house coordinator, worked in Alumni Relations, where she was also a Student Alumni Ambassador, and interned in the Admissions Office as part of the Multicultural Recruitment Team. Taniqua is also a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc., which is the first Greek organization established for black collegiate women. She joined the Lambda Tau chapter, Hartford’s city-wide chapter. “That was life changing in itself because now I was able to connect with college students from other schools and prominent leaders in the city,” she said.
In terms of academics, Taniqua was a sociology major and legal studies minor. “I came to Trinity thinking I wanted to be a public policy and law major, but my first semester I took a sociology class and it was life-changing. Right then and there I knew I wanted to be a sociology major instead,” she said. She explained that after taking SOCL 101: Principles of Sociology with Professor Williams, she learned how to improve her writing skills, speak up in class and think outside of the box. “That class shaped what the rest of my Trinity College academic experience was like,” she said.
Taniqua originally thought she was going to go to law school after graduation, but decided to wait. When she heard about the Trinisiton Fellow position, and the fact that it was “created by students for students”, she was immediately drawn to it. Taniqua also has vast mentoring experience through her involvements as an undergraduate, so she definitely had a lot to offer the program in it’s inaugural year. “I had such a good time at Trinity with so many great opportunities presented to me,” she says and she reflects on the main reason why she wanted to help the first-year experience and give back to the school. Taniqua is the Trinistion Fellow for the Minty and Roosevelt nests, both of which are located in North. “It’s perfect because I lived there as a first-year, so I have that connection with them as well.” She says a regular day consists of being visible on campus during the day, and meeting with students to help them find their way academically and socially. In addition, she works with various departments on campus to find ways to collaborate. She recently met with the Alumni Relations office to try to formulate another networking opportunity for the first-year students.
Taniqua is pursuing a MA in public policy at Trinity and rather than doing her homework in the library all the time, she does her work in campus coffee shops, or her office in North with the door open, so as to be available to students at times that they are free.
Taniqua explains that one of her favorite parts of the job is seeing the current sophomores who were in her nest last year thrive on campus as presidents of organizations and even helping first-year students. “That is mind-blowing to me,” she says. In terms of the first-year students, Taniqua loves “seeing them transform from first semester to second semester, whether it is seeing them go to an event hosted by an organization that they wouldn’t have usually connected with or challenging themselves to take a class they didn’t think they were interested in.” As it demonstrates they are not afraid of challenges and are willing to take initiative. She also admires when they reach out to her for help, whether it be social or academic reasons, she feels like her students trust her and becomes excited when they seek her advice. In addition to being a Trinisiton Fellow, Taniqua is a Sexual Assualt & Bystander Intervention Training. She is also a member of Trinity’s National Alumni Association (NAA) and the college’s Women’s Leadership Council. She also works to support on-campus organizations she was involved with when she was a student.
As the Trinsition Fellow position is only for two years, Taniqua looks positively ahead at her next chapter. She recently received the Fulbright scholarship for conducting research in Trinidad and Tobago researching the juvenile system and it’s impact on girls, and begins this endeavor in October. As the year comes to a close, she mentioned that first-year students should keep in mind that, “Trinity is what you make it.” She notes that the College provides the tools to have a successful college experience, but it is up to the student to challenge themselves, and make the most of the tools and their four years. She believes they should take advantage of every opportunity, both academically and socially. She also noted that it is important to step outside of one’s comfort zone and get to know everyone, regardless of their backgrounds.
Taniqua has certainly been a positive influence on the first-year experiences of members of the Minty and Roosevelt nests, and will be missed by everyone whom she’s worked with. Lexie Axon ’19 says, “Taniqua goes above and beyond for her students; she really took the time to get to know me, and even went out of her way to meet my parents. Whether I see her on the long walk, or at an official Trinity event, she always wants to check in to see how I am and how everything is going. Taniqua has been both a mentor and a friend to me, and I am honored to have met her and cannot thank her enough for her role in my transition into college.”