By Catherine Shen
Breaking stereotypes—whether academically, socially, or culturally—has always been important for Taniqua Huguley ’15, M’17, who found herself setting trends for young people to follow while studying at Trinity.
Huguley, a Queens, New York, native who came to Trinity as a Posse Scholar, says the college gave her an education that went beyond the classroom. “There is nothing like learning through experience,” she says. As an undergraduate, she was very involved with the college and the Hartford community. For three consecutive years, she served as president of the Trinity College Black Women’s Organization (TCBWO). After her first year, she wanted to expand the organization’s focus to the women of Hartford, so the group started collaborations with various local organizations. She also was a member of Praxis, Trinity’s community service residence hall. Through it, she became involved with the Girl Scouts of Connecticut, helping to build a partnership between TCBWO and Hartford Girl Scout troops that continues to provide mentorships and volunteer services.
“As students of color, we have to work extra hard to find the right balance,” she says. “It’s easy to get burned out because we have so much going on. But you can still have a great college experience and be a well-rounded person when you prioritize what’s important to you. Trinity was a great place for me to find that balance.”
After graduating with a B.A. in sociology, Huguley pursued an M.A. in public policy and was selected as one of Trinity’s inaugural Trinsition Fellows in the college’s Bantam Network, a program designed to help first-year students make a smooth transition from high school to college. In 2017, she was awarded a U.S. Student Fulbright research grant to study Trinidad and Tobago’s criminal justice system, specifically its impact on young women. While the grant concluded in August 2018, Huguley anticipates returning to Trinidad in June as a Fulbright Alumni Ambassador to work with a financial literacy program that was built with the help of Patrina Dixon, a financial educator from Connecticut. Huguley also is planning to explore a career in the public policy field, reflecting her interest in education, housing, and criminal justice.
It was a natural progression for Huguley to stay at Trinity after her student career. “I have come to know the community really well, and exciting things are happening,” she says. “Over the years, I’ve been able to help change lives at Trinity, and I’ve only experienced the positive. It makes sense for me to give back.”
As one of the youngest members of Trinity’s National Alumni Association Executive Committee, the 25-year-old Hartford resident says it’s an honor to be a part of a committee that recognizes youth involvement. “I sit at a table where decisions are discussed and made, and members respect my opinions,” she says. “I realize this is a special opportunity at Trinity.”
Huguley, who recently was named outreach director for Open Communities Alliance in Hartford, also is on the steering committee overseeing Women at the Summit, the celebration of the 50th anniversary of coeducation at Trinity. She says the commemoration is a great way for young women to see that they can be a part of the college’s legacy. “It’s important to have diverse stories and to get those narratives out there,” she says. “We need to show that women are active in leadership roles, and I’m honored to be involved.”
Anthony T. Berry, Trinity’s director of admissions and Huguley’s mentor, says through her example, young people can learn the importance of making their voices heard to contribute constructively to the campus community.
Berry says that he is not surprised that Huguley continues to be involved with Trinity. “She’s a proud and engaged Bantam,” he says. “It has always been important for her to make a difference, which she’s continuing to do as an alumna.”