We are the Class of 2023

Catching up with six members of Trinity’s Bicentennial Class

By Andrew J. Concatelli

New to campus last fall, the members of the Class of 2023—Trinity’s Bicentennial Class—come to the college with diverse backgrounds and interests. Whether from down the street or the other side of the globe, the students bring with them a desire to explore the world and expand their horizons. Here, The Trinity Reporter catches up with six first-year students mere weeks into their first semester to learn more about them and their goals for their time at Trinity.


William J. Nelson Scholar
Hometown: Newark, New Jersey
High school: Phillips Exeter Academy in Exeter, New Hampshire

Ray Alvarez Adorno
Photo by Sarah McCoy

Ray Alvarez-Adorno knows that goals and perspectives may change over time, so he tries to keep an open mind. “I went to high school thinking I wanted to be an engineer but came out wanting to be a senator and poet,” he says. “I’m open to anything that’s thrown my way. I feel that planning is an obstacle that people give themselves. I’ll have an outline, but you need to be able to give yourself leeway to explore different things. In my time here at Trinity, I want to focus on not only getting smarter but also becoming a better person and a more accessible person to talk to.”

After taking part in the Promoting Respect for Inclusive Diversity in Education (P.R.I.D.E.) and first-generation pre-orientation programs, Alvarez-Adorno is jumping right into student life on Trinity’s campus. “I’ve been to meetings for La Voz Latina and the Trinity College Men of Color Alliance, and I want to be active in the Masculinity Project and Temple of Hip Hop,” he says. He enjoys playing games like Dungeons & Dragons and Magic: The Gathering. “I’d love to start a club for that, but my dream job would be to write for DC Comics. I love writing stories; I see myself naturally as a storyteller.”

Alvarez-Adorno, whose family is Puerto Rican, says he will most likely major in political science. “I want to be a senator to represent perspectives of minorities and of people who grew up poor, raised by strong women like my mom, Griselle Adorno,” he says. “I have also thought of becoming a middle school teacher, and I may go for a Ph.D. eventually.” Anthropology is another area he may explore. “I love learning about people and looking at their culture, getting to know what the real story is,” he adds.


Hometown: Malé, Republic of Maldives
High school: United World College (UWC) Mahindra College in Maharashtra, India

Azka Hassan
Photo by Sarah McCoy

Azka Hassan is the first Trinity student ever from the Maldives, a small South Asian country located in the Indian Ocean. “As much as it feels like a burden to be the first Maldivian student at Trinity, it’s such a big opportunity, and I feel honored,” says Hassan. “Trinity has made me feel wanted and excited to be here. I already signed up to make my own booth at the Festival of Nations. It’s a lot of work representing a country by yourself, but I’m up for the challenge.”

The InterArts Program is the perfect first-year opportunity for Hassan, who has been interested in the arts her whole life. “In high school, I learned theory of art and art history and got to experiment with different media, like sculpture, woodcuts, printmaking, and all types of paint,” she says. Hassan is interested in film classes and wants to look into double majoring in art and psychology for a possible career in art therapy, which she would pursue in the Maldives. “I like the idea of going back home to use my knowledge to help people there,” she says.

To help make the transition to college, Hassan joined the Bantam Beginnings pre-orientation program “Hartford’s Architecture, Ethnic Culture & Cuisines” and took a walking tour of the city with P.R.I.D.E. “We walked 19,289 steps! I met so many amazing people, and I would love to get to know more,” she says. Hassan would like to become involved with Trinity’s International House and raising awareness about issues of cultural appropriation and racism. “I hope to participate in as many things as I can and make as many memories as I can before I have to officially be an adult,” she says. “I want to become the person that 5-year-old me would be proud of. In my future, I see a lot of growth, a lot of accomplishment, and, most importantly, a lot of hard work.”


Paul E. Raether Scholar and Harriet E. and David H. Bromberg ’44 Scholar
Hometown: West Hartford, Connecticut
High school: Hartford Magnet Trinity College Academy in Hartford, Connecticut

Maggie Powers
Photo by Kevin Heslin

Along with a dozen other first-year students in the new Global Start program, Maggie Powers chose to begin her Trinity experience by spending the fall semester living and studying in the vibrant capital city of San José, Costa Rica. “Studying abroad for my first semester in college sounded like an appealing challenge and an adventure,” says Powers, who likes to travel and has worked on a 4-H farm. “Plus, I was thrilled to learn that I would be living and studying on a farm for three weeks of the semester. Taking such a huge jump from high school to college in another country for my first semester has really pushed me toward huge personal and social growth, and being exposed to a completely different culture has opened my eyes to what goes on in the world outside of the U.S.”

Powers is interested in restorative justice and may pursue the fields of urban studies or women, gender, and sexuality. She also hopes to get involved with Trinity student groups including the Entertainment Activities Council (EAC) Barnyard and The Homelessness Project. 

Among the reasons Powers chose Trinity were the college’s movement toward a more diverse student body and its active engagement with Hartford. “I’d like to help create a stronger connection between our student body and the surrounding Hartford community. My time at Trinity will hopefully be filled with growth that leads me to be engaged with my education and my community and to become more of an independent thinker who challenges our social and cultural norms,” Powers says. “I also hope to be able to connect with Trinity alumni to see how they have taken their time at Trinity and implemented change within their own communities to allow others to grow and have access to opportunities they might otherwise not be afforded.”


Hometown: Lyman, Maine
High school: Waynflete in Portland, Maine

Jake Armentrout
Photo by Sarah McCoy

Even though he’s now part of the third generation of Bantams in his family, Jake Armentrout said his family didn’t pressure him to choose Trinity. “I just kept coming back to Trinity and could really see myself here,” says Armentrout, who follows his mother, Sarah Chappell Armentrout ’92, P’23, and grandfather, Tom Chappell ’66, H’06, P’89, ’92, ’97, ’06, GP’23, to Hartford. “It’s important to keep the family tradition going. Trinity wasn’t pressed on me very hard; I just ended up being really interested in it. Coming here as a legacy, there’s a pressure to be successful. I want to have a good academic career and not let my family down. My goals are to be true to myself and to continue the legacy in a strong way.”

After graduating from high school in a class of about 75 students, Armentrout says that he feels comfortable in Trinity’s intimate environment. “I couldn’t see myself in a bigger school in a massive city,” he says. He may decide to major in political science or take a pre-law school route. “It’d be fun to intern in Hartford someday, especially if I want to pursue law,” Armentrout says. “That would be a really great opportunity to learn from someone in the city, not far from campus.” So far, he is enjoying the “City as a Work of Art” first-year seminar, which includes aspects of history and architecture, and plans to play club lacrosse, work for the Office of Student Activities, Involvement & Leadership, and serve as a stage technician for productions with the Theater and Dance Department.

To start his own Trinity career, Armentrout embarked on a hiking and camping trip on the Appalachian Trail with the Quest pre-orientation program. “Quest is a great gateway,” he says. “You’re really close and smelly with everybody. You get to know people really quickly and become great friends with them. Everyone should do a pre-orientation program; it’s a leg up.”


Hometown: Chicago, Illinois
High school: William Howard Taft High School in Chicago, Illinois

Ethan Yerkes
Photo by Sarah McCoy

A Posse Scholar who started an engineering club at his high school, Ethan Yerkes is leaning toward studying mechanical engineering at Trinity. “I want to design car engines,” he says. “I want to make sure I have a job that I enjoy, and cars are something I’ve been enthusiastic about since I was a little kid.” One idea Yerkes has to connect his interests, studies, and possible future career is to start an on-campus mechanic shop. “Engineers can get hands-on experience on actual, operating automobiles, and students in economics and finance could be running the business end,” he says.

The first-generation college student chose Trinity in part for its Engineering Department, but he’s also interested in math, biomedical science, business, finance, film, and photography. “I’m trying to figure out how to fit those all into my life,” he says. Yerkes enrolled in the “Designing Your Future Work” first-year seminar because, he says, “I enjoy designing and figuring out where I’m going. With a small liberal arts school, you have more control over where you want to go and creating your own future. Let’s see where I can go.”

Yerkes has a passion for learning new things; his goals for the next few years include learning to play piano and to speak Spanish and the Indian language Gujarati. In addition, he wants to learn computer programming to take part in the annual Trinity College International Firefighting Home Robot Contest, and he plans to explore the Debate Team, ConnPIRG, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, and the Investment Club. “And I will hopefully make short films for Trinity Film Festival, but we will see where my free time takes me,” he says.


Hometown: The Bronx, New York
High school: KIPP NYC College Prep High School in the Bronx, New York

Gift Nosakhare
Photo by Sarah McCoy

“When I visited Trinity, I felt at home,” says Gift Nosakhare. “I stepped on campus, and there was something about the environment and the people that made me want to come here.” She applied Early Decision after a Preview Weekend visit. “I had a host who was a psychology and premed major—which is what I want to do, too—and she talked about how amazing the STEM fields are here,” she says.

While she plans to take courses in her favorite subjects of math, science, history, and engineering, Nosakhare feels especially drawn toward psychology and medicine. “Ever since I was little, I’ve wanted to study medicine. I love kids, and I’m looking at the pediatrician path now,” she says. “I took psychology in high school, and it was my favorite subject. I want to go deeper into that field to see if it’s something I want to do.”

New Student Orientation was helpful for Nosakhare, who is a first-generation college student. “If it wasn’t for the tour and the games, I wouldn’t have met my friends and I wouldn’t know how to get around campus. It really helped me adjust,” she says. “I hope Trinity can break me out of being so reserved and help me be more open-minded.”

After moving from Nigeria to the United States with her family when she was 6, Nosakhare maintains a love of traveling and looks forward to studying away. “I love cultures and learning about how our culture differs from others. In the Bronx, there are so many people struggling or homeless, so I want to start a club here in Hartford where we can give back to the community,” she says. As the academic year began, she planned to explore the Trinity African Students Association, Imani: Trinity’s Black Student Union, the Trinity College Black Women’s Organization, and club volleyball. “There are so many things I want to do,” she says. “I don’t know how I’ll balance all of them.”