J. Violet Gannon: Director of Career Development
J. Violet Gannon leads a team of professionals dedicated to supporting students and alumni in leveraging their wealth of experiences at Trinity to enter and advance in their professional lives.
Prior to joining Trinity, Violet served as Assistant Dean of the College and Director of The University of Chicago Careers in Health Professions program (UCHIP), a comprehensive, four-year, pre-professional program. Violet also founded and directed the UCIHP Katen Scholars Program, in which she taught an intensive, interdisciplinary summer seminar on the economic, social, political, and behavioral aspects of health and medicine. In recognition of her extraordinary commitment to supporting students engaged in civic-minded scholarship, Violet was awarded the University Community Service Center’s Staff Service Award in 2011.
Before directing UCIHP, Violet worked at the Chicago-based Health and Medicine Policy Research Group as Associate Director of the Center for Long-Term Care Reform, where she was responsible for conducting policy analysis and identifying opportunities for strategic and programmatic growth. Violet began her career in higher education at Brown University's Center for Alcohol and Addiction Studies where she oversaw a federally funded investigation of post-traumatic stress disorder and substance abuse comorbidity.
Beyond career development and the life of the mind, Violet enjoys various creative pursuits: she is an avid gardener, a jewelry designer, and an admirer of contemporary American crafts. Violet graduated magna cum laude from Brown University and holds a master’s degree in social policy from The University of Chicago.
Jett McAlister: Associate Director
“A career development program emphasizing process, lifelong learning, and honest self-reflection enhances the liberal arts experience, empowering students to cultivate competencies they will use throughout their personal and professional lives,” says Associate Director Jett McAlister.
Before coming to Trinity, Jett served as an Assistant Director for Academic Preparation in the Career Advancement office at the University of Chicago. During his tenure at Chicago, Jett designed innovative programs integrating the liberal arts with professional skills valued in the marketplace. He has also worked closely with alumni and employers across a range of industries to develop internship and externship positions, and has led students on site visits to employers in the for-profit, not-for-profit, and government sectors. Before working in career development, Jett taught a variety of courses in writing and literature, both at Chicago and at the University of Virginia.
Jett earned his bachelor's degree in English literature from Rice University, a master of fine arts in creative writing from the University of Virginia, and a master of arts in English language and literature from the University of Chicago. Outside of professional life, Jett has a wide array of interests—he is an avid fan of the arts, an amateur pianist, and a seven-time marathoner.
Severn Sandt: Assistant Director, Strategic Partnerships and Outreach
Severn Sandt, Assistant Director for Strategic Partnerships and Outreach, serves as the principal liaison between the Career Development Center and employers from a variety of industries and sectors. In concert with companies and organizations across the nation, she generates internship and full-time opportunities for Trinity students, enabling them to lay strong foundations for their professional lives.
Severn comes to Trinity with over 20 years of experience in journalism and television production. A graduate of Boston University, she joined ABC News as a Production Assistant, advancing to Coordinating Producer on such programs as PrimeTime Live, The Century with Peter Jennings, and Hopkins 24/7. At ESPN/ABC Sports, she moved into finance and operational roles, overseeing teams covering the PGA Tour, the X Games, Thoroughbred horse racing events including the Belmont Stakes and Breeders’ Cup, national and international figure skating championships, and two NFL Super Bowls. She is the winner of two Emmy Awards.
Outside of Trinity, Severn is an outdoor adventure seeker, with rafting the Grand Canyon, kayaking and snorkeling Belize’s Blue Hole, and hiking the Canadian Rockies among her favorite trips to date. Beyond these, listening to the BSO on the lawn at Tanglewood, getting lost in the galleries of the Met , and wandering the paths of Elizabeth Park are some more placid endeavors that bring her great joy.