Now in its fifth year, the Trinity Technology and Leadership Internship for Women empowers students by providing them with skills in technology and offering leadership experiences.

Trinity Technology and Leadership Internship for Women
The students in the spring 2024 Trinity Technology and Leadership Internship for Women are (l-r) Vy Sa Nguyen ’26, Mia Creane ’25, and Hanna Saffi ’26. Photos by Nick Caito.

This initiative was jointly devised by Ewa Syta, associate professor of computer science and faculty lead for Trinity’s Center for Entrepreneurship, and Trinity’s Library and Information Technology Services (LITS) leadership. Syta said, “The internship leverages Trinity’s resources, as well as the remarkable commitment of our staff and faculty, to help increase the participation of women in technology, particularly at the executive levels.”

Mia Creane ’25, Vy Sa Nguyen ’26, and Hanna Saffi ’26 are the students participating in this internship program for the spring 2024 semester. In addition to receiving mentoring from Syta, the interns work closely with the LITS team to develop their skills and build connections through networking.

John M. Inghilterra, Trinity’s information security director, said that empowering college women in cybersecurity goes beyond technology. “It’s about fostering a collaborative space where diverse perspectives intersect with leadership,” he said. “Together, we harness the cybersecurity framework as our guiding principle, enabling interns to drive tangible security improvements within our College infrastructure. Their invaluable contributions not only fortify our defenses, but also ignite their passion, ensuring we remain at the forefront of the ever-evolving digital terrain with practical, real-world experience.”

Hanna Saffi ’26
Hanna Saffi ’26

This internship also connects with external organizations and companies, particularly its sponsor, Hybrid Pathways, to offer additional resources and benefits to the student interns. Through this partnership, in which interns earn academic credit, students receive a stipend for their work, as well as future potential summer opportunities with Hybrid Pathways.

The internship has proven to be a valuable learning experience for the three current interns. “I hope to learn as much about cybersecurity as I can and apply it later on in the future,” said Saffi. “I also hope to get to know more women in the field and develop a relationship with my fellow teammates.”

Each year, the interns complete a collaborative technology project designed to contribute to the work of LITS and benefit the Trinity community. This year, the interns are focused on exploring Identity and Access Management (IAM), a framework for the management of digital identities necessary to properly control access to an organization’s data and resources. Through this project, they will advance their skills in information technology and cybersecurity with hands-on experience in various technology tools and cybersecurity processes, contributing to the development of more secure access control strategies at Trinity.

Mia Creane '25
Mia Creane ’25

Another important aspect of this internship is the development of leadership skills. The program aims to cultivate strong female leaders capable of leading innovative solutions and driving positive change in the technology world. Syta emphasized the dual nature of leadership in technology, stating, “A successful leader in tech possesses a blend of two distinct yet equally crucial skill sets. First, there’s the technical proficiency: deep-rooted knowledge and hands-on experience. Equally important, however, is the leadership acumen: the ability to manage teams effectively, communicate clearly, and foster an environment of collaboration and innovation.”

In addition to gaining hands-on technological and leadership experience, the student interns are given the opportunity to connect with female executives who are paving the way for diversity and inclusion in the tech field. Through interviews with successful female leaders in the technology industry, the interns learn the importance of networking and collaboration, while also developing internal connections within the field.

Creane said, “Especially as a woman in STEM, it is so important that I be confident and self-assured going into this very male-dominated field. I am glad that a big piece of the internship is making sure that female students are prepared on all fronts for a career in the cybersecurity world.”

Vy Sa Nguyen ’26
Vy Sa Nguyen ’26

The skills the interns develop in this position will be applicable to their future endeavors, regardless of what career paths they choose. Nguyen said, “Because of all the resources contributing to my personal development, this internship is not only about cybersecurity itself, but it’s also about learning what other possibilities are available for my career. It’s mostly about learning, but I also want to connect with other people and network.”

The internship has expanded during its five years, accepting three students for the second time this year after a competitive application process. Even during the pandemic, the internship still continued in a virtual environment.

Syta remarked, “Each year, we’ve honed our selection process and expanded the cohort, shaping it into the program it is today. Our students consistently deliver impactful projects that resonate within our community. As the internship and our students continue to evolve, I believe they mutually enrich this exceptional experience.”