Year in Review 2020–21
Take a look back at 2020–21, including Trinity’s adaptations during the COVID-19 pandemic; the college’s ongoing support of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion initiatives; faculty, student, and staff highlights; academic and athletic achievements; virtual and on-campus events; efforts to encourage voter engagement in a national election; strengthening connections to Hartford; the continued contributions from proud alumni; and much more.
The entire Trinity community worked together to make the most of a challenging and memorable year.
Summer 2020 Highlights
In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Trinity College students from around the world completed summer internships and conducted research in a variety of disciplines to further their academic interests and explore their possible career goals. Many internships were offered in remote formats due to safety measures put in place during the pandemic. “Internships—even completed remotely or virtually—are still important because they are providing students experience and exposure to the professional world,” Joe Catrino, Executive Director of Student Success and Career Development, said. “The pandemic has shown us how businesses can and will be moving online, and these student interns will be prepared for that.” Five students shared their internship experiences and how they are looking forward to what is to come in their futures at Trinity and beyond.
Summer Research Projects
Summer research projects, a hallmark of a Trinity education, were forced to find creative ways to conduct their research in remote formats.
Learning and Working During a Pandemic
Building off what they learned from the transition to remote learning during the spring 2020 semester, nearly 100 faculty members at Trinity College attended ‘Design Studio’ workshops to learn best practices for online teaching and virtual student engagement as they prepared for a fall semester offered in a combination of remote, in-person, and hybrid course formats during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Teamwork across all areas of campus enabled Trinity College to remain steadfast in its mission of preparing students to be bold, independent thinkers who lead transformative lives—even in the most unpredictable times.
Additionally, Trinity alumni jumped into action. The Trinity Reporter spoke with seven members of the college community on the front lines of health care to learn how COVID-19 changed their working lives.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
During a summer marked by protests sparked by the killing of George Floyd, President Joanne Berger-Sweeney wrote, “A Message of Hope and a Call to Act,” which outlined the principles that guide the institution, as well as a commitment to action steps intended to begin the transformation of our institution toward inclusion and equity. President Berger-Sweeney issued an update in November to report on progress made.
Work to respond to the demands from TrinSurvivors, to eliminate sexual violence, harassment, and discrimination at Trinity, was also a focus of the summer, culminating in a letter to the campus community outlining next steps. An update followed in January 2021.
Trinity in the News
Trinity in Hartford
Fall 2020 Highlights
As the college prepared to welcome the Class of 2024 and returning students to campus for the first time since COVID-19 forced the shift to remote learning, changes were evident with myriad new signs, hand sanitizer stations, and “Protect the Nest” graphics to remind everyone of the guidelines for safe in-person learning during the pandemic.
Seen on Social
Reaching out to students on social media proved to be an effective way to spread the message about Protect the Nest, promote the various efforts to keep students engaged through a challenging semester, and say thank you to our essential workers.
Events and Activities
Trinity Coaches and Athletic Staff Keep COVID-19 Testing Running Efficiently
The Hartford Courant spoke with Trinity College coaches and other members of the athletics department staff about the way they are supporting students and the entire college community during the fall semester. “Trinity’s athletic department is tasked with running the school’s [COVID-19] testing program, an ambitious program that aims to test every student twice a week, faculty and staff once per week,” Dom Amore writes.
In recognition of the dedication and sacrifice of the college community throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the Board of Trustees passed a resolution commending and extending their profound gratitude to the entire community.
Virtual Long Walk
The usually busy alumni events calendar transitioned from in-person gatherings to virtual sessions on timely and favored topics. Thousands of members of the Trinity community, regardless of location or time zone, have embraced the opportunities to get together, to learn, and to find a sense of connection by participating through their screens on Zoom.
Kristine Belson ’86, president of Sony Pictures Animation, joins Trinity College President Joanne Berger-Sweeney for an animated conversation about her days in Hartford and her entertainment career in Hollywood.
Trinity alumna Kari Sweeney Efferen ’03, a research scientist and associate director at the pharmaceutical corporation Pfizer, speaks to the Trinity community about the safety and effectiveness of vaccines, and answers questions about how one can be developed so quickly during a worldwide pandemic.
Trinity College alumni Rhoden Monrose ’09, Karraine Moody ’01, and Marvin Pierre ’06 are making groundbreaking changes toward creating a more equitable world.
The Athletics Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Committee strives to create a community of belonging, acceptance, respect, and understanding of differences for our entire athletic family.
Trinity College President Joanne Berger-Sweeney took part recently in a virtual conversation called “Race, Class, Higher Education, and Democracy,” hosted by The Chronicle of Higher Education, a national leader in higher education journalism.
Trinity in Hartford
Winter 2021 Highlights
Paul Mounds Jr. ’07: ‘I don’t work in politics; I work in public service’
As the chief of staff to Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont, Paul Mounds Jr. ’07 is helping to manage the state government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Here, Mounds talks about his dedication to public service, his connections to Hartford, and why he’s proud to be a Bantam. Read more.
Macey Russell ’80—Volunteer Spotlight
“After George Floyd, people are asking me, ‘What can I do?’ ” he says. “If people could be reflective of certain advantages they had compared with others growing up and think OK, what’s the one thing I can do tomorrow? Can I pick up the phone and call somebody? Can I offer to mentor or be an adviser to someone at Trinity who didn’t grow up like me? That would be a start.” Read more.
Peloton Instructor Jess Sims ’10 Gives a Lesson in Taking Care of Your Body and Mind
Jess Sims ’10, the former Trinity College women’s basketball player and three-year captain, began her career as a teacher in Texas for Teach for America, a program designed to help address educational inequities before becoming an instructor at Peloton, the interactive fitness platform. See Sims’ interview with Liz Althoff ’22, captain of the women’s basketball team, and read more about her career path.
Listen to Beyond the Summit
Fine Arts Class Finds Creative Connections with Subjects and Spaces During Pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic led students enrolled in a sculpture class at Trinity College to get creative when considering the subjects and spaces for their works of art, which their professor says were full of humor, patience, and hope. “Their spirit was inspiring,” says Assistant Professor of Fine Arts Lynn Sullivan. Read more.
Trinity Students and Professor Publish Research on River Turtle Conservation
After conducting field research, a Trinity College professor and two students published a scientific paper that sheds light on how different threats impact river turtle populations. Based on research they conducted in Missouri in 2019, the paper can help to inform conservation strategies for river turtles. Read more.
A New Curriculum for a New Century
In the updated curriculum, students will complete 32 core academic credits and three additional credits known as the Trinity Plus, which can include a personalized, exploratory option—with all co-curricular credits, all academic credits, or any combination of both—or a more integrated option through a faculty-designed experiential certificate. The new curriculum also incorporates a wellness requirement, intended to promote personal well-being. Read more.
Video: A Focus on Experience – Introducing the new curriculum
Spring 2021 Highlights
“It’s time to think and dance outside of the box!”
That’s how Assistant Professor of Theater and Dance Peter Kyle and Assistant Professor of Theater and Dance Rebecca K. Pappas pitched their idea for “Dancing Everywhere,” the yearlong performance project that began in fall 2020 as part of their THDN-309 “Stage Production” course. Read the full story in The Trinity Reporter.
Balancing the Scales: A Conversation with Michigan Supreme Court Chief Justice Bridget Mary McCormack ’88 H’13
Michigan Supreme Court Chief Justice Bridget Mary McCormack ’88 H’13 recently joined Trinity College President Joanne Berger-Sweeney for a Virtual Long Walk conversation about her journey from Hartford to the bench of Michigan’s highest court. Watch now.
Focus on fairness
Fay Stetz-Waters IDP’01, director of civil rights for Oregon’s Department of Justice, works on issues that impact the state’s most vulnerable citizens. Read the feature article in The Trinity Reporter, and listen to the episode of the Beyond the Summit podcast where Stetz-Waters talks with Paul Sullivan ’95.
‘Trinity Authors Series’ Features Conversations with Talented Alumni and Parents
This spring’s new Trinity Authors Series is shining the spotlight on written work by Trinity College alumni and parents. In each monthly entry in the Zoom video series, a Trinity faculty member has a conversation with the featured author about their education, career, and writing process. Read more.
In the Media
Anita Davis, vice president for diversity, equity and inclusion at Trinity College in Hartford, wrote an op-ed that was published in the Hartford Courant on May 2.
The usual hum of activities on campus took on a different tone for the spring 2021 semester as health and safety remained a guiding principle.
The popular Samba Fest was presented as a month-long series of virtual musical performances. See all the performances on the YouTube playlist below.
Read the full commendation April 2021
Joint resolution by the faculty of Trinity College to commend, celebrate, and thank the staff of Library and Information Technology Services (LITS) and in particular the Research, Instruction, and Technology (RIT) team for their extraordinary energy and commitment to sustaining our teaching and learning during a year of crisis...
WFSB News 3 covered Trinity’s 2021 Connect program, matching graduating seniors with alumni working in the field for a four-week industry-based mentorship program. The article and video feature Joe Catrino, executive director of student success and career development, Jeffrey Sagun ’21, and Dr. Brian Howard ’03. Watch the video.
Joe Catrino also published an op-ed on Medium, “Open Letter to the Class of 2021”, on June 2, 2021.
The Trinity College athletic department announced the recipients of four senior awards and ten inductees into the Athletics Hall of Fame.
The pandemic didn’t stop Trinity students from achieving success, with several students being honored with prestigious grants and fellowships.
International Studies major and Religious Studies minor Esther Appiah ’21 will travel to Côte d’Ivoire in January 2022 through the Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship (ETA) program. The ETA program places Fulbright grant recipients in classrooms in foreign countries to provide assistance to local English teachers and serve as cultural ambassadors for the United States.
Karolina Barrientos ’22 was recently named as a 2021-2022 Newman Civic Fellow. The Newman Civic Fellowship is a one-year fellowship experience for community-committed students from Campus Compact member institutions that support students’ personal, professional, and civic development.
Trinity College senior Alisa Levin ’21 has been selected to receive a 2021 National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship (GRF), which will fund three years of her studies and research work in graduate school. She plans to begin a Ph.D. program in computer science in the fall.
Trinity junior Alicia Camuy ’22 has been selected to receive the Barry Goldwater Scholarship from an estimated pool of more than 5,000 students from across the country. The scholarship is one of the most prestigious awards for students interested in pursuing careers in the natural sciences, mathematics, and engineering.
Jeffery Huang ’22 said his parents have always been a great source of inspiration. Immigrants from Taishan, China, his parents moved to Chicago, when Huang was a young boy. He said his mother and father both had “worked hard, laborious jobs”; his mother was a housekeeper in a hotel and his father a chef in a restaurant.
Their hard work is part of the reason Huang was inspired to become a Public Policy and International Affairs (PPIA) Fellow. The program works to promote the inclusion and full participation of underrepresented groups in public service and to advance their leadership roles throughout civic institutions serving domestic and international affairs.
Graduating senior Ana Stambolic ’21 has been named a 2021 Yenching Scholar and was awarded a fellowship to pursue an interdisciplinary master’s degree in China Studies at Yenching Academy of Peking University in China.
In recognition of her dedication to mentoring children, Trinity College senior Madison Gilbertson ’21 has been awarded the Victoria L. Soto Memorial Award by Nutmeg Big Brothers Big Sisters. Gilbertson met with her ‘Little’ for four years while at Trinity, even connecting virtually when schools transitioned to remote learning during the pandemic.
Trinity hosted two consecutive Commencement ceremonies on the Main Quad on Friday, May 21. Following a year unlike any other at the college, graduates receiving their bachelor’s or master’s degrees were seated with their two invited guests in separate groups spread out on the lawn beside the Chapel. The Commencement Address was delivered by Hartford HealthCare President and CEO Jeffrey A. Flaks. Read more about the ceremonies.
Class of 2021—Cultivating Community
Class of 2021: 195th Commencement Highlights
In the Media
The NBC CT story “Connecticut In Color: Trinity College’s ‘Trin Trio’” is about graduating seniors Giovanni Jones ’21, Tiana Starks ’21, and Kiera Flynn ’21 and their journey at Trinity College. The three students received full scholarships to Trinity in 2017 and graduated on Friday, May 21. The story aired on NBC CT May 19 and is also available to watch online.
Summer 2021 Highlights
Class of 2025
During the second admissions cycle to be greatly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, Trinity College enrolled 553 outstanding students as its Class of 2025. “Our choices were driven by the strength of character the students demonstrated, along with their academic motivation and preparedness,” said Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid Adrienne Oddi. “We have an amazing group of Bantams coming.”
Read more about the incoming class: Trinity Community Celebrates the Enrollment of the Class of 2025
Seen on Social
Future first-year students following the college’s Instagram account were able to participate in Q&A sessions with current Trinity students. The opportunity to have their questions answered through the social media platform was a popular options during the pandemic.
Many Welcomes and a Farewell
Virtual Reunion 2021
Classes originally slated to celebrate their Reunions last year got together online June 10–13 for Trinity’s Virtual Reunion Weekend. Alumni representing seven decades of Trinity’s history came together for 20 events during the course of the weekend, including class-specific functions planned by Reunion Planning Committees and All-Reunion speaking programs and on-demand contests. Classes originally slated to gather in 2021 also were invited to join in on the fun in advance of planning for joint festivities with the classes celebrating in June 2022.