Meet the Class of 2008
Ashleigh Dawn Wesche
Bachelor of Arts
Ashleigh Wesche graduated magna cum laude with a major in history in the College of Arts and Sciences. She was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, served as president of the Student Government Association, and played on the volleyball team. She attended Trinity on an ROTC scholarship and just before graduation, was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Air Force, where she will serve as an intelligence officer.
“Trinity is in amazing place and I have learned so much here. My professors have always been committed to my academic success and I really value that support. My history major has prepared me well for my career field in intelligence. I am a firm believer that you cannot understand anything going on in the world today and begin to try and solve the problems, without a deep understanding of how they all started. It’s not enough to understand the conflict today and how it affects the U.S. In order to be successful you have to understand the different people and cultures involved and see the situations from every point of view. My major in history taught me those perspectives.
I have chosen the military for a few reasons. I grew up as an Air Force officer’s child and loved the life my dad and mom gave me. Also, and more importantly, I think that everyone should do something for their country. The military is not for everyone and there are other ways to serve; it just works best for me. The military has shaped me in so many ways. High standards, dedication, determination, integrity, service leadership and commitment are just a few ideals the military has instilled in me.”
Bachelor of Science
Rihem Badwe majored in chemistry in the College of Arts and Sciences and graduated magna cum laude. She was elected to Phi Beta Kappa and Beta Kappa Chi, the national scientific honor society. Immediately after her graduation from Trinity, she entered the accelerated doctoral program at the Albany College of Pharmacy.
“My academic experience at Trinity can’t be matched by any other university. It has been the most wonderful four years that a student could hope for. I learned so much from my professors – and not just in a classroom setting. They taught me life lessons that will always guide me. ‘Never give up’ is the lesson that I learned most at Trinity. I loved my time at Trinity because I found the support that I needed to carry me further.
I decided to pursue a doctorate of pharmacy for several reasons. I always found it fascinating to learn how drugs work, because the human body is a very complex system. This degree will allow me to work one-on-one with patients. Long term, I plan to go into research. My pharmacy career will satisfy my passion for helping people.”
Bachelor of Arts
Renée Butler completed a double major in communication and human relations through the School of Professional Studies and was elected to Lambda Pi Eta and Psi Chi, the national honor societies for communication and psychology. She started her studies at Trinity in 1997, transferring just three credits, and steadily progressed towards completing her degree. She is a consumer advocacy communication associate for the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association.
“My academic experience at Trinity has been challenging and rewarding. I made my decision to carry on and became focused and passionate about my education. I was taught by professors who shared the same passion for teaching as I felt for learning. Trinity faculty and staff create opportunities for students to develop self-confidence and self-esteem. The art of critical thinking is deeply instilled in us. An education at Trinity will give you the opportunity to be the best at your field, while learning to be the best at your life. It’s worth it! Earning my degree took me eleven straight years to complete. I would do it all over again, not changing a single thing. It was worth every effort, every tear, and every prayer. It has made me a more polished, well-rounded, integral individual. It has made me a Trinity woman for life!”
Master of Business Administration
Cynthia Morris-Colbert is the education coordinator for the Department of Justice, Peace and Human Development at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, where she has worked for 11 years. In her position, she serves as the program coordinator for the annual Catholic Social Ministry Gathering, which draws 700 participants. She earned her MBA with a focus on women in leadership after completing her undergraduate degree from Trinity in 2005.
“What I loved most about my Trinity experience is the fact that it is a women’s college, founded to educated and empower women. I believe the most beneficial lessons are learned when we encounter the most challenging obstacles and we allow ourselves to learn and grow from the experience. Returning to school for my undergraduate degree as an older adult was a challenging experience for me. Attending graduate school full-time while working full-time has been quite demanding; it requires discipline, dedication and commitment, but these are all qualities that we as women, particularly, apply to all our tasks. I will continue to use my skills and my Trinity education to promote and teach others on the Church’s social mission.”
Master of Science in Administration
Natalie Stephenson is a language arts teacher at Kenmoor Middle School in Landover, Maryland, and recently received The Washington Post’s prestigious Agnes Meyer Outstanding Teacher Award. With the master’s degree in educational administration that she earned in the School of Education, she plans to become a school administrator and, ultimately, pursue a career in educational policy at the state or federal level.
“My academic experience at Trinity has been very multidimensional and I have met a diverse group of faculty and students. Although it has been very challenging – going to school, completing my Trinity internship, and working full time – I learned a great deal. Trinity has motivated me to continue my studies and pursue a doctoral degree. One of the best lessons I learned at Trinity is the value of reflective learning, which has helped me to sharpen my evaluation skills and to better apply my knowledge to real life professional experiences. I believe the most effective school leader is one who is an effective instructional leader; Trinity’s program has helped me become a more effective instructional leader. I love learning, expanding my knowledge and sharing knowledge with others. My time at Trinity will be one I will never forget.”
Bachelor of Science in Nursing
Trinity’s bachelor of science in nursing program began in the fall of 2006 with eight students. The first B.S.N. graduates walked down the aisle at Commencement on May 18, 2008. Bernadette Denis and Bridgette Tucker completed their degrees in December of 2007, and Steven Simms completed his degree in May of 2008.
Denis became a nurse because growing up she witnessed her father suffer from asthma, and other neighbors dying from preventable diseases. Though she feels the current nursing shortage is the greatest obstacle that the nursing profession faces right now, she is thankful to have been able to work full time and complete her degree at Trinity.
Simms, currently a clinical manager at the Cardiac
Catherization Lab at Washington Hospital Center, has been a nurse for the last ten years, and came to Trinity to complete his B.S.N. He chose Trinity because of its accessible location from the Washington Hospital Center, and said, “The nursing program did a wonderful job of using the nation’s capitol as classroom for us.” He noted that he had classes on Capitol Hill and was able to shadow many important nurses and even the acting Surgeon General of the United States. He plans to go back to school to pursue his doctorate of nursing.
Associate of Arts
The first graduates of Trinity’s associate of arts program at the Town Hall Education, Arts and Recreation Campus, or THEARC, celebrated at Commencement 2008. The Trinity community is proud to partner with THEARC, becoming the first university to offer college degrees east of the Anacostia River in Washington, D.C.
Allene E. David, Danielle Joy Gregory and Glenda Bernice Smith completed their associate of arts degrees in general studies in December of 2007, and all three made the Dean’s List. David, a meeting planner for a trade association in Washington, says that she felt a great sense of accomplishment when she finished her degree. “I loved knowing that the instructors are fair and they want to see each of their students accomplish their goals.”
Gregory notes that when working toward her AA from Trinity at THEARC, “the expectation is the same of that on the main campus; to work and study hard, build long standing relationships with your classmates, and use every resource available to guarantee your success.” All three students are now enrolled in Trinity’s bachelor degree program.