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TRINITY Magazine 2009 | Meet the Class of 2009

Elizabeth Zamorski

College of Arts and Sciences

Elizabeth Zamorski '09

Elizabeth Zamorski '09

Liz Zamorski Zamorski graduated summa cum laude with a degree in political science. She will be attending Washington and Lee University School of Law on a full academic scholarship.

Zamorski said, “Prior to attending Trinity, I did not dare think I could ever attend law school, let alone have to choose between scholarships awarded at the top schools in the nation. At Trinity, I was able to form student-faculty relationships that would not have been possible at a larger institution. I also never felt limited during my time at Trinity. The depth at which students are encouraged to explore different educational avenues at Trinity is a true testament to the liberal arts education.

“I wish to thank all the faculty and staff at Trinity for my successful graduation, but especially Dr. Shelley Tomkin, Dr. Kathleen McGinnis, Sr. Mary Hayes and Dr. Minerva San Juan. Their continued guidance has given me the tools necessary to be a strong, confident student and woman.

“To the incoming freshman class, please take advantage of all opportunities you are given during your time at Trinity. If a professor tells you where her office is and when she will be there, go visit her (even if it is just to introduce yourself or say hi). Dare to try something different. Dare to be the best student in your class. You can do it. Discover the new you in these halls and become the biggest advocate for your dreams and potential for success.”

Jamie Lepak

College of Arts and Sciences

Jamie Lepak '09

Jamie Lepak '09

Jamie Lepak graduated summa cum laude with a degree in criminal justice. She will be moving to Boston to start her master of science in criminal justice at Northeastern University in the fall. She hopes to conduct research and create new policies on police use-of-force training, police culture and hate crime prevention. Her long-term plans include getting her PhD and teaching criminal justice at the college level.

Lepak said, “I am the first in my family to even go to college. Originally, my plans did not include graduate school. I thought that I would get my bachelor’s degree, work for a government agency, and that was going to be it. When I got to Trinity, opportunities opened up for me that I never imagined. My professors pushed for me to apply to graduate school. Trinity helped open my eyes to the opportunities of higher education and taught me that attending graduate school will help broaden my career opportunities and allow me to study criminal justice with the best and brightest professors in the nation.”

Lepak works at the Department of Homeland Security, and is leaving the position to go to graduate school. “It would be easy for me to stay with this agency and work my way up, but the harder path was the path I needed to take to challenge myself. The easy route is not always the best; in the challenge is where I can truly see change.”

As for advice to freshmen, Lepak says, “Even when things seem tough, be thankful you’re able to have this opportunity and continue to push for your goals. Trinity will teach you how to be a stronger and better person.”

Nicole Newman

College of Arts and Sciences

Nicole Newman '09

Nicole Newman '09

Nicole Newman graduated with a bachelor of arts in political science. She has accepted an Americorps VISTA position with the organization A Wider Circle in Silver Spring, Maryland. She will be responsible for community outreach and soliciting new donors at A Wider Circle, which is a grassroots nonprofit organization that serves individuals and families living in poverty in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan region. Newman wasn’t sure if she was ready for graduate school, and knew that Americorps would give her the hands-on opportunities to grow – opportunities that might not exist in a traditional work environment.

Newman said that Trinity had a large role in her getting the position. “The program was recommended to me by Sr. Mary Hayes and Dr. Kathleen McGinnis aided in the preparation of my application. Plus, all of my leadership and other experiences I had at Trinity made me a strong candidate.”

Newman says her favorite memory at Trinity, “would have to be a toss-up between my first Well Sing where I had to run around to get the class banner, or of meeting my best friend and freshman year roommate Durkia Hudson (who was elected to Phi Beta Kappa and recently was accepted at the University of Maryland School of Social Work.)

“My plan was to go to law school and eventually practice patent-trademark law. If I do go to law school, now it would be to pursue public interest or criminal law. My goals have changed and so have my interests and my ideas of success. The Sower’s Seed lectures have really impacted me, especially Gloria Guard ’67 of the People’s Emergency Center, who spoke with us in the spring and really challenged me to consider my motives when choosing a career.”

Danielle Gregory

School of Professional Studies

Danielle Gregory '09

Danielle Gregory '09

Danielle Gregory graduated first from Trinity at THEARC (Town Hall Education Arts & Recreation Campus) with an associate of arts degree in 2008, and went on to graduate magna cum laude with a bachelor of arts in general studies in May. She will be taking a semester off before going to graduate school.

Gregory said, “My family has always been my biggest inspiration to continue on with my education. My Trinity education directly relates to my post-graduation plans in that it helped to prepare me for the greater educational challenges that lie ahead.” As for whom to thank, Gregory said, “I would like to thank first and foremost God; my always supportive family; Trinity’s amazing faculty and student body. It is because of each of them I have accomplished all that I have.”

She remembers, “My favorite Trinity memory happened on Sunday, May 17, 2009 when I graduated with my fellow THEARC colleagues. I appreciate and value having the opportunity to attend and graduate from THEARC and Trinity’s main campus. Having experienced both will be long lasting and cherish always.”

Gregory has the following advice to offer for freshmen at Trinity, “Build and establish long lasting relationships with your Trinity family for we are all in this together.”

Angela Charles

School of Professional Studies

Angela Charles '09

Angela Charles '09

Angela Charles completed her bachelor of science in nursing, and will continue to work as a nurse while choosing a school for her master’s degree. She said, “The education that I received at Trinity has been very rewarding. Trinity gave me a solid foundation and I can compete on any university level.”

Among her favorite things about Trinity, she counts, “The camaraderie among the graduates was very inspiring and touching. I even made a couple of friends on graduation day! All of the nursing professors knew me by my name. It gave me a warm feeling to know that they cared enough to get to know me.

“I would like to Thank Dr. Stephanie Holaday for all of her patience and concern for me. She is such a great person. I would also like to thank my husband for staying up late to help me with my computer problems.”

Charles advises Trinity students, “As a professional student, you owe it to yourself, classmates, and professors to bring your ‘A’ game to class each day; it would make communicating and learning much more interesting. Remember why you’re there and never lose sight of your goal. Learn to say no to those who don’t share your same passion for school.”

Rhonda Coon

School of Education

Rhonda Coon '09

Rhonda Coon '09

Rhonda Coon graduated from Trinity’s School of Education with a master of arts in teaching in early childhood education to complement her undergraduate degree in elementary education. She has been a teacher for eight years and will continue to teach kindergarten in Price George’s County public schools.

Coon’s favorite memory of Trinity is her graduation. “I was so excited to finally finish but had not planned to attend the commencement. However, I was encouraged to do so by Dr. Roberta Dorr and Dr. Amy Brereton. During the ceremony I received the Anne Crook Coluzzi ’53 Award. This was a surprise to me. My family had been contacted about this award but I had no idea. Even as President McGuire was making the introductions, I had no idea.

“I would love to thank Dr. Brereton for helping me get through this last semester. She was attentive to my concerns during my student teaching and was supportive in every way.  She shared her wealth of knowledge in the early childhood field and advocated on my behalf for appropriate practices within the early childhood classroom.”

As for advice for new students, Coon relates, “Although I didn’t set any records for completing my degree in quick fashion, I did finish. I took one or two evening classes each semester but it seemed I would never reach the end. As a student, there will be a lot of days that feel like this. But don’t give up. Although I had to invest a tremendous amount of time completing the assignments I now bring more knowledge to my profession.”

Denise Brijbasi

School of Education

Denise Brijbasi '09

Denise Brijbasi '09

Denise Brijbasi has always aspired to be a school administrator, and she took one giant step closer in May as she completed her master of science in administration in educational administration. “After completing a two-year administrative internship, I gained the knowledge and experience of administration,” she said. “I felt as though I could make a greater impact on the lives of students and my co-professionals in order to promote academic excellence, social and professional growth.” She credits her professors for preparing her do well in her internship, “Trinity’s professors were former school administrators and they shared their professional experiences with us, so that we can be exemplary administrators ourselves.”

When asked about her favorite memory of Trinity, Brijbasi recalled, “I always enjoy the time spent with the members of my cohort and with whom I have made lifelong friends. I was very fortunate to be around professionals who were creative, innovative, intelligent and supportive, and shared my passion for educating today’s youth.”

She would like to thank “the members of my cohort (Blue Cohort Class of 2009), all of my professors, my family and my mentors at Paul Public Charter School.” Brijbasi advises Trinity students to “stay focused and be committed to your goals.”

Mary Ruth Theodos

School of Education

Mary Ruth Theodos '09

Mary Ruth Theodos '09

Mary Ruth was inspired by her counseling internship that she completed at Trinity, and is now working as a counselor in a D.C. public charter school for students in pre-kindergarten through eighth grade. She received her master of arts in counseling in May.

Theodos said she chose Trinity because, “I wanted to transition from being a classroom teacher to being a counselor in the school setting and Trinity has an MA in counseling that was an appropriate fit.” She counts the many friends she made as her favorite memories of her time at Trinity.

“I really appreciated the work-friendly schedule as I completed my degree part-time. Two of my professors inspired me to narrow my focus in counseling to topics of family and loss and bereavement.”

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