College of Arts and Sciences
Tina Pryce graduated cum laude with a bachelor of arts in English, was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa, and was awarded both the Mary Boyle McCrory ’22 Award for Excellence in Writing and the Special Service award. She will be attending the University of Maryland University College in the fall, where she will pursue her master of arts in education and technology. In addition, she has had interviews at local businesses and is writing a book she plans to publish – one of many books she hopes to write.
Pryce is going into the education field because of her involvement tutoring underserved youth in the Heads Up organization as part of her AmeriCorps experience, a position made possible with the help of recommendations of her Trinity professors. Pryce said, “During my freshman and sophomore years at Trinity, this experience with children had a profound effect on my life. Though it was my job to educate the students, it felt as if they were teaching me.” She also loves reading, and believes that, “my love for literature and writing will have a profound effect on the students that I meet.”
Choosing a favorite memory of Trinity is impossible for Pryce. Among many, she recounts, “the first day that I moved on campus: the smell in the air, my roommate, and the sound of Dean Meechie’s voice giving us pearls of wisdom to survive college. My first day on campus was like magic knowing that I had arrived at the start of my collegiate journey.”
For advice to incoming freshman, Pryce said, “Know that college is like a winter’s breeze. Yes, it is cold, but the chill does not last but for a moment. Cherish the cool air because the memory of that chill will bring you solace in the heat of life. Indeed, college is like a season lasting for a short time – work hard and accomplish all that you can before it ends.”
College of Arts and Sciences
Vanessa Fontana graduated summa cum laude from Trinity’s international affairs program with a minor in economics and was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa and Phi Alpha Theta history honor society, as well as being awarded the T Pin. She said her “time at Trinity prepared me to excitedly enter the workforce. I am ready to use the education I have gained at Trinity and feel equipped to succeed in many fields.” She is looking forward to a career in international affairs working for a government agency, private firm, or non-governmental organization.
Fontana’s favorite memory at Trinity was, “participating in the international affairs senior seminar. Dr. Susan Farnsworth chose fantastic literature and provided a great learning environment that was conducive to our daily (and sometimes heated) debates and discussion. The classmates formed a close bond and friendship which enabled us to support and encourage, as well as constructively critique, each other. It was a great class!”
She attributes her fast-growing interest in economics to Dr. Cristina Parsons, even though the economics courses were the hardest she has ever taken. “I was challenged in a way that left me wanting more, which I believe is a true sign of a great course,” said Fontana. “As I look for jobs I find myself searching for positions where I can utilize both my passion for international affairs but also incorporate my attraction to economics, something I would not have thought I would be doing before my experiences at Trinity.”
As advice for freshman, Fontana said, “I would tell the freshman to let their fears serve as motivation to do well. If you feel intimated or overwhelmed, use those fears to motivate you to prove to yourself that you can do it, because you can! You can succeed in college if and only if you believe in yourself. Use your Trinity community for support, and never be afraid to ask questions or for help, there is always someone who is willing to listen and lend a hand.”
Glenda Bernice Smith
School of Professional Studies
Glenda Bernice Smith is a graduate of Trinity’s program at THEARC (Town Hall Education Arts & Recreation Campus) with an associate’s degree in general studies, and then earned a bachelor’s degree, cum laude, with a double major in communication and human relations in December. She is a member of the psychology honor society Psi Chi and the communication honor society Lambda Pi Eta.
She is now enrolled in Trinity’s master of science in administration program with a concentration in organizational development. After graduating with her MSA, she will pursue a dual degree program earning a JD and PhD; the PhD will focus on organizational behavior, and she intends to practice law in the human rights, equal employment opportunity and consumer protection field. Smith credits her love for people as her inspiration to become an advocate for human rights and fairness in society.
“Trinity provided a foundation that is filled with vision, values, and that fostered goodwill and charity,” said Smith. She said the academic experience and theoretical concepts she gained through Trinity’s institutional values had a positive influence on her professional life. “My Trinity education has prepared me to aim higher and to place myself into a leadership position that will have a great and lasting impact on humanity,” she said.
“My favorite memory of Trinity was encountering many committed, inspiring, and supportive professors and students. The professors of this institution are by far the most astounding and professional instructors that any university could have,” said Smith. She credits her successful graduation to the support of her grandmother, parents and children who gave her strength, encouragement and inspiration “to strive hard towards success.”
Smith said she, “will always cherish President McGuire and her undying tenacity and love for Trinity and her students. She is one of the most positive and exemplary leaders that I had ever been blessed to meet.” Smith advises freshman to arrive at Trinity prepared to work hard, keep positive goals, and aim high. “The work is never too easy or hard if one possesses a positive attitude, great level of commitment and love to learn and work diligently.”
School of Professional Studies
Amani Council hopes to use her ten-plus years of public policy work with her new master of science in administration in organizational development to move into a new position as a trainer and development consultant for the federal government. Council decided to get her MSA when the shift in the real estate market left her with free time in her real estate business, which she hopes to continue to cultivate.
Council credits Trinity with helping her with direction and career counseling. She met with Dean Telaekah Brooks to help guide her on the best way to use her degree, and she expects to find the perfect position by the end of the summer. Council also enjoys the many contacts she made with fellow students while at Trinity, and continues to keep in touch with many of them after graduation. She wishes to thank everyone who shared, “the journey of 70-plus papers, 15-plus presentations, sleepless nights, and many trips to Dunkin’ Donuts,” for helping her get through to graduation.
Council’s favorite memory of Trinity was surprising Assistant Professor Stanley Nwoji with cupcakes, candy and balloons on his birthday, thanks to the help of a few classmates. She also reflects on the bittersweet emotional glee of defending her thesis before her classmates.
Council wasn’t prepared for the mixed emotions from graduating. She said, “Once I submitted my thesis, I realized there was so much to celebrate. The accomplishment of my journey and those of my classmates who worked extremely hard to get to this point – the sacrifices made were worth the pomp and circumstance.”
School of Education
Dwannal McGahee completed his master of arts in teaching in December 2009, and began working on his doctorate degree at George Mason University in January of this year. His PhD specializes in special education with a secondary emphasis in education policy. He credits a Trinity professor, Dr. Amy Brereton, with inspiring him to pursue his studies beyond the MAT that he already earned. “The master of arts in teaching program definitely prepared me for the rigor of a PhD program,” he said. “Performing well in the research in education course at Trinity was probably the defining moment when I realized that I could pursue studies beyond the MAT degree.”
McGahee said that his Trinity education prepared him both personally and professionally to pursue his PhD. “As an adoptive parent of three boys with special needs, the program prepared me to be a stronger advocate for my children. As a secondary education teacher, I am better prepared to support the students that I teach who have learning differences.”
In addition to Brereton, McGahee thanks his professors, Dr. Roberta Dorr and Dr. Eirini Gouleta, “for their confidence in me, their support and words of encouragement.” When asked about his favorite memory of Trinity, he said, “The crowning moment for me was graduation day when I received the Ann Crook Coluzzi ’53 Award for Teacher Interns. It was great being able to share that moment with my family.”
His career goal is to become a college professor and to found a nonprofit to advocate for children with disabilities. For new students, McGahee said, “My advice to incoming freshmen would be to commit to lifelong learning and follow your passion!”
School of Education
Aneesah Saleem earned a master of arts in teaching with a concentration in early childhood education in December, 2009. As a product of the D.C. Public Schools, Saleem wants to give back to the community that educated her by becoming a teacher in the DCPS. “The education I received at Trinity provided me with the tools I needed to secure this position as well as the preparation needed to be effective at it,” said Saleem.
When asked about her favorite memory of Trinity, Saleem recalled, “My favorite memory of Trinity actually took place before I became a student. I decided to attend an information session that Trinity provides to people who are interested in attending the university. I was prepared to sit in a room full of people and listen to someone speak to us about all that Trinity has to offer, but to my surprise, each person who attended was able to sit one-on-one with a professor and have an intimate conversation regarding the university.” She met Dr. Roberta Dorr at that session, who was later the professor of one of Saleem’s last, but favorite, classes at Trinity. “So, I like to think that I started and ended my Trinity experience with Dr. Dorr,” said Saleem.
In her advice for new students, Saleem said, “enjoy and take notes from the total experience, including the smooth and tough times, because it is all a part of the preparation for life after Trinity.” Saleem also wishes to thank the following people for her successful graduation: her parents, her family, her friends (especially Amatullah, Okera, Muneera, Wilma-Lynn, and Sara), her professors (especially Dr. Amy Brereton), and her fellow classmates who were a great support system.