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Trinity Magazine 2011 | Meet Eight Recent Graduates

Morgan Kellman

College of Arts and Sciences

Morgan Kellman '11

Morgan Kellman '11

Morgan Kellman’s goal after graduation this May was to “take time to make a difference,” and Trinity’s emphasis on community service reinforced this mindset for her. She said, “I learned so much at Trinity, from Supreme Court statutes to the art of being confident to the need to give back to the community in any way possible.” Working with Teach for America, Kellman will spend the next two years in San Antonio, Texas. “Teach for America was a chance for me to be a part of something larger than myself, and work toward equitable education for all students.”

Kellman earned her bachelor of arts in political science, was elected to Phi Beta Kappa and graduated summa cum laude in May. She reflected on the passion that all of her professors at Trinity had for learning, and for their students. “This enthusiasm is contagious, and is also one of the many reasons why I want to teach,” she said. “I’ve had some of the most amazing educators at Trinity, and I hope that I will be able to have a similar impact in the lives of my students.”

One of Kellman’s favorite memories of Trinity was the Well Sing during her freshman year. “It was one of the first traditions that we participated in with other classes, and it was so amazing to share that experience knowing that hundreds of other Trinity women participated in the same event over the years, ” she said. “The Trinity traditions became some of my most favorite memories of every year.” She credits her professors with motivating her to think critically and not accepting anything less than her best. “My professors were such amazing advisors; I cannot imagine my experience without their advice and guidance,” she said.

She ended with the parting thought, “I had the opportunity to be a part of anything and everything that interested me, and I am thankful to Trinity for that privilege. I have met some of the most amazing friends and mentors, had internships and attended events around Washington, and had academic experiences that could rival any other college.”

Alisha Strother

College of Arts and Sciences

Alisha Strother ’11

Alisha Strother ’11

Alisha Strother ’11 earned her bachelor of arts in English in May, graduating magna cum laude. She was elected to Phi Beta Kappa and was awarded the Mary Boyle McCrory ’22 Award for Excellence in Writing. Though she originally planned to go to graduate school for creative writing or English, Strother credits Trinity with building her confidence and encouraging her to “do what I love regardless of what other people think.” She is taking a year off before going to graduate school in order to pay her own way through her master’s in library science. She has a passion for books and writing, and her favorite memories at Trinity were poetry and literary events, including the “Speakin’ It Real” spoken poetry event held each semester.

She currently works in Trinity’s Office of Admissions, a job suggested to her by Margy Brooks Reagan ’78, Trinity’s director of alumnae affairs. “Ms. Reagan thought my interest to become a librarian was so fascinating she spoke with the director of admissions to get me a job working this position. Ms. Reagan believed that it would help me become more familiar with databases, which it has.”

Strother fell in love with Trinity while she was a student here. “The people here are so warm and friendly and the friends that I have made are priceless,” she said. “Trinity has taught me so many things, inside and outside the classroom in these four years and I thank them from the bottom of my heart.”

Strother concludes with thank-yous. “I thank God for blessing me with this opportunity and guiding my through the most difficult and rewarding time of my life. I thank my father. Through it all he’s always been one of the people that can make me feel better and clear my head. I’ll always consider him a best friend.” Strother advises incoming freshmen, “Never be afraid to speak up. Your mind is amazing and you should never be afraid to express it.”

Christine Salas

School of Nursing and Health Professions

Christine Salas ’10

Christine Salas ’10

Christine Salas ’10 followed in her mother’s footsteps on December 16, 2010. Graduating with her bachelor of science in nursing, she joined her mother, Magalie Roman Salas ’74, to count herself among the ranks of alumnae. Christine Salas began her degree at Trinity with an undecided major in the College of Arts and Sciences. She credits Trinity for helping her “develop into a strong, wise and more caring individual which eventually led to my interest in the new nursing program my junior year in 2008.”

Salas said there are so many opportunities as a registered nurse that choosing one to concentrate on was initially difficult. She completed her maternity clinical as part of her degree requirements at Trinity, and worked at Sibley Hospital in D.C. in the special care nursery, caring for premature and sick babies. These experiences, combined with inspiration from Assistant Professor Katie Mancusi, led Salas to pursue a career in the maternity nursing field. In February she accepted a position at Holy Cross Hospital in Silver Spring, Maryland, and is now a labor and delivery nurse there. She said, “Labor and delivery is a demanding and growing field with the exact challenges I need.”

Among her favorite memories at Trinity were the hours she spent with fellow classmates before and after class. “We had a routine of buying egg salad sandwiches from the deli, sitting in the commuter’s lounge or library and quizzing each other. This was also the time we used to sleep every once in a while!” She also wanted to credit some professors who supported and encouraged her, particularly “Dr. Cristina Parsons, for her undying faith in me, Dr. Mary Lynn Rampolla for her kindness and positivity, and Dr. Minerva San Juan, for her humor, wit and love.”

“My advice to incoming freshmen,” continued Salas, “would be to never settle for the obvious or the norm. Try everything once! If you keep your mind and heart open, you will never go wrong. Dreams are not unreachable – they can become realities with persistence and the right attitude.”

Erin Payne

School of Nursing and Health Professions

Erin Payne ’11

Erin Payne ’11

Erin Payne ’11 dreams of becoming a nurse practitioner, specializing in women’s health in a clinical setting, and she recently completed her first educational step toward that goal. She graduated with a bachelor of science in nursing degree in May and has been accepted into the family nurse practitioner program at George Mason University, where she will start in the fall. She hopes to become “a role model, educator, and health care provider to adolescent and young adult women.” Her experiences at Trinity solidified her desire to pursue a master’s degree after she finished her bachelor’s degree.

Payne enjoyed the diversity at Trinity, along with the fact that she went through the program with many of her work colleagues. “We all became a kind of family, all working toward the same goal. It was genuinely a refreshing experience,” she said. Payne enjoyed her small classes, “which provided for a more informal, personal learning environment. We were able to learn collectively in smaller groups of our peers.”

Payne would like to thank Assistant Professor Janet-Beth Flynn for her motivational messages. As for advice to incoming freshmen, she suggests students take advantage of all that Trinity has to offer by getting involved in as many activities as possible. “Networking is key!” Payne said. “Work hard to achieve your goals. Never let anyone or anything get in the way of becoming the person you are meant to be. It may seem impossible at times, but trust me…it will all pay off in the end.”

Kristen Joy Pruski

School of Professional Studies

Kristen Joy Pruski '11

Kristen Joy Pruski '11

Kristen Joy Pruski heard about Trinity through her job as director of development at the Washington Hospital Center in northwest Washington, D.C. She would like to thank Associate Dean Kelley Wood, the first person she met at Trinity, who helped her navigate throughout her entire Trinity experience, as well as the many professors that she worked with. She enjoyed the small community feeling of Trinity and taking classes with some of her coworkers from Washington Hospital Center.

She has worked as a professional fundraiser and event planner for six years. Though she was one of the youngest people internationally to earn the professional certification Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE), she came to Trinity to gain more experience and skills related to her job. She hopes that her education will help her to assume greater responsibility and have increased confidence in the workplace.

Pruski graduated in May with a master of science in administration with a concentration in nonprofit management. Her goal after graduation is to continue to work as a professional fundraiser in nonprofits and eventually assume greater leadership roles. Pruski enjoyed her classes at Trinity, especially her classes related to nonprofit management. She enjoyed classes taught by Caryn Hines where they explored resource development and strategic planning, as well as grant writing.

She has fond memories of her graduation day where she enjoyed the energy, the excitement and success the graduates and everyone experienced. She enjoyed having her husband and family there to celebrate her achievement. As far as advice for incoming freshmen, Pruski said, “My dad gave me this great advice when I was a freshman: Treat school like a job – work hard from nine to five and you will find that you still have a lot of time to enjoy your new independent life.”

Bret Cameron

School of Professional Studies

Bret Cameron ’11

Bret Cameron ’11

Bret Cameron ’11 has worked in human resources at the Washington Hospital Center for more than a decade. He is currently the learning consultant in the Center for Innovative Learning, and he graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor of arts in human relations in May. After taking a year off, he hopes to pursue his master’s in communication, an idea that was reinforced by his experiences completing his bachelor’s at Trinity.

“It has been amazing,” Cameron responded when asked about how his education will relate to his post-graduate career. “I’ve had interest from other departments at work now that I’ve finished my degree,” and though he does not know what the future holds, the degree “has definitely given me more confidence.”

His experience at Trinity was a positive one. “I’m still encouraging employees who are looking for a good education to think about Trinity. We have a number of employees at Washington Hospital Center who have graduated or will graduate soon.”

Cameron advises incoming freshmen to get to know their advisors and work closely with them to ensure they are on the right track. Also, keep an open mind, as you’ll meet great classmates. “You never know who is going to help you when you need it and having a bond with your classmates gives you a great support system.”

In addition to thanking his classmates, who always helped each other, Cameron “would like to thank my teacher April Davis, who helped me improve my writing skills and encouraged me every step of the way.”

When asked about his time at Trinity, Cameron said, “My favorite memory would be graduation day. It felt really special, having my family and friends there to cheer me on, sitting with the other students who have become friends and feeling that ‘I really did it!’ feeling.”

Stacy Kecia Richards

School of Education

Stacy Richards ’11

Stacy Richards ’11

Stacy Richards ’11 earned her master of arts in teaching with a concentration in special education through Trinity’s School of Education. She is currently a private tutor to adolescent students at risk, or with disabilities, in the Washington, D.C., and New York City areas because she has “always had a desire to tutor and mentor students on a one-on-one basis because they are not competing for my time or attention.” She is also volunteering and pursuing job opportunities in the special education field.

Richards recalls her orientation where incoming graduate students were advised, “that in order to successfully complete the program, it would be wise for us work cooperatively. I had the pleasure of meeting not only awesome colleagues, but also dedicated professors.” When asked who she wanted to thank for her successful graduation at Trinity, Richards remarked that her teacher Jill Steinberg was perhaps her most memorable professor. “Her poise as a professional earned her the respect of her students. She also challenged me as a writer because she actively read and critiqued all papers.”

While at Trinity, Richards was privileged to be a part of the 2011 National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education site visit where she was a student presenter. She also received the prestigious Ann Crook Coluzzi ’53 Award for Teacher Interns for demonstrating academic excellence, ethics, communication skills and professional performance.

Reflecting on her faith, Richards said, “Before, during, and after each observation, presentation, and paper, I drew on the wisdom, knowledge, understanding, and quick wit of Jehovah God. It made the greatest difference knowing that my God inspired my success.”

Raleigh Harsley, III

School of Education

Raleigh Harsley ’11

Raleigh Harsley ’11

Raleigh Harsley ’11 came to Trinity with a lofty goal in mind – to become an assistant principal within three years after graduation. His newly earned master of science in administration degree, with a concentration in educational administration, will be key to moving from his current position in vocal and general music education to a principal position. Harsley credits his appointment as a mentor and as a member of the curriculum development team to his coursework in leadership and curriculum development at Trinity.

For his successful completion of the degree, Harsley would like to thank his wife, Bianca, and his children India and Braxton, “for their unwavering support throughout the last two years. We made it, guys!” Additionally, he wants to thank his mother for her faith in him and for her time spent with his children while he was in class. “I would also like to thank Dr. Gladys Williams for her guidance, mentorship, instruction and wise counsel throughout this process,” he said.

For advice for current college students, Harsley has many suggestions. Study hard by whatever method you find most effective. Share your skills with other classmates and let them help you when needed. Make the most of your internship. Be professional at all times, with professors and fellow students. Keep all of your projects well organized as this will help with your final project. Lastly, maintain an activity that you enjoy while you work toward your degree as a way to manage stress.

Harsley concluded, “Without the Bible as my guide, my walk as a Christian becomes cloudy and difficult. The different roles such as husband, father, teacher, mentor, coach and student become mere challenges and burdens as opposed to the blessings of God that they should be considered. I think my faith helped me to keep everything in the proper perspective while at Trinity and I am grateful that Trinity is an environment that promotes a faith-based value system.”

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