An article in the New York Times on Sunday sets the stage perfectly for our annual roundup of student, faculty and alumnae achievements heading into the Commencement season. The article described how the economic downturn is causing students at “elite” universities to reconsider their once-strong desire to pursue careers in financial institutions. In recent years, according to the writer, about 40% of Harvard undergraduates went into finance or consulting. Now they’re wondering what to do. Some are actually turning to …. wonder of wonders… Public Service!!
Guess what? Trinity students and graduates are well ahead of the pack when it comes to choosing careers in the public service not as an alternative to diminishing private sector jobs, but rather, as a preferrred choice for their life’s work. Trinity’s historic institutional ethic of promoting the value of service and leadership in the larger community has encouraged thousands of alumnae over the years to choose careers that, while far from financially lucrative, have been immensely rewarding for our graduates and society.
Over the next several weeks I will highlight Trinity achievements on this blog and other Trinity publications will also share these important stories with our larger community of graduates and friends throughout the world. The commitments that our students and graduates make each day are a tremendous credit to the continuing importance of Trinity’s mission to our world. Thanks to each achiever for reaffirming Trinity’s values!
Trinity Achiever: Fulbright Scholar Brigid Otieno ’09!
Brigid has appeared previously in the lineup of student achievers. Last year she won a spot in the highly competitive Rangel Summer Program for International Affairs at Howard University, and she has been an Intelligence Scholar.
Now, with her achievement of a Fulbright Scholarship to teach English in South Korea, Brigid takes the idea of Trinity achievement in the public service to a whole new level. She writes this about her Fulbright:
“I am very excited to be awarded the prestigious Fulbright scholarship to teach English in South Korea. I will leave for South Korea on July 3 and return to the United States in July 2010. Once in Korea, I will join other English Teaching Assistants from across America and undergo an intensive six-week training course to learn about the South Korean school system, teaching English as a foreign language in addition to learning the Korean language at Kangwon National University in the provincial capital of Chuncheon. Here I will find out where I will spend the rest of my Fulbright year teaching conversation English and American culture to either middle or high school students as well as living with a Korean family. …
“Although I’ve done quite a bit of traveling, I wanted to explore a part of the world that I am very unfamiliar with that being East Asia so I chose South Korea out of many other countries that offered programs for teaching assistants. I had originally planned to attend graduate school immediately after my graduation from Trinity, but as an avid traveler, I felt like I needed a challenge and a change so I could learn more about myself. I love languages and connecting with people and this grant offers the perfect opportunity to do both.
“Although I do not speak Korean nor do I have ties to Asia, I am very eager to learn the language and live in a culture so very different from my own. As an International Affairs major here at Trinity, I am very much interested in grasping an Asian perspective of the world. I am nervous, enthusiastic, apprehensive, anxious, excited, but I can’t wait to begin my adventure. After I complete my grant year in Korea, I plan to pursue a graduate or a law degree. I ultimately want a career in the United States Foreign Service and this grant will enhance my opportunities for the future.
“I also want to thank all my professors and those who advised my throughout the application process especially Dr. Rampolla, Dr. Farnsworth, Dr. Parsons and Dr. Maguire and Dr. McGinnis.”
Congratulations, Brigid! Watch this blog for additional news about Trinity’s remarkable student achievers!