Sr. Seton Cunneen, SND, ’65 has a huge fan club all over the world. Trinity Alumna (now celebrating her Golden Jubilee at the 2015 Reunion!), former Campus Minister at Trinity, Director of Christian Service Activities at Gonzaga College High School for two decades, Sr. Seton has inspired thousands of young women and men to pursue lives of service in the far corners of the city, nation and world. During her years as Campus Minister at Trinity, Sr. Seton established the first Alternative Spring Break with the annual journey to the Farmworker Ministry in Apopka Florida where Trinity students had the opportunity to learn about farmworker issues, work in the fields and discuss policy issues on immigration and the treatment of migrant workers.
(Sr. Seton with one of the first groups to go to Apopka, 1987)
At Trinity today, Sr. Seton is well known by the name of a prestigious fellowship program that bears her name: for two decades, the Sister Seton Cunneen Fellowship Program has made it possible for well-qualified students to spend summers working in service ministries that exemplify the commitment of Sr. Seton and the Sisters of Notre Dame to social justice.
(Sr. Seton in 2007 with Cunneen Fellows and then-Campus Minister Barbara McCrabb. Read the essay of Chrissy Palmer ’08, center, on “What It Means to be a Sr. Seton Cunneen Fellow”)
Established in 1997 by the Maurice Robinson Fund with long ties to Trinity and to Sr. Seton — Maurice Robinson, the founder of the Scholastic Press, was the husband of Trinity Alumna Florence Robinson, Class of 1930, and their daughter Florence Robinson Ford is also Sr. Seton’s classmate in the Class of 1965 — the fellowship provides stipends to support the summer work of students who are chosen in a competitive process. Many talented students have had life-changing experiences through the Cunneen Fellows program.
The 2015 Cunneen Fellows will carry on the grand tradition of service and commitment to social justice:
- Angalise Henry Brinkley , a nursing major, will be working for Grubbs NW Specialty Pharmacy, the oldest pharmacy in Washington, D.C. She will work specifically in two methadone clinics, where she will screen the clients’ levels of access to Hepatitis C medication through their insurance. She will provide awareness and outreach to these patients at little or no cost, procure needed referrals to agencies and assistance from D.C. Medicaid, and counsel the clients. She will learn about infectious diseases and the medications to treat them. She will represent her patients at D.C. Medicaid meetings. This internship blends her social work background, her work in medicine, and her strong drive to save lives and bring hope and meaning to those she serves.
- Lauren Carrie Cush is a rising sophomore and a Shannon scholar business major with an emphasis on global business and international affairs (with a minor in economics) has a strong record of leadership in volunteerism beginning in high school. Her fellowship work with Hearts to Nourish Hope, will be located in her hometown, Atlanta, Georgia. This non-profit organization offers innovative programming, community collaboration, and essential services to children, young people, and families in the Metro-Atlanta area. In doing so, it empowers and inspires its participants to develop their talents and skills in building careers– learning about entrepreneurship and imbibing the culture of caring and hope, as the name of the non-profit implies. The center has inspired Ms. Cush, who states that it actively embodies the vision she has for her own ideal non-profit, in her words, “to create a space where teens and members of the community feel empowered and safe as well as inspired to enhance their own potential.”
- Paige Telesford is a rising junior whose leadership abilities and oratory talent are well known to Trinity Washington University. Her fellowship will be with LIFT-DC, whose mission is to help community members achieve economic stability and well-being in areas of job security, safe and stable housing, government resources, and childcare and healthcare, among other needs. During her summer internship, Ms. Telesford will support day-to-day operations and community development, as well as writing analytical reports on the program and her growth within it. She will also work one-on-one with clients. She will be trained extensively in accessing resources in the District of Columbia, knowledge that will give her tools in her future career of social service.
Congratulations to the Cunneen Fellows for 2015!