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  • Black. Lives. Matter.

    May 31, 2020

    (photo credit)

    “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

    It’s long past time for Americans to stand up and be counted.  Which side of the arc of the moral universe do you stand on?  Are you on the side that claims justice as a private good available to those who can afford it, or a perk of privilege reserved for people of a certain skin color or ethnicity, or a show of power reinforced at the end of a gun?  Or do you stand for the true moral meaning of justice as what we owe in equal measure to all of our fellow human beings because of the gift of life that God has given to each one of us?

    Outrage and pain course across America today, sparked by yet another murder of a Black man by a police officer.  The name of George Floyd now joins the long and incomprehensibly sorrowful litany of names:  Eric Garner, Michael Brown, Philando Castile, Tamir Rice, Freddie Gray, so many others documented in this NPR story.  Our hearts and prayers go out to the families and all who are suffering so much pain and sorrow.  But such expressions are meaningless if we do not put the power of our advocacy, our vote, our voice into the demands for permanent change.

    If we stand for justice, we must say without hesitation:  Black Lives Matter!

    America is in flames once again because of the lawless, murderous misconduct of too many police officers assaulting and killing African Americans in numbers that are shocking.  A Washington Post story documents the disproportionate impact of police shootings on Black persons:

    “Who will police the police” is one of the oldest political and philosophical questions.  Plato had an ideal in mind when he imbued the Philosopher King with the wisdom of knowledge and perspective sufficient to govern the Republic.  But America has deeply flawed human beings in charge, and at present, a leader that seems remarkably ignorant of any study in philosophy, sociology, psychology, politics or fundamental moral conduct.  Yes, there are many forces at work with long roots in this nation’s racial tragedy, and some truly nefarious agents of disruption, chaos and exploitation are working hard to keep the chaos going since chaos is a political tool for authoritarian control.

    But one person above all others is responsible for the climate that has sparked our latest agony.

    The current president of the United States has spent years encouraging the climate of white supremacy and police brutality that undergird the latest crisis.  His crude and brutal language — “thugs,” “when looting starts, the shooting starts” — telegraphs a mindset that is aggressively authoritarian, clearly racist in its meaning, disinterested in the underlying causes of protests and violence, insensitive to the suffering and rage of people who suffer the poverty, police brutality and marginalization of centuries of racial oppression.  The policies this administration has implemented toward immigrants, mostly Black and Brown people, enshrine a level of contempt and hostility toward non-white people that should shock the conscience of every sentient person.  Sadly, however, the president’s “base” seems filled with individuals who are easily duped into the belief that his strong-man tactics and disgraceful rhetoric of contempt are indicia of leadership.  They are not.

    A president who has read any history would know that racism is America’s Original Sin; that the evil of 1619, the year that white people first brought slaves to American shores, continues to have a profound impact on our society today.  The Founders of this nation knew full well that slavery was an amoral abomination, but their romance with the almighty dollar meant that the people revered as American heroes — George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, so many others — made a pact with evil, refusing to abolish slavery even though they thought about it, and making a cynical compromise with the southern states to get them to join the union by counting three fifths of the slave population for apportionment purposes.

    A president with any moral sensibility would know that egregious acts of racial violence by the police demand swift and certain condemnation and immediate action to punish those responsible for the brutality.

    A president with any leadership ability would have the wisdom and rhetorical capacity to speak with empathy to the nation, the ability to embody the sorrow and rage that others express, the capacity to persuade people that violence is not an effective response to violence, the credibility to get those who are enraged to follow him to a place a greater safety and harmony where dialogue that leads to healing and peace can occur.

    The current president has no such capacity.  He seems to have no advisors who can help him at least convey some semblance of understanding of the profound anger and rage in the body politic of the nation.  He seems, at best, unaware of the grave danger of further social fragmentation and ongoing violence.

    If the current president had read any political philosophy, he would be familiar with John Locke’s famous Second Treatise On Government in which the political philosopher described the conditions for political revolution:

    “…revolutions happen not upon every little mismanagement in public affairs. Great mistakes in the ruling part, many wrong and inconvenient laws, and all the slips of human frailty will be borne by the people without mutiny or murmur. But if a long train of abuses, prevarications, and artifices, all tending the same way, make the design visible to the people, and they cannot but feel what they lie under, and see whither they are going, it is not to be wondered that they should then rouse themselves, and endeavor to put the rule into such hands which may secure to them the end for which government was at first erected..”

    Some people are worried that we are experiencing a Second Civil War.  Let’s hope not.  Instead, perhaps the best we can work to achieve is a Second American Revolution to rebuild our nation on the right side of the arc of the moral universe, closer to the ideal of justice for all.  We must start by making sure that this nation installs new leadership with the moral capacity to bend the arc of the moral universe more swiftly and surely toward the justice we seek.

    Some things I’ve written about racism previously:

    How Higher Education Can Atone for Its Long History of Racism
    Chronicle of Higher Education, July 2019


    Justice Denied in Ferguson, MO, September 2014

    Charlottesville: American Tragedy Redux, August 2017

    Racism and Catholic Imperatives, November 2017

    Saying the Unspeakable, January 2018

    Raging Against the Dying Light, August 2019

    Continue reading →

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    Voices of the Historic Red Class of 2020: Triumphant Graduates!

    May 6, 2020

    We invited Trinity alumnae to send letters of congratulation to the Red Class of 2020 — they responded with enthusiasm, watch this video to read the letters (feel free to pause on each if you need more time to read them!)….  Thank you, alumnae, especially all Red Class alums!


    Across history from this year forward, the Class of 2020 will be legendary.  In every school, college and university around the globe, this is the class that learned the hard lessons of a global pandemic; this is the class that had their lives thrown into complete disruption when Covid-19 forced schools everywhere to stop, pivot, and switch to alternative instructional modes.  The Class of 2020 suffered the loss of rituals and traditions, the final parties, senior games, and postponement of the biggest ceremony of all, commencement.

    But, true to form, Trinity students rise to the occasion!  The Red Class of 2020 at Trinity — red was the color of our very first class, the Class of 1904, so there is a historic parallel on pathbreaking here — this class has not wasted time bemoaning the fate that befell them.  Instead, in so many ways, the Trinity Class of 2020 confronted the setbacks, learned to adapt, looked outward to a world they are eager to serve, and continued their determined march toward degrees that they cherish.  Many are the first in their families to attend college, earn degrees, look forward to professional careers.  They were not about to let coronavirus stop them.  They persisted, showing great fortitude and courage as they learned to Zoom and work on projects virtually and complete their degree requirements with an amazing array of technology tools.

    In the paragraphs below, in their own words, Trinity’s Class of 2020 are telling their stories.  They are following in the footsteps of the many brave women and men who came before them.  They are trailblazers in their own right, and they deserve our respect, admiration and loud cheers for their achievements.

    CONGRATULATIONS, TRINITY REDS OF 2020!   I will keep adding their stories through the end of May….

    Youssra Khalil, CAS, B.A. Communication

    At the age of eleven, I moved to the United States in 2007, with my mother and two brothers. My mother gave up her career and believed that we deserved better educational and life filling opportunities. Immigrating to the United States at the age of eleven from a place with different cultural expectations was complicated and challenging. Every morning when I left home to attend school, I became acutely aware of the fact that my elementary school lacked diversity. Unfortunately, this lack of exposure to other races and cultures led my schoolmates to bully me daily for being the outcast Egyptian girl who lacked an understanding of the English language. Despite these struggles, being in the United States has allowed me to change my outlook on life and become somebody I never thought possible.

    Now, I am a twenty-three-year-old woman, gifted with the ability to speak three languages fluently, and recently completed my Bachelor of Arts Degree in Communication, at Trinity Washington University, an amazing 122-year-old women’s college founded by the Sisters of Notre Dame De Namur. I am thriving at this moment, encouraged by those women who have come before me. I have found a new passion for learning, and for once, I am seeking personal development for my own sake.

    To everyone I met through this undergrad journey, I want to say thank you for making me a better person and being there for me when I thought I couldn’t do it. To my professors, thank you for believing in me and challenging me to be an awesome scholar/person.

    To ma, I did it for you and me.

    Don’t let anyone ever tell you that you’re incapable of pursuing a higher degree. Class of 2020, we did it!

    Daniela Vargas, CAS, B.A Health Services

    I came to Trinity because I was given a huge opportunity to continue my education. I knew this was my once in a lifetime opportunity to excel and conquer not only for myself, but also for my family. I also understood that I was given this chance because people advocated for my release from ICE detention and I knew then that this degree wasn’t just for me, it was for every single individual that took a stand on my behalf because they believed in my dream.  While at Trinity, I learned to always think bigger and bolder. I learned to become a leader by becoming CAA (Campus Activities Association) President alongside a great Vice President, Sam Murillo. Here, I was also able to discover my strength by being a teammate on the Trinity Basketball team. I overcame many obstacles while being here including my family’s deportation, but I was constantly surrounded by faculty and staff that supported us in every way possible. Trinity found many ways to heal my heart and push me to my fullest potential. I found many reasons to smile and enjoy my time on campus and this is why I enjoyed being our mascot “Tina the Tiger” on student acceptance days. I am immensely grateful for everyone that supported my dream and stood by me during this long process.

    “Cuando me vean volar recuerden que ustedes me pintaron las alas” “When you see me fly, remember that you’ve painted my wings.”

    Arthur Stewart, SPS at THEARC, A.A. General Studies

    I am a proud graduate of Trinity at THEARC, School of Professional Studies. I started my journey at Trinity in 2017 as a 56 year old freshman returning to college after 30 years to continue my studies and obtain my degree to be the first in my family to do so. I am so very proud of this accomplishment and very thankful to Trinity Washington University for establishing THEARC to give residents east of the river a more equitable and much needed opportunity to further our education.


    Vanessa Ramirez, CAS B.A. Psychology, Minor in Women’s Studies, Soccer Captain

    I started Trinity in Fall 2016 as the shy, quiet soccer player who always kept to herself. Before heading into Trinity, I would always think to myself “focus on soccer, focus on your academics and that’s it”. Never in a million years did I think I would have had the opportunities Trinity presented to me.

    My freshman year I was welcomed in by the loving soccer team. A team where I was shown love and support from my teammates and the coaching staff. Everyone pushed me to be the best I can, to thrive just like they have. My first year was a big turning point in my college career, it opened my eyes to be the best I can be. My second year, I started to make a change. I became the starting goal keeper for the Trinity Soccer Team, I started working in the Office of Admissions at Trinity, and I gained many friends, but I also found my soulmate. That year, I was awarded the Tiger Award for my dedication to the Soccer team and I knew from there that things would only get better, there would be more opportunities to come. Junior year started, and I knew that I would push myself even harder. I was given the opportunity to be one of the three captains of the Trinity Soccer Team. I declared a minor in Women Studies and I also spent my Practicum at Early Childhood Public Charter School where I was a teacher assistant for Pre-K. You think Practicum means going to the site, doing what you need to do, then finishing the semester. No, not for me. At the end of my Practicum, I was offered a job that would be available for me once I graduate. Senior year came, and I realized it was about to end. I worked hard in the Office of Admissions that I was able to start working with the Data Operations team, I helped recruit players for the soccer team, and I made friends that would be friends for life. Now I am set to graduate in May 2020.

    Trinity changed my life. I was exposed to experiences that I can carry with my forever. Trinity brought me out of my shell and I have many to thank for that. The athletic department and head coach Jason, you all believed in me and that allowed me to believe in myself. My professors who challenged me knowing I would be able to complete the work. President McGuire who supported the soccer team by coming to every home game. My family who allowed me to achieve the goal of attending a university. My friends who were with me every step of the way and exposed me to many new things. And last but certainly not least, my girlfriend Gaby, a Trinity Alum, who pushed me and motivated me to finish my time at Trinity strong.

    Thank you Trinity for all that you’ve done for me. I am forever grateful, and I am proud to call myself a Trinity Tiger for life.

    Irika J. Ford, SPS B.A. Human Relations

    I began my journey at Trinity sixteen years ago in the fall of 2004. I lived on campus in Kerby Hall and have meet some of the most amazing people. After, I would go on to complete my sophomore year I left school to take a year break. That year turned into a ten-year sabbatical in the wilderness, where I had to endure some of life’s hardships. During, that time frame I lost my dad to heart failure in 2011 and then my best friend and her mom to a car crash the year after. In addition, I was not satisfied with the occupation I had presumed at the time as a childcare provider.

    I wanted more so within than time frame of enduring some of life’s hardships and being dissatisfied with my current position I enrolled back into Trinity in the fall of 2016. I was determined to turn my lost and regret into power and satisfaction. After, enrolling back into school I put in the work and sacrificed my weeknights (after work) and weekends to make it happen. Trinity has provided the safest and most secure academic experience for me. Also, this is a historic accomplishment not just for me but for my family. I will be the second in my immediate family to receive a degree in higher education. If I had to start my journey in higher education all over again Trinity would be my first choice! I would like to thank every professor and academic advisor that believed in me and supported me along the way. Farewell, Trinity it has been a wonderful journey!!!


    Lori  P. Hatten, CAS B.A. Health Services

    Trinity has shaped and molded me into the woman I am today. I owe this degree to God first for always providing, my family second for the love and support, and lastly myself I have worked so hard for this moment! In 2016, I made the decision to go back to school later in life. I remember being full of emotions, scared, excited, and anxious. The idea of having to start completely over was discouraging but I pushed through. The first two years of undergrad I struggled trying to adjust and I never took advantage of the free resources that were available to me on campus. Throughout my entire college experience God has allowed me to connect with the right people at the right time. Professor Kraft was one of those individuals, even though I never had the pleasure of being one his students he treated me as such. His willingness and dedication to teach helped me get through math and many other courses. I will forever be grateful to him along with the other professors I have built close relationships with. They pushed me beyond my measures and put my fear of doubt to rest. The last two years of my academic journey my grades started to excel. I became more and more passionate about my academics, those long nights spent in the library conducting research and utilizing the writing center was well worth this day of completion. As a CAS student being surrounded by all women and life experiences has helped me narrow down the type of work i want to pursue.

    Ann Meruh, NHP B.S. Nursing

    You find yourself in a foreign country. Yeah!! It’s United States of America, the land of opportunities. Before you settle down you get pregnant. How now? It’s called life. Besides, you’re married. Then two years later you’re divorced, with a toddler and dad is gone back to his home country. Yep, you’re now a single mum! No good job, no relatives, no green card and no more tears because they dried up due to endless overnight cries. Now what? Go back home to nothing or trust God for a better future. The latter sounds more appealing. You put your trust in the Lord and push through. You get citizenship, enroll your son to a catholic private school and start a retail job so that you can have some flexibility to go back to school. Work full time and do your prerequisites on your lunch break…because hey, you can only afford to go to school when your son is at school. You don’t have anyone to help you out. Then you overhear unhappy transfer classmates planning to go back to the college they transferred from. You inquire and research more about it, and bump! You can’t get enough of it. People try to dissuade you from going to this “expensive” college. But you’ve made up your mind, Trinity is calling your name. You enroll in nursing school with no money and a 16hr part time job. You don’t even know how you’ll manage school, work and your child. It’s called faith! Provost Ocampo shows up for you and Conway scholarship makes a great difference. You surrender to God, and let Him lead you. You focus on the goal. That comes with a price. No more sleep, socializing, working out or recreational activities. Your new normal is praying harder, a trillion assignments, quizzes, exams, papers, due dates, labs, clinicals, sleepless nights, eating and more eating and a lot of crying. You press on because you know nothing good comes easily. You have to be uncomfortable to be comfortable. Now here we are. You’re done with nursing school and accepted a job offer two months before you’re done with school. You defied the odds. You made God, your son, parents, siblings and your professors proud. Who said you’re limited? Nothing can limit you but yourself. It’s possible to do the impossible.

    Sandra Maria Lacayo, SPS, A.A. Early Childhood Education

    I came to the United States in 2006, from Nicaragua, Central America, with a dream “be successful”, and to have a better future for me and my daughters. My work with early childhood children at the Barbara Chambers Children’s Center gave me the opportunity to go Trinity College where my career began in Autumn 2017 in Associated Childhood Education; in this amazing travel and in everything that I accomplish my daughters are always my inspiration to complete my dreams, they motivate me to continue reaching my goals and to take the next step, I want to be an example always to them. It seems to me that it was yesterday that I arrived at the school, full of many doubts but with many dreams, it was a hard trip but I thank many beautiful people who crossed my path in Trinity and made my stay smoother. Today that I have finished my Associate in Early Childhood Education I feel proud of having completed my dream.

    Graduating from college is a unique experience. I feel excited because I know that good things are going to come. For all this, I thank God first, then my directors from Barbara Chambers Children’s Center and my program “TEACH” to support me and make my dreams come true.

    Fatima Pinkney, CAS B.A. Communication

    I was always taught by my father to never give up. Both my parents always wanted more for me and my brothers than what they had at our age. When I first came to Trinity in the fall of 2014 I was so nervous but excited. I had a rocky start my first few semesters … I had never been so upset and I felt like a failure. The truth was that I wasn’t because I had not yet found my place at this school. Although, I left Trinity for about a year and a half, I decided to come back and finish off strong. I got a taste of the real world and decided to remember that my degree will carry me further on in life. I am stronger than I think because I came back to Trinity to be on the Deans Lists 3 semesters in a row. Throughout my hardships, I sacrificed certain friendships & fun times to graduate this year. My professors and counselor believed in me and I could not be more grateful for them. Overall, attending Trinity has taught me that every female had the power to be great in her own way. We have to look out for each other and be each others’ shield. It’s important to fight for the future you want and not apologize for wanting more and that has made me the scholar I am today. Staying in the DMV area and attending this University was the best decision I ever made.

    Nayibi Vera-Flota, CAS B.A. Business Administration

    Although my senior year came to an end rapidly because of the coronavirus, never in a million years did my family and I think that I would be a first generation university graduate. This BA degree goes to my parents because I would not be where I am today without their continuous support. They have taught me what hard work and dedication looks like. All three years that I attended Trinity Washington University I have been in the honors program, Deans’ list, softball team, and recently I became a member of Phi Betta Kappa. I thank God for the Dream.Us, Don Graham and Trinity for believing in me. With my degree in business administration I hope to inspire many corporations to be sustainable and socially responsible.




    Fanny Lizbeth Valencia Rivera, CAS B.A. Business Administration

    I was introduced to Trinity Washington University senior year of high school. Cesar Chavez PCS Capitol Hill offered its students an opportunity to attend a local college during their senior year called HISCIP. I remember walking into a business class with Dr. Watts and was mind blown with the commitment she expected from her students. I was a little intimidated. Not by her but by what college was. My teachers in high school referred to me as college girl.  Every day I was improving in my writing and began to ask different questions than my peers. It is amazing how much you can accomplish when people believe in you. Every professor in Trinity made me feel that way. It didn’t matter where you were from. All that mattered was the effort put forth. When you decided to take me under your wing. I was scared to admit I was terrified not being good enough to be at Trinity. How would I be able to pay for school with almost no help from my parents. Sophomore year was particularly difficult with my granddad diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and uncle diagnosed with a tumor in his brain. I remember not being able to go to school for a semester. I just couldn’t get up in the morning. I forgot why I wanted to go to school. When it was time to reenroll, I remember looking at the email thinking I can’t give up.

    Fast forward senior year, I want to cry with happiness. I made it this far. It seemed so far away freshman year. Looking back, Trinity helped me become the person I am today. Educationally, my writing has improved. I can write critically, analyze a case and research information. Emotionally, I know what I can handle and how to seek help when I need it. Last semester when my grandma died. I knew Trinity had my back. I was able to pass my classes and be there for my family.

    A meaningful learning experience in my college career has been BADM 491. I intern at YMCA metropolitan office in DC. Specifically, the philanthropy department. My department partnered with Grant director Tim White to research potential donors and grants. It was a learning experience to adapt to corporate office life and unspoken norms among coworkers. For example, home cooked meals instead of outside buying. Using different databases available to corporate setting to find donors. It exposed me to what environment I would want to work for after college. I like office life, but I would want to travel to different locations. I would have encouraged following speakers on LinkedIn and setting up informational interviews earlier in my college career. It is a great way to find out about different career paths. Also, participate in speaker panels. Work with students to come up with questions to ask panel speakers and encourage field trips to events outside of Trinity relate to topic in class. I enjoyed the convention center conference we were encouraged to attend.

    After college graduation, I want start cyber computer certifications while my Air Force application is being reviewed. I have met a couple retired and active service members who are in different career paths. I plan on setting up informal interviews with them on their experience and their transition after active duty. My plan is to serve in the Air Force and attend Law School. After Law school I want to start working on human trafficking issues in the U.S. In 15-20 years work my way towards being a state judge in D.C or Maryland. In 20-30 years become a Supreme Court Judge for the United States of America.

    Shandeliha Walker, CAS B.A. Human Relations

    I’m a human relations major with a counseling cluster with a minor in education and sociology. I transferred to Trinity in 2017 after take two years off from school and becoming a mom. I choose the right school to come back to I’ve been pushed to the best version of myself.

    I transferred to Trinity in 2017 after taking two years off from school. I got pregnant with my son my sophomore of college …when I came back home I was done with school and instantly walking In sacrifice as a mom! I was working and he was happy and healthy. I wasn’t satisfied I wanted to finish what I started so that he never has a thought of he’s the reason I didn’t. Stepping into Trinity was a transition academically they are much harder than the HBCU I attended. With dedication , commitment to studying outside of class, all the right support from my family and the new union of my Trinity sisters I was well on my way. Attending this school has shaped me and matured me in more ways than I can imagine. I can confidently say I’m ready for the next chapter and I know I’ll forever have Trinity behind me. I’m finally done with my degree and I lot of people felt puzzled when they hear my major. Humans relations with a counseling cluster. I also had sociology and education as my minor. I don’t want to be limited and I have the right educational background to succeed in all I want to do. I plan on being a certified peer specialist in the DMV area and being a resource to the place I came from, Trinity Washington University has given me the tools.

    Johnathan Weech, EDU M.S.A. Educational Administration

    I am a graduate of Virginia Union University. I became a High School Social Studies Teacher after majoring in History/Political Science. Enrolling into the Trinity’s Educational Administration program has been a long journey, I am in the fourth Administration Cohort while also being one out five black males that are in the program. So far in the Administration program, I have completed 28 graduate credits in which you need 36 credits to graduate. While attending graduate school and interning at Paul Laurence Dunbar High School, I am living in a single home in Prince George’s County, Maryland with my father, mother, and younger brother.

    Academically, I am interested in writing, specifically poems and raps. Outside of school, I am deeply into drawing, art, music, and spending numerous amounts of time going to the local studios in Maryland to record educational mixtapes for my former students. In the field of Education I would like my career to revolve around influencing and writing, which I fondly call “the art of words”, I believe in the power of words to induce change personally and globally. The capacity of words to make someone happy or sad has impressed me so much.

    I dedicate myself to providing help to students as well as to professionals who are having a difficult time in their classes. I provide efficient lessons and exercises that help students develop their writing skills or even discover their hidden talents in writing. It is my vision for all people to once again appreciate the art of writing and reading. With the rapid development of technology, young people are losing this skill. It is my mission to help students slow down and truly articulate what they are trying to say.

    As I grow in the field of education, I find myself dealing with the diverse concerns of students, parents, faculty, and clients in a professional setting. This has allowed me to adept and operates with the proper mix of authority and diplomacy. I possess excellent organizational and communication skills, an outstanding work ethic, which are key components of upholding a leadership position. I have worked with children in urban and rural settings and understand the challenges they face. It is my goal to help them to reach their full potential.

    I have faced many hardships and obstacles throughout the course of my life. My most recent traumatic experience is my dad receiving news that he has prostate cancer. This event truly saddened my family, from then on I found myself in a dark space and a dark place; I did not think that I could ever bounce back. This was the second incident involving my father’s health. Seeing my father go through this situation has motivated me more to completing graduate school and receiving a Master’s degree in Educational Administration.

    The Master of Science in Administration (M.S.A.) at Trinity Washington University has prepared me for a leadership position in a school setting of my choice. The degree in Educational Administration will help me successfully lead a high school in the future. The Administration program also has helped me develop the ability to promote high student achievement through data analysis, instructional planning, consensus-building and problem-solving. I am also prepared to use assessments to facilitate instructional planning and to assist teachers in their improvement of instructional techniques through professional development. By joining this cohort program, which meets just one weekend a month for 20 months, Trinity has given me the skills and prepared me to take the School Leadership Licensure Assessment (S.L.L.A.), a requirement for all new school principals in both D.C. and Maryland.

    Shenique Reid, CAS B.A. Health Services

    My name is Shenique Reid, I major in Health Services, and I will be graduating this spring.

    Four years ago, I remember hearing an earsplitting noise in my head constantly reminding me of how my life was over. That marker was placed on me, due to the birth of my first child at the age of 21 years old, and not completing my studies prior. I stand before the world today shouting loud and clear that I did not give up! In fact, I was more determined than ever to disprove the inhospitable responses surrounding my choices. Two years ago, I chose Trinity University to embark on my educational journey. Trinity is a University that is reputable for housing powerful women. I wanted my surroundings to be warm, kind, and supportive of my decisions. I chose to major in health services, because I had a passion for making other people feel good and healthy. I quickly realized that I wanted to be a medical doctor, dedicating my life to helping others feel good. Being at Trinity has granted me the opportunity to intern at Howard University School of Pharmacy during the summer of 2019. I have also made a life long dedication to volunteer and intern at a HIV clinic here in Washington DC, where I shadow a wide range of physicians, learning the various roles of my future career. Most importantly I have learned to care for others beyond a health care setting. In my senior year I interned at CASA de Maryland an organization that lobbies and campaigns for immigrant rights. It was my absolute pleasure serving the immigrant community, and standing on the front lines with them during their time of need. As my senior year comes to an end, my journey to medical school is beginning. I will be starting graduate school this summer, pursuing a Master of Public Health degree (MPH). After obtaining my MPH, I will dedicate the remainder of my journey, to work on obtaining a Medical Doctorate degree. I would truly like to say Thank you Trinity, for believing in me and molding me into the honor student that I am today.

    Lashaya Gray, CAS B.A. Psychology

    Four years ago, I never knew that Trinity would shape me into the young woman I am today. I did not know my own strength or how much I could handle until I attended Trinity. There were semesters where I doubted myself as I stayed up until two in the morning studying and completing assignments. However, I continued my path telling myself “You got this!” I was able to realize how much I wanted for myself in life and to be proud of every accomplishment no matter how small they seemed. I learned to not be easily discouraged and understood that some people would cheer me on every step of the way while others would not always show their support, but that was alright. I also experienced unexpected obstacles along the way, but that never stopped me. The challenges only increased my faith, made me stronger and thrive more to chase after my dreams. Trinity showed me that anything you want in life is possible as long as you believe in yourself. Most importantly, there is always light at the end of every tunnel.

    Lena Honey Jones, CAS B.A. Early Childhood Education

    I didn’t start my college journey at Trinity but I am happy I made the decision to transfer. After my senior year of high school, I was set on going to a small school in North Carolina called Guilford College to study health sciences. I went for about a semester in a half but made the challenging decision to leave, come back home to D.C, and take some time off. During this time, I decided I wanted to pursue a nursing major in order to become a midwife to support and educate those who give birth. I began this pursuit by becoming a part-time student at Howard University while I continued to look for schools in the area to attend full-time. This is when I found Trinity and, in the Spring of 2017, I became a member of the Trinity community. I loved the classes I was taking, the professors I had, and the energy of the school. I realized that Trinity was a better fit for me than my original first choice.

    A year flew by and the Spring 2018 semester was about to start when I had a small epiphany: the main reasons I wanted to become a midwife was to be an educator and support system. I reflected on my experience as a peer sexual health educator in high school, a new peer math tutor at Trinity, and the immense amount of childcare experience I had. In all of these roles I was a support system and educator; they all brought me great joy so, I decided to switch my major to Early Childhood Education. This was one of the best decisions I’ve made. When I started taking education classes, the work didn’t always feel like work because it was interesting and I knew that it was worthwhile. Teaching is my passion and although there were ups and downs, I think Trinity was the place I needed be to pursue this major. I put 110% into my work and received straight A’s in all of my classes as well as made the Dean’s List every semester. Although my plan was to graduate in the Spring of 2019, plans changed and Spring 2020 was what was meant to be. I wasn’t in every club and I didn’t go to every social event but Trinity ended up being my place and I thank my family member for showing it to me.

    Tanaia Broxton, CAS B.A Sociology

    “Anything you imagine you possess”

    Gabriela Martinez Chevez, CAS B.A. Business Administration

    I came to the U.S. from El Salvador when I was just 4 years old. 18 years later, I never imagined that I would be checking off this accomplishment from my to-do list. God has truly been faithful and has paved the way for me to succeed. These last four years at Trinity have been some of the most critical years of my life filled with many valuable lessons. From the horrible losses such as losing my father to a painful battle with cancer my junior year. To the joyful triumphs such as finding out my younger sister received a full ride to Trinity for Fall 2020, God has been there through it all. It is my hope that I can go out into the world and make a positive contribution to society with the lessons I have learned here. Trinity empowered me and offered a safe haven that I will forever treasure. To President McGuire, the administration, my professors, advisors, and Trinity sisters: thank you for all your support and guidance these last four years. To Don Graham, Gaby Pacheco, and the team at the Dream.US: thank you for allowing me to fulfill my parents dream when they brought me to this country and for believing in me. To my friends, family, church members, and support system: thank you for all your prayers and words of encouragement, they mean the world to me. To my father, mother, sister, and brother: thank you for your love and for always inspiring me to succeed. This accomplishment is dedicated to you! I know if my father were still here, I would have made him so proud. Dad, we did it! Glory to God!

    Erika Brown, EDU M.S.A. Educational Administration

    My name is Erika Brown and I have been traveling with Cohort IV through the CAEP Educational Administration program.  My ambition, determination, and drive all come from negative aspects when people have told me I can’t do things.  I went to Kutztown University for my undergrad.  It was there that one of the professors said that I was a horrible student and will be an even worse teacher.  I am now a Middle School Science teacher and have been for the last 5 years.  It was a rocky start but through the years I became one of the leading educators in my school.  It was in these five years that I saw some great administrators and some…not so great administrators.  This was the driving force that told me to go into educational leadership.  This program has helped me grow and develop into the person I am today with the ideas that could one day hope to revolutionize the educational system.  I am graduating with my Masters of Science in Administration (M.S.A.) and a 4.0 GPA.  (yes, I am a Harry Potter nerd 🙂 )


    Imani A. Coleman EDU, M.E., Education for Change

    I am a 4th generation educator who truly believes in the power of education.  Having taught for 23 years I understand where education can take you.  I have recently moved to Charlotte, NC where I am continuing the educational fight in Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools and through my educational consulting business, The Apple Core Educational Consulting. I specialize in working with both teachers and families in understanding how to best work with the many students that come to us having experienced different traumas.




    Malika Shakur, CAS B.A. Business Administration

    Hello this is Malika Shakur writing about thanking the school for letting me achieve my goals of getting a bachelor’s degree. It’s been a long journey for me and I’m finally done. It’s still unbelievable that I’ve achieved this long awaited goal. Now I can pursue my dream of becoming a teacher one day.







    Daniel Lee Ruffin III, SPS B.S. Human Relations

    I started my academic career at Trinity in the Spring semester of 2015 as an adult student. Since then I have overcome a few hurdles in ensuring the success of my academic goals. I appreciate each and every challenge because nothing stopped me from accomplishing my goals.  Completing this journey of receiving my degree was something I never dreamed I would accomplish. I  have spent many years dreaming of continuing my education as I began this journey in 2003 as a soldier in the US Army. Even as I served my country honorably I knew I wanted to further my education and better my chances of a successful career and life. I am a Washingtonian and this journey has been extra inspiring to me because of the challenges I faced alongside some of D.C.’s strongest and brightest students as well as professors. There were plenty of times studying at Trinity Washington University I thought I would not make it and whenever I would have a negative thought or mood like that, I was always reminded by one or more of my classmates’ strengths and tenacity. Observing their overcoming struggles inspired me to continue on to the finish line, and here I am. My experience at Trinity Washington has shaped my belief in my ability to accomplish the goals I set forth in my life and I have more confidence than I ever had before completing this academic transition. Now I can say “we did it” the Red Class of 2020 in the midst of COVID19 we overcame and conquered adversity together. Thank you, Go Trinity!

    Sandra Berenice Mendez Banales, CAS B.S. Biology

    It gives me great pleasure as a Latina to graduate with a degree in science. I am a first generation college graduate and this journey has been nothing but a learning experience filled with growth, perseverance, and much fulfillment! I worked so hard in the hopes of being able to repay my parents for their sacrifices. They left their country for a better future, and I pushed myself for them and my siblings. Trinity Washington University has been the biggest support system I could have ever hoped for. I thank the professors, the academic advisors, the rest of Trinity faculty and especially President Mcguire who had every students back, in making sure we had everything we needed to be successful. Trinity also introduced me to the most supportive and loving friends I have ever met. I thought I would be leaving Trinity with only my undergraduate degree, but I am taking so much more with me for life and for that I am GRATEFUL!  A proud #RedClassof2020 !!





    Estelito Villarta, BGS, M.S. A. Health Advocacy

    While graduation is a thrilling moment, experiences in accomplishing my MSA major in Health Advocacy is one of a kind.  I am grateful for finding Trinity for the MSA Graduate Studies I have chosen. First, being a Christian found this school as my second family in the USA. Secondly, as an international student, Trinity people understand and defending human beings regardless of any race without compromising the truth of moral, legal, and ethical integrity of this nation. 3rdly, I thank the Trinity Department of Disability Services in accepting and giving me a part-time job as a note-taker to sustain my family’s needs. I enjoyed the job since it likewise gives me further knowledge and understanding from many different courses I work with. The two years of studying at Trinity became fruitful in learning health-related issues about becoming Health Advocate. My internship in home care gave me the heart of sympathy too and challenged to develop a program on how to take care of aging people with dementia. The choice of research studies and my capstone project were the most interesting and challenging. Not because it may be the hardest but it was co-incidence with the pandemic and family status problems I encountered.  The last two semesters of my studies were the most painful and hopeless moments of my life and for my family. But these are also the most critical part of my studies that I have learned a lot and grew up maturely and emotionally of being a graduate student. I acknowledge all professors and my brilliant adviser, Dr. Kelly Wood, for the hardship and patiently teaching us and directing us to all possible resources that could help. His words of encouragement pay to press on and made me accomplished those course projects.  On behalf of my family, I would like to thank the Trinity for the wonderful time I spend with you in my studies. Rest assured that wherever I go, all the good things and learnings from this institution will become part of my life to share with others as an ambassador of Trinity University. And if given the chance, I will be happy to continue joining the staff of the Trinity in whatever endeavors I will be fit in after graduation.

    April Shannon, EDU, M.S. A. Educational Administration

    Deciding to attend Trinity Washington University School of Education was a no-brainer after I spent an afternoon speaking with a colleague about her experience in the Educational Administration graduate program. I enrolled immediately! Five semesters and a whole lot of writing later….I MADE IT! Of course this victory is not mine alone! I thank God and all of my village, including my amazing children, who always encourage me to keep pushing! This road has not been easy but it has certainly been worth it! Every experience along this journey has made me better. Trinity has shown me that I possess exactly what leaders are made of. Through rigorous instruction, readings, and coursework, Trinity Washington University has taken what I walked in with and cultivated it in such a way that allows me to walk out with a leader’s mind, a servant’s heart, and a purple and gold soul! 💜💛

    Vivian Idowu, BGS, M.A. Strategic Communications and Public Relations

    My name is Vivian Idowu and I am a first-generation Nigerian-American. Raised by my mother and father in Upper Marlboro, MD and being the last born of three, my life felt planned out for me. I was advised by my parents that education was a must and education would route me into a great direction. Typical Nigerian parents want their children to graduate from high school and head off to a college or university to seek medical school, nursing, accounting, or engineering degrees. For me, my parents told me “do what you love, but be sure it makes sense.” That basically meant “study an area of science and God will direct you to the field of healthcare.”

    In May 2014, I graduated from Morgan State University with a BS in Biology. I graduated knowing that Pharmacy was meant for me. In my family, we have many medical doctors, nurses, and engineers, so I decided I’ll be the Pharmacist out of the bunch. A few days after I graduated from undergrad, I became a pharmacy technician at Rite Aid, which helped me to build my communication skills and advanced my fight or flight responses. While working in the pharmacy, I built a friendly and emotional relationship with the patients but I knew that I wanted to work more hands on with them. I left the pharmacy after working there for 2 years and started working with ophthalmologists during eye procedures where I had more patient contact.

    There I was in August 2016, working under eye surgeons trying to be the best ophthalmic technician there was. I loved the relationships I was building with the patients and my coworkers, but something was just not right. My 20’s were flying by and finally in 2018 I had a moment with myself. I was 26 years-old, getting way too comfortable working for angry doctors, becoming an advocator for better patient care in my office, while crying at night as I became more open-minded about my future; I realized, I had hit a roadblock. I knew my parents were proud of all my achievements and my drive to succeed, yet I knew they felt I could achieve more.

    One day after work I told my mother, “I am going to nursing school because a patient at work told me I am the greatest healthcare aid she ever met.” My mom replied, “you’re good at everything you put your mind to therefore, do it! In fact, apply to Trinity.” My mom started her Masters at Trinity and had nothing but great things to say about the University. The same day, I registered for Trinity’s nursing orientation. One evening, after a long day of work, I traveled to Trinity only to hear that the next day was the orientation for the nursing program and the current day was for their SCPR and MBA programs. I was told to stay to learn more about the University and I would also be given information about the nursing program. Then, I met Dr. Clemmons and within minutes, I was sold. I questioned myself, “how could I fall in love with the program by just listening to a person speak in less than an hour? Is this destined or is this all a prank?”

    I applied to Trinity and the day I was accepted, I resigned from my job. I decided to start doing hair again which is my hobby in order to make money. My mom was proud, and she told me to pay close attention to my Trinity email because they want their students to succeed. My Trinity email became just as important as my personal email. It was August 2018 and I was in a field that I never envisioned for myself, but I knew my vision and thoughts were clearer. For once, I made my own decisions without comparing myself to my family members. My journey at Trinity had a few ups and downs, but I managed. What made me procrastinate on assignments were late nights applying for employment opportunities since communications and PR were brand new fields for me. In December 2018, I went to an interview at a non-profit for a PR internship opportunity and got denied. In January 2019, I wrote the non-profit back and asked if I could shadow someone or volunteer for direct experience and they were delighted. I went in a few days later, sat with the CEO of the program, and was offered the position after 3 hours of dialogue. I was shocked, but I knew that this new career journey was starting on the right shoe.

    In April 2019, Trinity sent out an email for an internship program with the Department of Energy (DOE) and I did not think twice before I applied. I was denied but because rejection does not put me down, I sent an email asking if they could reach out to me if other opportunities opened. In August 2019, I received an email asking if I wanted to work as a Communications intern at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Do you think I thought more than once? No. I applied, got accepted, and said ta-ta to my first enjoyable PR experience. The VA internship was 16-weeks long and at the end I was offered a full-time employee position which I thankfully accepted! Today I am happy to say, I serve Veterans and I work on a thrilled and enthusiastic Strategic Communications team. I share my story in detail so readers can relate. I hit a roadblock and faced unclarity yet, I kept faith. In our society, it is easy to give up and way too easy to compare ourselves to others, but opportunities are out there; our job is to chase them. Taking risks and rerouting my career path was one of the best decisions I made for myself. Not looking at my calendar correctly which made me walk into the wrong then, but now correct orientation was a great decision too! From the amazing faculty at Trinity who made my journey tough, fun, hysterical, or close to perfect, I commend them all. If not for Trinity, I would not be where I am today!

    Diane Tilghman, SPS, B.A. Journalism and Media Studies

    In 1983, married, in a full-time demanding career and carrying my first child, I started my educational journey to college part-time.  I did not have the support, the luxury or the privilege to go straight from high school.  None-the-less, when I did finally enroll, it was a lot to manage.  It did not take long for me to make the decision to take a 4-year sabbatical to focus on family and career.  I did however, go back to college in 1988; then another 8-year sabbatical.  Again, career/family/school was extremely difficult to manage; and at the time, career was a higher priority.  I went back to college again in 1997-1999, took another 6-year sabbatical.  After which time, I transferred to Trinity Washington University School of Professional Studies (SPS) Spring 2006-2007.  Still managing marriage, and now a new job, and my son in college.  I stayed at Trinity for 2-years followed by, yet again, another 6-year sabbatical.

    After my second enrollment at Trinity in 2013, I continued uninterrupted for the next 7-years until finally, 2020 completion.  Adding the years, start to finish, I have been going to college off and on part-time for 37 years, taking 1-2 classes per semester.  Of which 20 of those years were focused on family and career.  After readmission to Trinity in 2013, obtaining my degree, became my priority.

    I owe this determination to get my degree to, first of all, my son, who was my inspiration.  I could not in good conscious insist upon him obtaining his degree if I did not do the same.  My husband, key family members and friends were also very supportive of my journey.  But Trinity’s School of Professional Studies program really made it possible.  I thank God for the faculty.  The program was instrumental in my matriculation and ultimate graduation.

    For the readmission, I had to write a letter to Trinity to explain why I should be readmitted, and what would keep me from taking another sabbatical.  At this time, I made up my mind, no more breaks.  I had supported my son through his years of grade school and through college.  I made a promise to myself that once he graduated from college, I was going back to finally get my degree.  Not only was this a personal goal, it was also a promise I made to myself, of which I shared my planned-goal with my son.  In fact, I started telling family and friends I was going to go back to complete my education. My thought process was to speak it into existence.  This made me more accountable to myself.

    But I also had something to prove to someone else, my (late) foster-mother who had zero confidence in my abilities and determination (she passed many years ago).  The foster family was in it for the money, but that is another story.  As a product of a foster mother (who was not college educated) she discouraged me from the thought of attaining a higher education.  At the age of 11 years old, I will never forget the words she told me when I asked if I would “be able to go to college when I grow up”. Her response was “you are not college material”.  Those words were quite piercing to hear for an ambitious young girl.

    However, the drive to obtain my college education did not stop at that uninspired comment.  In fact, my thoughts were fueled in the opposite direction.  In my mind, I thought why not?  However, it did instill doubt that maybe college was not my path.  But I am a “go getter”.  As I grew through life’s challenges, I focused on building relationships, and creating opportunities that led to financial successes in my career.  Pursuing my degree was always on my heart, and something I felt I needed to do, for myself.  Anything worth having is going to be hard to get.  It was not an easy road to travel over the last 37 years, but it sure feels good to know that I did it.  Thanks to Trinity Washington University, School of Professional Studies, I am proud to say that I have earned my Baccalaureate of Arts in Journalism and Media Studies and accomplished an educational goal, once thought to be unreachable.

    Marcel Brown, EDU, M.A. School Counseling

    This is my second masters degree from Trinity.  I appreciate all the great and knowledgeable faculty embedded within Trinity culture.  I have learned so much from my experiences here.  I remember beginning my recent school counseling journey a little over three years ago, and thinking this degree was going to be a breeze.  Boy was I mistaken lol!  I was stretched and challenged beyond my imagination.  I feel all the sacrifices I endured assisted in my preparation for mentoring and preparing the next generation of youth.  I had the privilege of networking with some wonderful people along the way, and thanks to Dr. Reese met numerous ASCA board members and the CEO of ASCA.  I would like to share with you a feature that was done on me and published by The American School Counselor Association (ASCA) in the May/June 2020 edition.  The magazine is also available online and for all ASCA members in printed form.  Again thanks so much and BIG SHOUT OUTS to the Class of 2020!!!

    Tenea Harris, EDU, M.S.A. Educational Administration

    This moment is truly a full-circle moment for me. I graduated from Trinity as a Red Class member with my BA in Communications in 2008 during an economic crisis and now I am graduating as a Red Class member with my Masters in Education Administration during a pandemic. The most important thing that stands out to me is that no matter what obstacles life may throw, you have to stay focused. The 2008 economic crisis helped me realize teaching was my passion and a career that would allow me to evolve into being the type of leader that my community needs. Through the process of earning my Masters, I learned about ACEs and how students are dealing with adverse experiences. I learned that I have been through extreme ACEs but I have never let those stop me. My goal is to always be the voice for the voiceless. I want to make sure that I never forget where I came from, but to humbly appreciate where I am and where the future will take me. I want to thank God and my husband. My husband has sacrificed a lot of time for me to complete this process and has been one of the consistent rocks since I graduated with my Bachelor’s degree. I also want to thank my family, friends, and my cohort (Cohort 4) because they have supported me through this process. This degree was one I knew I would get, but there were times I doubted myself throughout the process. I am forever grateful for the professors who have helped open my eyes to the type of leader that is needed in today’s educational climate. The knowledge I have gained has opened up my eyes to what makes a great leader and helped establish what type of leader I will be. My eyes are now looking to the future because nevertheless, both important milestones in my life have let me know nothing can stop me now.

    Sherri Boulet, SPS, B.S. Business Administration

    “Trials, Testimony, Trinity”

    “Through Trials I have overcome to share my Testimony as One”.  Thank you, Trinity for mending my broken heart!

    In 2011 when I started my journey at Trinity, I was excited and determined to finish. Not only for myself, but “in honor” of my late beloved brother, Curtis who knew how to challenge me.  In 1978 when Curtis came home from graduating from college, I congratulated him for his accomplishment.  In return, he said, “now let me see you go to college and finish.” Curtis continued, “anyone can go, but can they finish?”  I said “Yes!” as if it would be easy.  Little did I know at that time how life brings additional challenges. With my brother’s inspiring words of encouragement in mind, I registered at Trinity in the fall of 2011 to 2013.

    Coming up on the finish line in 2013 with 9 credits needed to graduate, my world came to an abrupt turn of events.  I lost my job and financial aid had ran out. Plus, difficulties and delays had occurred due to the shortfall in my revenue stream. Neither grants nor scholarships were available.  I had no choice but to withdraw and realign my priorities.

    2014 passed by as well as the years moving rapidly from 2015 through 2018. During which time, I kept running into old Trinity classmates who had already graduated. These encounters and self-motivation reminded me to go back and finish. It was as though I had a mirrored conversation with my brother all over again.

    Finally, in 2019, Trinity welcome me back with open arms.  Here I stand with a smile from my beloved brother looking down. My current situation was fluid enough to get this matter completed.

    This journey has prepared me for a more bountiful/blissful life and given me the initiative to help others succeed.  I was honored to serve on the Spring 2020 New Student Orientation Panel. While representing the Trinity family from Enrollment Services, Business Office, the Counselors, the Dean and her office, it was enticing to instill in other potential students a sense of perspective direction.  Most importantly, the Professors who not only teach classroom lessons but give you real life scenario assignments.

    “Hear my ROAR” Trinity Tigers!  I will always be here to help others finish Strong!

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    Sing Praise for our Founders and Mother Earth!

    April 22, 2020

    Founders Day 2020, a day like none that preceded it. We are living through the global pandemic of Coronavirus.  We are all staying at home, sheltering in place, finding our communities on Zoom and building new kinds of family relationships as we work and teach and play around the kitchen table.

    Sister Julia McGroarty (left), Trinity’s intrepid founder, could not have imagined our circumstances today, but in so many ways she provides the inspiration we need to persist, to believe that we can, indeed, triumph over our current hardship.  Founding Trinity was hard — there was no money, there was much opposition — the very idea of a Catholic women’s college brought cries of “heresy!” from male clerics up the street (or across a modest dirt road) at then-new Catholic University.  Sr. Julia and her sisters prevailed, believing deeply in the power of women to succeed, placing faith in the development of intellect, spirit and soul to change society for the better.  Thanks to their fortitude and courage, we are here today — and in their spirit, we must have faith that we will prevail and even thrive after this hard period in history.

    Founders Day 2020, April 22, is also Earth Day — it seems so fitting to bring together our reverence for our founding mothers with our reverence and care for Mother Earth!  Trinity Campus Minister Sr. Ann Howard provided the beautiful green photo and reflection below:

    From Sr. Ann Howard, SND, Campus Minister:

    Dear Trinity!  “Nature’s first green is gold…” wrote Robert Frost, New England poet.  Today, Earth Day, I am wearing green and I can’t help but notice all the green surrounding us in trees and flowers emerging from the earth.  Let us commit to nurturing the earth, with care, not destroying its resources.
    Sing praise to God for our green earth, and one another!

    For Trinity, on Founders Day, we are celebrating the education of women and academic success.  Is your education preparing you for professional and adult life?   The Sisters of Notre Dame who began Trinity in 1897, followed the instruction of their foundress, St. Julie Billiart (1751-1816, France), to “Teach them what they need to know for life!”
    Sing praise to God for the gift that Trinity Washington University is to us, one and all!

    We celebrate Sr. Dorothy Stang today, as she lived and gave her life for the life of the Amazon Forest (2005), the people who live there, and the natural habitat that is known for its rich diversity.  Soon, we will plant a tree in her honor and praise God for her example of faith and goodness!

    Sing praise to God for the life of the Amazon, for the people of Brazil, and for Sr. Dorothy Stang, SND, who was killed for preservation of the planet.  Amen.– campus ministry

    And for one another, as we experience this time of quarantine, distance learning, and connecting via internet- Sing praise to God for one another, those who are grieving, those who are fearing, and those who are healing, may the love of God sustain us and protect us.  Amen.

    Students, Faculty, Staff Showed Solidarity with Mother Earth by Wearing Green Today

    That’s graduate student Paola Pinto-Capote above with her goats — she is “social distancing” in the countryside, looks like a lot of fun!

    Here’s Dean of Nursing and Health Professions all set to work in her garden — check out those socks!

    Nursing Sim Lab Director and Assistant Professor Dr. Carrie O’Reilly inspects the neighborhood with Gracie:

    Dr. Neosho C. Ponder was on her way to teaching her Feminist Movement class so she’s also wearing her Phenomenal Woman T-shirt, lovely!

    And here’s student Dominique Parker:

    Director of Major Gifts Barbara Goliday shows off her green:

    and Dr. Wendy Bilen and her daughter get out for some masked sunshine… green masks!!  LOVE THE CHALK!

    Business Professor Dr. Lynda Jackson strikes a lovely Earth Day pose:

    Katie (the Moodle Lady) Wanschura is always up for the best of show… lovely outdoor environment!!

    And Vice President for Advancement Ann Pauley is nicely decked out in Green for Earth Day, Too!  Nice azaleas!

    Economics Prof Cristina Parsons seems camera shy but she sent this beautiful view:

    As for me, well, you know, I’m just gonna do my thing and share GREEN WILD THINGS in honor of Earth Day!

    Thanks to all for your participation!  Happy Founders Day!  Happy Earth Day!  Remember:  We WILL Prevail!!

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    We Have Winners! Backyard Birds Edition…

    April 19, 2020

    Wow!  What a lot of great backyard birders and photographers we have in the Trinity family!  Below are the winners of our First Annual (And Probably Only) Trinity Backyard Bird Contest!  Every winner gets a copy of one of my favorite bird photos and the top entries also get an Audubon poster.  Congratulations to all!

    For spotting the largest number of birds and wildlife:  Will Van Camp!  Will actually observed 9 of the 12 birds on the contest instruction sheet, plus he added observations of Osprey, Geese and Starling as well as Squirrel and Deer.  Wow!  Will is a fierce hunter!  He is “almost” six years old and I say he has a great future in wildlife observation.  Congratulations to Will!

    For the most beautiful photo:  Professor Lawrence Levin!

    Ever the amazing photographer, Professor Lawrence Levin captured these Carolina wrens, above, building their nest on a bridge post on Roosevelt Island.  Fabulous!

    For capturing a neighborhood visitor so well:  Patrick Kellogg!

    Chief Development Officer Patrick Kellogg captured this beautiful robin (above) on his walk in Alexandria.  Beautiful!

    Dr. Elizabeth Child also reported her observations of a red cardinal family nesting in her front yard.  No photo, but still, very nice!

    Oneeka Gregory also captured a red cardinal between the trees:  Nicely done!

    Campus Minister Sr. Ann Howard is very observant of the wild things all around us.  She captured a great photo of very hard-to-get pileated woodpeckers on a tree on Connecticut Avenue — I’m jealous that you could get them!!  Great!

    And this pair of mourning doves on a wire in Hyattsville:

    Nursing Student Shelda Summons says that she loves wildlife photography and her large porfolio of wonderful “wild things” is a great testament to her talent… below are her many photos:










    And “Katie the Moodle Lady” Wanschura was on the hunt in her backyard an she captured some very nice blue jays, robins and squirrels:

    Major Gifts Officer Barbara Golliday reports that her husband, a St. Louis Cardinals fan, was on the lookout for his favorite bird and found one:

    Professor Carlos Cardenas sent in this lovely mourning dove nesting on his porch:

    Nursing Adjunct Professor Maureen Origoni sent in these very healthy looking turkeys in Poolesville, MD:

    And while we don’t have photos, Trinity Trustee Jack Leary reports that he has seen a great blue heron and a wild turkey in his very backyard!  His yard has a beautiful waterfall and stream, no wonder…!!  And in nearby Rock Creek Park, he’s also seen a fox and even a river otter.  Nature is all around us!

    And right here at our very Trinity campus, I watched this hawk sitting on the cross on top of Main Hall last week as a crow flew by:

    Wild things.  They are everywhere!

    Thanks to everyone for your joyful participation in our excursions into backyard birding!  Keep up the great work!

    Our next challenge:  The Trinity Cookbook!  Send me your photos of your favorite dishes and recipes as well so we can make a virtual cookbook to share with others — What’s Cookin’ at Trinity?  Let’s do this!  Send entries to me on email

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    Voices of Trinity: Pandemic Advice Part 2

    April 16, 2020

    Someday we’ll be together again — we will gather once more to “cut the ribbon” to reopen our lives!
    The good times shown in the photos on this blog will return!!

    This is the second half of the essays from students in Professor Weiler’s English 107 classes offering advice for coping during the Covid-19 pandemic — see the blog below this one for the first set of essays.


    In these difficult times where thousands of people are struggling around the world it is hard to see the positive side of things but is important to remind ourselves about the good things that we have in quarantine. We are either surrounded by our loved ones or hopefully in a safe place self-isolating and taking the necessary precautions to be healthy. Is important to remind ourselves that yes, we may be bored, or we may be financially struggling but we are lucky. We have food at our table, we have running water, we have a way to continue our education, we are at last alive. For that we should be grateful and keep staying put with the news to inform ourselves at all times. We have to be able to protect us and our loved ones the best we can. Covid-19 is an epidemic that has taken many people ‘s mainly because they were not aware of how the virus works or didn’t have the resources to fight it. But we do and is our duty to use our privileges in our favor to not let this virus take another life.


    This semester has been complicated for everyone at Trinity Washington University.  Students tend to struggle in different ways. I tend to learn as a visual learner — this has affected me because most of the materials I do not understand. Others are struggling by not having the right tools having to do online classes requires a lot, like having wifi, a computer and needing extra support. As an adult you also have other things to worry about this has affected most of us economically and at risk to lose scholarships that require a certain GPA. As a person who is experiencing this pandemic what I really encourage you to do is to work as hard as you can to get through this semester, push yourself off your limits I understand that this caught us off guard but we have big goals to achieve and not everyone is lucky enough to do big things without higher education. This pandemic should be a test that God has sent to us to prove that we are nothing without him, there is nothing impossible for God we as sisters should help each other out and pray to God so he can give us the strength to continue achieving our goal and have the best future. I know that we might not have the same opinions but I just want you to believe in yourself and not let this affect your life and future. Trinity has taught us to get together and find help among each other, this situation will continue for a while but online classes were provided so we do not show up physically to our classes to prevent us getting infected, I know that not everyone has the same support that we need but if you are struggling, email your professors, talk to them and express how you feel and what problems you are having. This can help you a lot. We only have a few months left to continue to strive for your goals. Do not give up, especially if you are a freshman in college.


    One of the greatest gifts a person can give another is support and listening to their emotions. I know you may be feeling a lot of different emotions at the moment just know you have someone out there that will listen and care about you. You should try to give your mind a break try reading a book, coloring, or learning a new hobby. This may be overwhelming but you just keep your head up and push through it. You know what your strengths and goals are so go after it. Never let anything get in your way. You are doing the best you can do and focus on that positive thing. Be there for your family and try to be ear for them. Try spending more time with your loved ones and bond. Be strong, because things will get better soon. It might be a little troubling now but later it won’t. Take this as a teaching lesson and practice on your flaws. You’ll overcome all your troubles and it’ll be a learning experience. Anyone being negative just walks away because negativity isn’t worth it or worrying about it. Facing difficulties in your personal life may not be because you’re doing wrong, it could be your out growing people, or you’re doing something right. Just know whatever you’re facing today you won’t tomorrow so just keep your head up.


    Hey You! Yeah You! You might feel alone at the moment but it might be comforting to know you are not alone during this pandemic. We are all at home like we should be and taking the precautions so congrats you are helping the world by doing so! If you still have to go out to work just know we are all thankful for you to help everything go smoothly! Everyone knows these times are stressful and crucial for everyone so here I have come up with ideas that you can do at home:

    Don’t forget to breathe! 5-5-5 breathing, Inhale – Hold – Exhale. Repeat.

    Check-in with yourself! Your feelings are valid. You feel what you feel.

    Spring Cleaning! A cleaner space may lead to a clearer mind.

    Sing, Dance, Create! Sing and dance until you can’t! Create until you are content!

    Keep in touch with your loved ones! Family, friends, neighbors or even your pet.

    Create or Perfect a recipe! Be your own restaurant.

    Find what relaxes you! Take a nap, workout, read a book or binge watch that show you’ve been meaning to catch up on.

    Find a new hobby! Take pictures, DIY some clothes, write one-page stories every day,Etc.

    Whatever it is you choose to do, know you don’t come out this quarantine as the best you, just come out as you.


    Many of us probably never thought this year would’ve been the year to experience “quarantine”. It might feel like the world is ending. Some of us are getting tired of remaining at home and want to go to the mall or on a picnic to enjoy our time. Many of us miss going to work to make money. A Lot of us are not used to taking online classes and do not like them at all. As of right now everyone is wishing the same thing and are facing anxiety, stress and uncertainty. There can be many things going on around you while you remain at home but try to use this time to focus on yourself. Try to figure out what you need to work on to reach where you want to be in life. Oftentimes, due to working, going to school or babysitting we do not have time to think about our life and reflect on ourselves. Also, sometimes we do not spend enough time with our families or those who are very close due to schedules are different so use this time to build a close bond with those you love. Watch movies, play games, exercise, start a blog, and meditate with your family. Try to do something you have been wanting to learn for example doing makeup or learning how to do nails. Now, when it comes down to completing assignments do not stress about it. You should write out due dates for assignments to figure out what you should do first and in the middle of completing assignments take a break and do not spend hours just doing work. Overall, use this time to think positively, stay at home, and have faith that everything will get better soon.


    For people that need encouragement in this difficult time, please do not be afraid of getting the virus. As long as you know you are doing everything you are supposed to do to prevent it from happening as far as hygiene and obeying the rules about staying home, you should be fine. Do not let this hard time put so much fear in you but let it be a lesson to always keep good hygiene and be extra careful as far as handling food too. Look at the bright side, at least you get to spend more quality time with your families and be together a little longer than usual. Also, thank goodness we have video chat because you can also video chat your friends and get to know each other a little bit more too, although you are not seeing each other in person. Please, keep hope alive because there will be a vaccine at some point and everything will be back to normal soon. Everything will re-open and it will not be anymore quarantine going on. It is tough having to stay in the house all day, cannot go out to the mall, nail salon, and do fun activities outside in the public all because of this virus. But, I recommend that for the time being, make the best of this situation by making up some games for you and your family, play video games, maybe go outside in your back of front yard and enjoy the nice weather, and enjoy the quality time with your loved ones. Stay safe out there people!


    To make it through this challenging time that everyone in the world is going through, just take time out of your day to pray for better days and making sure that you have faith that this pandemic will end soon. Also, if you know someone that has COVID-19 pray for their wellness too. Some things that you can do that my mother does to strengthen the immune system are to take vitamins, drinking room temperature water and drinking hot tea with ginger, and drinking stuff that has vitamin C in it. For college students I know how stressful it is to have to go through this and do schoolwork. One thing I try to do to cope with the stress of schoolwork is listening to music. This really helps me relax and just get through the work. After doing some work just take a break to relieve some stress. Do something like take a nap, exercise, make some food for your family, watch a new show or even a new movie. In my case sometimes I make TikToks, watch crime shows like The First 48, or have a mini concert in my room by myself to get me through the days of not trying to lose mind. Even though I know that it is painful being forced to stay in the house with nothing to do, just remind yourself that quarantine will be over soon. Being in quarantine is just a way to keep people safe from getting sick.


    Right now, is a hard time for most of us, from having all of our class online to the global pandemic that is affecting everything around us. It’s really scary to think about because you can’t do much anymore. You have to stay inside for the whole day, you can’t meet up with friends, you can’t even go to a restaurant because everything is closed due to the pandemic. This is very hard to be adjusting too right now, since we haven’t ever been through something like this before. This pandemic is hurting people mentally, financially, and even physically. From what I have been experiencing I have been very overwhelmed, worried, and anxious and I’m sure all of you guys are feeling the same exact way. So, I am going to share some advice with you all. If you are feeling scared, overwhelmed, worried, anxious or anything else take a deep breath and do something that you love to get your mind off of what is happening. Another piece of advice that works for me is reconnecting with my old friends and catching up with them. This helps me forget about what is happening. Lastly, I hope that all of you are being safe and healthy at this moment and that you are all finding a way to cope with the pandemic.


    With pandemic everyone is worried because we don’t know when it is going to end. But let me tell you something; we need to stick together; we need to listen and stay home to not continue spreading this virus. I advise everyone who is struggling in this time to try educating themselves by watching cooking videos or you should take a psychology class.  Another way to not waste your time is playing a game with your family. And finally you should try a new routine instead of having breakfast like usual you should add a piece of chicken to your breakfast or you can switch your breakfast to your lunch and your lunch to your dinner that way you wouldn’t get tired of doing the same thing every day.  First, we should try to spend our time wisely by doing something that may require you to think, express yourself or live your thought out. Like watching cooking videos, you would learn how to cook an Italian pasta, or you can also learn how to bake banana bread. Learning something is a good time to spend. Also, this time you should take a psychology class which would help you to live your stress out. Secondly, playing a game with your family is a good time to spend because your time is going to run quietly, and you wouldn’t feel that how many hours just passed. A game can be the one you only play in special times like Christmas or Thanksgiving. You should try to play it this time with all the issues that are going on. Spending time in a game which may require thinking, accepting or arguing may help you to feel less bored at home. Switching things sometimes is good for you and for your family. Thirdly, you should try to switch your everyday routine from breakfast to lunch or lunch to dinner. This way you are not doing the same thing every day. These changes may be helpful because you are practicing something that you had never done before. In conclusion, we should all try to do something different in these times, this is the time where we should all try something new.


    While being part of a historical event, everything can get overwhelming. Many of us aregoing through rough times. We are constantly questioning when this will all be over. Although this is something to be worried about, this will only add on to the stress we have. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had several anxiety attacks from this pandemic. Though I knew I didn’t want to keep doing that to myself. I would like to share how I’m managing to keep my mental health stable. I hope this will encourage someone when they’re going through a rough time. If you are able to, I recommend taking a drive by yourself with calming music. People need to recharge their energy and being by themselves helps. Music helps people forget what’s going on. In this case, it has helped me forget what’s going on in the world. You can also take a walk around your neighborhood or a park. Being in nature can remind you how beautiful and calming the world can be. Although you should follow CDC procedures of staying six-feet away from people if you go to a park. While there are rainy days, you can rearrange your room to distract your mind from what you believe is important to think about. For example, if your siblings are bothering you, you want to feel that frustration or anger you have built up. Your mind will repeat that emotion over and over again in your head because that’s the only thing you’re focusing on. If you do something that will require more attention, your mind will shift from thinking about that frustration you had to wondering if you should still keep that t-shirt from 5th grade. You can also start a puzzle, friendship bracelets, color or paint. I hope this helps someone while they’re going through a rough time.


    During this time, I have been going through many changes that were not necessarily mychoice. Having to stay at home all day I have created a routine to keep myself occupied during the day. I have learned that moving to different areas in my house helps me concentrate on what I am doing. When I do my homework, I try to do it in a space that’s not my bedroom because I have designated that space just to sleep. A couple hours a week I dedicate to learning French on Duolingo, I have been putting off practicing French, but this seems like the perfect time to get back into learning a new language. I think it’s also important to take advantage to spend time with family. We do many activities together such as watching movies, playing games, cooking, and just talking. I recommend to not stop doing what you enjoy just find new ways to implement that into this new way of living. I enjoy reading and found that my eyes have been getting really tired from all the time I sent on the computer, so I decided to compromise and use audible to still listen to books and my eyes don’t feel as tired. I also recommend getting in touch with friends and family over the phone, being able to talk to others helps free up the mind and it’s important to check how they are doing. Even though I don’t like to think about this pandemic all day I have found that keeping up with local news is essential to be updated on what is going on around me.


    During this time of leave the United States is going through a very rough patch politically, economically, socially, psychologically and mentally. There are people losing their lives over this pandemic that has pretty much came out of nowhere and people are fighting for their lives on a daily basis and it’s very hard for society to keep up and keep these people healthy because we do not have enough people in the world to cure these people. For the people who are dealing with family members or friends they have the pandemic or have lost their lives to the pandemic  I am so sorry for your loss , I’m sorry that you lost somebody over a disease that we didn’t see coming. My advice to everyone in this time of need is please stay healthy , stay around your family make sure they’re healthy, make sure you’re healthy because most of all your health is the most important thing right now and you have a support system through the school through your family through modern day society and nobody wants you to forget that . You were just as important as the people who have the cases or the people who are treating the cases of the coronavirus, you are just as important as anybody else in this world and there is always going to be a light at the end of the tunnel through this pandemic. This may be a hard time to stay positive and stay happy but just remember everything comes together at the end. On a positive note and not only do other people have to stay positive but you also have to stay positive because during this time that’s all anybody could ask for. It’s been very hard especially with the social distancing to help people but go out and try to at least be a part of a nonprofit organization that gives people clothes and food while they’re out of a job or just simply stay positive to the people who are not happy right now. There are a lot of people in the world. I do not have a job anymore and need food and clothes, they’re looking for people like us or you to help them get back on their feet and give them that hope they’re looking for. The only thing I ask is to have hope, hope will drive this negative energy out of the world right now and that’s all we can do right now as a community we must encourage others to stay healthy and help each other stay healthy. It’s going to be hard at first but everything will come back to normal very soon I believe. We all just have to come together and help each other and make each other feel as if there’s nothing going on in the world because that’s all we can do as a society right now.


    “The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble”- Psalm 9:9.  I know we are all going through an extraordinary time and it’s tough to try to keep ourselves sane. Due to the rapid growth of this disease, most of us were and are still not prepared for how much our lives changed in the last few weeks. I want to start by saying that this too shall pass, and we must remain alert not anxious. We must listen to the experts’ advice if we want this to be done soon. Most of us might not be working and are stuck at home bored out of our minds. There’s not much we can do outdoors to entertain ourselves, but if you like to go on runs or walk your dog, there are lots of trails around this area. Or even just hanging in your backyard and breathing fresh air can really boost your mood. Just wear a mask and enjoy the simple things in life. Enjoy nature’s beauty, plant flowers, trees or whatever you like. Being inside will not help because we get tired of the same routine every day. This time is great to discover and know ourselves a little more, maybe we have a talent that we never knew we had. Since last week my sisters and I have been painting rocks outside our house, and today we will paint Easter eggs. We haven’t done that since like three years ago so we’re picking up on fun things. Drawing and painting is a great skill, just let your imagination flow. Lately I have been enhancing my baking skills and pleasing my sweet tooth(not good) encountered myself doing lots of cooking/baking with my mom and sister and that helps alleviate stress. Please try not to be on social media too much because it only promotes more fear and anxiety. It’s fine to be informed but try not to give all your time and attention to the news because it makes people feel worse. I recommend each day to set goals and try something new and hopefully these times we are using it effectively. This is not permanent and together can get through it. Remember, don’t be selfish stay home and protect those around you and check on your loved ones, and those who are most vulnerable.


    The pandemic has taken over our day to day tasks worldwide and for some of us it has been difficult to cope with. Many jobs have unfortunately been forced to close in order to prevent the spread of the virus and because of this many of us are unable to pay our bills. The virus has also brought families together which is needed in these moments of crisis. Instead of consistently watching the news about updates we have to focus our energy on ways we can improve ourselves and help others. Now more than ever we have to check up on each other to see how we are coping with the virus and even get advice. Our mental state has been compromised by the virus, but we can rule out the negative thoughts by exercising, painting, learning to dance, practicing yoga, cooking, cleaning, etc. All of these actions can help relieve stress and in doing so we are also helping our bodies conform with the switch of taking regular activities to being home in bed all day. In this moment we also have to realize our families are also struggling with the loss of jobs, however we can also help take their minds off by playing board games or practicing family games. The corona virus has taken a piece of our lives but we have to keep positive thoughts and prayers that it will all be over soon and we will continue with our lives.


     During this hard time, I want you to know that you’re not alone. No one expected this to happen and as a result of that, no one was prepared for such drastic changes. Although it’s been hard to adjust to these changes, we have to stay positive. Use this time to get closer to your family, to start a new hoppy and to acknowledge the things you once took for granted. If you are struggling with online school, know that I am too, as well as many other college students around the world. This pandemic has taken a toll on many people around this globe, many people’s lives have changed. Although we might feel anxious or stressed, or maybe even bored, other people have it worse right now. We have to be more appreciative of our health and well-being because there are people who are currently dying. The word pandemic itself means “ (of a disease) prevalent over a whole country or the world.” If the whole world is going through this, it means that we’re all going through a similar position. Once the pandemic is over, we’ll all get up together and continue to fight for our country and planet’s well being. Be mindful that Trinity is offering support for students who need it. If you ever feel like you need help, there are many places (sites, programs) that are helping students at this time. Hopefully when this pandemic is over, we’ll appreciate more of the people around us and the importance of social interaction.

    Thanks to Professor Jill Weiler and the students in English 107 for sharing your thoughts about coping during the pandemic!  We WILL be back together soon and make new memories together!  Stay healthy, stay safe, and stay strong!

    We. Are. Trinity!

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