President’s Spring Newsletter

President’s Spring Newsletter

March 2021

Dear Trinity Alumnae and Alumni, Family and Friends,

One year ago, our world plunged into a long period of disruption, illness and too many deaths as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. In March 2020 Trinity had to close our campus and learn how to conduct classes and services online. We’ve learned a lot in the past year, and Trinity today is thriving, with enrollment growing and finances stronger than ever, innovation abounding and students achieving across a remarkable range of endeavors. We hope to be able to return to many on-campus classes and activities in Fall 2021, but a full menu of programs may have to wait until 2022.

In this newsletter, I am pleased to share snapshots of some of the creative new ideas and wonderful achievements at Trinity in the Spring 2021 semester, including:

  • 158 new Trinity alumnae and alumni received their degrees in joyful virtual graduation ceremonies in January 2021.
  • 16 Trinity juniors and seniors realized great success in a semester-long virtual internship conducted by the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
  • Four Trinity science majors presented research in the virtual Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students and two won awards!
  • Three Trinity science majors won awards at the 2021 NASA D.C. Space Grant Consortium’s Student STEM Research Poster Presentation.
  • Three Trinity scholars had their research papers selected for presentation at the 2021 Humanities Education and Research Association conference.
  • Three Trinity scholars presented papers at the Tuskegee University Annual History Symposium.
  • Trinity nursing students joined forces with Children’s National Hospital to participate in Covid-19 vaccine clinics for teachers in the D.C. Public Schools.
  • Trinity is launching new degree and concentration programs in global affairs, environmental justice, data analytics, cloud computing and bioinformatics.

Thanks to generous alumnae and friends, our fiscal foundation has grown ever stronger. The Trinity Renaissance Fund, our 125th Anniversary campaign, is approaching $25 million toward our goal of $50 million; Trinity thrives thanks to our generous benefactors! Enjoy reading more about the great students and faculty these wonderful gifts are supporting.

With thanks and best wishes,

President Pat McGuire ’74

P.S. At this writing, our dear friend and mentor to many Trinity women, Sr. Seton Cunneen ’65, is in poor health at Mount Notre Dame in Cincinnati. This has been such a season of sorrow for the Sisters of Notre Dame. Please keep Sr. Seton and all SNDs in your prayers.

President’s Newsletter: Spring 2021

Trinity NASA Scholars Take Top Honors!

Trinity participates in a NASA grant program with American University. The program emphasizes undergraduate research in the sciences.

Barachel Butler

In February, Trinity forensic science major Barachel Butler ’22 won first prize in the 2021 NASA D.C. Space Grant Consortium’s Student STEM Research Poster Presentation Competition. Under the guidance of molecular biologist Dr. Karobi Moitra, Butler used predictive modeling software to conduct her research project, “Annotation and Homology Modeling of the Multidrug Transport Protein P-glycoprotein (ABCB1) of Equus Caballus.”

Two Trinity NASA Scholars received honorable mention awards for their poster presentations at the same STEM Research symposium. Brandi Nelson ’21, a biology major, presented her research, “Microbiomes of the Human Hand,” working with her faculty mentor, biologist Dr. Cynthia DeBoy. Jaylan Pratt ’20, a forensic science major, who graduated in December 2020, worked with her faculty mentor, chemist Dr. Anette Casiano-Negroni, to conduct her research, “Effects of Formaldehyde-based Embalming Fluids on the Chemical Composition of Drugs.” Read the abstracts and more information abut these projects.

Trinity STEM Winners at Biomedical Research Conference!

Every year, Dr. Patrice Moss, biochemistry, takes a group of science majors to the Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students (ABRCMS). This year, due to the pandemic, the conference was virtual, but four Trinity students still participated and two won top honors. Corryn Hicks ’21, a biology major, won a poster award in chemistry for her project entitled “CURE Plan: Study of Endocrine Disrupting and Asthma Associated Chemicals Found in Natural Hair Care Products.” Her faculty mentor is Dr. Shizuka Hsieh, chemistry. Yasmin del Carmen Marcia ’23, also a biology major, won a poster award in social and behavioral sciences and public health for her project entitled “The Relationship Between Dominance Rank, Infanticide Risk, and Maternal Social Strategies in Wild Chimpanzees.” Her faculty mentor is Dr. Kaitlin Wellens, Clare Boothe Luce Professor of Biology.

Corryn Hicks

Yasmin del Carmen Garcia


Trinity Mellon Awardees to Present at Humanities Conference

The Mellon Foundation has provided substantial grant funding to support development of undergraduate research pedagogy in the humanities at Trinity. With the excellent leadership of English Associate Professor Dr. Rewa Burnham (Trinity ’05!), two students will present their research at the 2021

Humanities Education and Research Association (HERA) conference. Naomi Jones ’21, an English major, created a multimedia presentation, “The Language of Activism: The Exploration of Women’s Radical Characteristics Across Time.” Erhuvwu Orhoevwri ’22, pre-nursing, wrote an essay, “More Than A Wife,” in which she argues that portrayals of dysfunctional marriages in recent novels written by Nigerian women serve as critiques of patriarchal institutions that dominate communities in the Nigerian diaspora. Another student, advised by Dr. Kimberly Monroe of global affairs, is Adonis Mokom ’22, pre-nursing, who will present her paper on her “Historical Analysis of Black Power and the Role of Women in the Identity Construction in the United States and Britain.”

Naomi Jones

Erhuvwu Orhoevwri

Adonis Mokom


Trinity History Students Present at Tuskegee University

Dr. Kimberly Monroe, global affairs, led a Trinity student panel on February 12, 2021, at the Historic Research Symposium of Tuskegee University. “The Bigger Picture: Historicizing the Music of Social Inequality” featured Trinity students Sholachauntel Shoda ’22, Myra Strickland ’23 and Payton D. Green ’23. The theme for the three-day, virtual symposium was “Insecure: Black Life, Resilience & Joy In the Age of Uncertainty.”

Trinity Students and Covid-19 Vaccines

Kathleen Sebelius ’70

Interest is high among Trinity students and faculty in all of the issues surrounding the Covid-19 vaccine. We have conducted several campus-wide surveys on issues related to the pandemic, including the vaccine, and we also discuss the vaccine regularly in our weekly “Campus Conversations,” a virtual town hall with students, faculty and staff each week.

I am so pleased and grateful that Trinity alumna and former Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Gilligan Sebelius ’70 was able to join us in February for the weekly Campus Conversation. She was outstanding in providing perspectives about national health policies and pandemic management from her own experience, and insights into the Biden Administration’s plans to deal with the coronavirus crisis. More than 120 members of the campus community joined in a lively conversation with Secretary Sebelius.

Keiara Butler and Tiffany Tyler with Chef Jose Andres

Nursing students at Trinity have also been on the front lines. Keiara Butler and Tiffany Tyler, seniors in the nursing program, proudly represented Trinity while volunteering alongside nurses from Children’s National Hospital for a vaccine clinic at Dunbar High School for D.C. Public Schools teachers and staff. “It was an invaluable experience and allowed us to connect with the hospital staff and the community” said Keiara Butler. “We found time to take a few photos before the hustle and bustle of the vaccination clinic. We even managed to grab a selfie with Chef Jose Andres of the World Central Kitchen!”

Students in Dr. DeBoy’s microbiology class are also working on campus-wide education about the vaccine. They are developing an infographic that we will use throughout the campus to educate students, faculty and staff about the importance of getting the vaccine, and trying to demystify some of the resistance to it. Our surveys show that while most faculty and staff are eager to get vaccinated, a substantial proportion of students are skeptical, and we are focusing educational efforts on that group.

CSIS Fellowships Enhance Opportunities for Trinity Students

In the fall 2021 semester, 16 Trinity juniors and seniors earned fellowships through a special program created by the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) with Trinity and supported by the Luce Foundation. These students participated in weekly seminars with CSIS scholars and guest speakers, ending the experience with capstone presentations on topics ranging from climate change and environmental sustainability to immigration policy and police misconduct. Their work won high praise from Dr. John Hamre, CEO of CSIS, and his colleagues. We look forward to building on this experience for students in future semesters.

Trinity Global Affairs Program Expands Horizons

Thanks to a major grant from the Mellon Foundation in 2019, Trinity was able to create the Trinity Global Leadership Initiative, a multi-disciplinary endeavor with the purpose of building faculty capacity to teach about global issues across all disciplines. In the first year, with grant support, a number of faculty developed new courses or revised existing courses to include global perspectives in disciplines ranging from environmental studies to literature to business to human relations. Now, with growing adoption of global perspectives in the curriculum, the faculty have created the global affairs major program with concentrations in foreign policy and diplomacy, business and economics, environmental studies, regional studies in Africa and Latin America, and a global public health certificate program. Leveraging the resources of the nation’s capital, the global affairs program recognizes that Trinity students are truly citizens of the world, preparing to enter careers in which their knowledge of global issues will be a distinct asset whether in nonprofit service, private business or government positions.

Coming Soon: Data Analytics, Bioinformatics, Cloud Computing and More!

Led by Dr. Sita Ramamurti, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and professor of mathematics, Trinity is developing a suite of information technology minors and concentrations to engage our students with the fast-growing technology industry in the Washington region. Trinity’s initiatives in information technology are part of Trinity DARE: Driving Actions for Racial Equity, through which we are pursuing strategies to be sure that Trinity students have “seats at the table” when major employers are recruiting talent.

We have many more new programs and credentials in development or underway – certificates in community health, child development, special education, educational policy and others. Our year-old master’s in public health is growing rapidly. You can read more about these and other academic developments at Trinity by checking our website:

Media Contact: Ann Pauley, , 202-884-9725

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