By Claire Warkentin –

The summer of 2017 took me to a place I never thought I would end up: Middle-of-Nowhere, Minnesota. Following my Trinity University study abroad trip with Dr. David Ribble’s Costa Rican Ecology course, the second half of my summer was spent living on the grounds of the Vince Shute Wildlife Sanctuary. The closest sign of civilization was a solid 30-minute drive to the tiny town of Orr, population of nearly 300. There I had the internship of my dreams -- spending my days with the American black bears that frequented the sanctuary.

The story of the namesake,Vince Shute, is a popular in the area, and many similar stories can be found throughout northern Minnesota. Once upon a time, there was a man named Vince Shute who owned a logging company. The logger’s campsites were frequently visited and ransacked by the local American black bears. In response, the loggers would shoot and kill the bears. After many years, and many bear shootings, Vince decided it was time to find a better solution; he quickly figured out that these bears were not malicious, but rather were just hungry. Instead of shooting the bears, Vince and his men started placing food (pancakes were a favorite) for the bears outside of their camp and their raiding problems were solved. This was, unfortunately, breaking a pretty big rule: never feed wildlife.

Bear, Claire Warkentin, internship, Vince Shute Wildlife Sanctuary
One of the sanctuary's visiting bears hanging out at a feeding site enjoying the summer sun.
Time passed and eventually the logging camp was converted into a kind of park where people would pay to visit and Vince would guide them around among the many habituated bears on the old logging grounds. In the late 1990s, the American Bear Association was established in order to manage the Vince Shute Wildlife Sanctuary and maintain the feeding situation established by Vince Shute. The Sanctuary is a center of conservation (a.k.a. a magnet for controversy) and gains a lot of attention due to the fact that the black bears that visit our grounds are fed. Previous efforts to wean the bears off of the provided food led to nuisance bear activity in the surrounding communities who had no qualms against shooting the raiding bears. In order to protect the bears, the feeding program has continued while longer-term weaning-off programs are currently in development. Meanwhile, a raised platform was constructed to keep visitors separate from the bears, and the diet was changed from pancakes and pastries to fruits, nuts, and seeds to better supplement a wild black bear’s natural diet.

An average day at the sanctuary started pretty early in order to feed the bears as the sun is rising when they are most active. Thankfully, the morning food is bucketed the previous night so we just had to be physically present and awake enough to navigate the field of bears waiting for us. We would tromp out into the “magic circle,” the only area of the protected Sanctuary grounds where the bears were given the right-of-way (elsewhere, we try to negatively condition the bears so as to appropriately fear and avoid humans), lugging 30-50 lb buckets of food. As the summer went on, more and more bears would visit the open Sanctuary grounds to get their fill of food in order to fatten up before hibernation. By the end of the internship, we sometimes started the day with an hour and a half of straight feeding before enough bears had wandered off to give us interns a chance to head in for our own breakfast.

Claire Warkentin, bears, research, internship
Claire observing Bobo the bear during morning tasks.
The work shifts consisted of a variety of jobs including prepping and mixing food, restocking the gift shop, weeding around the grounds, and, everybody’s favorite, poop scooping. One of my absolute favorite moments happened one day while I was working in the morning walking around scooping poop when I had a little encounter with a curious yearling, a young bear that has recently moved out of the house from living with mom. As a general rule, we were not supposed to leave any buckets around where the bears could steal them, but when this little yearling started following me around, I knew that was exactly what he wanted a look at. I set down my poop bucket and took a step back to let the yearling approach -- I was not concerned that he would steal my bucket. Bears HATE their own poop. If you ever see a bear step in their own poop, you will know it when you see it: they have a full-body convulsion out of disgust. They completely lose it. So this little yearling approaches my bucket and throws caution to the wind and blindly shoves his head deep down to the bottom. Oh silly bear, he soon realized his a regrettable mistake. The poor little guy picked his head up and ran away as fast as I had ever seen a bear move. It was hilarious.

In addition to the daily work tasks, a cool opportunity with the Vince Shute Wildlife Sanctuary internships is that they allow interns to create their own research projects. In some of our free time, I led a research project with two of my fellow interns to gather observational data on black bear vocalizations and body language patterns (I am still in the process of working through all the data we collected!). In the evenings, the sanctuary hosts public hours for visitors to come and see the bears, and we interns would rotate the nightly jobs such as working admissions and parking, working in the gift shop, standing on deck and educating visitors (including giving scheduled talks on specialized topics: my specialization was black bear senses), and being on the grounds feeding the bears.

Claire Warkentin, Bear talk, Research
Claire delivering her educational deck talk.
It is hard to think of one specific highlight of the internship -- the bears are so curious and dopy that there were multiple occasions where you just had to laugh out loud at what they were doing. Another one of my favorite moments was when one of the frequently-visiting mother bears, Jade, was sitting at the base of a tall tree, gulping to call her four cubs down. Unfortunately, they were being disobedient little children and not listening to mother. Jade, one of the larger and older mothers, gave up on waiting for her rebellious little cubs and got up in the tree herself, climbing right to the top where her cubs were waiting for her. Jade began nipping at the ankles of her cubs, but they were just out of her reach and still not obeying. Jade, exasperated, climbed back down and lumbered away-- a sort of punishment like “if you’re not going to listen to me now then you just have to stay up there and you now you have to wait until I come back!” Sure enough, the little cubs waited up in the tree branches for hours until Jade returned in the afternoon. This time they listened when she called them down.

Throughout my Trinity educational career I have had the opportunity to dip my toes into the field of research through studying abroad in Tanzania with the School for Field Studies Wildlife Management Studies program in the summer of 2016, and studying abroad again this past summer with Dr. Ribble for his Costa Rican Ecology course. The Vince Shute Wildlife Sanctuary internship was my first move into the professional working world of wildlife conservation and research world that I plan to expand on by heading to grad school to further find my path in the wildlife research and conservation biology field after obtaining my bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry this spring.

About Claire

Claire Warkentin is a senior biochemistry major with an ancient mediterranean studies minor from Round Rock, Texas. She is the president of Alpha Phi Omega, plays the cello in the Trinity Symphony Orchestra, and is on Trinity's ultimate frisbee team Altitude. In her free time she communes with nature and bakes cheesecake.
By Davis King, Class of 2018 –
Written on 9/1/17 in anticipation of the beginning of the football season.

Tomorrow will be another “last first” for the fellow football seniors and I. The football team will be taking on the Redlands Bulldogs here in California, and it will be my “last first” football game as a Trinity Tiger. Recently, there have a lot of these “last firsts” in terms of my football career at Trinity, starting back in the spring when it was my final semester of participating in spring workouts and spring practice. Then it was my "last first" day of training camp on August 10th, where each player gets to be a “full-time athlete” for nearly two weeks prior to the fall semester starting each year. During these two weeks, our team eats all three meals together, practices together, lifts together, and pretty much share the exact same schedule for all hours of the day.

Davis King, Football, Trinity, Tigers
Davis gets ready to pass the football during a 2016 season game. Photograph by Joshua Moczygemba.
In just 10 short weeks this season will come to a close. My four seasons as a Trinity University Football player will be completed, and I will join the many men who came before me and add the word “former” to my title. These “last firsts” will continue to occur all throughout my senior year, and up to graduation on May 12th, 2018, or 253 days from now (but who’s counting?). With each day flying by, I just want to make sure to take it all in, enjoy every minute I have together with my teammates and coaches, and appreciate all that Trinity has provided our team during my time as a Tiger.

As I enter into my fourth season, it is also the fourth season for our head coach, Jerheme Urban. Coach Urban has continued to impress me, year after year, in how he transforms our unique and diverse team of individuals into a collective group and close-knit family. A few examples include: “Real Life Thursday’s” in the spring, when Trinity football alumni come and speak to our team about a variety of topics, “Fool’s in the Pool” twice a year, where our team does a pool workout filled with competition and a belly flop contest, or even just having our team learn the Trinity University Fight Song and perform it each night during camp.

Davis King, football, Trinity, Tigers, 2016
Davis moves down the field with the ball in a 2016 season game.
This upcoming football season is a little different than the past three. Now part of a new conference, the SAA (Southern Athletic Association), we will be flying five times. In order to be ready for these new opponents, we have been fortunate to get to workout in the brand new Stumberg Sports Performance Center, a state of the art athletic facility that was just completed this summer in the William H. Bell Athletic Center. Our team also gained the edition of a new coach, Michael Clark, who joins the staff with years of experience at both the collegiate and professional level. In addition, football and other sports have also gained access to brand new locker rooms. The above mentioned changes, as well as the continued renovations to the William H. Bell Athletic Center, will continue to attract top students and athletes for years to come.

I cannot thank Dr. AndersonBob King, the many faculty and staff, and the alumni for all of the tremendous support we receive. Our team is very fortunate to have all that we do: travel opportunities, meals, two helmets, warm-ups, and more. I am so excited for the season ahead and how the program will continue to grow under Coach Urban’s direction.

Davis King, Football, Tigers, home game
Come out and support the Trinity Tigers in the 2017 season!
Come out and support the Tigers at one of our games this season! For the class of 2018, our “last first” home game will be Saturday, September 24th, as we take on Chapman at 1:00 pm.

About Davis

Davis King is senior from Columbia, South Carolina majoring in Business Administration with a concentration in Finance, and minoring in both Economics and Sport Management. He is the Co-Chair for the Student Ambassadors, Co-President of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, University Tour Guide, Trinity Distinguished Representative, and works in the Equipment Room. He participated in Trinity’s Shanghai Summer Program in the summer of 2016, and will be participating in the Sport in London Program this upcoming winter break. The past summer Davis interned at Andeavor (formerly Tesoro Corporation) in San Antonio. He has accepted a position with Andeavor and will begin following his graduation in May 2018.

San Antonio high school students spend summer on campus taking courses, gaining real-world working experience

by Cheyenne “Cici” Garcia

Thirteen interns from San Antonio’s Upward Bound program have spent six weeks this summer on the Trinity University campus, taking courses and working in selected offices or departments. The result for these high school students has been an inside look at college life and insight into the working world.

The interns arrived on the Trinity campus with fresh perspectives and a “ready to work” mindset, and they said they will leave with newly gained abilities.

Upward bound students at Trinity University
Upward Bound students at Trinity University

Allison Payne, an intern at the KRTU 91.7 FM radio station, says, “I’ve learned so much here that I can apply to real world situations or that I can use elsewhere, such as building up my organization skills, computer skills, and networking. Being here also helps me become more diverse among my music taste.”

Ricardo Peña and Waverly Reyes, who interned in the engineering science department, agreed, “The beneficial part of this internship is that it’s challenging, it prepares us for tough challenges in other situations, and it’s definitely a learning experience.”

The interns share a motivation to get work done. For example, Raveé Mata, in the Office of Experiential Learning, and KRTU’s Payne feel that Trinity gives a “home-like feeling.” Payne says being at Trinity really gives her “a sense of belonging.”

Mata mentions that since many interns are seniors, “It makes sense that we’ve grown a certain type of love for the campus. Some of us have been here since the beginning, and some like myself, have recently joined.” It is definitely easy to understand this perspective from high school students who have gotten a feel for an actual college campus. Most of the interns agreed that the summer at Trinity and the experiences on campus will never be forgotten.

To qualify for the Upward Bound program at Trinity University, interns had to apply for specific jobs in designated areas. This year’s interns at Trinity campus and their department are:

- Ana Nunez, Information Technology Services

- Allison Payne and Ivonne Martinez, KRTU 91.7 FM radio station

- Karen Padilla and Arin Douglas, University Presbyterian Children’s Center

- Samuel De Los Santos, Department of Physics and Astronomy

- Lizeth Salazar, Student Involvement

- Raveé Mata, Office of Experiential Learning

- Waverly Reyes and Ricardo Peña, Department of Engineering Science

- Diana Long, Study Abroad

- Samantha Martinez, Office of Career Services

- Cheyenne “Cici” Garcia, Office of University Marketing and Communications

Additionally, other Upward Bound interns worked off Trinity campus, including Rosario Moreno and Laura Filerio, who were at the Law Office of Diane Martinez; and Alexis Mata, who was at a dental office.

Text provided by Cheyenne “Cici” Garcia of San Antonio, a senior at McCollum high school and student to the Upward Bound program at Trinity University. She was a summer intern in the Office of University Marketing and Communications. She observes, “As interns, we received an inside look in some of the offices of the University, going places we’ve never ventured before, and in return, gaining a variety of skills that can be applied elsewhere. Trinity has given us something to remember as interns, and as students we will keep learning and working not only for its benefit but for ours.”

By Grace Cline –

A little less than a year ago, I started my first year of college at Trinity University. Prior to starting college, many people gave me advice about what to expect and while most of the advice was good, I still don’t think I was fully prepared for what my first year would bring.

Grace Cline, Trinity University
Grace Cline proudly stands next to the Trinity University sign on upper campus.
One of the biggest things I struggled with this year was finding my place. During my first semester, I had trouble finding friends and discovering clubs and people to hang out with. I feel like this aspect of college life isn’t talked about enough to future students. All people ever said to me about college was that it would be the best time of my life. And yes, it has been an amazing time but that comes when you find where you belong, and that is often very hard to do at first.

The first week that I arrived at Trinity was New Student Orientation week. This means that I arrived on campus and moved all of my stuff into my dorm, met my suite mates and roommate, and then spent a week doing a variety of icebreakers to get to know the people around me. I’m normally not one for icebreakers but I really enjoyed NSO because everyone was on the looking to make new friends. It wasn’t like most group activities where everyone has an established cohort of friends already.

Grace Cline, Dorm room, decorations, first year
Grace poses with her decorations in her first-year dorm room.
During the first week of freshman year, nobody really had a friend group and everybody seemed like fair game to strike up a friendship with. That being said, after my first week of college, I was convinced that I had set up my friend group already with these 4 or 5 girls that I met during NSO. For the first few weeks or so, we’d all sit together at meals and text each other but that group of friends lasted less than a month. Don’t get me wrong, they were all very nice people, and we still are friendly but we were all still trying to find our “people” and we banded together at first. By the end of the first month that first group of friends had grown apart and it seemed like everyone around me had at least one person whom they could trust and hang out with while I still felt like all I had were acquaintances.

This doesn’t mean my first semester was bad. It was incredibly good; it was mostly good, in fact. In my first semester, I rediscovered my passion for choir, performed in a talent show solo, joined several clubs, met new people, and fell absolutely in love with my classes along with a slew of other experiences. My first year of college had its highs and lows – the rest of my college career will probably be like this as well. There was a time last semester when I was so overwhelmed by my 17 hours of classes and midterms that I rode home on a bus in tears and was absolutely convinced that college wasn’t for me.

Grace Cline, performing
Grace performs in the Talent Show.
But through all of these things, I have come to know and accept myself better. All of those really stressful moments from college this year passed and overall I had the most amazing first year of college ever.

My advice to any incoming freshman is this: fitting in can be hard at first, it’s like that at any new place and it can be difficult when you add in the added effects of homesickness and newfound independence. The best way to combat the feelings of loneliness during your first few months at college is to join clubs and find people that make you feel special, you may grow apart from these first friends but you will find those that last as well.

You can read more from Grace in her personal blog Coming Out of The Exodus.

About Grace

Grace Cline is a rising sophomore originally from San Antonio majoring in Psychology and Religion. She is co-president of the Jewish Student Association, a member of PRIDE, and a team member on the newly formed Trinity Rock Climbing Team. Grace is an intern for Hillel San Antonio and works as a Trinity tour guide. In her free time, Grace enjoys rock climbing, running, playing guitar, and writing for her personal blog.
By Inka Sklodowska Boehm –

The college search process can be a nerve-wracking one but it’s important to remember that there are people here to help guide you along the way, both literally and figuratively. Tour guides are an excellent source of information, which can quell the fears you might have during your hunt for the perfect school. We also happen to be incredibly funny and really, really ridiculously good looking.

zoolander, beautiful
Source: Giphy
Zoolander references aside, here are 8 questions to ask your Tour Guide to get the most out of your campus visit.

1. What opportunities are there for students in *insert your field of interest here*?
The campus tour is all about figuring out how you would thrive at Trinity. Therefore, ask all the questions you want about research, internship, class, and club opportunities relating to what you are most interested in. There’s no reason to be shy about what you’re passionate about from computer science to cheese rolling. Even if your tour guide isn’t involved in neuroscience or the acapella group, chances are she will know people who are and will be able to tell you relevant anecdotal information.

cheese rolling competition gif
2. What’s your favorite memory or tradition on campus?
Anyone can look online and find the statistical information given on our tours. What makes a campus visit unique is the ability to hear individual perspectives on the real student experience. The more stories you hear, the better picture you get. Plus, you get to feed our egos by letting us talk about ourselves.

3. What were your favorite and least favorite classes?
I was just recently asked this question on one of my tours and it surprised me that no one had asked this before. We are current students so we can offer plenty of advice, from how to deal with academic stress to what professors are the crème de la crème.

Parks and Rec
4. What are the relationships with professors like?
Related to the previous question, if you’re going to invest time and money into a university, you should know how the professors and students interact. At Trinity, we pride ourselves on how involved our faculty is, so you can be sure any response to this question will have at least one anecdote about our fantastic faculty and staff.

Robin Williams teaching
5. How involved are students off-campus?
Having access to a city as big as San Antonio is a great perk of attending Trinity. The city has a lot to offer and while there’s plenty to do on campus, it’s important to know if and how students engage with their community outside of the university. If you’re worried about getting trapped in the campus bubble, ask this question.

Bicycling dog
6. Where would you recommend going in San Antonio?
You now have an insider guide on where to go and what to do after your tour. Asking where we like to eat off campus gives you some excellent culinary options that are often inexpensive as well. If you’re pressed for time and can’t explore for yourself, this question can introduce you to the endless possibilities our captivating city has to offer.

Ryan Gossling taco
7. What is the most underrated aspect of Trinity?
Like I said before, asking questions on individual perspectives helps paint a picture of real life at the university. You may learn something about the campus or university as a whole that most visitors might never have the opportunity to learn.

Bob Ross wisdom
8. Why did you choose Trinity? 
The final recommended question, of course, allows you to get yet another insight into the type of university you’ve just walked around and hopefully better understand what you’re looking for in your future college home and what’s important to you. Finding the school that’s right for you is a daunting task, and your tour guide only wants to help. We’ve all been in your shoes before and each have anecdotes and advice we are more than happy to share with you. The main reason we chose to become tour guides is to share our love of our school with you in the hopes that you’ll see it how we do.

Zoolander ants
Despite my apparent flaw of quoting Zoolander all the time, I’ve found a second home at Trinity, and I hope you will, as well.

About Inka

Inka Sklodowska Boehm is a rising senior from St. Louis, Missouri majoring in Political Science. She is a member of Alpha Phi Omega, Trinity University Players, Trinity Distinguished Representatives and works as a tour guide and an orientation team leader. This past semester she studied abroad in Strasbourg, France, where she studied French and interned at the Council of Europe. In her free time she enjoys kayaking, reading true crime novels, and finding her next slice of pizza.