By Curtis Whitacre –

It seems like every high school tells its seniors to decide on a major before graduating - before they’ve even started considering which colleges to attend, if any at all. My high school was no exception. Looking to my future and exploring my options with loved ones, I eventually stumbled onto the idea of a Psychology major. I always liked psychology and the idea of helping people so it seemed like the perfect fit. Senior year came and went and with my high school diploma in hand I was off to attend Trinity University in the fall of 2014.

I spent the next two years at Trinity working towards that coveted Psychology degree. However, I managed to sneak in a lower division Latin course during my first semester. I had always been interested in the language as a hobby, so I jumped at the first opportunity to learn it in an academic setting.

As time passed, I found myself filling up my schedule with more and more Classics courses. Statistics and heavy textbooks were replaced with Ancient Greek and Latin poetry and prose. I had fallen by the wayside of my original path, but much to my surprise, I had transformed from a budding Psychologist into a flourishing Classicist.

I dropped the Psychology major and declared a Classical Languages major in the same breath. A whole new world had been opened and welcomed me with open arms. I became the Vice President of the HOMER society, a club dedicated to working with ancient manuscripts. I composed an english translation for a section of an untranslated 12th century Latin manuscript as a final project under Andrew Kraebel, professor in the English department. I enrolled in so many amazing courses that explored the beauty of ancient language and the persisting effect of the classical world on today’s pop culture. I was even able to publish my work in the San Antonio Current, with the help and encouragement of Thomas Jenkins, professor in the Classics department.

Tim O'Sullivan, Ruben Dupertuis, Caroline Kerley, Curtis Whitacre, Andrew Tao, Roman World Lab, Classics, Humanities, Undergraduate Research
The Roman World Lab, curtesy of Dr. Dupertuis.
Back left to right: Tim O'Sullivan, Ph.D., Ruben Dupertuis. Ph.D. Front left to right: Caroline Kerley, Curtis Whitacre, Andrew Tao.
It only took one year for my entire perspective to shift, my identify to metamorphose. I’m now working with Tim O’Sullivan, professor of Classics and Ruben Dupertuis, professor in the Religion department in the Roman World Lab, a product of the Mellon Initiative’s Undergraduate Humanities Research program. For ten weeks, we’ll be working on the unique intersection of early Christianity and the Ancient narrative, as well as exploring the exceptional works of the Gospel of Peter and Book 11 of Apuleius’ The Golden Ass.

Andrew Kraebel, Curtis Whitacre, Latin, Translation,
Professor Kraebel and Curtis Whitacre looking over their translation work.
As the summer moves forward, I hope to continue working hard at my newfound passion. Working in the Roman Word Lab has exposed me to new areas of study that I otherwise wouldn’t have considered a necessary part of my education. Not only am I strengthening my Latin and Ancient Greek abilities, I’m also fostering an appreciation for Early Christian literature and the Ancient Greek novel. I cannot imagine what my future has in store for me, but I know that Trinity has so many more surprises just beyond that rosy fingered dawn, and I can’t wait to fly headfirst beyond the horizon.

About Curtis
Curtis Whitacre is a rising Senior and Classical Languages major from Costa Mesa, California and hopes to attend graduate school in Classics after graduation. He is the Vice President of the HOMER society here at Trinity, has been published in the San Antonio Current on classical reception in modern day comics, and works in the Roman World lab with his professors and fellow peers this summer. In his time off he enjoys playing Dungeons & Dragons, creating art, writing, and learning new languages.
By Miriam Cone

Before coming to Trinity I had only visited San Antonio three times. I say only, but for a student from the Tampa Bay Area in Florida, it felt like a lot. During my first visit I didn’t see much of the city beyond the Alamo and the River Walk. The two subsequent trips were to see if Trinity was the university for me, so I spent most of my time on campus. Although I had only seen a limited amount of San Antonio’s rich history and vibrant community, I knew the city was somewhere I’d love to live. Now that I’m a rising junior, I’ve had numerous opportunities to go out and experience a lot of what the city has to offer.

This summer I’m a marketing intern at Trinity University Press, which has been an amazing experience so far and a literal dream come true. An unexpected bonus of interning with TU Press is that it has allowed me to get to know San Antonio even better.

I thought I learned a lot about the city, but reading Mark Louis Rybczyk’s book, San Antonio Uncovered, I realized how much I didn’t know. The book, subtitled Fun Facts and Hidden Histories, published by TU Press in August of 2016 as an updated edition, discusses San Antonio’s history and peculiarities, from the reason why the Hogwild Records building has a sign with the number of miles to the North Pole (4,189) to the origin story of Fritos chips.

North Pole sign, Hogwild Records, Miriam Cone, around San Antonio
The North Pole sign can be found on the Hogwild Records building, near San Antonio College.
I read the book for my internship to prepare for a San Antonio Uncovered inspired trivia and book giveaway we are doing to celebrate summer in San Antonio. As a part of this, I went around San Antonio taking photos of different places, many of which I’ve never been to before like the Mission San Jose to see the Rose Window and St. Mary’s University, where former president Dwight D. Eisenhower was briefly a football coach.

Even at places I’d visited more times than I can count, like the River Walk, I learned something new. I never knew that the River Walk architect, Robert H. H. Hugman, had been fired without a hearing in 1940, a year before the River Walk was completed. It wasn’t until 1978 when he was recognized for his vision and work. I also never noticed that each of the River Walk stairwells are unique and that this was intentional in Hugman’s original design.

Robert H. H. Hugman’s bust can be found at the  bottom of the west staircase leading down from Commerce Street on the River Walk.
San Antonio has a host of more places to discover, food to eat, and stories to uncover. Anyone visiting or living here really needs to take the time to explore it, and reading San Antonio Uncovered is a good place to start.

The book giveaway will begin on the June 20th and run until August 1st, so follow Trinity University Press on Instagram (@tupress), Twitter (@tupress), and Facebook to participate. Also visit our website to learn more about the press and to sign up for our email list.

About Miriam

Miriam Cone is a rising junior from St. Pete Beach, Florida, and is an English major with a minor in creative writing. She is involved in Alpha Phi Omega, with the Trinity Review, the Cat Alliance, O-Team, is a Trinity Distinguished Representative, and is a marketing intern for Trinity University Press. When she has free time she enjoys swimming, cross stitching, crying over cat videos, and cooking.

By Brittney Bowman –

I originally came up with the concept of an elevator pitch competition my freshman year when I started working for the Entrepreneurship Department. My boss gave me the task of making a list of all of the amazing things I wanted the department to do. He told me that there were no parameters. The sky was the limit. So I started to do some research about what other universities did to come up with ideas. I came across a university that rents out one of the tallest buildings in their city in order to use the elevators for the completion and that’s when I decided that Trinity needed to do this. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to make that a reality at the time. It wasn’t until last semester that my boss came to me and asked if I wanted to make it happen and of course I said “yes”!

When trying to figure out the logistics of the event, the one thing I knew for sure was that I wanted more people to be involved in the event than just the participants. I started throwing around different ideas for how it could work and that’s when I decided that it could also be a networking event. So my overall goals were to allow students to practice a pitch, to have more people than just the students and competitors to participate in it, and I wanted it to involve more people than just those of the Entrepreneurship Department. In order to accomplish all of these, I set up the event in two rounds.

Student Competitor Gets Ready to Give her Elevator Pitch

The first round was a networking event. I invited professors from a variety of departments to be both attendees and act as judges for the first round. Nobody knew who was a judge and who wasn’t a judge. The idea behind this was that you never know who is the CEO of a major company, so you should always try and pitch yourself and make a good impression because you could be talking to the next Steve Jobs and not know it. Those who were competitors were labeled as competitors on their nametags and they had thirty minutes to give their pitch to as many people as they could. If they happened to pitch to a judge and the judge liked their pitch, then they were handed a business card. At the end of the first round, all of business cards were tallied and the top 10 competitors with the most cards moved on to the second round. The second round consisted of 5 judges in two different elevators. The competitors had only the time of the elevator ride to give their pitch to these 5 new judges in the hopes of collecting more business cards to add to their total. At the end, the 5 students with the most business cards won a prize.

Overall the event went better than I had hoped. Everybody who came out, participants and judges alike, really enjoyed the event and thought that it was a great concept. Everyone always hears the term “elevator pitch”, but I don’t think anybody ever actually thinks of actually doing it in an elevator. I think having that concept happen in real life was what made the event so cool. Getting all of the positive feedback after the event really validated that this was a good idea that should be continued in the future. There are definitely a few logistics that need improvement before we do this event again, but overall the event was a great success.

elevator pitch winners amazon 2017
The 2017 Elevator Pitch Competition Winners

I think the Trinity Elevator Pitch Competition contributes to the Trinity experience because it really is an all-encompassing event. It not only brings together people from a variety of departments, but it also gives students the opportunity to work on any sort of pitch that they want. They could give a pitch for a business concept, they could try and sell themselves for a particular job, really they could pitch anything. So this meant that it wasn’t just for business students with business ideas. One of the biggest misconceptions about entrepreneurship is that it is only for business majors. In reality, it can fit in with any major and that is what I hope can come across to people who attend this event. The things that we do in entrepreneurship and the skills and knowledge that we teach can be paired with any type of educational background or interest. I think this competition also can help to prepare students for life after graduation. It helps them to not only work on their pitch, but it is also a reminder that you never know who you are talking to or what opportunities you can come across from networking. Because of that, you should always sell yourself to anybody that will listen. I think an event like this is unique to Trinity because it is all-encompassing of the campus community. It not only brings multiple department together, but it also connects student, professors, and alumni together. We really pride ourselves on begin this great community and having events like this that can bring everybody together and can benefit everyone really helps to strengthen that community.

About Brittney

Brittney Bowman is a senior Business Administrations major with a concentration in Accounting with an interdisciplinary second major in Entrepreneurship from Georgetown Texas. In her four years at Trinity, her most notable involvements have been as the captain of the Trinity Cheerleaders and the president of the Zeta Chi sorority. Entrepreneurship and baking are her passion, and after graduation she plans on opening her own cake pop bakery.

By Allyson Mackender –

Earlier this week I stumbled upon the first email I ever exchanged with my first-year roommate. It was filled with the expected questions: Where are you from? Do you have any siblings? What colors should we use to decorate our dorm? All the essentials. I couldn’t help but chuckle at one question, though.

What are you studying?

Northrup Hall, home of Trinity's English department. 
I enthusiastically answered, “International studies and political science,” launching into a lengthy paragraph explaining how passionate I was about the disciplines. So, with graduation just three weeks away, I can’t help but ask, how did I become an English major?

During my first semester at Trinity I took HUMA-1600, Introduction to Philosophy, International Politics, and Calculus. I went into the semester expecting to love my International Politics course; I ended the semester swearing to never take another international studies course. My decision had nothing to do with the department itself. Many of my closest friends have had phenomenal experiences as international studies majors. However, during my first semester I was deeply influenced by Professor Victoria Aarons’ Writing Workshop course, which was the first step in my decision to become an English major.

I officially declared my English major in the spring of my sophomore year, but leading up to that my parents had endured many phone calls where I emphatically told them I had found the one. After deciding I didn’t want to study international studies or political science, I considered studying anthropology, psychology, communication, and religion before finally deciding on English.

Victoria Aarons is an O.R. and Eva Mitchell Distinguished Professor in Trinity's English Department
Because of Trinity’s Pathways Curriculum, students are expected to fulfill six criteria: The First Year Experience, Approaches to Creation and Analysis, The Core Capacities, the Interdisciplinary Cluster, The Major, and Fitness Education. This means that during your time at Trinity you will likely take classes in almost every department, giving you the chance to try a plethora of academic disciplines. And if you take advantage of this period of exploration, I assure you that you’ll eventually find the perfect fit.

My advice to future, and fellow, tigers is not to worry if you don’t immediately know what you'll study. When your future roommate asks what you want to major in, it is perfectly fine to say, “I have no idea.” The unique Trinity curriculum and the faculty at Trinity will guide you until you eventually find your place. Stay open-minded. Be inquisitive. Find a mentor. And remember that no matter your major the resources Trinity provides will prepare you for a lifetime of success.

About Allyson

Allyson Mackender is a senior English major from Denver, Colorado. She is the author of Trinity's Experiential Learning Blog and the editor of the Trinity Perspective.  Allyson is a member of Sigma Theta Tau and Phi Sigma Pi
By Andrea Acevedo –

When I came to Trinity, I was not sure what the LGBTQ community on campus would be like. I had a pretty close-knit group in high school so I was afraid of not being as accepted as I had been. One of the first things I did when I was looking into campus life was search for the diversity page, and when I made it to campus, the first club I signed up for at the Student Involvement Fair was the on-campus LGBTQ club – PRIDE.

The fears that I initially had melted away. I met an organization with wonderful and accepting members. However, around the end of my sophomore year, I noticed that the club was losing momentum. I wanted to see the organization continue to make an impact in the Trinity and San Antonio Community, so I ran for club president. As president, I worked to make our campus engagement more present and helped organize a variety of events which were related to both activism and social events. We have brought in speakers such as Michael Sam, the first openly gay NFL athlete and Robyn Ochs, an expert on bisexuality and gender. We have regular events like holiday parties and socials where everyone is invited to come as they are and be themselves.

What I found at Trinity was a community that marched alongside me in the San Antonio Pride parade, that advocated with me at the state capitol for non-discrimination ordinances, and that sat next to me during LGBTQ movie marathons.

However, there is much work to be done for our organization and our community. Today in Texas, we face discriminatory bills targeting members of the Transgender community like Senate Bill 6 and other bills that pose threats to the rights of LGBTQ workers. If you are interested in being an activist for the LGBTQ community, the opportunities to make an impact here in the lone star state are numerous.

If you are someone who has not gotten very much exposure to information or education in the areas of gender identity or sexual orientation, then you have come to the right place. One of our major goals for the organization is to provide community members with more information and education that breaks down misconceptions about the LGBTQ community.

Choosing a college requires you to consider factors like class sizes, campus locations, and academic rigor, but an often overlooked and important factor that students might also consider is how friendly that college is to students of different sexual orientations or gender identities.

Michael Sam at Trinity University.
When considering Trinity, keep some things on your radar:

1) You should make a point to connect with PRIDE, which is the LGBTQ+ club on campus! You can find us at a variety of student organization fairs and during New Student Orientation.

2) PRIDE hosts lots of events that cater to a variety of interests. This ranges from movie nights, to speakers, to activism events for the San Antonio community.

3) Professors will make an effort to accommodate to your preferred gender (don’t be afraid to let them know.)

4) Residential life is very accommodating to your rooming needs.

5) If you are looking for a support system, you can find that within our organization or with some of our professional LGBTQ friendly counselors.

If you come from a community where you have not been shown love and acceptance because of who you are, know that you can expect to come to Trinity and find a community that embraces your differences and celebrates diversity.

About Andrea

Andrea is a Junior Communication major and a new media minor from Dallas, Texas. She is the current president of Pride, the lgbtq club on campus. She works for the Trinity Marketing department and is a production assistant for Tiger Network. On her time off Andrea is an avid news reader and strives to one day work for the digital department of a major news organization. Her favorite hobbies include long walks in the grocery store and making digital art.