Mindy Tran Champion becomes Coordinator for Student Organizations and Leadership

Student Involvement Office position taken on by Trinity alum

The Trinity University Student Involvement Office is dedicated to the support of students’ passions, which are reflected in Trinity’s more than 100 different student organizations. As a result, when the position of Coordinator for Student Organizations and Leadership became vacant with the departure of Harlena Munnings, a search for a new candidate began immediately.

Enter Mindy Tran Champion, a recently graduated Trinity alum. With the spring semester now in full swing, Champion has enthusiastically accepted her position. Given her alumni status, she is no stranger to the Trinity community.

Being from the Houston area, Champion saw attending Trinity as an opportunity to branch out from her hometown. Through her experiences here, she quickly fell in love with the community and found a second home. She said she thoroughly enjoyed the community that the college brought to her, which is one of the primary reasons why she returned to campus.

During her time as a student, Champion always had a full slate of activities to attend to. As a theatre major, she was always involved with the Trinity University Players (or TUPS), and even acted as the club president. With that role and her academic pursuits, she was involved in acting and stage managing throughout various productions. Additionally, Champion worked as a tour guide, in the Student Involvement Office and as an O-Team captain her junior year. Finally, she participated in the Acabellas, Trinity’s female acapella group.

“I did a breadth of things [as a Trinity student] which was really fun. I think that being in clubs and organizations really grounded me here,” Champion said.

Champion graduated with a BA in theatre in 2019. She continued on at Trinity to earn her master’s degree in education only a year later. Following this, she taught theater for two years at Joel Harris Middle School in San Antonio Independent School District (SAISD). Then, she taught theater at Karen Wagner High School in Judson ISD. Despite this work experience, the Trinity community still impacted her on a daily basis, even within her own personal life.

“I’m still really close to a lot of people in the theatre department,” Champion said. “My professor in education, she actually married me and my husband. We married in December. … Two of my professors from the theatre department also went to the wedding. I’ve been in touch with Esther (Esparza). So [coming back to Trinity] is just like coming home.”

Now that Champion has returned to her alma mater, she said she is prepared to accomplish a lot in her new position. In the short term, she looks to spend this first semester getting to know students, organizations and the flow of organizations on campus. Looking further, Champion hopes to build up the student leadership program, making it well known that the Student Involvement Office provides workshops and resources for leadership that students can use both now and in their professional lives.

When Champion returned, she noticed how the student body had changed, despite her being gone for only a few years.

“I liked the students before, but now the drive that all of the students have for their organizations or what they believe in on campus, especially with my position, that’s what I focus on,” Champion said. “That’s what I talk to students about. I just had a meeting with people from VSA (Vietnamese Student Association), and just the passion they have is just inspiring. The environment the students create on campus is just really nice.”

Given her experience in teaching, Champion noted that not seeing her students daily will be a shift she has to get used to, but she wants to make her office a welcoming space. Calling herself an open book, Champion hopes students will get to know her by saying “hi” when they drop by and see her and her coworkers in the Student Involvement Office. With interests such as her love of reading and posting reviews online on a variety of topics, Champion hopes to connect with every student she interacts with.

“I would love for people to come by. One of the things that I’m not used to is not seeing my students every day…I really hope that, in time, I have students that come by and say hi,” said Champion.