First-ever Trinity Recognition for International Engagement ceremony held

Left+to+right%3A+Jessie+Jiang%2C+Dr.+Tynes%2C+Sajoy+Pottian%2C+Sabrina+Cortez+Photo+credit%3A+Matthew+Claybrook

Left to right: Jessie Jiang, Dr. Tynes, Sajoy Pottian, Sabrina Cortez Photo credit: Matthew Claybrook

Photo by Matthew Claybrook

The International Club and the Office for International Engagement co-hosted the first-ever Trinity Recognition for International Engagement (TRIE) event to honor international students and students who have studied abroad.

The event was held on March 23 in Parker Chapel, where 16 international students and 42 students who studied abroad were recognized. Each student wore a stole with the Trinity logo and the flag of their country of origin or of the country in which they studied abroad.

“It just came to a point where, as the International Club and as other departments on campus, we just felt like the international community needed to be recognized at Trinity, and so we just decided to shoot for this and see how it would take place,” said senior Sajoy Pottian, president of the International Club.

Enhancing Trinity students’ international engagement and awareness is a direct objective of Trinity’s Strategic Plan, and this event was used as a way to do that, according to Sabrina Cortez, a study abroad adviser.

“This event was created to recognize students who have brought global awareness to our university and who have assisted in the internationalization of Trinity. Personally, as a Trinity University alumna and a current study abroad adviser, I am positively affected by the promotion of international education and students’ decisions to study abroad,” Cortez wrote over email.

Cortez requested funding for the event at the Feb. 27 SGA meeting, where the senate voted to fund food and sponsor the reception following the event. Funding for the stoles came from various academic departments, the Center for International Engagement and the 150th Anniversary steering committee.

“For us, international engagement is not just people [from] out of the States. It’s also people who have gone abroad. And so it’s just trying to incorporate those two together and making in known to the campus in general,” Pottian said.

Nearly all the international students and students who studied abroad who are graduating in May attended the event.

“Even those who went to study abroad, they were far from home, and we international students are far from home. I feel like it recognized people who were brave enough to go places for months or even, for me, four years away from home,” said senior Annamaria Nderimo, an international student from Tanzania who attended the event.

Although students will be unable to wear their sashes at the graduation ceremony in May, they are able to keep them.

“The fact that it recognized international students and it’s like a gratitude for us being here, I felt really good about it,” Nderimo said.