Whether heâ€™s conducting research on ancient Persian iconography in his own office, teaching his fellow students how to become lawyers and litigators or working as hard as he possibly can to succeed in his classes, Ben Brody is always doing something guaranteed to impress.
The first year splits his time between leading the Mock Trial club, conducting research on ancient Mediterranean studies with Mark Garrison, professor of art history, and studying hard for classes, in addition to the other responsibilities of being a college student.
While some might call him crazy, Brody is determined to make an impact during his time at Trinity. Garrison was very impressed with Brodyâ€™s work in the First Year Experience class he taught and reached out to him about doing research together after the fall semester.
â€œHe just did a great job. I guess the thing that really distinguished Ben was his level of engagement. It is very rare for a student to keep a sustained level of engagement, not only in the hours that he or she is in class, but also throughout the semester. That really stood out to me, that he was always there. He was always present and engaged with everything that was going on,â€ Garrison said.
Brody describes the interest in the ancient Mediterranean as a newfound passion that he hopes to continue in some way throughout his life. The research he is currently working involves seals from ancient Persia.
â€œMy job with Dr. Garrison is to basically research the seals on these tablets and the imagery depicted: the significance and the culture, how we can understand imperial ideology,â€ Brody said.
Brodyâ€™s classmates and friends find him to be an invigorating person to be around.
â€œBen is probably the most hardworking friend and classmate that I have; he works so much that it can be detrimental to his health. He is always positive and easy to be around, he is also willing to learn or to listen when he does not know about a particular topic and he admits when he doesnâ€™t know something. Ben introduced me to Mock Trial which I highly enjoy, and I think that his passion for the club is contagious,â€ said Gaetano Dona-Jehan, a first-year economics and political science double major.
Brody warns not to let students put grades in front of mental health. Having dealt with a variety of difficult life experiences in order to get where he is today, Brody has certainly learned more about the importance of balance.
â€œTaking care of your mental health is very important. Itâ€™s something that I donâ€™t do enough and that I didnâ€™t do enough my first semester. And that I definitely suffered for. I already have clinical depression, and I lost my sister the year before coming to Trinity, in addition to a number of other really traumatic life experiences. I came into college with the notion that I had an obligation to take advantage of the opportunity that my sister didnâ€™t have and that other people who are ill or handicapped donâ€™t have, and that it would be a waste if I did anything other than to work my hardest,â€ Brody said.
Brody urges first-year students to fight the notion that they arenâ€™t capable of making a difference at Trinity.
â€œThere is no rulebook. Just because things have not worked a certain way before, doesnâ€™t mean you canâ€™t change that with enough determination and enough willpower. I would encourage people not to put themselves in a situation because thatâ€™s what it seems like theyâ€™re supposed to do. No one determines your action except for you. Just because no one has done something before doesnâ€™t mean you canâ€™t be the first one to do it,â€ Brody said.