Editor’s note: This story is part of a series of profiles of notables spring 2022 graduates.
For many people, public speaking is something that often evokes a multitude of negative emotions. But not for Trinity Winton – a recent graduate of Arizona State University for the second time.
“I’m one of those rare people who loves public speaking, and being able to hone my craft really helped me thrive in college,” Winton said in a statement. interview 2019when she was recognized as the New Interdisciplinary College of Arts and Sciences‘s outstanding undergraduate.
After earning her bachelor’s degree in communications with a minor in public relations and strategic communications in 2019, Winton continued to hone her public speaking skills at New College in the masters program in communication.
Winton was closely involved in CommLabASU and rose through the ranks from undergraduate mentor to graduate student coordinator. In these roles, she explored a number of opportunities, including working with students, creating and delivering classes, and co-hosting a podcast. She was also a student writer with ASU Project Citieswhere she authored two reports analyzing risk communication practices with the City of Peoria and affordable housing with the City of Clarkdale.
Additionally, Winton completed an applied project with Assistant Professor Nicole Lee, where she conducted a communication audit for the Washington Elementary School District. Through her research, she has provided the district with evidence-based recommendations on how to improve their stakeholder communication practices.
As the first in her family to earn both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree, Winton said this moment was especially significant.
“This degree means the absolute world to me and my family,” she said. “What’s really important is that even though this degree means a lot to them, I want them to know how much their support means to me, and this degree was a team effort. It was not just me; it was everyone around me.
Here, Winton shares more about her experiences at ASU and what’s next for her.
Question: What was your “aha” moment when you realized you wanted to study communication?
Answer: My decision to study communication at both undergraduate and graduate level really translated into childhood dreams. I could never stick to one thing; I always wanted to do everything. When I finally sat down to apply to college and then apply for a master’s degree, I always had this thought in mind, and a communications degree allows me to go anywhere, help anyone , to do anything and realize my childhood dream.
Q: What did you learn at New College — in class or otherwise — that surprised you or changed your perspective?
A: Something I learned at New College throughout my studies was the concept of intrapersonal communication – or communicating with yourself. I never really thought about what I tell myself and how I propel myself to do my best every day. By learning this concept, I learned to talk to myself better and remember that I can do it, I can achieve it, I can go to college, and I can achieve my dreams.
Q: Which teacher taught you the most important lesson at ASU?
A: One of the most significant and surprising lessons I learned while at New College came from Professor Michael Walker. He told me that at any time in your life, you have the right to say no if you can’t handle something. There’s nothing wrong with stepping back and saying, “No, I don’t think I can handle this right now. Hearing this may sound silly, but it’s really meaningful to have the power to say no in college.
Q: Where was your favorite place on West Campus to study or meet friends?
A: My favorite place on campus is definitely CommLabASU. I’ve been there the whole time I’ve been at New College and I’ve always found that when I want to talk to someone or when I’m having a bad day or when I’m having a good day and I want to share good news – that’s still where I ended up. The moment I visited West Campus, I knew this was for me. The calm atmosphere of the campus really spoke to me.
Q: What is the best advice you would give to those still in school?
A: My best advice for those still in school is that if you haven’t got it all figured out or you’re not sure what you want to do after you graduate, that’s okay. Keep exploring and keep learning. You don’t have to limit yourself to your degree. If something captures your interest, explore it. If I could tell them anything, it would be to go. Do what makes you happy and explore relationships and find meaning in your degree.
Q: What are your plans after graduation?
A: I always say there are endless opportunities and I am ready to seize them. Whatever happens that excites me, I’m ready to jump on it. Thanks to my penchant for public speaking, I have the confidence and drive to meaningfully communicate my personal message as well as the message of my organization. Public speaking allows me to skillfully share all the wonderful things my organization is doing and what we hope to accomplish in the future. During my time at New College, I discovered that I had great attention to detail and a knack for administrative work. Because of this, I was drawn into a wonderful position I currently hold at ASU’s School of Life Sciences as the Graduate Recruitment Program Coordinator.
Student Spotlight Video: Trinity Winton