‘Rookie’ Trinidy Jeter no amateur in student, community engagement

Although she may be a rookie in terms of her time on the job, Trinidy Jeter is a seasoned professional in terms of accomplishment. In her two years at BGSU Firelands as coordinator of student and campus activities, she has had a transformative impact on the campus that has reached out into the community.

Jeter was named the Administrative Staff Rookie of the Year at the annual Administrative Staff Council reception April 19. The award recognizes an employee who has been with BGSU between one and three years and who has played a key role in implementing a new idea, program or procedure designed to enhance student recruitment, retention or engagement. Jeter has done all three, say her nominators.

“In her short time here at Firelands, she has truly changed our campus climate to one that fosters student engagement, diversity and inclusion,” wrote sociology faculty member Julie Didelot.

Under her leadership, the number of student organizations has increased from fewer than 10 to more than 20. She created new opportunities for students to express and develop their interests, forming Firelands’ first a cappella choir and hosting its first drag show and first poetry slam, “The Art of Spoken Word.”

“In addition to expanding the number and scope of student organizations, she implemented budget training for student officers as well as training for club advisers,” Didelot said. “Further, she has encouraged student leaders to attend off-campus leadership development conferences, facilitating their ability to attend and escorting them to the conferences.”

To further encourage student engagement, she transformed the annual Welcome Back Picnic to a student involvement fair, with booths representing the organizations plus nonprofit community agencies.

Jeter made Firelands a part of the Bowling Green campus’s annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service Challenge for the first time this year, engaging students, faculty and staff in community projects.

She has found other impactful ways to engage Firelands with the community.

“One of Trinidy’s monumental projects was utilizing the common read book, ‘The Other Wes Moore,’ to connect the college community with surrounding communities,” wrote Brigitte Green-Churchwell, director of student academic enhancement and disability services. “Engaging students, from elementary to the university, in a cross-cultural perspective of the text, Trinidy extended the academic value and learning through this multifaceted venture.”

Jeter also secured scholarships for the Nehemiah Youth Center, the Erie County Detention Center and the Boys and Girls Club of Sandusky to participate in the common read and to provide a book for each student. In addition, she arranged for faculty members to lead on-site discussions in addition to dialogues on campus and in community libraries themed around identity and designed to demonstrate that college is within citizens’ grasp. This included hosting the author on campus and inviting youth groups and library patrons to participate. “Future Falcons were definitely identified that evening,” Green-Churchwell said.

The momentum continues. The activity turned into a book club series for the young men and women in the detention center and two faculty members continue to bring new texts and discussions. “The staff of the detention home acknowledge what a positive impact this connection with the college has made in the lives of these young people,” Church-Greenwell wrote.

She created a community discussion initiative on understanding election and ballot matters and another as a forum on controversial issues.