By Allyson Mackender – 

This summer, with the help of computer science professor Seth Fogarty, Charlie Stein ‘18 worked to create a new domain-specific programming language (DSL) for mathematicians specializing in dynamical systems. A previous article discussed the numerous practical uses of Stein’s research, and this semester these implications finally came to fruition when the program was published on CRAN


“This semester we put out all the fires,” Fogarty said. Once these fires were extinguished the program was made open source on CRAN for anyone in the world to access and use.

The process to have their language, “dsmodels: A Language to Facilitate the Creation and Visualization of Two-Dimensional Dynamical Systems,” published on CRAN is rather extensive. Stein and Fogarty had to complete documentation and examples for all the code, respect and acknowledge trademarks, and pass test cases before they were finally accepted.

Publishing their code on CRAN has two primary benefits. First, the program they have created took common coding patterns and made them more efficient, allowing for operations done frequently to be completed more quickly and easily. Their code allows for rapid iterations, so anyone who accesses it will be able to work more efficiently. Second, the program helps guide new people in the field by showing standard visualizations. “The choice of what operations you support suggests what operations you’ll do,” Fogarty explained. For those new to dynamical systems, Stein and Fogarty’s code will serve as a sort of blueprint, modeling the most standard visualizations. 

An example of a visualization created using the code.
What’s more exciting to Stein and Fogarty, though, are the improvements to the code that will certainly be made in the future. Since the program is now open source, anyone can access and use the code. The team hopes to continue improving the code to meet the needs of their users, who can submit “issues” through the GitHub page. This means Stein’s research does not end here. While he and Fogarty work on a paper to be published, they will continue to make improvements to the program. As for Fogarty’s goals for Stein, he is looking forward to presenting their research.

“Presenting is a unique and terrifying experience,” Fogarty laughed, “One that Charlie should have.”

Stein still has the same love for research that he expressed this summer, and much of this passion has been instigated by Fogarty’s approach to undergraduate research. “I would rather have a smaller project and have the student experience the entire scope, from conception to presentation,” Fogarty said. Stein has had the chance to do just this, serving an integral role in a project that he helped to create.

“Research is a really meaningful experience,” Stein said, “This project has made me not want to leave school so I can just keep doing research.”

“And that’s how professors are born,” Fogarty added.

If you would like more information on Fogarty and Stein’s research, please visit their CRAN, GitHub, or documentation page. For more information on Trinity’s computer science department, visit their webpage.
By Allyson Mackender –

According to the San Antonio Food Bank, a 2009 census revealed that 17.1% of Texas’ population is food insecure. This means close to 450,000 people living in the state of Texas “are so limited in resources to buy food that [they] are running out of food, reducing the quality of food that [their] family eats, feeding [their] children unbalanced diets, or skipping meals so [their] children can eat.”

Aware of these troubling statistics, psychology professor Carolyn Becker and political science professor Keesha Middlemass partnered with students Francesca Gomez ‘18, Clara Johnson ‘16, Sarah Parrish ‘16, and Brigitte Taylor ‘17 to begin groundbreaking research on the relationship between food insecurity and eating disorders. With this, the Food Matters: Eating Disorders and Food Insecurity research lab was created.

Parrish (left) '16 and Taylor (right) '17 at one of the mobile food pantries. 
Over the last year, Becker, Middlemass, and the students completed Phase 1 of their research. During this time the students created a 91 question questionnaire, in both Spanish and English, that they took to local food pantries in order to gather quantitative data on food insecure populations across San Antonio. To thank those who agreed to complete the questionnaire, the students provided $5 HEB gift cards, which were donated when the lab partnered with HEB. From these questionnaires the students were able to conclude that there is indeed a relationship between eating disorders and food insecurity.

As the level of food insecurity increased, so did the presence of eating disorders, which includes binge eating, intentionally skipping two or more meals in a row, vomiting, and others. “I was surprised by the number of people who reported that they vomit,” Johnson said, “They are hungry and don’t have a secure access to food so you wouldn’t expect that behavior.” Similarly, the students explained that weight self stigma, which they defined as internalizing society’s negative attitudes about body fat and obesity, increases as food insecurity increases. This is a troubling finding because research by other labs indicates that weight stigma is associated with negative physical and mental health outcomes.

The percentage of people that reported eating disorder pathology and weight self stigma was higher in the nearly 500 food insecure people surveyed at San Antonio food pantries than in the general population often at the focus of such studies. This quantitative result confirmed the importance of studying diverse and marginalized communities, which is a core mission of the Food Matters lab. 

“We are taught to think eating disorders are an upper middle class problem,” Taylor claimed, “But it’s just as prevalent in diverse populations.” The Food Matters lab has attempted to bridge the gap between the university and marginalized populations; the students cited the fact that 72% of their participants were Hispanic and 25% of them only spoke Spanish.

With the quantitative data collected, the Food Matters lab is about to begin Phase 2 of their research. Beginning in 2017, the students will begin to conduct in-depth interviews with food insecure, marginalized populations. They hope this qualitative data will help them to make sense of their quantitative results. 


“Next we need to see what we can do with our data,” Parrish said, “For example, we can explore what preventative measures can be taken.”

Johnson added, “The next phase is important because we want to solve the problem but to do that we must first understand it completely.

In addition to the wonderful community impact that the students’ research has had, working in the Food Matters lab has been individually rewarding as well. The students were excited by the opportunity to use what they’ve learned in class in the community.

“When you take psych stats everything is theory and numbers,” Gomez explained, “But then when you use it in research it clicks and finally makes sense.”

More so, the students agreed that their work in the Food Matters lab helped them to solidify future academic and career goals. Gomez, Johnson, Parrish, and Taylor all have goals of pursuing a graduate degree in psychology, where they hope to continue doing important and impactful research. “I feel prepared to get my master’s degree in clinical psychology,” Parrish stated, “I’ve had hands on experience in a clinical psychology lab so I’m confident I have the knowledge and skills to be successful.” 

Johnson (left) '16 and Gomez (right) '18 administer questionnaires. 
Finally, the students were excited to boast about the community they’ve created within the Food Matters lab. Professor Becker and Professor Middlemass demonstrated the importance of teamwork, while giving them the chance to work independently. This unique undergraduate opportunity has not only contributed to the Trinity experience but has clearly made a lasting impact on the students, who are thrilled to begin the next fascinating phase of research.

Interested in supporting the amazing work being completed by Food Matters: Eating Disorders and Food Insecurity? Visit tugether.trinity.edu to get more information on the research and the ongoing crowdfunding campaign. Donations will be accepted until December 14, 2016.

By Hailey Wilson –

What is it really like to be an intern? I wondered this same thing back in April before receiving an email from Professor Jacob Tingle, titled ‘I have an opportunity for you’. Professor Tingle explained that he needed a management intern for the Arts, Letters, and Enterprise (ALE) minor/certificate program. I didn’t really know what the minor was, but I did some research and, to my surprise, was really interested in what I found. ALE is a minor and certificate program crafted for students in the humanities, arts, and sciences; it enables these students to also explore business and business administration. I was sold.

Hailey Wilson '19 and Professor Jacob Tingle
After a few more emails and phone calls, I was officially the intern for the Arts, Letters, and Enterprise program for the 2016 fall semester.

I imagined my days being filled with making copies, stapling packets, and deleting emails. That’s what interns do, right?

This couldn’t have been further from the truth.

I’m currently working on creating a promotional/marketing video for the Arts, Letters, and Enterprise program. I have several current students, Trinity alumni, and internship hosts coming to campus to speak on behalf of the program and all of it’s positive effects. It’s been difficult to organize this type of project on my own. Scheduling interviews, recording good quality video and sound, and editing the footage is a long, arduous process. While this all may be tough, I’ve acquired the help of some of my peers to help me with it all, which also benefits them in the long run. These daily projects and tasks teach me how to manage my time and allow me to exercise my creative abilities.


Trinity stresses this idea of Experiential Learning, and I never really understood exactly what it was until this internship. Since the semester has started, I’ve been immersed in a ton of hands on work, from attending faculty meetings to drafting marketing material/promotional content. Having an internship on campus is unique: I can directly see the results of my work everyday on campus. The ads and fliers I’ve created are seen by my peers and have a direct effect on the Trinity community, which is something special in itself. Right off the bat, Professor Tingle had me set three personal goals for myself, and each week I do some sort of work that helps me strive to reach those goals. The internship is tailored to my own needs when it comes to growth and development as a professional; it allows me to help the ALE program in ways that will benefit both me and the program. A year ago, I would’ve never thought that I’d be so lucky to land an internship here on campus. Internships are a crucial building block when it comes to drafting a resumé, so having this opportunity so early in my academic career helps set me up for success.

My internship with Professor Tingle and the ALE department has enabled me to work on my marketing principles and techniques, develop a sense of a ‘professional work environment’, and so much more. Even though this is my first internship experience (and it won’t be my last), I have had a blast, all while developing my professional skills. This experience has also opened my eyes and helped me realize that I love marketing, which changes my outlook on my future career plans.

About Hailey

I was born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona and I am currently in my Sophomore year here at Trinity University. I am studying Communication with a minor in Sport Management, and my dream is to be a lead anchor on ESPN someday. Realistically, I hope to go into the field of sports journalism or sports marketing. I’m involved in several organizations on campus: I’m a member of the softball team and a Trinity University Distinguished Representative. Off campus, I love to volunteer for San Antonio Sports and Lonestar Playball, two organizations that have a powerful effect on underprivileged groups in the San Antonio community.
By Hailey Wilson –

What is it really like to be an intern? I wondered this same thing back in April before receiving an email from Professor Jacob Tingle, titled ‘I have an opportunity for you’. Professor Tingle explained that he needed a management intern for the Arts, Letters, and Enterprise (ALE) minor/certificate program. I didn’t really know what the minor was, but I did some research and, to my surprise, was really interested in what I found. ALE is a minor and certificate program crafted for students in the humanities, arts, and sciences; it enables these students to also explore business and business administration. I was sold.

Hailey Wilson '19 and Professor Jacob Tingle
After a few more emails and phone calls, I was officially the intern for the Arts, Letters, and Enterprise program for the 2016 fall semester.

I imagined my days being filled with making copies, stapling packets, and deleting emails. That’s what interns do, right?

This couldn’t have been further from the truth.

I’m currently working on creating a promotional/marketing video for the Arts, Letters, and Enterprise program. I have several current students, Trinity alumni, and internship hosts coming to campus to speak on behalf of the program and all of it’s positive effects. It’s been difficult to organize this type of project on my own. Scheduling interviews, recording good quality video and sound, and editing the footage is a long, arduous process. While this all may be tough, I’ve acquired the help of some of my peers to help me with it all, which also benefits them in the long run. These daily projects and tasks teach me how to manage my time and allow me to exercise my creative abilities.


Trinity stresses this idea of Experiential Learning, and I never really understood exactly what it was until this internship. Since the semester has started, I’ve been immersed in a ton of hands on work, from attending faculty meetings to drafting marketing material/promotional content. Having an internship on campus is unique: I can directly see the results of my work everyday on campus. The ads and fliers I’ve created are seen by my peers and have a direct effect on the Trinity community, which is something special in itself. Right off the bat, Professor Tingle had me set three personal goals for myself, and each week I do some sort of work that helps me strive to reach those goals. The internship is tailored to my own needs when it comes to growth and development as a professional; it allows me to help the ALE program in ways that will benefit both me and the program. A year ago, I would’ve never thought that I’d be so lucky to land an internship here on campus. Internships are a crucial building block when it comes to drafting a resumé, so having this opportunity so early in my academic career helps set me up for success.

My internship with Professor Tingle and the ALE department has enabled me to work on my marketing principles and techniques, develop a sense of a ‘professional work environment’, and so much more. Even though this is my first internship experience (and it won’t be my last), I have had a blast, all while developing my professional skills. This experience has also opened my eyes and helped me realize that I love marketing, which changes my outlook on my future career plans.

About Hailey

I was born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona and I am currently in my Sophomore year here at Trinity University. I am studying Communication with a minor in Sport Management, and my dream is to be a lead anchor on ESPN someday. Realistically, I hope to go into the field of sports journalism or sports marketing. I’m involved in several organizations on campus: I’m a member of the softball team and a Trinity University Distinguished Representative. Off campus, I love to volunteer for San Antonio Sports and Lonestar Playball, two organizations that have a powerful effect on underprivileged groups in the San Antonio community.
By Allyson Mackender – 

Trinity University’s Mexico, the Americas, and Spain (MAS) program allows students from a variety of disciplines to “[draw] on the rich Hispanic culture of San Antonio as well as Trinity's proximity to Mexico and Latin America,” through various on and off-campus opportunities, including courses at Trinity and study-abroad experiences. Many MAS students are recipients of Alvarez Internship Grants, which are rewarded upon the completion of an internship at any nonprofit that works primarily with Latino/as and that requires the student to speak either Spanish or Portuguese.

Ortman '17 works with one of the children at Casa RAICES on a homework assignment. 
Trinity senior Annie Ortman, who is studying Spanish, Russian, and international studies, is completing her third semester as an Alvarez intern. Ortman’s internship, which began during the summer, is at Casa RAICES, a nonprofit that provides free or low cost legal aid to immigrants and refugees that are otherwise underserved. RAICES is made up of a series of offices around Texas and a shelter located here in San Antonio, where Ortman is an intern.

Ortman explained that the women and children at the shelter primarily come from Central America, though they have helped some from Somalia, Pakistan, and Romania, as well as other countries. Although the countries the women and children are immigrating from vary, Ortman suggested that their experiences when entering the United States are rather similar. “Right when they cross the border they go to the hielera (ice box) where they are held for about a day,” Ortman described, “Then they are sent to the perrera, which literally translates to dog cage, before they are finally sent to the detention centers where they stay for as little as a few days up to an entire month.” U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) will take women and children with immediate travel plans to the airport or bus station, beginning the last leg of their journey to reach their family or friend who will sponsor them in the U.S. However, those that don’t have immediate travel plans or an identified sponsor will be sent to RAICES, and that’s where Ortman and the other volunteers come in.

Much of Ortman’s day is consumed by intake and various tasks important to making the families comfortable at the shelter, which at times is home to more than 50 people. Her responsibilities include driving families to the airport and bus station, serving home-cooked meals to them, providing them with a change of clothes, and recording information about the mothers and children. Yet, perhaps her most important responsibility is the emotional security she provides to the women.

Ortman's internship at RAICES has dramatically influenced her post-graduation plans. 
“When a family arrives at the shelter we first explain to them that they are in a safe home and free from immigration,” Ortman explained. Casa RAICES provides a secure space for the women to not only stay but to share their stories. In fact, during intake Ortman and the other volunteers are expected to ask about the women’s immigration process, looking for any discrepancies that should be reported to the office, where the immigration attorneys work. This dialogue is especially important to Ortman’s personal goal for her internship. “I had read books and articles about it but I didn’t have much in-depth knowledge of immigration and refugee procedures,” Ortman claimed, “So my goal was to learn about these things by developing one-on-one relationships. And I wanted to work on my Spanish.”

While Ortman has accomplished these goals, they are nothing compared to the unexpected rewards that have come from her internship at Casa RAICES. Ortman claims that the most rewarding part of her internship is knowing that the smallest things make a very direct and large difference. “RAICES works directly one-on-one with refugee and immigrant families, which most people don’t get to do,” Ortman said, “I’ve built intimate and deep connections with the mothers. Actually, there’s a woman that I met earlier this summer that I still talk to and she always tells me how thankful she is for RAICES.” These personal connections are what have made Ortman’s internship experience exceptional.

Ortman was quick to acknowledge that these connections and the opportunity to develop as a student and member of the San Antonio community would not have been possible without the MAS program. In fact, she claimed that without the Alvarez Internship she would not have been compelled to leave the “Trinity bubble” and become an active member of the community. The unique opportunities provided by Trinity’s MAS program have provided Ortman and many other students the chance to engage in San Antonio and the world, contributing to their classroom experience and creating lasting and rewarding memories.

Ortman will soon be applying for the Peace Corps in Central and South America. “I want to work in the areas where the issues RAICES addresses are originating,” Ortman stated. She would like to attend law school for immigration law and would eventually would like to work for the State Department. These plans were heavily informed by her experience at RAICES, which she claims gave her a strong personal connection to a field in which she has always had some interest. 

For more information on the Alvarez Internship Grants or other MAS programming please visit their homepage.
By Allyson Mackender –

Rising sophomore Benjamin Collinger ‘19 has been tasked with “Developing a Religious Diversity Profile of San Antonio,” which also is serving as the title of his research funded by the Mellon Initiative. Collinger’s research advisor, religion professor Simran Jeet Singh, said the inspiration for the project formed in collaboration with the city of San Antonio’s Diversity and Inclusion Office (DIO). While policymakers recognize that San Antonio has a great deal of religious diversity, they aren’t familiar with the wide array of communities and their leaders. This project gathered qualitative data on San Antonio’s faith communities and built relationships local leaders. This effort is particularly important because diversity practitioners “can’t address major issues until we understand what San Antonio really looks like,” Singh said.

Benjamin Collinger '19 attends and interfaith dialogue event at the Oblate School of Theology. 
Collinger spent the majority of the summer conducting interviews and attending interfaith gatherings across the city. He began with a small list of contacts compiled by the DIO, and gradually grew the list to reflect a broader swathe of San Antonio’s faith communities and collective efforts. In addition, Collinger read prominent works on diversity and inclusion to incorporate the ideas into the project, which culminates in a paper and public report on how the city can be more proactive in including religious minority groups.

When asked about the importance of this research, Singh and Collinger agreed that it has never been more relevant. They explain that faith communities are often the most active vehicles for their constituents’ civic involvement and impact all sectors of our city. Stronger relationships with local religious leaders and communities help the government to uphold its non-discrimination ordinance and inform its efforts to proactively end institutional discrimination within government and around the city.

Collinger plans on studying anthropology and international studies during his time at Trinity. 
The experience allowed Collinger to engage with local leaders at the intersection of his interests in government, religion and diversity and inclusion practices. One series of events that were particularly significant to Collinger were the Iftars that took place at the Raindrop Turkish House and houses of worship across the city. At one of these programs, Collinger interviewed an Imam in Spanish about San Antonio’s inclusion of Turkish Muslims and a variety of topics related to Latin America and Islam.

Collinger was quick to note his appreciation for Trinity’s dedication to research and the Mellon Initiative. He hopes to continue this project and see the city implement its suggestions to proactively further anti-discrimination efforts as well as diversity and inclusion programming.
By Allyson Mackender – 

This summer as part of Trinity’s roster of Arts, Letters, and Enterprise (ALE) internships, Angela Wilson ‘18 is serving as an intern under the exhibitions manager at San Antonio’s Blue Star Contemporary Art Museum. Blue Star Contemporary, the “longest-running venue for contemporary art in San Antonio,” is the perfect setting for the rising junior to explore her academic interests and artistic passions.

Angela Wilson '18 is completing an internship at Blue Star Contemporary Art Museum.
As a studio art major and ALE minor, Wilson has always been interested in finding some way to combine her love for art and her interest in business. The three primary projects she manages at Blue Star Contemporary allow her to do just that. 

Brooklyn-based artist Alyson Shotz is currently exhibiting her work at the San Antonio Botanical Garden as a part of the Art in the Garden collaboration. As part of Blue Star Contemporary’s mission to make contemporary art accessible to the public, Wilson is responsible for developing a lesson plan for elementary school students that provides information on Shotz’s artwork and its place in contemporary art. Wilson claims that this project has been the most rewarding part of her internship. “I’m able to be creative when developing the plan,” Wilson stated, “And I also am becoming an expert on the artist.”

In addition to developing the lesson plan on Shotz’s exhibit, Wilson is responsible for research regarding the construction of a reading room at Blue Star Contemporary’s newly renovated location and uploading details on an app that Blue Star Comtemporary visitors can use to get more information on the featured artwork. The array of responsibilities assigned to Wilson has allowed her to realize the applications of her degree. 

Blue Star Contemporary is San Antonio's longest running contemporary art space.
“Being a studio art major is intimidating,” Wilson stated, “Because, without experience, you feel like there are no careers in the field.” However, her internship at Blue Star Contemporary has transformed this mentality. Wilson stated that working at Blue Star Contemporary has been inspiring because she now knows the possibilities available working in a museum.

After graduation, Wilson plans to get her Master of Fine Arts and work at a museum, like Blue Star Contemporary or explore a career in art education.