Experiential learning encompasses any activity in which a student is actively engaged in their education inside or outside of the classroom. At Trinity, experiential learning includes undergraduate research opportunities inside and outside of the classroom, volunteer experiences, internships, study abroad opportunities, and more.

About the Blog


Welcome to the official Trinity University Experiential Learning Blog. My name is Katie Middleton and with the help of photographer Anh-Viet Dinh, I will be your guide as we explore a variety of experiential learning opportunities taking place at Trinity.

First, we have to answer one question:
What is experiential learning?

Experiential learning encompasses any activity in which a student is actively engaged in their education inside or outside of the classroom. At Trinity, experiential learning includes undergraduate research opportunities inside and outside of the classroom, volunteer experiences, internships, study abroad opportunities, and more.

Under the umbrella of experiential learning, students are actively engaging with their academic and extracurricular interests, and taking time to reflect on these experiences to continue getting the most value out of these opportunities. Students have researched everything from Alzheimer's Disease to the forgotten San Antonio Federal Orchestra. In our school of business, one student spent his summer interning for Sweb Development, a local San Antonio office, and reflecting on the interpersonal dynamics he observed there. Another group of students worked with the entrepreneurship department to develop and market their own chewing gum.


Opportunities like these engage students in the active development of their creative and critical thinking skills. As the school year progresses, this blog will seek to answer the following questions:
  • What does experiential learning look like at Trinity University?
  • How does experiential learning help students discover new passions and grow as individuals?
  • What opportunities are out there for a student seeking to learn from hand-on experience?
  • Who are the students and faculty involved in these experiential learning projects?
By answering these questions and many more I hope to uncover the value of experiential learning and share the work that students at Trinity University are doing on campus, in the San Antonio community, and beyond.

For more information or for help connecting with experiential learning opportunities at Trinity University, call (210) 999-8321 or visit the Office for Experiential Learning in the Coates University Center.

About the Authors


Katie Middleton

I was born and raised in Austin, Texas and thoroughly consider myself an Austinite. During my college search, I was skeptical that I could ever call another city “home,” but as I head into my fourth year here at Trinity University I now know I was mistaken. Trinity is my home away from home.

My journey as a Trinity tiger began… as an undeclared major, but during my first year experience course, I realized that I was interested in Classics. I’ve since pursued this interest through studies of ancient history, art, literature, and languages. Wherever I turned, there were connections to Classics across departments.

I am a real researcher! In the summer after my first year at Trinity I conducted research with a team of two other students and two faculty members through the Mellon Initiative. I investigated a bronze-age shipwreck in the Mediterranean and even traveled to Turkey to work with the bronze artifacts from the shipwreck with Dr. Nicolle Hirschfeld - creating drafts of archaeological drawings and creating an open access database website to improve the sharing of scholarly research.

More adventures. More exploration. In the fall of 2016 I studied in Athens, Greece through the program College Year in Athens (CYA) where I was able to study in the middle of museums and ancient sites as well as in the classroom. I will be forever grateful for these opportunities afforded to me by the Mellon Initiative, the Trinity University Study Abroad Office, and CYA.



Fast forward to senior year…
I am writing for the Experiential Learning and Trinity Perspective blogs. I am excited to shine light on the interesting undergraduate research and internship opportunities Trinity students are granted each year. As my predecessor Ally Mackender said in her bio, “Through research and internships, students are given the chance to become experts in the field they are studying, to network with professors and professionals in their respective field, and to learn about and engage in their individual academic passions.” I know first-hand how important and rewarding these experiences are and I look forward to sharing them.

In addition to serving as the content producer intern for Trinity's Office of University Marketing and Communications where I am the author of the Experiential Learning blog and the editor of the Trinity Perspective, I am involved in on-campus groups such as the national service fraternity Alpha Phi Omega, a local Trinity sorority Sigma Theta Tau, and had an on-campus job in the Residential Life Office for three years. Now that I am a senior and living off campus, I enjoy relaxing in my nearby apartment by reading, catching up on Netflix, and walking and napping with my dog Amelia.

About the Photographer


By now you’re probably wondering, who takes all of the beautiful pictures on the Trinity Undergraduate Experiential Learning Blog? I can assure you, it isn’t me. Anh-Viet Dinh, my partner in crime, is the man behind the creative shots that capture life behind the scenes in the world of experiential learning.

While Anh-Viet has an uncanny ability to find the perfect lighting, angle, or Photoshop edit, there is far more to the man behind the lense than just a pretty picture. Not only is Anh-Viet an excellent photographer, he is also a Trinity alumnus with a degree in biology.

anh-viet taking photos


While completing his undergraduate degree, Anh-Viet spent a year researching with neuroscience professor Tyisha Williams. Specifically, Anh-Viet studied novel protein markers for breast cancer based on phosphorylation status (adding and removing phosphate groups from DNA). Phosphorylation is known to regulate cell growth, enzymatic activity and protein-protein interactions. Students in the Williams lab continue to build on Anh-Viets findings. Results from this study could lead to the identification of novel treatment or prognostic markers for breast cancer. This research made Anh-Viet well aware of how cross-disciplinary experiential learning can prepare a student for a variety of unexpected career paths.

To see more of Anh-Viet’s photography click here and be sure to like his Facebook page.

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