Each year, the Trinity Fellows program selects only three of Trinity Western’s most promising recent graduates to participate in a year-long paid internship offered through the Office of the President in partnership with the M. J. Murdock Charitable Trust.
The Trinity Fellows Program has two parts: a work experience placement and a graduate-level education component. Both parts of the program collaborate to help graduates develop leadership skills and to inspire a future career trajectory.
For their paid work placement, Trinity Fellows are paired with University executive leaders, where graduates receive mentorship as they engage in meaningful projects suited to their personal gifts.
In the educational component of the program, Trinity Fellows pursue Master of Arts in Leadership courses at TWU to develop formal understanding of leadership theory.
Please join us in welcoming Max Alstad, Emily DaSilva, and Laurel Pope — 2022-2023 Trinity Fellows.
From leading a dorm to delving into financial analysis
This past spring, Max Alstad completed a Bachelor of Business Administration Honours with a specialization in accounting and finance. The Langley native recalls being a resident assistant during his third year as among his best learning and leadership experiences at TWU. “I got to learn and grow as a leader of a dorm while also navigating the restrictions of COVID-19,” he said. When a series of COVID infections forced his entire dorm to lock down for two weeks, Max had to improvise how to lead during challenging times. Looking back at this experience, he comments, “That was the best learning experience as we were making everything up on the fly!”
This fall, as a Trinity Fellow, he is working with Aklilu Mulat, Senior Vice President of Business Administration & CFO, dealing with corporate business administration and finance. “I have really enjoyed the financial analysis and decision-making aspect of my role, and being able to actively and meaningfully contribute to the University,” Max reflects.
As for what he hopes to do one day, Max shares, “I would love to play a meaningful part in growing a start-up or small company while also keeping my faith at the center of my leadership.”
He also offers encouragement for students working towards graduation, saying, “School is just one aspect of TWU. Don’t let studying, homework, and stress keep you from enjoying the beauty that TWU has to offer. Homework and grades are important, but there is more to life than studying and homework!”
“I would love to play a meaningful part in growing a start-up or small company while also keeping my faith at the center of my leadership.”
— Max Alstad, 2022-2023 Trinity Fellow
Saying yes to opportunities to engage in community
Emily DaSilva completed a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology with a Human Services Certificate. Originally from Calgary, AB, Emily’s best learning and leadership experience at TWU was being a resident assistant during her second year. Initially, Emily had been hesitant to take up the role, but after receiving encouragement from others, she accepted the challenge, which turned out to be a significant journey of discovery.
“Through this experience, I ended up learning so much about the kind of leader I am, [through] loving the gals I got to be an RA for, and experiencing the pleasure of serving, as well as what it’s like to be served. It challenged me to think outside the box to make sure I was providing the best support for those in my dorm and to foster a healthy and fun community,” she said, summarizing her year.
As a Trinity Fellow, Emily is working alongside Brian Kerr, Senior Vice President of Enrolment, Personal and Career Development. Emily looks forward to experiencing and understanding this area of the University and expresses, “I am excited to see what challenges may arise and how I can develop new skill sets and refine ones that I already have built up.”
Motivated by a desire to hear and understand others, Emily hopes to one day pursue a master’s degree in counselling. “All I know is that I have a heart for people and their stories, and I hope to one day have a career that embodies that.”
When asked about her words of wisdom to current students, Emily offers, “Say ‘yes’ and try to be as actively engaged in the community as possible. When you say yes to opportunities, even if they scare you, it opens doors for self-discovery, deeper relationships, and richer experiences.”
“Look for ways to serve, go and have adventures with your friends, and sign up for leadership or roles that excite you,” she continues. Emily recalls not being as proactive in her involvement during high school, so she decided that her approach to university life would be different. “When I changed that mentality coming to TWU, my experience was all the more fulfilling. Trinity’s community experience is so unique; don’t take it for granted.”
“I ended up learning so much about the kind of leader I am... It challenged me to think outside the box to make sure I was providing the best support for those in my dorm and to foster a healthy and fun community.”
— Emily DaSilva, 2022-2023 Trinity Fellow
Joining the work of cultivating unity in diversity
Laurel Pope achieved a Bachelor of Arts in Music specializing in vocal performance and a minor in Media + Communications. Originally from Bremerton, WA, Laurel cherishes her three years as a student leader in Discipleship ministries for being a particularly “transformative and meaningful” time.
“The best experience I had was last year, as the Prayer Retreat Coordinator,” she says. “I loved being able to curate and design intentional spaces and experiences for students to engage in contemplative spiritual practices in order to deepen their relationship with God and this community. I learned so much from being a part of Ministry Team and was held in support and prayer throughout the whole year, which was quite impactful.”
As a Trinity Fellow, Laurel is working with Dr. Jennifer Adkins, Vice President of Inclusive Excellence. “I am already learning so much, and I am excited to listen to and learn more from the students and staff that I get to work with and serve,” she comments on her first several weeks in the role. With her deep care for the people of TWU, Laurel looks forward to helping to cultivate a community that “reflects unity in diversity.”
Building upon her professional training in music, Laurel continues to sing in several local ensembles. She intends to perform, do more musical theatre, and teach vocal lessons, all the while integrating her faith in her artistic activities. “I hope to reflect Christ’s love, grace, and truth in every community of musicians and artists I get to be a part of,” she shared.
Laurel plans to apply her leadership education as well, “I am also very passionate about the health of ministries and leadership structures. As I continue my education in the MA in Leadership program, I hope that I can eventually be a resource for spiritual and cultural health in communities of leadership and ministry.”
“I am also very passionate about the health of ministries and leadership structures. As I continue my education in the MA in Leadership program, I hope that I can eventually be a resource for spiritual and cultural health in communities of leadership and ministry.”
— Laurel Pope, 2022-2023 Trinity Fellow
As for words to uplift others, Laurel expresses, “I would encourage every student to get involved and really pursue friendships and community, but to know how to set healthy boundaries as well. TWU is a great space to grow, learn, and develop a sense of self. Be willing to try new things, listen deeply to others, and get out of your comfort zone — even if it’s just a little bit!"
“And join Choir!” Laurel adds, not hesitating to advocate for her field. “You will learn so much about being a musician and make so many wonderful friendships—truly, one of the best parts of my TWU experience was singing in, traveling with, and growing alongside the choral community.”
Photography by Kayla Bock.
About the Trinity Fellows Program
The Trinity Fellows program enables extraordinary Trinity Western graduates to prepare for a life and career of significant impact. Trinity Fellows are paired with executive university leaders who provide mentorship. In addition to the paid internship, Trinity Fellows receive free tuition for select courses in the MA in Leadership program. Learn more at the Trinity Fellows Program.
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About Trinity Western University
Founded in 1962, Trinity Western University is Canada’s premier global Christian liberal arts university. We are dedicated to equipping students to discover meaningful connections between career, life, and the needs of the world. Drawing upon the riches of the Christian tradition, seeking to unite faith and reason through teaching and scholarship, Trinity Western University is a degree-granting research institution offering liberal arts and sciences as well as professional schools in business, nursing, education, human kinetics, graduate studies, and arts, media, and culture. It has four locations in Canada: Langley, Richmond-Lansdowne, Richmond-Minoru, and Ottawa. Learn more at www.twu.ca or follow us on Twitter @TrinityWestern, on Facebook and LinkedIn.