At Trinity, in-residence faculty span the worlds of business, health care, and entrepreneurship, where teachers use decades of life experiences from a diverse set of career fields.
Trinity’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship employs two such positions: the Investor in Residence (IIR) Billy Freed, and the Entrepreneur in Residence (EIR) Jake Gray ’90. Respectively, these two roles help students discover life as an entrepreneur and connect them with investment capital.
Freed, a serial entrepreneur and prominent investor in the San Antonio community, views his role in connecting student startups with investors as a yin-yang proposition: “It’s my job to tell students, ‘Go for it, but have your ducks properly lined up,’” Freed says. “I’m a guy who can call out mistakes on financial plans and help them revise them with realistic projections because I’m trying to push students using a real-world mindset.”
Gray, as EIR, says the best lesson is coming to terms with the “real experience” of being an entrepreneur: “To teach entrepreneurship at the undergraduate level is, yes, to tell students, ‘You can be great,’ but the life of an entrepreneur is not about wild successes. It’s a grind to build something from nothing. I’m telling students that what they’re signing up for is not a normal life—it’s not going to be a 9-5 job. That helps them discern whether or not they have that itch and those skills to be able to act on an idea.”
In the Department of Communication, Journalist in Residence Alicia Guerrero ’15 also runs a business of sorts: guiding the student boards that manage Trinity publications—the Trinitonian newspaper and the Mirage yearbook. Guerrero, who herself served as the Trinitonian’s managing editor her senior year, brings real-world experience from her current role as the news producer for WOAI/KBB’s 5 p.m. newscast.
“You can learn everything there is to know about journalism, but it’s one thing to learn it in a classroom and another thing to execute it,” Guerrero says. “There are many Trinity students who want to do this when they graduate, so the networking opportunities and internship opportunities that I’m able to help them find, that’s what sets this position apart. Here at Trinity, I’m able to foster and grow our next generation of journalists.”
And over in Trinity’s Department of Health Care Administration (HCAD), John Hornbeak is helping foster the next generation of health care professionals and executives. A 20-year CEO for Methodist Healthcare System, he’s served as Trinity’s HCAD executive in residence since 2008, mentoring students, and serving as an adviser on class projects, noting that “a lot of what I do with students is when their assignments cover something they’ve never run into before. The faculty instructs, and I provide color commentary.”
No matter how big or small the question—or how late it comes, Hornbeak is there with an answer, or more often, more questions. “When students come for career advice, I can be a neutral sounding board,” Hornbeak says. “But I also have Trinity graduates several years out calling for advice; I tell them I live vicariously through their travails.”