At Trinity, students learn creative problem solving skills that will last throughout their careers and help them be influential leaders as they make their mark on the world. From campus to City Hall to Hollywood, these seven Trinity alumnae are making influential and innovative decisions around the country in a wide variety of areas.
Allison Hawk ’88
Adjunct Professor and Former NFL Executive
Trinity students know alumna Allison Hawk ’88 as co-professor of the Sports Philanthropy class, but she’s done so much more. She has been lauded as an award-winning public relations professional and an avid sports aficionado (just read her book, Talking A Good Game, or take a look at her Super Bowl XXXIV ring), and a business owner. And with each identity or career change, Hawk embraces the uncomfortable moments because through the struggle, she finds her stride.
As a “collector of experiences,” Hawk’s penchant for newness really began during her time as a Trinity student. “It was such a transformational time of my life,” Hawk says, “I got the opportunity to immerse myself in a completely different atmosphere than what I grew up in.” She felt particularly impacted by “[Trinity’s] spirit of learning...that you always need to be open to new experiences. Even now, those Trinity ties are strong. They’ve taken me places I never knew I wanted to go.”
Bria Woods ’16
Executive Producer at KAVU-TV
As a student, Bria Woods ’16 was known all across campus—she worked in Trinity University’s admissions department, served as a resident assistant, received a Presidential Award of Excellence, and earned a degree in communication and film studies (to name a few!). So it was no surprise when just three years after graduation, Woods became the executive producer of KAVU-TV in Victoria, Texas.
This job fuels Woods’s passion for sharing stories. As a journalist, she creates platforms for people to stand on and serves as a conduit through which voices can be heard. This idea of coming together to create something better is also one of her favorite aspects from her time at Trinity—what she terms “the gift of participation.” Woods explains, “Trinity invites us to be part of what makes the university...I’m part of the Trinity story. I am included in the process of making the university what it is. I felt valued as an individual, known by name.”
Brittney Elko ’08
Director of Supply Chain for Tricida, Inc.
After graduating in 2008, Brittney Elko didn’t know what direction she wanted her career to go, but she did know that engineering offered myriad options. Following a couple of roles in product and process development, Elko’s knack for solving puzzles led her to supply chain management, and she hasn’t looked back since.
As the director of supply chain for Tricida, Inc., Elko focuses on problem solving, data analysis, and strategic communications—aspects she attributes to be the “soft skills” of her Trinity degree. “It prepared me well for going into the real world,” Elko says. “I learned how to work with people...[we were] actually building something, calling for pricing, learning how to communicate in interviews.”
As a student, Elko played on the golf team, served as an RA, and hosted the Newswave segment on TigerTV, but she describes her time spent with the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) as the most impactful. Through SWE, Elko learned to network and scored her first job offer. Now—between her worldwide traveling adventures and duties as a mom—Elko remains passionate about getting more women involved in engineering. She encourages all aspiring female engineers to join SWE, make connections across the country, and never limit yourself.
Livia Ann Trevino ’77
Making the leap from live theater performance to TV and film acting takes determination, talent, and passion. Just ask Livia “Bonnie” Treviño ’77, an actress who hoofed her way through New York and now hams it up in Los Angeles.
During her time at Trinity, Treviño found herself immersed in the theatre department and focused on learning every aspect of production. Her undergraduate experiences propelled her to New York, where she studied dance and worked on off-Broadway productions. But after deciding she needed something new, Livia moved to California. Since then, she has been featured on The Big Bang Theory, Criminal Minds, Lucifer, and her favorite project—Will & Grace—among others.
Her favorite part of acting? Telling stories that people laugh. Treviño says, “[laughing] is something we need right now and good for the soul.” Of course, her work has changed due to the pandemic—for example, her improv group now meets through Zoom. But in all, Treviño embraces her mantra to “live the life you have imagined” and always dream big.
Rachel Daniel ’18, M’20
Postgraduate Technical Assistant
Rachel Daniel ’18, M’20 recently moved to Connecticut to begin a new career as the Financial Accounting Standards Board’s postgraduate technical assistant. Having earned both her undergraduate and graduate degrees enrolled as a Tiger, Daniel thrived in a variety of organizations and activities—from Student Government Association to Greek life. Each of the clubs, she says, “helped [her] get a better idea of what [she] loved to do.” And while she laughs that it “took several years” to figure out what she loved, Rachel eventually discovered how to focus on what she’s truly interested in. “Trinity allowed me to marry my skillset with my passion for problem solving.”
As Daniel takes the next step in her career, focused on coming up with creative solutions to problems, she hopes everyone finds a similar joy in their pursuits. “I would strongly encourage anyone to find the things you love, and hopefully [that path] leads to you spending the majority of your time doing that. But you don’t know until you try.”
Rocío Guenther ’16
Director of Constituent Services for the Office of the San Antonio Mayor
In the years following her graduation from Trinity, Rocío “Chio” Guenther ’16 has had an impressive career. After an internship with Edible San Antonio and the Office of Congressman Joaquin Castro, Guenther became a reporter for the San Antonio Report, made her way into public service as the International Relations Specialist for the City of San Antonio, and now works as the Director of Constituent Services for the Office of Mayor Ron Nirenberg ’99 while pursuing her master’s degree.
Through all of the experiences and transitions, Rocío holds to one truth: trust the pivot. “It isn’t linear,” Guenther says, “and that’s okay. I haven’t been afraid of the pivot because of my liberal arts education; I know it’s all useful, it all connects. I look at something and say, ‘I’ll try my hand at that.’ Trinity gives you the confidence because you get a full breadth of different experiences. As Trinity alumni, we are lifelong learners,” she says, “We will take the challenge and figure it out.”
Valerie Alexander ’90
CEO of SpeakHappiness
If you’ve ever seen or listened to Trinity’s 2016 Commencement Address by Valerie Alexander ‘90, CEO of SpeakHappiness, you’ve heard her proclaim, “All of us have a right to be happy at work.” But how did Alexander find happiness in her work? She leaned into the truth that “changing direction is not failure.”
Alexander’s career is composed of a myriad of different accomplishments: she earned her J.D., founded a tech company, given TED talks, and pursued screenwriting in Hollywood (to name a few!). Although the winding path may not have been what she intended from the outset, Alexander encourages students and professionals to “care a little less about every single decision.” Alexander says, “The most creative writing we do in our lives is regrets. You don’t always get to see the lesson, and you never see how it would’ve played out if you’d chosen differently,” so she encourages everyone to stop worrying so much about it—and learn from it.
Special thanks to Alyssa Tayrien ’17, who conducted the original interviews with these alumnae.