CHER Shoutout: Bea Dresser ’22

CHER shoutouts recognize students, alumni, staff, faculty, and community partners who contribute to CHER programming. Today we’re recognizing Bea Dresser ’22 for her valuable participation in many CHER programs, as well as her recent service on a CHER hiring committee and in recruiting community-engaged prospective students to Trinity.

You were an HMTCA student prior to coming to Trinity. How has the HMTCA Trinity connection shaped your path to Trinity and experience at the college?

My HMTCA experience allowed me to be exposed to and comfortable on Trinity’s campus and experience the four-block semester long schedule. When I arrived to Trinity, I knew some professors, the neighborhood, and anticipated how a college class schedule was structured. I felt capable of being an active student in the classroom and outside of it.

Tell us about your involvement with CHER throughout your time at Trinity.

My involvement with CHER has centered around two main experiences and has aligned neatly with my personal goals as a Hartford resident and Trinity student. My freshman seminar worked closely with CHER in completing field work about pedestrian movement in key intersections for an assessment on Hartford’s traffic and safety, conducted by a non-profit and the Action Lab. We were able to explore Hartford and be involved in the research process that was being facilitated by the Action Lab. Secondly, as a student worker at Trinfo Café, I have worked closely with CHER’s social media effort to help expand Trinfo’s online presence in order to increase our impact in bridging the technological divide.

What is your favorite memory from a CHER program?

My favorite experience from a CHER program is the Community Learning Research Fellowship. I was able to work as a research intern for the CT Coalition Against Domestic Violence and was funded through CHER to work on data around survivors’ experiences in the Connecticut court system. I had the chance to build professional connections and experience in a field that I am interested in and receive consistent, valuable support from the CHER team.

Do you have any hopes or dreams for your post-grad life?

My long-time goal is to enter public service. Post-grad, I hope to gain more experience in the non-profit arena and work with people on issues I am passionate about. I also plan to go to graduate or law school to further my education and expand my experiences and knowledge.

What is your favorite part of Hartford?

My favorite part of Hartford would be Goodwin Park. I have a ton of great memories that revolve around relaxing and having fun in a secluded and scenic park. I definitely encourage a visit to Goodwin or any of Hartford’s parks if students are craving a bit of nature off campus!

What advice do you have for others who want to get involved in the Hartford community?

Trinity can sometimes feel like a bubble due to its geography, but also just the general business and overwhelming nature of being a college student. The best advice I could give a fellow Trin student is to not be afraid to reach out to the various centers, offices, and program that Hartford has. You will find that Hartford has meaningful, grass-root organizations around causes that you can be a part of. For example, my freshman year, I wanted a break from the droning college schedule and wanted to work with young students. I quickly found an after-school program called Capitol Squash that is hosted at Ferris. I have been volunteering there as a tutor ever since, and the relationship with my bosses and with the kids are invaluable to my Trinity experience. All it takes is writing a polite email and asking if they could use your skills. Hartford has a lot to offer you and you have a lot to offer Hartford.