The safe place of small groups at Nyack College is where big things happen. The groups meet outside of the usual class schedule and offer a sense of community which fosters vulnerability without the risk of judgement. “Pursuing Joy,” the small group she joined during her freshman year, is where Trina McFadden met Prof. Beverley Locke. Prof. Locke, is director of Nyack’s Writing Center and an English professor.
In addition to her birth parents, spiritual parents and grandmothers, she names Prof. Locke as a personal role model. “She poured into me and taught me how to study the Bible. I eventually became the student manager of the Writing Center. I spent more time learning from her while being under her leadership,” Trina explains.
Dr. Sharron Greaves, chairperson for the Department of Communications and Dramatic Arts, program director of the campus radio station WNYK 88.7 FM and a professor of communications is another influential faculty member. Trina met her at the end of her freshman year. When she spoke to Dr. Greaves about changing her major from computer science to communications, there was such a level of comfort that Trina immediately knew she wanted the department chair to be her academic advisor.
“Dr. Greaves is a tough instructor; however, I am beyond grateful for that because she pushed me past limits I set for myself academically. Ultimately, both of these strong women, Prof. Locke and Dr. Greaves, challenged me. I credit a great deal of my growth while at Nyack to them.”
Trina reveals, “I was the type of student who never really went outside of my dorm, unless it was for classes or work. I didn’t mingle too much. But there were people who found me and were intentional with me, which assisted me with my personal growth. My favorite memory of my undergraduate studies at Nyack is all of the connections I made with people I can never forget.”
With her Bachelor of Science in Communications, Trina’s post-graduation plans include pursuing employment in digital media and also earning a master’s degree in counseling. The industrious cum laude alumna is currently editing a book her grandmother is writing. Two new goals have also been added to her plate. The talented singer is learning to play two instruments—piano to accompany her vocals and bass guitar, simply because she’s intrigued by the sound.
As she reflects on her undergraduate experience, she points to a distinctive of her alma mater as she considers advice she’d give to a college-bound student. “To encourage a prospective student to consider enrolling at Nyack I would emphasize how intentional Nyack is in regard to helping people on their spiritual journey. It’s more than just the fact that Nyack is a Christian college. It’s really about the fact that Nyack seeks to help students truly encounter Christ. To be completely honest, discernment is one of my spiritual gifts developed while on campus. I’m not sure if that could have happened anywhere else. To a student who is looking to gain more academically and spiritually, I’d say, “Nyack may be the place for you.”