Stacy Davidson, former director of academic success, left Trinity in mid-June after three years on campus.
In an interview, Davidson said that her proudest achievement was creating the Tiger Learning Commons (TLC). Located in the library, the TLC is a place for students to study and access a multitude of academic resources.
“When I started, I was a one-person operation with a grad student, and we just started doing workshops and seeing students,” Davidson said. “I think [the TLC] would be my legacy because, you know, I named it, I picked out the furniture and brought a staff together to make sure it was a great opportunity for students to study and be academically successful.”
Davidson had a large role in the implementation of the current Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP), which is aimed at improving first-year academic outcomes.
She also pushed for the term “Academic Support” to be changed to “Academic Success.” Jenny Rowe, the director of the Writing Center, explained the impact of this change on the academic success center’s overall philosophy.
“We’re not just reaching out to students who have problems or who struggle, we’re reaching out to all Trinity students because everyone can improve by learning how to better manage your time, learning how to understand how you work, learning to change habits,” Rowe said.
Outside her role as an academic director, Davidson looked back fondly on her time as faculty advisor for Trinity’s Black Student Union (BSU.)
“As an African American woman, it’s very important to me that I connect with African American students and students of color,” Davidson said. “I couldn’t be here and not be engaging with these students and supporting them and mentoring them and helping them to develop into leaders.”
Davidson came up with the idea for last spring’s Cultural Speed Dating event, cosponsored by BSU and Trinity Diversity Connection (TDC.) In that event, students and faculty from diverse backgrounds and cultures shared their life stories in a fun, timed event.
Logan Felton, a junior and former BSU member spoke about Davidson’s legacy.
“She mentioned it in one of our meetings, and we all really liked it so we kind of just dove right in and went for it,” Felton said. “She was always like, ‘We did this last year, how can we make this 10 times better this year?’ and I think we’re going to keep that mindset in our hearts, like, ‘How can we be better? How can we reach more people? How can we do more on campus?” Felton said.
Khaniya Russell, senior and incoming BSU president, shared her memories about how Davidson helped BSU overcome adversity.
“I think what she really did was [advocate] for us, whether that be with other faculty and staff members if we wanted partnerships with them or if we were coming up against barriers from administration for different events,” Russell said.
Junior and BSU member Pyar Seth valued Davidson’s presence as a mentor and friend.
“She was like my mother on campus if I had a bad day or if I had something that I needed to talk to, whether that was pursuing an internship or careers in academia or navigating spaces as a person of color,” Seth said.
Ryann Williams, another Junior and BSU member agreed. “I can’t tell you how many times I’ve come to her with like, any problem I’ve faced, you know,” Williams said. “There tends to be a very unique position when you’re a student of color on this campus, and I felt like Stacy was the go to person for me every time I had an issue of that sort.”
During the interview, Davidson had parting advice for the Trinity students she had mentored in the past.
“I would want [students] to always remember that they have a choice in their academic pursuits and even in their personal goals,” Davidson said. “I would also want them to be kind to themselves. …. There are lessons to be learned from any failure.”
Betty Curry, former academic coach, is the interim director of the academic success center while Alli Roman, director for diversity and inclusion, will take over as BSU faculty advisor.
“My hope is to kinda continue [Davidson’s] legacy by just really connecting with students and connecting with BSU and supporting their ideas for the different programs they want to do,” Roman said.
Davidson expressed high hopes for her new position at Dominican University, where she will be director of career services and integrative coach, along with teaching a class on academic success.
| Class of 2021 | Majors: English and Anthropology |