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Trolian Awarded Inaugual Gathering Grant

Posted Sept. 13, 2010

While the work is now just beginning for many Kent State University students, staff members are transitioning from the long hours they put in this summer to make Kent State University truly a place for excellence in action. For example, Teniell Trolian, assistant director for Greek Affairs in the Center for Student Involvement, spent part of her summer working on a proposal that ultimately secured funding from the Association of Fraternal Leadership and Values.

teniell trolian profiles
Teniell Trolian

Her proposal, titled Increasing Fraternity/Sorority Professional Competence: Impacting the Fraternal Movement through Professional Learning and Development, was chosen as the inaugural project to be funded and supported by the association's Gathering Grant.

Trolian introduced her project at the Association of Fraternal Leadership and Values Gathering, a four-day institute for professional development in the area of fraternal administration. The Gathering Grant is unique in that it not only honors good ideas within the fraternal community, it also provides the opportunity for funding those innovative ideas.

The winner of the grant is chosen after the conference, and is voted on by Gathering participants. As a way to share ideas within the fraternal community, the grant recipient must make their work public and available for use.

Trolian says her project will "change the development and learning experiences of professionals in our field, in order to develop a body of knowledgeable, skilled and prepared professionals." Another part of the proposed project is emphasis on research, writing and publishing in order to broaden the body of knowledge about the fraternal movement and the work of the administrators.

"The Gathering Grant is an amazing opportunity for me to contribute to the work of fraternity and sorority professionals across the country through research and the creation of an online professional development workspace that will engage fraternity/sorority professionals in their own continued learning," Trolian says.

The grant provides Trolian with $5,000 to get her plan off the ground. She created the project proposal after attending The Gathering, a four-day retreat in Columbus that gave professionals the time and space to brainstorm new ideas for professional development of fraternity and sorority members.

"I am really excited for the opportunity to learn more about professional development and learning through my research and to create a space where fraternity and sorority professionals can focus on their professional learning and long-term career planning," Trolian says.

Director for the Center of Student Involvement Dr. Timeka L. Thomas-Rashid says she's very proud of Trolian and her grant. "Her work exemplifies her dedication to the professional development of her colleagues in the area of Greek life," she says. "Teniell's grant provides an opportunity for professionals to learn about new trends for working with this unique segment of our student leaders."

To learn more about The Gathering and/or The Gathering Grant or Trolian and her project, visit the website.

Trolian has worked in Greek Affairs since 2002 and took over the role of assistant director for Greek Affairs in August 2008. She oversees the 26 fraternities and sororities at Kent State, along with their governing councils. Trolian earned a bachelor's degree in sociology from Ohio State University in 2001, and a master's degree in college student personnel from Bowling Green State University in 2005.

By Carolyn Drummond and Katie Young