The NESCAC is brimming with talented student-athletes. The "Friday Feature" series is a way for fans to get to know them throughout the academic year. The conference introduces Gabby Christensen of Trinity, a neuroscience and Hispanic studies major, and a member of the women's golf team.
Gabby Christensen, Trinity
Junior, Women's Golf
Cottage Grove, Minn./Visitation HS
Majors: Neuroscience and Hispanic Studies
Why did you choose to attend Trinity?
I chose to attend Trinity because of the strong emphasis placed on academics and offering research opportunities for undergraduates. I was able to be involved in a program called the Interdisciplinary Science Program, a first-year seminar that gives students a chance to begin research with a professor during the spring of their first year and receive a research internship that first summer. I also loved the welcoming feeling of Trinity's small campus, while also having the accessibility to the opportunities of a large city, Hartford.
What is the best thing about being part of the NESCAC?
My favorite part about being a part of the NESCAC is the feeling of a true community and a sense of connection between all of the schools. During my semester abroad, I met students from all different NESCAC schools and I immediately felt a connection to them and had something to talk about, even though we are from different schools and different backgrounds.
What is your dream job/career?
I would love to be a pediatrician because I love working with kids. I’ve always been interested in science of some sort and learning about my cousins’ occupations as pediatric oncologists and physician’s assistants introduced me to the medical field. I’m excited to pursue a career that is based on problem-solving and the challenge of trying to solve a puzzle that can improve a person’s health and well-being.
What extracurricular activities do you participate in?
I’m part of Connectikids, a program where we tutor elementary students from local Hartford schools. I’m also the treasurer of the Neuroscience Club, a member of Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), and a tutor for classes in the Hispanic Studies department. Also, I work at one of our on-campus coffee shops, Peter B’s.
Who is your favorite professor?
My favorite professor is Alison Draper, Director of the Science Center. She was my first-year seminar professor and advisor. She is passionate about teaching and her students, she knows Trinity inside and out, and she is a wonderful listener to any problem school-related, but importantly, also beyond school.
Have you studied abroad during your collegiate experience?
I just returned from a semester abroad last spring in Buenos Aires, Argentina. I was able to take various humanities courses in Spanish at a local Argentine university and stayed with a host family, all which helped me improve my Spanish speaking. It was the most incredible experience and I’m so grateful for the opportunity.
What internships/research projects have you participated in?
During the spring and summer of my first year, I was a research assistant in a Psychology/Neuroscience Lab where we investigated the involuntary capture of attention. This project taught me perseverance and problem-solving, working through various issues that came up along the way. This semester I am working as a research assistant in the Neuroscience Department for a project interviewing Spanish-speaking immigrant domestic violence victims to assess the services they are provided. I’m excited about the opportunity to combine my two majors and work to provide a type of community outreach.
What is the greatest lesson you have learned from being a student-athlete?
Being involved in a team that just had their inaugural season and is just getting started has taught me to have patience and to step up and take a leadership role. It can be difficult to be part of a team, but also trying to form the team at the same time, but I think my teammates and I have learned to help our coaches as much as possible, as they adjust to the new team as well. It is a unique and empowering experience to be able to help shape this program for the future.
What advice would you give to yourself as a high school first year?
The advice I would give to myself as a high school first year would be to take risks and explore new opportunities, no matter how scary they may seem, because you never know what opportunities may come from it. During my first year of high school, I was very nervous about trying out for the golf team since I had never played before and I did not even have any golf clubs. But I am so grateful I took that jump, because it added such a positive experience to my four years of high school, and now I have the incredible opportunity to participate in college too.
What is your favorite place on your campus and why?
My favorite place on campus, besides the coffee shop I work at, is our main quad, with views of our beautiful chapel, Hartford, as well as all of our sports fields. It’s such a cool place, especially on weekends, to be able to watch many Bantam sports teams play all at once!
Gabby and her Trinity teammates will compete in the 2019 NESCAC Women's Golf Championship Fall Qualifier, hosted by Williams, this weekend (Oct. 5-6) at Taconic Golf Club in Williamstown, Mass. To learn more and follow the action read the preview.