Trina Sweeney has big goals for the 2020 fall semester.
The director of student life and engagement for West Virginia State University hopes to debut Presence, the new one-stop-shop for all things WVSU. Presence is an online application in which students can view upcoming events, buy tickets for games, view maps of WVSU and see Facebook and Twitter feeds.
She also is excited about the Student Union, which will undergo renovations.
Sweeney has been in her position for four years, and she said her job is never boring.
Asked what she does each day, her answer is long – from recruiting for clubs, promoting and hosting on-campus events, to managing the Student Union.
Sweeney chose WVSU after growing up watching her mother work here. She said her mother was always helping others. If she would ask her mother for money, she wouldn’t have it because she would give her last dollar to the student who couldn’t afford lunch that day, Sweeney said. Those memories resonate with her and have shaped her into who she is today.
Sweeney said her favorite part of WVSU always has been the people. WVSU is like a big family, she said.
Sweeney recalls being a commuter student, working and taking care of her children. As a senior, she said, she dealt with conflicts between her corporate job and school schedule. She left the corporate life and came to WVSU as a data processor in the admissions office, then associate director and later director of admissions.
Sweeney said she felt a void when her mother died, and it needed to be filled. That led Sweeney to open the Sheliah Payne Help Fund in honor of her mother. The fund gives students a place to go if they need a winter coat, money for books or a new backpack. The fund has helped over 50 students buy books.
Sweeney’s office is in the Student Union, and she also manages the building. She is also responsible for any renovations.
The Student Union soon will see big improvements, including new furniture, fresh paint and new recreational spaces for students to enjoy.
What is Sweeney’s main goal? She said it is to make students feel welcome at WVSU.
Sweeney had this to say for any student that may need her: “Please come to me if you need anything; we will find a way to make it happen.”