We talked to the new assistant director for fraternity and sorority life and Coates Student Center
by Abby DeNike ’20
Wills Brown has found a new home at Trinity, where his role on campus can only be described as multifaceted; as assistant director for fraternity and sorority life (FSL), he works directly with Greek Council and individual organizations to ensure that FSL and clubs on campus are thriving. He also helps oversee the Coates Student Center, in conjunction with the Coates Student Center coordinator and CSC student assistants.
Brown explains that he has always had an interest in working in education and was lucky enough to pursue these passions with Teach For America (TFA) upon graduating from the University of Texas at Austin. As a Corps member with TFA, he taught 7th grade math and coached football, girls basketball, and boys basketball at Rogers Middle School in the San Antonio Independent School District. After his tenure with TFA, he went back to UT Austin to pursue a master’s degree in higher education administration. He worked as the Student government adviser at the University of Central Florida for two years before having the “itch to come back to Texas.”
How did you start out in education?
As an undergrad at The University of Texas at Austin, I was somewhat involved my first couple of years on campus (I was in a fraternity, played IM sports, and had a role as a research assistant in a lab). However, it wasn't until the end of my junior year, when I became heavily involved with UT's Student Government, that I completely fell in love with student affairs and higher education as a whole. This opportunity opened my eyes to the impact student leaders and student affairs professionals make on a daily basis, and it was through this experience that I knew I wanted to pursue a career in higher education administration.
What is your favorite part about working with students?
Watching them succeed and grow as servant leaders. At the end of the day, students are in the driver's seat when it comes to many campus initiatives, projects, and decisions, and to see them impact campus, all while doing so in a manner that is both altruistic and meaningful, is beyond rewarding.
What excites you about working with Greek Life on campus, specifically?
Each FSL leader—from Greek Council members to club presidents—is committed to bettering not only their own organizations, but the FSL community as a whole. It's no secret that nationwide fraternities and sororities struggle with pervasive and systemic problems. Thankfully, here at Trinity, the student leaders aren't shying away from these issues and are working passionately to ensure that the University's FSL community is inclusive, welcoming, safe, and values-driven. I'm proud to work alongside these exemplary student leaders to build a community that epitomizes Trinity's values of enduring excellence, intentional inclusion, and perpetual discovery.
What would you say to students to get them more involved with on-campus activities? Why is student involvement important in your opinion?
Involvement is the lifeblood of the holistic collegiate experience. Yes, students are here to receive a high-quality education and obtain a degree that will ensure they're competitive in the job market, but college is so much more than classes, papers, and exams. Involvement at the collegiate level helps students build intangible skills that are so vital to post-baccalaureate success. We're talking work ethic, conflict management skills, creativity, project-completion, interpersonal skills, etc.
The collegiate experience should be viewed through a dynamic lens, and, in my opinion, students with the most to offer after graduation are those who were readily involved both inside and outside of the classroom. Any and all involvement outside of the classroom—be it a job to help pay tuition, a summer internship, on-campus research, volunteering within the San Antonio community, etc.—will undoubtedly help students mature and prepare them for life after college.
Describe Trinity in 3-5 words.
Excellence. Innovation. Brilliance. Camaraderie.
Abigail DeNike ’20 is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in neuroscience and a minor in creative writing. She is a writing intern for the Strategic Communications and Marketing department.