BHUMIKA CHOUDARY ’18
If 60 Minutes and Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis had a child, it might look something like “Trinitea: Chats Over Tea at Trinity College.” Rachael Burke ’15 and Michael Raciti, the College’s video editor, established the show in 2014 as a platform to highlight the work and personalities of Trinity faculty in a more entertaining way than your typical faculty interview.
Trinitea is now sponsored by Hartford’s First and Last Bakery, which supplies the crumpets (or in this case, brownies) on set for faculty guests and host Henry “Hank” Butler ’17, who took over as the show’s third host this year. Butler says he is “thrilled to learn more about the faculty members that Trinity is so lucky to have.” Butler had been an avid follower of Trinitea and watched episodes with Rachael Burke ’15 and Will Schreiber-Stainthorp ’15 as hosts before taking over the chair himself. Burke is part of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon team that earned an Emmy in the “Outstanding Interactive Program” category while Schreiber-Stainthorp was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship. Butler is “honored to be a part of this amazing group.”
Butler keeps the conversation sharp and witty, and his natural gift for conversation makes episodes both enlightening and fun to watch.
“Trinitea” serves as a reminder to the Trinity community that our faculty have lives outside the classroom and students are fortunate to learn about them through the show’s short five minute episodes. It is no surprise that the “most enjoyable part of hosting is getting to know the faculty,” said Butler. One of those moments was interviewing Paul Assaiante, Head Men’s Squash Coach. It was one of Butler’s most in depth interviews so far because Coach Assaiante’s experiences are “unbelievably unique and almost unreal. Be sure to watch that interview when it gets posted,” said Butler.
“Trinitea” offers the Trinity community the chance to interact with faculty members in a way that is not limited to in-class interactions. Butler hopes that “Trinitea” “encourages students to engage with the faculty in non-conventional ways outside of the classroom.” It is therefore the goal of the talk show to reach as many people as possible and shed light on Trinity’s first class faculty.
In the past faculty guests have included Susan A. Masino, Vernon Roosa Professor of Applied Science; Kevin J. McMahon, John R. Reitemeyer Professor of Political Science; and Mark Silk, Director of Leonard Greenberg Center for the Study of Religion in Public Life and Professor of Religion in Public Life.
The show has many planned episodes on the horizon, with upcoming guests that include Paul Assaiante; Allison Draper, Director of the Science Center and Lecturer in Interdisciplinary Science; and Seth Markle, Assistant Professor of History and International Studies.
“Trinitea” is a student-run initiative that Raciti believes is “something that could continue to grow and evolve. This is a group of creative students coming together to give Trinity something different – something fun and modern, yet informative. Trinity’s rich history has always started with great students and some of the top faculty in higher education, and in that regard, “Trinitea” showcases what has always made Trinity College special – the people.” Those involved with the production of the show expect it to continue to grow in popularity as time passes, and are excited for the future of the videos.
Episodes of “Trinitea” can be found at trincoll.edu/trinitea and Facebook.com/TriniteaShow.
BHUMIKA CHOUDARY ’18