Rachelle Trujillo was recently selected as the 2021 recipient of the Jon E. Brady Award in Political Study at Casper College, where she is double majoring in international studies and communication — journalism.
Trujillo, who is from Casper, is the 20th recipient of the annual award. The daughter of Rick and Emily Trujillo, she is a 2020 Kelly Walsh High School graduate. During her freshman year at CC, Trujillo was the staff writer for the student paper Chinook, interned on the Casper Star-Tribune, was active with the Campus Democrats of Casper College, and does volunteer work in the Casper community.
Trujillo was also a work-study for the college’s public relations department, and worked on the livestream for the home games for the college’s basketball teams and took photos and videos for the department. This summer, she is working as a coordinator and camp counselor for Casper College’s KEY Camp program for gifted fifth and sixth graders.
Trujillo received high praise from political science instructor Erick Frankland: “I had Rachelle in both Non-Western Political Cultures and Issues in Foreign Relations II during this past spring semester and found her to be a truly exceptional and thoughtful student. She was deeply engaged with the material in both classes, and I could always count on her to present intriguing insights and pose challenging questions. She has to be one of the most curious, sincere, and poised students that I have had at Casper College in 23 years of teaching. I look forward to having her in subsequent classes next year,” he said.
In the nomination letters received by the committee in support of Trujillo, comments included: “She excels in every facet of her coursework.” “Her projects for the class took a creative spin, and she went the extra mile to make sure she submitted her best work.” “Rachelle communicated well, worked ahead of deadlines, and submitted quality work for the Chinook.” “It is a joy to watch a student with a passion for helping others (through volunteering).”
When asked about her freshman year at Casper College, Trujillo noted that the original reason for attending was because CC “was here and was affordable. However, I liked it more than I thought I would.” Trujillo also found the opportunities present at Casper College “are phenomenal. I got my job at the Tribune because of the college and had two jobs as a work-study. The instructors are super qualified, and along with the on-campus opportunities, I am really glad that I ended up at Casper College,” Trujillo added.
Following her anticipated graduation in May 2022, Trujillo plans to pursue a bachelor’s in international relations at the University of Wyoming and then head to a liberal arts school “somewhere out of state” to pursue both a master’s and a doctorate in international studies. “My dream job is to write for political magazines such as Time, The Economist, and Foreign Affairs,” she said. “I would love to incorporate writing with what I do,” she noted.
Past recipients of the Brady Award include Landree Adams and Emma Rogers in 2019 and Stacey Smith in 2020. The award is named after Brady, instructor emeritus of political science at Casper College.