Trina S. Tan

/Trina S. Tan

About Trina S. Tan

Trina S. Tan is a blogger from California and lives in Boston. She blogs about education, race/ethnicity relations, social justice, leadership, politics, and social media/technology.

Do & don’ts for white mentors with mentees of color

White savior. Good white person. Sandra Bullock in The Blind Side. There are several names for this concept-- the white mentor who chooses mentees of color. One name for it is the collector. A collector is a white mentor who intentionally and strategically chooses mentees of color, because they see the career benefits of visibly loving "diversity." As [...]

By | February 28th, 2016|Uncategorized|1 Comment

We’re failing entry level educators: What good employers do

This isn't going to be the type of post about questions to ask your interviewer or how to write a good thank you note. I'm not even telling you to purposefully bomb an interview for a job you don't want so you can still get reimbursed for the travel... (wait… doesn’t everyone know that one?). [...]

By | February 25th, 2016|Uncategorized|2 Comments

The risk of not taking risks

I had the honor of presenting my final capstone project for my graduate program. The traditional format with a project like this is often through an online portfolio, a thesis, or research presentation. I decided to go off the cuff and do something different-- like a TEDtalk-type presentation on some of the greatest lessons I [...]

By | April 23rd, 2015|Uncategorized|0 Comments

I don’t have a best friend.

"Trina, do you have a best friend?" Someone recently asked me this question, and I didn't have an honest or thoughtful answer. I guess the answer is no. I have close friends, friends who know some secrets, friends from different times in my life... but no best friend. My first best friend ever died when [...]

By | April 2nd, 2015|Uncategorized|2 Comments

“I won something again”: The Politics of Success, Bragging, Humility, and Being a Womyn of Color

What does it mean to "deserve" something? In my recent accolades and good news, many praised me with comments, like "Well deserved!" What is the purpose of awards? Is it to bring attention to the underdog? Is it to show us what we already know? Is it to send a political, hierarchal message? I know [...]

By | March 17th, 2015|Uncategorized|0 Comments

ACPA CultureFest Spoken Word: Time Management

I wrote this piece for American College Personnel Association (ACPA)'s annual conference, specifically for CultureFest. There are portions of this piece borrowed from my blog post, "On Being a 'Bad Student': Is Knowledge Really Power?" so some of this might be familiar for my blog readers. I wasn't able to attend, but Jacki Mac, co-chair for [...]

By | March 5th, 2015|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Job searching is a lot like dating

As I approach the end of my graduate program at the University of Vermont, the most common questions I get are related to my job search. “Are you doing The Placement Exchange (TPE)?” “What functional areas are you considering?” “Do you want to go back home to Southern California?” At the same time, my personal [...]

By | February 16th, 2015|Uncategorized|3 Comments

How to Be Confrontational Without Being an Asshole

There was a time in my leadership journey when I was not the nicest person when it came to giving feedback, particularly during my undergraduate years. During one of my first leadership roles freshman year of college as Academic Chair for the Pilipino American Student Association, I was tasked with making sure all students were [...]

By | November 19th, 2014|Uncategorized|1 Comment

A Student Affairs Guide To Dating

This is my 10 year anniversary of dating. The crushes, falling in love too quickly, all the firsts, and even the messy breakups. Everything I learned about being a better educator, self-love, good communication, time management, and leadership, I learned first from dating.  It should be noted that my perspective and insights are inevitably limited. As [...]

By | November 11th, 2014|Uncategorized|2 Comments

3 Ways to Transform Your Failures Into Opportunities

I once failed a "Social Interaction" class in college (it was an online course-- give me a break). I thought it was an easy online class that I could take and lean on the fact that I could make friends really quickly. I repeated the class the following semester. In the season of accomplishments, graduations, and [...]

By | May 12th, 2014|Uncategorized|0 Comments