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Timothy E. Trainor, Ph.D. •  President
 



The Inauguration of President Timothy E. Trainor


Timothy E. Trainor, Ph.D., Biography

Dr. Tim TrainorRetired Brig. Gen. Timothy Trainor most recently served as dean and chief academic officer at United States Military Academy before retiring after a 33-year career with the Army. Trainor graduated with a Bachelor of Science from the U.S. Military Academy in 1983, has an MBA from the Fuqua School of Business at Duke, and a doctorate in industrial engineering from North Carolina State University.

As an engineer officer in the U.S. Army, Trainor served in operational assignments around the world including Germany, Honduras, Fort Bragg, North Carolina, Fort Riley, Kansas and Sarajevo, Bosnia. He deployed to Basrah, Iraq in the summer of 2007 and worked with the U.K.-led Provincial Reconstruction Team in helping the provincial Iraqi leaders improve their infrastructure revitalization plans. 

Trainor is a fellow of the American Society of Engineering Management, and was named the Engineering Manager of the Year for 2011 by the society. He is a past president of Epsilon Mu Eta, the national Engineering Management Honor Society. Trainor taught courses in engineering management, systems engineering and decision analysis. 

He is married to Colonel (Retired) Donna Brazil, Ph.D. who led the psychology program at West Point until 2013 and now provides educational services in leadership development. They have a daughter Cory, who is currently a lieutenant stationed in Missouri, son Danny, who is currently a lieutenant at the U.S. Army Flight School, and Zach who is a junior class cadet at West Point.


Q & A with Timothy E. Trainor, Ph.D.

Dr. Timothy E. Trainor and Dr. Donna BrazilThis past summer, Timothy E. Trainor, Ph.D., became the 26th president of Mount St. Mary’s University. On June 3, Mary D. Kane, C’84, chair of the board of trustees, announced the board’s unanimous appointment of the then-interim president.

Trainor, a former dean and chief academic officer at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, arrived in Emmitsburg a little more than a year ago. Highlights from his first year include launching five new academic programs and expanding Division I and club athletics to include the return of men’s soccer and elevating women’s rugby to a varsity sport. Furthermore, Trainor ushered in more than 525 new students this August, one of the largest freshman classes in the Mount’s history. He also led efforts to increase the freshman-to-sophomore retention rate. Currently, Trainor is spearheading a $30 million fundraising campaign: Forward! Together As One.

Mount Magazine caught up with the new president to talk about his time at the Mount and his vision for the future.

Mount Magazine (MM): Congratulations!

Timothy E. Trainor, Ph.D. (TT): Thank you, I’m really excited to be the 26th president of Mount St. Mary’s University! It sounds pretty cool, doesn’t it?

MM: So tell us, in light of your first year at the Mount, what are one or two initiatives you’re looking forward to continuing in your next year as president?

TT: First and foremost is enrollment growth – not just our undergraduate population, but also our seminary and graduate and adult students at the Frederick campus. The reason for growth is because we have so many good things going on here and I want more students to be able to partake in the goodness.

The second big piece is enhancing our facilities. Going into this year, we’re focusing on enhancing facilities across campus, including the creation of more collaborative learning spaces, enhancements to the ARCC, and much needed renovations to the seminary and Grotto. This is all part of the capital campaign, which alumni will hear a lot more about this fall. The campaign, Forward! Together As One is about growing mind, body and spirit. Enhancing our facilities will help us accomplish those goals

MM: And how about the long-term – you’ve been working on the strategic plan throughout the summer. Can you share some of the highlights of this plan and the long-term goals for the Mount?

TT: We’ve been working really hard at this, taking input from the entire community. We’ve asked ourselves, “What do we deeply value here at the Mount?” We deeply value our people: Our students, our faculty, our staff. We deeply value our intellectual capital. We deeply value our Catholic identity, and who we are. Our faith. We deeply value having a transformative educational and experiential environment here. There’s a number of other values – you’ll see a set of nine or 10 values that help us answer the questions, “What do we value?” and “What do we want to do?”

As we’ve gone along this process, we’ve identified areas we believe we need to focus on. The first area is student success. Everything to do with students from recruiting to providing the best educational environment and setting them up to lead lives of significance in service to God and to a changing world. That’s a phrase that’s come to light in the planning process. It’s something we do differently here.

The other areas are financial sustainability and stewardship, and having a faith- and values-based campus environment. Under each of these, we have a set of goals and objectives and we’ll measure how well we’re doing at meeting those goals and objectives over five years.

MM: Is there a way alumni can get involved with executing the plan?

TT: They can help our students be the most successful they can be! I think of it this way: When our alumni were students there were those who helped them succeed by providing their time, talent and treasure. Now we’re asking our alumni to pay it forward.

MM: “Students first” is a message you’ve championed. Tell us about what that means to you.

TT: Bottom line: Students are why we are here. “Students first” means that in all of our programs – educational, athletic, spiritual, emotional, social – we need to help our students be the best versions of themselves.

MM: You’ve talked in the past about making service learning a priority. Can you tell us more about what service means to you, and what service learning means for students at the Mount?

TT: Service is sharing yourself with others to help them achieve something they haven’t been able to gain. Seventy-five percent of our students perform voluntary service while at the Mount. When I learned that number and I saw our students in action in programs like our social justice program, it really showed me that this generation is about serving others. I want to make sure that we provide those opportunities more, and that we enhance them.

One opportunity we’re in the process of developing is a pilot program for a service semester away. We’re going to start in Philadelphia and students are going to work in non-governmental organizations and provide service to others. While they do that they will take courses online and they’ll also get service learning credits.

MM: You’ve mentioned that your first priority when you arrived last year was to listen and engage. Can you talk about what it is you’ve learned?

TT: What I learned is who we are. We are a really deeply caring institution, very faith- and values-based. That’s exciting to me. I learned that people are really committed to the success of the institution and our students. The other piece I learned is that there is so much diverse talent through so many different areas.

MM: What’s your favorite Mount Proud moment?

TT: There’s a lot, but one that stands out is our men’s basketball game versus Villanova, and it’s not because of the success of the team. I’m Mount Proud because after we lost that game our student athletes shook the hands of the Villanova team, then came over to the cheering student section – we had the loudest fans in that arena! – and thanked us for the support. Watching the team exit the court and get a standing ovation from Villanova’s fans was a poignant moment. It showed me that our players are selfless and that they realized they weren’t just successful because of their own work, but because of the fans behind them. That says a lot about the Mount community.

Another Mount Proud moment was that we had five students earn a Fulbright scholarship or grant… Five! That says a lot about the students and the dedication of our faculty and staff who helped prepare them for success.

MM: Is there anything we didn’t ask you that you’d like to expand upon?

TT: Just that I am really honored and humbled for this opportunity to be the 26th president of this wonderful institution. I look forward to continuing to serve.


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June MillerExecutive Assistant to the President

 
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