Annika Dyczkowski ’25
Olive Scull is a senior from South Strafford, VT. At Trinity, she is a captain of the women’s ice hockey team, a Teaching Assistant for Professor Papoulis’ course, “Writing the Personal Essay,” and an English major with a minor in women, gender, and sexuality. In her free time, her favorite hobby is writing, including journaling, creative fiction, and poetry.
Scull takes most enjoyment from poetry, as this is the focus of her thesis work through the Creative Writing Department. The structure of her thesis takes a unique approach, writing about her personal experience with adolescence and growth while being written in a second or third person perspective. She is also integrating her minor into her thesis, as her work is also woman-oriented. In around 40 pages, she shares, “experiences of a woman in her twenties and figuring sh*t out.”
She also credits her current position as a Teaching Assistant as inspiration for her poetry and generally helpful to her ability to thrive in similar curriculums. Some of her duties involve grading papers and meeting with students outside of class to aid them in their writing process, which she regards as another asset towards her writing. “Hearing people talk about their lives inspired me and helped me clean up my writing.”
Scull is currently taking her senior seminar for the women, gender, and sexuality minor, “Mapping American Masculinities” with Professor Corber. She finds it interesting how both film and literature have been a source of study for creative work and concrete studies that are discussed in the class. She also enjoys the analysis of political movements and social behavior through the lens of masculinity, “it helps me assess how I view masculinity in my personal life.”
Her interest in courses of the same dialect was piqued in high school, where there were no classes offered on gender studies. Her passion for studying women’s movements and gender politics never faded, however, so during her senior year at Kimball Union, Scull created her own independent study on Women in Politics. “I knew from a young age [that] I wanted to learn about women’s rights and queer politics because I had no exposure to it… coming here I knew I wanted to take classes in the gender studies department right away.”
She finds that taking classes in this field are more important now than ever because our current political climate’s intersection with gender studies directly impacts everyone, she says. “Ignorance is not bliss.” She relates back to herself and her initial involvement in these studies, “As an LGBTQIA+ identifying woman I wanted to know what was going on around me, learning and understanding about it is the bare minimum [because] it’s impacting people’s lives.” She also expresses the importance of these studies in the corporate world, where “diversity, inclusion, and company culture are central to workspaces.”
Scull’s time in the corporate world is currently dedicated to The Richard’s Group, an insurance brokerage out of Vermont and New Hampshire. Her day-to-day work is project collaboration with the company’s Organizational Wellness and Marketing Departments. She generates ideas on how to limit internal turnover through devising marketing pitches and health and wellness challenges for current employees.
Prior to stepping into the corporate world, Scull stepped foot on the ice when she was two years old. From freshman to senior year at Trinity, she finds that she has experienced a variety of highs and lows. She says her freshman and sophomore year were the most difficult because of the transition from high school and the effect of COVID on her relationships with her teammates. She contends that she grew into a leadership position her junior year; she attributes this ability to a then-senior captain, Angelica Mush. “I was inspired by her ability to stand up to higher leadership.” Scull also finds that her first couple of years pushed her to find her voice, “I came to this program to make it better, and I only had so much time to do that.”
Scull finds that her senior year on the team was the opposite of what she had trained for or envisioned the previous three years; the captain fractured her collarbone and tore her ACL, leaving her to play four games in her final season. She says her injuries were very bittersweet, as she was “devastated by the lack of engagement that was out of [her] control”; although she expresses, she was “able to form better connections off the ice with teammates [which] gave a better perspective on how to be a leader without leading by example the way you do as an athlete.” She denotes that her injury gave her valuable lessons she will carry with her through life, “it showed me that leadership is valuable in every single form.”
Her greatest female inspiration in life—including her multitude of studies, occupations, and leadership positions—is her mother. Scull explains that her mom maintains an independent life while also running her own business, raising two kids, taking care of her own mother, and raising farm animals. “She rocks. She’s a giver and a helper, she’s the glue to our family.” Scull also credits her mom for building her personal aesthetic through self-expression; she was always being reminded, “Be different! Normal is boring.”
Oh what an amazing young woman we have in Olive.Jess and Tom, you guys have done a beautiful job!! thank you Annika Dyczowski for this article.
Loved reading this article and seeing Olive celebrated!
She comes from an incredible family with values focused on the human spirit.
I also agree with Olive about her Mom and family glue.