For over two decades, Glen Jennings has been working at Trinity College Foundation Studies, provided lectures and tutorials in History of Ideas and Literature and has also taken on a number of administrative roles, including Subject Leader of Literature and Associate Dean for Teaching and Learning. Some people have asked Glen why he has stayed at Trinity for so long, to Glen the answer is simple.
A few weeks ago, Glen Jennings’s youngest daughter Mia did her mid-year university exams. One of her key subjects was Indonesian. Although Glen is not sure if Mia will continue to study this culturally and economically important language during the remainder of her undergraduate degree, seeing her work in Indonesian over the past few months did give him the opportunity to reflect on education, the significant challenges of communicating in a second or third language, and the passage of time. For over two decades, Glen has been working with international students in Trinity College Foundation Studies (TCFS). These young people have come to live and study in a foreign culture and have in turn had an important impact on Australia. In fact, on a personal level, the first Indonesian speakers Mia ever met as a little girl were Glen’s TCFS students.
During his time at Trinity, Glen has provided lectures and tutorials in History of Ideas and Literature, and he has taught students from many intakes, including Specialised Extended, Comprehensive Extended, February Main, August Main, and Fast Track. Glen has also taken on a number of administrative roles, including Subject Leader of Literature and Associate Dean for Teaching and Learning. He is pleased to have been involved in a number of projects that have improved things for students and staff, including the introduction of iPads, and new building developments in Victoria Street and Parkville. Glen is currently Deputy Dean of the Pathways School, and his office is in the new Gateway building on the iconic Parkville campus.
Some people have asked Glen why he has stayed at Trinity for so long, perhaps a polite way to say that he is getting old and should have moved on to different challenges. But to Glen the answer is simple: ‘If you enjoy spending time with keen students from diverse backgrounds, and you think that education is stimulating and worthwhile, why not do what you enjoy?’ Glen appreciates the intellectual freedom that comes from working in a largely autonomous organisation like TCFS: ‘My hobby is reading and my passion is education. HOI and Literature were perfect subjects for me. And at Trinity we can update and transform our own curriculum, which is empowering.’ He also notes that TCFS students are, ‘wonderful, hardworking, and successful.’ Glen is particularly proud that so many TCFS students go on to realise their goal of progressing to the University of Melbourne and flourishing in their further studies and careers.
For Glen, working at Trinity is a bit like living in multicultural Melbourne, which is often described as the world’s most liveable city. ‘Why not live in Melbourne doing a job you love and travel to wherever you want when you have the opportunity?’ Glen has been fortunate to travel on behalf of Trinity to China, Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Taiwan and Vietnam. These trips have been a great way to meet parents, prospective students, agents and alumni, and to learn more about the world. Glen is very keen to continue his travels, and would love to go to many more countries, especially Indonesia, Iran, Korea and Thailand. (He is a bit envious that Mia went to Indonesia without him in early 2017.) Glen’s most memorable local trips have been with TCFS students to the snowfields and particularly a few nights camping down the Great Ocean Road. He is looking forward one day to going on the TCFS Central Australia Trip.
As Deputy Dean with a focus on future growth, Glen is pleased to see that all forecasts indicate a vibrant future for TCFS. In fact, Trinity will soon need new buildings to cater for the extra students. Glen is also very happy that Trinity emphasises strong relationships with our alumni. He has written many references for former students who have gone on to study or undertake internships in a range of countries, from America to Hong Kong, England, Italy and Spain. On Sunday 25 June 2017, Glen was delighted to catch up with former students and colleagues at a TCFS 20th reunion function in Parkville, including some who went on the Ocean Road camp. It was wonderful to reminisce about old Drama performances, classroom debates, and empathise about exams. (Many former TCFS students now have profound experience of examinations from both sides of the desk, as teachers and as examining doctors.) It was fun to meet so many children of TCFS graduates, and exciting to hear about such a variety of life outcomes for former TCFS students.