Thirty years after receiving her undergraduate degree, Sherry M. Trocino ’96 decided to go back to school and continue her education at Shenandoah University, which would change her life forever.
“I owe Shenandoah so much,” said Trocino. “How could a 47-year-old woman with little full-time work experience become the vice president and dean of a college? Shenandoah opened up unimaginable opportunities for me.”
Until she began her graduate studies at Shenandoah, her university experience consisted of taking classes with 18- to 22-year-old students in a traditional setting. It was a huge plus for Trocino to study with other non-traditional students like herself in Shenandoah’s Master of Business Administration program. She and her fellow students would share real-life experiences with each other, and she felt like her non-traditional classmates were people who were serious about their studies and brought much to the table. Her professors were also there for her every step of the way, mentoring, inspiring and helping her acquire new skills.
“Shenandoah was very influential in that it gave me a new vision for myself and the degree to pursue it,” said Trocino.
After receiving a Master of Business Administration from Shenandoah in 1996, she became the director of development for a small non-profit in Leesburg, Virginia. Trocino quickly learned that she had an aptitude for and a possible career path in advancement. She moved on to become director of individual giving at Mount St. Mary’s University in Emmitsburg, Maryland. Then, in 2005, Trocino transitioned to Elmira College in Elmira, New York, where she worked for nine years and was promoted to vice president and dean of institutional advancement. Trocino retired in 2013 after working 21 years in higher education.
One of the most rewarding aspects of Trocino’s career is how it helped her grow into the person and leader she is today. An area that stands out about her career is interpersonal relationships, both in terms of large crowds, as well as one-on-one meetings.
“Over the course of a $36 million campaign, I was responsible for planning, executing and emceeing five large events at some of the most notable event spaces in the Eastern United States,” said Trocino. “I learned, with the help of my all-hands-on-deck-staff, I could do things I’d never imagined.”
She believes leaders should give their staff plenty of room to operate, encourage them to work together, enlist them in problem solving, and listen to and adopt their ideas. Trocino says this helps gain and keep the respect of staff members and allows leaders and staff members to work together to achieve common goals.
Two of Trocino’s proudest moments were the opening of the two signature buildings included in the fundraising campaign she managed while at Elmira College and receiving the 2014 Shenandoah University Distinguished Alumni Award for Professional Achievement.
In retirement, Trocino enjoys spending time with her family, playing bridge and Bunco, participating in church activities, reading, and participating in her local women’s club.
Through her work with the Alumni Board of Directors, Trocino looks forward to connecting with other alumni, particularly in getting to know Winchester alumni. She also loves to interact with students because she says they are one of the best aspects of college work. She hopes to meet with prospective students, students and alumni who live in the Atlanta, Georgia, area near her home of Statham, Georgia.