National Guard veteran pursues law degree after 24 years of service

Stefanie Trouern-Trend, JD ’25, enlisted in the Connecticut Army National Guard at the young age of 19 and after recently retiring, chose Quinnipiac as the next step in her career.

She began serving as a 91B healthcare specialist with the 141st Medical Company in 1997 which led her to various other roles. In 2001, she transferred to the 143rd Forward Support Battalion to deploy to Bosnia. Upon her return, she once again served the medical company as an ambulance driver and squad leader.

In 2004, Trouern-Trend was deployed to Iraq to serve as the section non-commissioned officer (NCO) and was soon promoted to sergeant first class in the 118th Mobile Medical Battalion. While there, she was a force health protection NCO and the unit’s detachment sergeant. Only a year later, she returned to her original first unit of assignment to serve as the first sergeant of the 141st Medical Company.

Then, in 2006, she was selected as Connecticut’s first senior flight paramedic assigned to the medical evacuation unit. Trouern-Trend resigned from active duty in 2021.

Once she completed nearly three decades of service, she took a tour of the Quinnipiac School of Law.

“I was paired up with Dakota Flint, another military veteran,” said Trouern-Trend. “Dakota was so warm and welcoming, he helped me realize that Quinnipiac was the right place for me. Dakota not only answered all of my questions, but he also helped me navigate the complex system of military benefits. At the end of the tour, he gave me his number and has served as an extremely helpful mentor ever since. “

Neal Feigenson, professor of law, was another vital faculty member involved in her decision to become a Bobcat. After many meetings with him and several admissions staff, she was convinced that Quinnipiac was her new home.

“Quinnipiac is by far the most welcoming, professional and supportive law school,” said Trouern-Trend. “After the tour my choice was easy. I would recommend that anyone looking to attend law school do an on-campus tour to help determine what is the right fit for them, for me that was Quinnipiac.”

Jason Burke, executive director of veteran and military affairs, also assisted her in committing to the school. “He is hands down the best veterans' benefits coordinator that I have ever worked with,” she said. “He truly cares."

She has always had a desire to pursue her legal education and Quinnipiac will now help her to advance in her career post-serving.

“I am proud to be a member of the Quinnipiac University School of Law community and grateful for the overwhelming support I received following the sudden loss of a friend and former colleague last year and a possible short-notice deployment, especially Dean Kuhar,” said Trouern-Trend. “After a rewarding military career in service, I hope to continue assisting soldiers and veterans in a new, yet equally important way.”

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