Category Archives: Features

Diversity in Clinical Research… and the Lack Thereof

Cy Pavlov ’24
EE  Staff Writer

Medicine is not a one-size-fits-all game.

If you walk down the drug aisle at your local pharmacy, you will see Aspirin in all its derivations, yet there are separate drugs for relieving pain in children. This is because, unlike adults, children are dynamic, growing individuals who process the same substances differently. This is just one of the many examples of the world of clinical research. 

Although many people do not give a second thought to clinical trials, they are the unsung heroes of the medical world responsible for putting the theory of medicine into practice. However, there is a problem within clinical research: there’s a serious lack of diversity, as a commission convened by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine reports

“Despite being important to collect data on all populations, there is unfortunately very low turn-out among many underrepresented groups” according to returning intern at the Yale Center for Clinical Investigations and current Yale student and Trumbull High alumni Gabriella Pavlov ’27 (THS ‘23). 

How one reacts to medicine is not simply a function of one’s weight but is very multifactorial, as shown by several recent studies. Factors such as race, gender, and age can all play a major role in how effective certain treatments can be. 

Drugs such as anti-coagulants — which free up the blood, preventing clots — become riskier to use as patients age due to a decline in kidney function according to a study published in Clinical Pharmacokinetics. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg: there are a myriad of ways similar processes can affect other groups that in turn affect which treatments can produce the best outcomes. 

Football On The Rise At Trumbull High

Jude Magnotti ‘26
EE Staff Writer

Football has-no question-been an important part of culture in Trumbull. The Trumbull High School Football team has carried on an important tradition and legacy dating all the way back to its roots with the legendary coach McDougall.

“I believe that students want to be a part of something great and carry on that tradition,” said Phil Koda, the current coach of the Trumbull High freshman football team. However, despite Trumbull’s strong roots in football, an event occurred that permanently changed the course of Trumbull High’s football program.

In 2020, the world experienced a global shutdown with the arrival of the Covid-19 Pandemic. Lives, jobs, and experiences were lost. However, there were few things affected more during the pandemic than high school sports programs. In the middle of the year, all sports including baseball, tennis, and lacrosse were completely shut down. Luckily for football players, their season was already over, having ended in November. Unfortunately, the program coming back the next year would be completely different. 

Trumbull High School would go into a two-cohort system during 2020-2021. One cohort of kids would come on Monday and Tuesday, the other would come on Thursday and Friday. Many even choose to stay home the entire year. Needless to say, Trumbull High was unable to have a true football team that year.

However, going into the 2021-2022 school year things were looking up. The masks were slowly coming off and every student was going to school full time. THS finally had another chance to put together a football team, but surprisingly, very few kids from the freshman class tried out. Of course the team had their returning players, but there was not much in the way of 9th graders. 

This decrease in players the 2021-2022 season can be attributed to a few possible factors. Coming out of the pandemic, many families still felt uncertainty and worry for their kids. Some households preferred to be safe and largely kept their kids out of sports. Another contributing factor was that most kids had not played sports in at least 1 and a half years.

A current player on the THS football team believes that many “fell into a really big slump coming out of the pandemic”. This could explain why students were so unmotivated to participate in sports during 2021. Luckily for THS Football fans, this lack of participants would not last long. 

Entering the 2022-2023 season, Trumbull Football saw a substantial increase in the amount of players going out for the football team. According to current freshman team coach Phil Koda, there were “about 50 players” on the roster during 2022.

Hispanic Icons

Ria Beri ‘27
EE Staff Writer

Every year, Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated from September 15 to October 15. September 15 sees the independence days of Guatemala, Costa Rica, Honduras, El Salvador, and Nicaragua, with Mexico, Belize, and Chiles’ also falling within the month. Native meals are cooked, concerts are held, and festivals are thrown. As we celebrate this month, it is crucial to recognize the Hispanic figures who have made big contributions to society. Below, are a few of arguably the most influential Hispanics and Latinos in the areas of sports, entertainment, and science.

Science: Ellen Ochoa

Astronaut Ellen Ochoa was born the granddaughter of Mexican immigrants. She attended Stanford University back in 1975, where she earned a doctorate in electrical engineering. Ochoa joined NASA in 1991 and, in 1993, became the first Hispanic woman to enter space despite astronomy being a field predominantly composed of white males. During her career, she came up with many inventions to make space easier to understand, including an optical inspection system, an optical object recognition method, and even a method for noise removal in images. Ochoa has spent nearly 1,000 hours studying space and bringing back useful information that help scientists understand our world. She was even the first astronaut to play a musical instrument in space, playing a flute in low-Earth orbit! Ochoa serves as a role model for people everywhere as her story shows that, despite one’s gender and race, anything can be achieved through hard work. During this month, we must not fail to forget everything that she has done for us in the area of science and technology.

Sports: Lionel Messi

Almost everyone has heard of soccer star Lionel Messi. Born in Argentina, he is arguably the GOAT of soccer. He currently holds 41 different world records and has helped score/scored 1,163 goals in his entire career. Messi plays for the Inter Miami team and was a forward on the Argentinian team that won the 2022 World Cup. He serves as captain on both teams and is regarded as one of the most humble soccer players in the world. He works with UNICEF to protect children’s rights and has even founded the Leo Messi Foundation, an organization that helps provide healthcare for children. During the Covid Pandemic, Messi donated $1 million to stop the spread of the virus and even took a 70% cut to his paycheck so that the FC Barcelona club could afford to pay all of its staff. He not only serves as a great athlete and source of entertainment, but as an inspiration too. Despite achieving such high athletic accomplishments, he remains humble and uses his time and money to help those in need. As we celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, it is people like him that we should celebrate.

Entertainment: Shakira

Widely recognized for her halftime performance during the Super Bowl of 2020, Shakira is a popular singer born in Columbia. Some of her biggest hits include: “Hips Don’t Lie” and “Waka Waka (This Time For Africa),” which was used as the official song of the 2010 World Cup. She has won 3 Grammy Awards and 12 Latin Grammy Awards, making her the most awarded Latin artist of all time. Shakira feels that her Latina origin has seeped into her music, helping spread Latina culture all over the world. “I am a fusion,” said the singer in an interview in 2002. “I am a fusion between black and white, between pop and rock, between cultures- between my Lebanese father and my mother’s Spanish blood, the Columbian folklore and Arab dance I love and American music.” She too supports UNICEF and is focused on bringing early childhood education to kids all over the globe. She is also the founder of Piez Descalzos, a foundation that provides education and nutrition to the thousands of Colombian children that live in poverty. Shakira’s efforts to spread Latino culture and help those in need back home deserve to be recognized as we pass through Hispanic Heritage month.

Trumbull Agriscience Prepares for the Fall Farm Fair

Abby Poplawski ‘23
EE Staff Writer

The leaves are starting to change colors, and the air is becoming colder which means it’s finally time for the annual Fall Farm Fair at the Trumbull Agriscience & Biotechnology Center. Stop by on Saturday, October 23rd from 10 am to 3 pm to visit the animals, play games, join raffles, enjoy the food trucks, and shop from our local and student vendors!

Each year, the students in agriscience take part in an SAE or a supervised agricultural experience. From volunteering at local businesses, to getting paid jobs, or becoming entrepreneurs and selling their own products, these students can do it all. Products made by the students include homemade jams and jellies, jewelry, wine glasses, maple syrup, crochet crafts, room decor, soaps, and so much more! These products will be sold during the farm fair and are the perfect gifts for family members.

This is also the perfect event for children, who are welcome to arrive in their Halloween costumes. The volunteers have put together many different games and activities such as decorating pumpkins, bowling, planting seeds, ring toss, and more. Children can also choose a prize after completion of each activity. Each game requires 1-2 tickets which can be purchased at the front table by the entrance, otherwise admission is free.

One of the most popular things to do at the farm fair is to visit the animals which are very friendly. Currently, there are two horses, one cow, one alpaca, fifteen sheep, and two recently added miniature donkeys. They will be outside on the fields and you may even be able to see some of the large animal science students training or feeding them.

 “Besides offering families the opportunity to visit our farm and interact with our large animals, it provides a venue for our Agriscience students to assist our parent organization, the Friends of the Farm, in this fundraising event”, said Dr. Linda Paslov, Agriscience Director. Dr.  Paslov is very excited to help host the Farm Fair.

The Friends of the Farm is an organization made of dedicated parents that helps enrich the Trumbull Agriscience program through social events, fundraising, and community awareness.

The weather is supposed to be great on Saturday, so feel free to stop by. The Farm Fair is a great place to enjoy on a weekend with your family. From sweet treats, to games, animals, and pumpkins, this event will set the perfect mood for a cozy autumn day. But don’t fret if you can’t make it, the Spring Farm Fair will be here before you know it.


AP Exam Advice Offered

Christina Kingan ’23
EE Features Editor

As juniors finish up their SAT and NGSS assessments, many must now prepare for AP season. AP tests start in early May and many teachers advise students to start their studying process soon to ensure that they can cover all content with the much needed comprehension of the material. 

Recommended methods of studying include practice questions, reviewing material through reading the textbook, and looking over past tests. Teachers will usually urge students to look over past notes and try to review the highlights from each unit. Making sure a student has a reasonable understanding of the entire course is crucial. However, this can be a hefty amount of reading. YouTube videos are very effective and, speaking from experience, provide a student with a strong understanding of the main concepts necessary to know. All AP classes will have YouTube videos or Khan Academy videos at students’ disposal. 

Junior Caitlin Carley encourages students to “purchase the class’ flashcards and preparatory test book and spend thirty to forty minutes studying in the days leading up to the exam”. She found this method very helpful and felt prepared to be successful on the test. 

AP tests can cause student stress and it is easy to become overwhelmed by the amount of material needed to review. It is important to remember that every minute of studying dedicated will only help your score, no matter how much you study!

Starting is one of the most difficult steps, so keep in mind that anything you do will be beneficial. One tip from past experiences is to divide your workload into sections. For example, AP United States History consists of 9 units. All will be covered on the AP test which can be intimidating. However, when you split up the course into sections, it seems like less work to review. Two days can be dedicated to the first unit, and the next two days for unit 2 and so forth. 

Remember to try your best and do not hesitate to reach out to teachers and upper classmen for guidance on how to excel on your exam.

Dubai World Expo 2020

Thomas Ou ‘24
EE Entertainment Editor 

Site of Dubai’s long-awaited expo.

Bareness. Aching. Adrift. Yet amidst the monotonous acres of arid sand, there lies a technological and architectural paradise so daring that sets a new precedent for the development of a new country. If a traveler happens to find themselves within these barren lands within these last winter months they just might hear the faint outline of their favorite band and the cheers of its excited participants, many of whom traveled across the world to partake in this event. 

Since the very beginning, World’s Fairs have been a way for countries to show off their prowess and skill to the rest of the world through dazzling architecture, planning and experience. The first fair, set in London in 1851, was called the Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of All Nations. Its message, told through the soaring iron and glass, was about showcasing the rising industrial capabilities of the world.

In a world that has been dominated by western culture, burdened by the pandemic, unrest and environmental catastrophe, the Dubai Expo is a breath of fresh air; focused on clear communication, healing and building a better world. The Dubai Expo is being promoted as the biggest event held in the Arab world, putting other festivals to shame. “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future” is the official theme, with there also being ten smaller theme weeks that will cover the entire six months of the Expo.  The expo will address major challenges facing humanity through economic, cultural, environmental, and social perspectives. Despite its deceiving name, the Dubai expo is actually being held from October of 2021 to the 31st of March, 2022. Sadly, it has been severely delayed by the Covid Pandemic, with the organizers having to push the plans an entire year. 

Midterms 101

Christina Kingan ’23
EE Features Editor

As midterms are mentioned more frequently these days, it’s important to understand what they are, the schedule modifications they invoke, and what preparations are necessary to be confident during these tests. Midterms are the exams around the end of the first semester, meant to measure how students have been performing and what knowledge they retain. These exams will start on the Thursday following Martin Luther King  Jr. day, the 20th of January. They will end the following week on Tuesday the 25th. The format of these exams is structured in two period blocks. On the first day of testing exams for period one and two will be taken. On day two of testing exams for periods three and four will be taken. This pattern occurs for day three and day four as well. 

Studying for midterms can be stressful and challenging for people who don’t know where to start. It’s important to first heed any advice given by teachers on what topics to study and complete any packets given. If you feel that you need additional support consult your teacher and see if they can offer anymore assistance. Looking over past tests can also be beneficial to see what you didn’t understand as well as review what you did. Looking over notes or assignments can also be helpful in reviewing what you need to know. Watching review videos on YouTube is also a great strategy as some students find it easier to listen than go over notes. It’s a good idea to talk to upperclassmen who might have taken the test already and can provide any advice on how they were successful when taking the exams.

“Don’t wait until the last minute and try and plan ahead,” advises senior Anju Rajah when asked for her perspective on successful midterm preparation. “For example, if there are five units, do one per night and then designate one night for review”.

She encourages students to utilize a spread out study plan like this, making sure they’re not overwhelmed by the amount of information they are trying to remember.

Winter Holidays Around the World

Tessa Fabrizio ’25
EE Staff Writer

Sunrise between the stones at Stonehenge on the Winter Solstice

Czech Republic, St. Nicholas Day– During the month of December, the Czechs have a very different idea of the Santa we know and love. But, the origin of St. Nicholas was that of a Greek Bishop, who protected children. St. Nicholas Day is still regularly celebrated across Europe on December 6th, though the traditions vary.  In the Czech Republic, St. Nick dresses like a bishop and is attended by both an angel and a devil. Based on St. Nick’s opinion of a child’s behavior, the kid either gets a gift from the angel or gets terrorized by the devil. 

Greece, Christmas Boats-Christmas trees are common in Greece, but you’ll also find boats wrapped in strands of lights, whether in the water or in the main plaza. There are two reasons for boat-decorating: The first is the country’s ancient marine culture. The second is that St. Nicholas’ association with sailors, for he is the patron saint of them. These boats beautifully represent the country’s past as well as their joyfulness for the holidays.

Iceland, The Thirteen Yule Lads- The Thirteen Yule Lads similar to Snow White and her dwarfs, everyone has a name and a different personality associated with that name. The thirteen nights before Christmas, they give gifts to children. Unless children are bad, if they are, they get rotten foods, or even worse the Yule Lads’ mother Gryla. The group is said to be a mischievous bunch and is known for stealing and eating food.

Philippines, Simbang Gabi- Simbang Gabi is the nine days of predawn Catholic masses that end with the final mass on Christmas Eve. Though it sounds like there is no joy waking up before the sun for nine days consecutively, on your way to mass there are festive bands that fill the street, lit lanterns that light the way, and street vendors that offer holiday treats.

Rugby to Debut in Spring

Christina Kingan ’23
EE Features Editor

Trumbull High is infamous for its expansive sports department and it is lucky to have a new edition this spring. The new rugby team is having it’s first season spring 2022.

Rugby is a skillful and aggressive sport that has much physical contact. It is similar to football but many of the rules differ and regulations regarding protection is less significant. One thing that is immediately noticed is that players are only required to wear a mouth guard when compared to football which utilizes full padding.

The goal, like all games, is to score against the opponent. Players try to get the ball to the try zone, the term for the opposition’s end zone. There are few rules of conduct, allowing players to essentially use any means to get the ball from their opponents and score. 

Junior Anthony Desautels was involved in exposing the sport to our school community. Destautels and others have “played for other clubs for multiple years” he says, and feels that Trumbull would benefit from having a team affiliated with the school. The sport is enjoyed by many and he feels “others at our school will love the game just as much as we do”.

Service Spotlight: My Gold Award Journey

By Neya Kidambi
EE Editor-in-Chief ‘22

Neya Kidambi at one of her August workshops.

As a Girl Scout enters high school, it becomes time to start thinking about the Gold Award Project. Receiving the Gold Award is the highest honor a Girl Scout can earn. It focuses on leadership, career exploration, personal growth, and community action. 

“Gold Award Girl Scouts are rock stars, role models, and real-life heroes,” the official Girl Scouts of the USA website says.

The process of earning my Gold Award was one of the most intensive and rewarding experiences. Girl Scouts are recommended to spend a minimum of 80 hours on their project. 

I started my own Gold journey in January of 2021. The main cause behind my project was the lack of education surrounding mental health and overall emotional wellness, for teens. 

In America today, mental health is still stigmatized, and few are willing to discuss it openly. This lack of healthy discussion leads to generations of teens and young adults who have neglected their emotional health, leading to inevitable issues in personal or work lives.

I chose to carry out my project in the form of workshops for middle school girls in Fairfield County. I wanted to create a safe-space where I could not only educate, but also reframe that open discourse as normal, and even fun. 

The process definitely was not straightforward. I initially contacted local libraries near Trumbull to host my workshops there, but I received the same response each time: No.