Capstone to Career


Capstone to Career:

Allison Dear ’16

The Senior Capstone project is an opportunity for Trinity students to showcase the interdisciplinary knowledge and skills they’ve gained throughout their educational journey at the point just before they launch off on their own.

For some, their Capstone is a jumping-off point into a future career. Allison Dear ’16 was able to combine a career interest in medicine with her love for creating art. Her project, “A Journey through an Operation: Creating a Pre- and Post-operative Guide for Pediatric Surgery Patients at the Duke Eye Center,” involved creating a coloring booklet for children that explains the process of surgery from preparation to post-operation.

Her father, Guy Dear, MB, ChB, who is an anesthesiologist at Duke, noticed that in the Eye Center there was a need for information for children having eye surgery. It was a perfect opportunity to blend my love of medicine and art,” says Allison. Her booklet helps children feel calmer, knowing what to expect during the process of eye surgery, and it is still in use today.


Smiling young woman with curly red hair wearing a white lab coat with 'Duke University School of Medicine' embroidered on it, standing outside by a building with large windows and stone facade.


After her time at Trinity, Allison went on to double major at Duke University in cellular biology and visual arts. While there she painted a mural in the hospital near where patients wait before surgery. The mural invites children to find the special characters hidden in the painting, which is a welcome distraction from their nervousness before going into surgery.

After her time at Duke, she worked at Stanford University in a dermatology lab researching stem cells before returning to work at Duke as a nursing assistant (CNA). Now a student at the Duke School of Medicine, she seeks to combine her love of children and research in her future career. 

In many ways, Allison’s educational arc at Trinity and beyond exhibits Trinity’s ideal: to cultivate in students a lifelong love of learning.

To borrow from Trinity’s Expanded Mission Statement,

We want to challenge our students in a way that stimulates their natural curiosity, guiding their discovery toward personal, intellectual, and spiritual growth.

One of Allison’s Trinity teachers remarked, “In War Lit we read a four-page excerpt from a book in class. That night she read the entire rest of the 400-page book. She went on to read every single other book I mentioned in the class, asking for further recommendations.”

Allison’s pursuit of art stemmed primarily as a stress release from the intensity of her STEM-related classes. But driven by her desire to go beyond the superficial, she took every art class that Trinity offered. Her work was recognized by the National Scholastic Art and Writing Society with a Gold Key award. Previous winners include names you may have heard of, like Stephen King, Amanda Gorman, and Andy Warhol, to name a few.

Allison is prepared to offer healing, peace, and beauty to those around her. We are thankful that Trinity could play a role in her passion for art.

Janet Ray, Trinity’s Director of Arts