Academic staff met on September 21 to report on their activities. Below are highlights of the staff’s reports. There is a lot going on that will interest the Trinity community. – Rena Fraden, Dean of Faculty
Attending the September 21 meeting were Dina Anselmi, William Barnett, Carol Clark, Charlotte Gregory, Christopher Hager, Sara Kippur, Barry Kosmin, Margaret Lindsey, Anne Lundberg, Patricia McGregor, Richard Ross, Lisa Sapolis, Mark Silk, Erik Vogt, Diane Zannoni.
William Barnett, Director of Graduate Studies, reported several developments, including:
- The new health care policy track in the graduate program in Public Policy was implemented in the fall 2012 term. Initial enrollment in the required courses is robust. Bill has also been garnering enthusiastic support for the program from area medical centers, health insurance providers, and state government agencies pertaining to health care.
- An online survey of graduate alumni/ae and current students was conducted March through May 2012 by the Office of Institutional Research. With approximately 800 responding (response rate of 23%), students generally gave their graduate experience very high marks. Approximately 87% would recommend the program to others, and 84% considered the investment worthwhile. Trinity’s reputation and evening courses for part-time students were the most significant reasons students chose our programs.
- To improve advising and program planning, visiting associate professor of American studies, Mary E. McCombie, and visiting assistant professor of Public Policy and Law, Michael Fotos, have been appointed as associate directors of their graduate programs. These appointments were made in anticipation of increased enrollment in the intermediate future.
- In May 2012, some 43 students received their MA degrees—one of the largest cohorts in recent years. Approximately 25% earned their degrees with honors in graduate study.
Alison Draper, Director of the Science Center, reported that the Science Center was in full gear this summer, with the Summer Science Research Program, June Days and the first Summer Science Workshop for Hartford Magnet Trinity College Academy.
The Center had about 85 students participating in the Summer Research Program and its weekly events. Students especially enjoyed the alumni events – one on school post-Trinity and the other on jobs post-Trinity – for which 8-10 alums returned to campus to share their experiences in small-group discussions. There were also four faculty lectures: Profs. Moyer, Ning, Geiss, and as a last-minute volunteer substitute, Prof. Schneider. Elementary school-style field day games, round-table discussions on making the most of your Trinity experience and student presentations rounded out the summer.
The Science Center again took the lead on coordinating June Days faculty advising and faculty volunteers, pulling materials together, assigning students to advising groups, and setting up advising rooms each day.
Alison also coordinated and taught the first Summer Science Workshops for Hartford Magnet Trinity College Academy (HMTCA) in collaboration with colleagues at HMTCA. Each student attended a workshop for half days (3hrs) for two weeks. Four workshops were offered, and a total of about 90 students completed the workshop. Trinity took the lead on organizing the second week of each workshop during which students participated in an authentic community-based research project in collaboration with a community partner and designed a pre- and post-workshop assessment tool to evaluate students’ perceptions and attitudes about science; on average, students’ perceptions about science were strengthened.
This fall, there is another talented group of students in the Interdisciplinary Science Program and the Center is looking forward to learning more about the summer research students’ projects at the Summer Research Symposium to be held on Thursday, Sept. 20 during the common hour in the Washington Room.
Sara Kippur and Erik Vogt, Co-Directors of the Trinity Institute for Interdisciplinary Studies, are pleased to offer several on-campus programs during the 2012-2013 academic year aimed at promoting faculty research interests and inspiring productive discussion across the disciplines. In addition to sponsoring various outside speakers, TIIS has organized the following formal programming:
- Four interdisciplinary common-hour workshops that include two Trinity faculty members and one outside speaker. The titles of this year’s workshops include “What is Interdisciplinarity?”; “Place and Displacement”; “The Art and Politics of Gardens”; and “Humans and Animals.”
- A reading group, comprised of faculty across the College, to explore the issue of race. We expect this reading group to culminate in a Symposium to be held in 2013-2014.
- Three manuscript workshops to discuss an individual faculty member’s current work in progress. Topics for these workshops include ancient scribal cultures, Russian poetry, and Chinese post-nationalism.
- The annual Wassong lecture to be held in April. This year’s speaker will be Dagmar Herzog, Distinguished Professor of History and the Daniel Rose Faculty Scholar at the Graduate Center, City University of New York. Professor Herzog, a recipient of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship, will give a talk entitled “Sexuality in Europe: A Twentieth-Century History - and a History of the Present.”
Chris Hager and Dina Anselmi, Co-Directors of the Center for Teaching and Learning, report that the CTL is sponsoring a year-long conversation on 'Cultivating the Curious Student.' By considering student curiosity in broad terms, ranging from intellectual to social, CTL aims to promote dialogue about the place of academic work in students’ lives; to highlight strategies for motivating students; and to develop new ideas about the challenges and opportunities for student engagement at Trinity.
CTL’s series of programs began in September with a visit from Chronicle of Higher Education columnist and author, Jim Lang. His common-hour talk, “Building a Better Learning Environment: Lessons from Academic Dishonesty,” was attended by approximately a hundred students, faculty, and staff. Later in the day, twenty faculty attended Lang's workshop, "Cultivating Curiosity through the Grounded Curriculum."
In November, the CTL will host two common-hour sessions : one featuring students, on November 1, and one featuring faculty on November 15. Each session will be devoted to rethinking the boundaries between social and intellectual life at Trinity, how students cross those boundaries, and what role faculty can play in reshaping them.
Anne Lundberg, Director of Urban Programs and Fellowships, reported that last spring, a graduating senior won a Coro Fellowship in Public Affairs for 2012-2013. Trinity also had four winners of U.S. Student Fulbright awards for research or teaching in Colombia, Chile, Germany and Panama, bringing the total since 2007 to 19 grant recipients. At least 20 students or recent alumni are working on Fulbright applications for the current competition year. This semester, a record five candidates have been nominated for Marshall Scholarships, as well as three candidates for the Rhodes Scholarship. One of our Rhodes nominees plans to apply for a Gates-Cambridge Scholarship as well. Anne expects a full complement of nominees for the Carnegie, Truman and Beinecke programs later in the year.
Patricia McGregor, Registrar, announced the appointment of Blair Elliott as the new Office Manager of the Registrar’s Office. Two of Blair’s primary duties will be working with room scheduling and the schedule of classes. Prior to coming to the Registrar’s Office, Blair worked in the Political Science Department and the Admissions Office.
Starting with fall 2012, Trinity College is working with the National Student Clearinghouse (NSC) to submit data to the Federal Government. Working with the NSC opens up future opportunities for Institutional Research to obtain student data, and automates some of the enrollment verifications students need to provide to insurance companies and banks.
Tennyson O’Donnell, the new Director of the Allan K. Smith Center for Writing and Rhetoric, reports that the center has undergone a major overhaul of all web and print media in order to promote its responsibilities, services and curriculum. Additionally, two satellite locations (Library Level A and the Nutt Center room 183) have been added to the main Writing Center location at 115 Vernon Street. Students can now reserve 30 or 60 minute appointments to work with a Writing Associate by registering at http://trincoll.mywconline.com/. Faculty can also receive email confirmation of the visit and a brief report of work accomplished. The Writing Associate Program is nearing its 25 anniversary and faculty will shortly be asked to nominate responsible, enthusiastic and capable student writers from a wide variety of academic majors. Students should be active learners who combine good writing skills with an interest in working with other students. Faculty may make unlimited nominations by simply emailing Jessica Henning (Jessica.Henning@trincoll.edu), Administrative Assistant, Allan K. Smith Center for Writing and Rhetoric.
Jason Rojas, Director of Community Relations, reported that CUGS and the OCR are partnering with the Frog Hollow Neighborhood Revitalization Zone Committee, The Park Street Branch of the Hartford Public Library and local non-profits to begin a neighborhood archive to capture the history of organizations working in the Frog Hollow Neighborhood. The work is beginning with a review of the records from a now defunct community revitalization organization called La Casa de Puerto Rico. Two student researchers have begun a review of the organization's records that will result in a 20-30 page history of the organization that addresses questions such as: What was the mission of La Casa? What did it accomplish? What led to its closure? A second organization is interested in having its history documented. Because there is limited scholarship on Hartford and its neighborhoods, this will become a resource for researchers, students and members of the community interested in the history of the neighborhood and city.
Dick Ross, Librarian, reports that this past year the Library has focused on student academic achievement while fostering opportunities for peer mentorship and intellectual growth through a number of new programs and enhanced services.
Last fall, the Library launched its pilot Research-Associates Program, a new part of the Research Education Program, which introduces peer-tutoring for library research. The program extends the reach of research librarians and provides a model for experiential learning and student engagement in the library. During the spring semester, the students completed a.5-credit course, “Research Methods and Information Resources,” team-taught by ten research librarians with topics including technology trends in the library, understanding primary documents, data and statistics, and public service in the Library. Students learned about a wide variety of information resources available for college-level research, and the strategies that librarians use to connect researchers with those resources.
This fall, the Research Associates will be working in the Library and will receive a stipend for 50 hours of work during the semester. Supervised by librarian mentors, they will each participate in individualized projects or service and will participate in a series of roundtable discussions with Writing Associates, Math Tutors, and Student Technology Assistants.
Our recent investment in the Digital Repository has brought Trinity student works a wider audience. Since 2011, seniors have had the option of uploading their thesis/project materials to the Library’s Digital Repository website, which now holds more than 270 such works. In the academic year 2012, senior theses and projects were downloaded 14,951 times.
Last fall the Watkinson Library's initiated the Creative Fellowship Program. With the support of outside donors, the Creative Fellowship program was able to award five fellowships in the spring of 2012, which carried stipends of $1,500 and required weekly journals and final projects. This program allows self-directed students to explore the collections in the Watkinson, discover inspiring materials, and engage with them to produce something new. The final projects were presented at an event on May 3, 2012. A video of this program is available at http://digitalrepository.trincoll.edu/fellows/
In fall 2012, the Library developed and launched an outreach program tailored to incoming international students at Trinity College. In coordination with the Office of International Students and Scholars (OISS), the Library presented at the first-year International Student Orientation. The Outreach Librarian also created an online guide to library resources and services on the LibGuide system, including multilingual glossaries, resources for proper citation methods, and ways to gain assistance. Ongoing collaborations with the OISS and the Writing Center will provide academic support effort throughout the year.
The Library launched a completely redesigned Web site on Thursday, August 16, 2012 in order to provide a more intuitive, streamlined interface for Library resources as well as more visible paths to research assistance. In Media Services, The Library began upgrading all its video and sound recording playback workstations with a grant from a private foundation in late spring 2012. The Library began hosting a Writing Center Satellite this fall on Tuesday evenings from 4–8 pm.
Lisa Sapolis, Director of The Office of International Programs (OIP), reported that the Office of International Programs expects to send approximately 315 students on study away programs for the 2012-2013 academic year. In addition, in summer 2012, Trinity ran eight summer programs, with faculty taking 101 students to China, Cambodia, Germany, Israel, Italy, Spain, and Vietnam. Trinity summer programs are planned for 2013 in China, Italy, Israel, Scotland, and Spain.
The OIP will be undergoing a self-study and an external review this fall as part of a larger evaluation of the Center for Urban and Global Studies that will take place in spring 2013.