Trinity Announces New Dean of Campus Life and Vice President of Student Affairs

Joseph J. DiChristina Comes to Trinity from Allegheny College

HARTFORD, Conn., March 26, 2015 (updated Aug. 27, 2015) – Trinity College has announced the appointment of Joseph J. DiChristina as dean of campus life and vice president of student affairs. DiChristina joins Trinity from Allegheny College in Pennsylvania, where he has served as dean of students since 2001.

In an announcement to the campus community about his appointment, Trinity College President Joanne Berger-Sweeney wrote that DiChristina “brings expertise in creating and leading co-curricular programs that strengthen the student experience, developing Allegheny’s student life vision and creating a talented team to support it, developing programs that support student retention, supervising the campus emergency team, implementing practices in accordance with Title IX regulations, and cultivating a vibrant and inclusive campus community.”

DiChristina was selected from an extremely strong pool of applicants by a search team led by Thomas Mitzel, dean of the faculty and vice president for academic affairs. Mitzel was joined by students Adolfo Abreu ’15, Ambar Paulino ’15, and Gregory Ochiagha ’18; staff members Allison Read, Violet Gannon, and Mandi Haines; and faculty members Ciaran Berry, Jeffrey Bayliss, and Mary Sandoval.

DiChristina will assume his new role at Trinity on July 20, 2015. He succeeds Fred Alford, who announced his retirement as dean of students last summer.

In announcing DiChristina’s appointment, Berger-Sweeney also announced that she has asked Christopher Card, who has served as interim dean of students this academic year, to assume the permanent role of dean of students, reporting to DiChristina. Berger-Sweeney wrote that, during the search for Trinity’s chief student affairs officer, she was very impressed with Card’s “insights, skills, and rapport with the students” and that he “brought his considerable experience and a sure hand to leading the office.”

At Allegheny, DiChristina managed operations and guided planning for 16 student life departments and was the founding director of that college’s award-winning Center for Experiential Learning. Previously, he served at Oberlin College in Ohio in several areas, including residential life, campus safety and security, and student activities, before being appointed associate dean of students.

“In meeting with the search committee, I was struck by the spirit of community at Trinity,” said DiChristina, adding that he found it to be “a joyful conversation” as he spoke with members of the search committee and with President Berger-Sweeney.  He noted that the same sense of spirit was palpable as he walked around the Trinity campus the day that his appointment was announced, with students and staff introducing themselves as they recognized him from his photo. “I’m excited to come to Trinity, and I’m really looking forward to both the day-to-day experience, working closely with students, and the opportunity to work on strategic initiatives that will support the kind of student experience that Trinity is committed to providing.”

DiChristina earned a B.S. in biochemistry from Beloit College and a master’s degree in higher education from the University of Akron.