July 1 Marks First Day of New President, Five New Faculty

Faculty promoted to Professor; Two promoted to Associate Professor

HARTFORD, CT, July 1, 2014 – For the first time in a decade, a new president will grasp the reins of Trinity as the College enters a new academic year. Joanne Berger-Sweeney is the 22nd president of Trinity, coming from Tufts University where she has been dean of the School of Arts and Sciences.

Berger-Sweeney, Trinity’s first female and first African-American president, was unanimously elected by the Board of Trustees. She succeeds James F. Jones, Jr. who retired after 10 years of service. Before her arrival at Tufts in 2010, Berger-Sweeney worked for 19 years at Wellesley College, both as a faculty member and associate dean.

As dean of the School of Arts and Sciences at Tufts, Berger-Sweeney managed a broad set of responsibilities, including oversight of undergraduate admissions, athletics, undergraduate and graduate students, the graduate school, communications, and academic and administrative deans. As dean, she launched several undergraduate and graduate academic programs and a Center for the Study of Race and Democracy; initiated an interdisciplinary cluster hiring program for faculty; collaboratively developed guiding principles for the school; initiated a summer bridge program for liberal arts students transitioning from underserved high schools to Tufts; and advanced fundraising initiatives for the school, among other accomplishments. 

She received her undergraduate degree in psychobiology from Wellesley, an M.P.H. in environmental health sciences from the University of California, Berkeley, and a Ph.D. in neurotoxicology from the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health. She completed her postdoctoral training at the National Institute of Health (INSERM) in Paris, France.

Although the presidential transition marks the biggest change in personnel, two individuals were promoted to professor, two were granted tenure and promoted to associate professor, and Rich Prigodich will continue in his role as dean of academic planning for an additional year.

Johannes Evelein, associate professor of language and culture studies, and David Rosen, associate professor of English, have been promoted to professor, effective today, July 1. Evelein received his Doctoraal from the Rijksuniversiteit Groningen in The Netherlands and his Ph.D. from State University of New York at Albany. Rosen earned his B.A. from Columbia University, and his master’s degree and Ph.D. from Yale University.

Lin Cheng and Christopher Hoag, assistant professors of engineering and economics, respectively, have been awarded tenure and the rank of associate professor as of today. Cheng, whose area of specialty is wireless communication, received his B.S. from Shanghai Jiaotong University in China, and his master’s degree and Ph.D. from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. Hoag, whose expertise is in financial economic history, earned his B.A. from Amherst College and his Ph.D. from the California Institute of Technology.

The new tenure-track hires, who will be introduced at the first faculty meeting in September, include:

  • Christina Heatherton, assistant professor of American Studies
    B.A., Interdisciplinary Studies, University of California, Berkeley
    M.A. American Studies and Ethnicity, University of Southern California
    Ph.D. American Studies and Ethnicity, University of Southern California
    Dissertation: The Color Line and the Class Struggle: The Mexican Revolution and Convergence Spaces of Radical Internationalism, 1916-1946
  • Molly Helt, assistant professor of psychology and neuroscience
    B.A., Psychology, Smith College
    M.A. Clinical Psychology, University of Connecticut
    Ph.D., Clinical Psychology, University of Connecticut
    Dissertation: Emotion Contagion and Facial Feedback in Typically Developing Children and Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders
  • Rosario Hubert, assistant professor of language and culture studies
    B.A. Communications and Cultural Studies, Universidad de San Andres, Buenos Aires, Argentina
    Ph.D., Romance Languages, Harvard University
    Dissertation: Disorientations. Latin American Diversions of East Asia
  • Ethan Rutherford, assistant professor of English
    B.A., English, Williams College
    M.F.A., Creative Writing (Fiction), University of Minnesota/Twin Cities
    Thesis: The Hyborian Age, Twilit
  • Nichole E. Szembrot, assistant professor of economics
    B.A., Economics, Boston University
    M.A., Economics, Boston University
    Ph.D., Economics, Cornell University
    Dissertation:  Essays at the Intersection of Behavioral Economics and Public Policy