Four tenured faculty have been appointed to named professorships, also known as endowed chairs, effective immediately, Thomas Mitzel, dean of the faculty and vice president for academic affairs, has announced. Each of the four will deliver an inaugural lecture in celebration of this honorable achievement.
The faculty members and their new titles are Robert Corber, William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor in American Institutions and Values; Ellison Banks Findly, Scott M. Johnson ’97 Distinguished Professor of Religion; Susan Masino, Vernon Roosa Professor of Applied Science; and Paul Assaiante, Paul D. Assaiante Associate Professor of Physical Education.
Corber, who arrived at Trinity in 1998, teaches courses in queer studies/theory, classical Hollywood cinema, and the history of sexuality. His research focuses on the intersection of homophobia, American national identity, and Hollywood cinema in the Cold War era.
Corber is the author of three books: In the Name of National Security: Hitchcock, Homophobia, and the Political Construction of Gender in Postwar America; Homosexuality in Cold War America: Resistance and the Crisis of Masculinity; and Cold War Femme: Lesbianism, National Identity, and Hollywood Cinema. Duke University Press published all three. He is currently writing a book, tentatively titled, A Perfectly Swell Romance: Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, and the Cultural Work of Sexual Modernity.
Corber holds a B.A. from Haverford College, and a master’s degree and Ph.D. – both in English language and literature -- from the University of Chicago.
Findly has taught at Trinity since 1980 and was the recipient of the Thomas Church Brownell Prize for Teaching Excellence in 2012. Her research focuses on women in Indian religions and women’s economic role in Hinduism, Buddhism, and Indian Islam; the philosophy of plants in Indian thoughts; religion and textiles in Southeast Asia; and Indian and Chinese influences on textile art forms.
She is currently working on a new book, Spirits in the Loom: Religion and Textiles in Northeast Laos. Her previously published books include Plant Lives: Borderline Beings in Indian Traditions; Dana: Giving and Getting in Pali Buddhism; and Nur Jahan: Empress of Mughal India, (1611-1627). She edited Women’s Buddhism, Buddhism’s Women: Tradition, Revision, Renewal, and co-edited Women, Religion and Social Change.
Findly earned her B.A. in religion from Wellesley College, her master’s degree in the history of religions from Columbia University, and her M.Phil and Ph.D. in Hinduism and Buddhism from Yale University.
Masino has taught in the Psychology Department and Neuroscience Program since 2003. Her research deals with the role and regulation of adenosine in the nervous system, the Ketogenic diet, and clinical conditions such as epilepsy, pain and stroke.
She was the 2012 recipient of the Trustee Award for Faculty Excellence and was named Charles A. Dana Research Associate Professor in 2010-2011 and 2011-2012. Her research has been primarily funded by the National Science Foundation and the National Institute of Neurological Disease and Stroke.
Many students have worked in her labs, leading to co-authored articles in journals such as Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience, the Journal of Child Neurology, the Journal of Pain, Neuropharmacology, Neuroscience Letters, Physiology and Behavior, and PLoSONE.
Masino graduated from Tufts University with a B.S. in biopsychology and from the University of California, Irvine with a Ph.D in biology.
A teacher and coach at Trinity since 1994, Assaiante is the first faculty member to hold the chair established in his honor through alumni and parent gifts. As associate professor of physical education and head coach of the men’s tennis and men’s squash teams, he has coached the men’s squash team to 14 national titles in 15 years. With 252 consecutive victories, he owns the longest winning streak in the history of intercollegiate varsity sports.
From 1999 to 2003 and again from 2010 to the present, Assaiante coached both the United States Squash Team, which has competed in the Pan American Games, and the USA Men’s Team. Earlier this year, he was named 2013 New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Coach of the Year and was awarded the Trinity Trustee Faculty Excellence Award.
Assaiante is the author, with James Zug, of Run to the Roar: Coaching to Overcome Fear. He was the recipient of the Arthur H. Hughes Award for Teaching Achievement in 2002. He holds a B.S. from Springfield College and a master’s degree in psychology from Long Island University, Stony Brook.