Trinity to Welcome Eight New Faculty Members on July 1

New Dean of Faculty, Associate Academic Dean will also be on Board

HARTFORD, CT, June 20, 2013 – From top to bottom, Trinity’s faculty will have a new look beginning July 1, as Thomas Mitzel arrives on campus as the new academic dean, Sonia Cardenas begins a stint as associate academic dean and eight scholars join the faculty as tenure-track assistant professors.

In addition, three faculty members have been promoted, two assistant professors have been awarded tenure and promoted, and Donna-Dale Marcano, associate professor of philosophy, will take over from Cardenas as director of the College’s heralded Human Rights Program.

Mitzel, who formerly worked at Trinity but left to become a dean at St. Edward’s University in Austin, TX, was named dean of the faculty and vice president for academic affairs in April, following a brief search. Mitzel will succeed Rena Fraden, who left in January for a position at the College of the Pacific.

A former chemistry professor and associate dean of academic affairs, Mitzel, who was the unanimous choice of the Faculty Search Committee, was given a three-year contract and will serve as dean of the faculty during the final year of Trinity President James F. Jones Jr.’s tenure and the first two years of the new president’s term.

Mitzel holds a B.S. in chemistry from Northern State University in Aberdeen, SD, and a Ph.D. in physical organic chemistry from Boston College. Prior to his arrival at Trinity in 1996, Mitzel was a postdoctoral fellow at The Ohio State University.

He will be joined in the dean of faculty’s office by Sonia Cardenas, Charles A. Dana Research Associate Professor of Political Science and Director of the Human Rights Program, who will serve either three or four years as associate academic dean, a revolving position. Cardenas will replace Sheila Fisher, who is returning to the English Department.

Cardenas received her B.A. from Tulane University and her master’s degree and Ph.D. from the University of Virginia. She joined the Trinity faculty in 2001 and was promoted to full professor, effective July 1. She has written three books: Chains of Justice: The Global Rise of National Human Rights Institutions; Human Rights in Latin America: A Politics of Terror and Hope; and Conflict and Compliance: State Responses to International Human Rights.

Associate academic deans act as the dean of faculty’s primary advisers, serve as ex officio members of many standing committee, spearhead projects and work with both faculty and students.

In addition to Cardenas, Susan Masino was promoted from associate professor of psychology and neuroscience to full professor, and Wendy Davis, the women’s basketball coach, was promoted from assistant professor to associate professor of physical education. Masino graduated from Tufts University with a B.S. in Biopsychology, and received her Ph.D. from the University of California, Irvine. Davis earned her B.S. and master’s degree from the University of Connecticut.

Christopher Hager and Seth Sanders, assistant professors of English and religion, respectively, have been awarded tenure and the rank of associate professor as of July 1. Hager earned his A.B. from Stanford University and his master’s degree and Ph.D. from Northwestern University. He is the author of Word by Word: Emancipation and the Act of Writing.

Sanders received his B.A. from Harvard University and his Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins University. His first book, The Invention of Hebrew was awarded the Frank Moore Cross prize from the American Schools of Oriental Research and was a finalist for the National Jewish Book Award. His second book, Heavenly Journeys and Scholarly Knowledge: The Transformation of Scribal Cultures in Judea and Babylonia explores the cultures that created the Hebrew Bible and Dead Sea Scrolls via their material life and mythical heroes.  

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

Katherine Bergren, assistant professor of English
B.A., English, Wellesley College
M.A., English, the University of California, Los Angeles
Ph.D., English, the University of California, Los Angeles
Dissertation: After Wordsworth: Global Revisions of the English Poet

Elizabeth Casserly, assistant professor of psychology
B.A., linguistics, Yale College
M.A., general linguistics, Indiana University, Bloomington
Ph.D., Psychological & Brain Sciences and Linguistics, Indiana University, Bloomington
Dissertation: Effects of Real-Time Cochlear Implant Simulation on Speech Perception and Production

Shane Ewegen, assistant professor of philosophy and classics
B.A., philosophy, University of Colorado at Denver
M.A., philosophy, Boston College
Ph.D., philosophy, Boston College
Dissertation: Plato’s Cratylus and the Comic Unfolding of Language

Tamsin Jones, assistant professor of religion
B.A., religious studies, McGill University
M.T.S., Harvard Divinity School
Th.D., Harvard Divinity School
Dissertation: Apparent Darkness: Jean-Luc Marion’s Retrieval of the Greek Apophatic Tradition

Isaac Kamola, assistant professor of political science
B.A., politics, Whitman College
M.A., political science, University of Minnesota
Ph.D., political science, University of Minnesota
Dissertation: Producing the Global Imaginary: Academic Knowledge, Globalization and the Making of the World
Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow, Wesleyan University
American Council for Learned Societies (ACLS) New Faculty Fellow, Johns Hopkins University

Michelle Kovarik, assistant professor of chemistry
B.S., chemistry, St. Louis University
Ph.D., analytical chemistry, Indiana University
Dissertation: Electrokinetic Transport, Trapping, and Sensing in Integrated Micro- and Nanofluidic Devices
SPIRE Postdoctoral Scholar, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

Jennifer Regan-Lefebvre, assistant professor of history
B.S., foreign service (international history), Georgetown University School of Foreign Service
M.A., Irish history, Queen’s University, Belfast
Ph.D., history, Queen’s University, Belfast
Dissertation: Alfred Webb and Nationalist Politics in Ireland and India: The Life of a Dublin Quaker Printer

Josh Stillwagon, assistant professor of economics
B.S., economics, University of New Hampshire
M.A., economics, University of New Hampshire
Ph.D., economics, University of New Hampshire
Dissertation: Currency Risk, Market Expectations, and Imperfect Knowledge