Promotions Approved for Three Female Faculty Members

New Job Titles will take Effect on July 1

HARTFORD, CT, March 19, 2013 – The Appointments and Promotions (A&P) Committee has approved the promotions of three Trinity faculty members, two to the rank of professor and one to the rank of associate professor.


Sonia Cardenas

Susan Masino

Wendy Davis​
 Effective July 1, Sonia Cardenas, Charles A. Dana Research Associate Professor of Political Science and Director of the Human Rights Program will be elevated to professor, as will Susan Masino, associate professor of psychology and neuroscience. Wendy Davis, assistant professor of physical education and head women’s basketball coach, will become an associate professor.

The promotions were announced by the A&P Committee in February and presented to the Board of Trustees at its recent meeting. 

Cardenas, who has been at Trinity since 2001, received her B.A. from Tulane University, and her master’s degree and Ph.D. from the University of Virginia. According to her faculty profile, “working at the intersection of international relations and human rights, her research explores the relationship between international norms and state practices around the world.”

Trinity is one of a small number of colleges and universities to offer a major in human rights. In her teaching, Cardenas challenges her students to use a multiplicity of theories and methods to understand international politics. Her classes are interactive, with students debating controversial issues, engaging in simulations, designing research projects and exploring links to other disciplines and the policy world.

Cardenas is the author of Conflict and Compliance: State Responses to International Human Rights Pressure; Human Rights in Latin America: A Politics of Terror and Hope, and the soon-to-be-published Chains of Justice: The Global Rise of National Human Rights Institutions.

Cardenas also has a blog, Erga Omnes, which explores universal jurisdiction through the prism of politics and human rights. Universal jurisdiction is the revolutionary idea that any country can prosecute anyone for basic human rights crimes committed anywhere.  Says Cardenas: “The blog offers a space to reflect broadly on universal jurisdiction around the world, on contemporary debates and developments, including those surrounding torture, genocide and piracy on the high seas.”

Masino, who has a joint appointment in neuroscience and psychology, graduated from Tufts University with a B.A. in biopsychology. She received her Ph.D. from the University of California, Irvine, and did postdoctoral research at UC, Irvine and the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center. She joined the Trinity faculty in 2003.

“At its best,” says Masino, “a liberal arts environment is where students and faculty alike achieve their full potential. Trinity understands that students learn more and retain more when they interact with scholars and teachers who are passionate about what they do and can help students find their own passion. I want to use my opportunities here at Trinity to partner with students and share ideas, support a core set of human values, show my enthusiasm for research, and facilitate students moving on from Trinity feeling self-empowered to have a positive impact on both local and global issues facing us today.”

Masino’s research has centered on the role and regulation of adenosine in the nervous system; ketogenic diets; and clinical conditions such as epilepsy, pain and stroke. Her areas of specialty are drugs and behavior; the neurobiology of learning and memory; behavioral neuroscience; neurophysiology; neuroscience methods; and the brain and behavior.

In 2010, Masino was awarded a four-year, $1.786 million grant by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to help determine whether adenosine is a critical mechanism underlying the success of ketogenic diet therapy in treating epilepsy.

In 2009, she was named the Charles A. Dana Research Associate Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience. The author of dozens of journal articles, Masino co-edited Adenosine: A Key Link Between Metabolism and Central Nervous System Activity

Davis, who was a member of the University of Connecticut’s first Final Four women’s basketball team in 1991, has just completed her eighth season as head coach of the Trinity women’s basketball team. Her teams have qualified for the NESCAC Championship Tournament in seven of her eight seasons.  Prior to joining Trinity, Davis enjoyed a successful six-year stint at Western New England College, posting a 105-55 record. In 2004-05, she was named as the Great Northeast Athletic Conference Coach of the Year. She also served as an assistant coach at the University of Connecticut in 1993-94.

At Trinity, Davis recruits female student-athletes who strive to become better students, better basketball players, better teammates, and most importantly, better people. She possesses a passion for the game of basketball and aspires to provide an enthusiastic and positive environment where players can attain the highest level of achievement.

Davis earned her B.S. in elementary education and her master’s degree in curriculum and instruction at UConn, where she was a star basketball player, the 13th-leading scorer in UConn women’s basketball history and helped lead her alma mater to four NCAA bids.

She was a three-time Academic All-American and made the all-tournament team in the 1991 NCAA Regional Championship. She is a member of the New England Basketball Hall of Fame.

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