The Reverend Allison Read, College Chaplain
“Students show themselves to be their most passionate, vulnerable, and inquisitive selves through the spiritual and religious life programs at Trinity” says Allison Read, Trinity College chaplain.
Read, who oversees all spiritual and religious programs at Trinity, also leads Chapel worship and encourages Christian community life on campus. She is passionate about the spiritual formation of college students, seeking to take them and their religious inquiries seriously while fostering some fun and liveliness in religious life at Trinity.
“My own appreciation for the people who were attentive to my involvement in religious life as an undergraduate motivates me to do what I do now,” adds Read.
Chaplain Read is an Episcopal priest, ordained in the diocese of New York in 2003. She served as a Lilly Fellow at St. James’ Episcopal Church in Manhattan and as Assistant Rector and Priest-in-Charge at Christ Church in Short Hills, New Jersey, before coming to Trinity College in January 2008.
Read earned a master’s of Divinity from Yale Divinity School where she was awarded the John A. Wade Prize for expository preaching. She also holds a diploma in Anglican Studies from the Berkeley Divinity School at Yale, an M.A. in Religion from Yale Divinity School, and a B.A. from the University of Virginia. She is Trinity’s eighth chaplain and the second woman to serve in that capacity.
Read seeks to honor the legacy and maintain the traditions of the Trinity College Chapel while expanding the breadth of the chaplaincy to include people and programs as diverse as our twenty-first century student body.John P. Campbell, Roman Catholic Campus Minister
John P. Campbell is a Lay Catholic Chaplain in the Office of Campus Ministry for the Archdiocese of Hartford and since 2007 serves both at Trinity College in Hartford and Central Connecticut State University in New Britain, Connecticut. As a member of the Religious and Spiritual Life team here at Trinity, John works primarily to build Catholic understanding and discipleship on campus by working with students, faculty, staff and administration in forming community, teaching the faith, scheduling Catholic Mass and other Sacraments, providing service and social justice opportunities, service trips and other opportunities to experience the breadth of Catholic life. John also works with the entire Religious and Spiritual Life team to further interfaith dialogue and interreligious cooperation between the many groups that form our community. The ability to work together and to cross serve each group is what makes the Trinity College religious and spiritual experience so unique. As a group, we strive to walk with members of our community and help them find their true place in this world.
Before coming to the Archdiocese of Hartford, John was the Director of Youth Ministry for the Diocese of Bridgeport, CT for 12 years and previously spent three years at the Capuchin Youth and Family Ministries in Garrison, NY as the Center’s Assistant Director and Director of Development, and before that was a volunteer Youth Minister at St. Pius Parish in Middletown, CT for seven years. John has served the National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry, (NFCYM), as a member of their Board of Directors and in the position of Second Vice-Chair, and as the Chairperson and member of several Committees and Task Groups as well as an instructor in the New Diocesan Director Institute. John also co-emceed the 1998 National Conference on Catholic Youth Ministry in Cincinnati, OH. John is an experienced Keynote Speaker, workshop presenter and retreat director. John has a BA in Communications from CCSU and an MA in Religious Studies from Sacred Heart University. John lives in Madison CT with his wife Heidi, and has two step-daughters who are working and enjoying their young adult lives. Garret Condon—Trinity Zen
Garret Condon, co-coordinator of the Trinity Zen Group, helped found the group in 1997. He is a longtime member and director of the New Haven Zen Center. He became a Dharma Teacher in the Kwan Um School of Zen in 1997. He is Director of System Communications at Hartford HealthCare, Connecticut's leading integrated health care system. He holds a bachelor's degree from Providence College, an M.A. in English from Trinity College and an MPH from University of Connecticut. He lives in West Hartford.Ellen Dickinson, College Carillonneur
The 49-bell Plumb Memorial Carillon, housed in the Trinity College Chapel tower, is one of the finest in the country, and Ellen Dickinson is the College’s official Carillonneur. She discovered the carillon at Yale University, where she received a B.A. in Music and a Master of Music degree from the Yale School of Music and Institute of Sacred Music.
Dickinson has performed carillon concerts throughout the United States, Canada and Europe. In addition to her role as Trinity’s Carillonneur, she also serves as Yale University’s carillon consultant and adviser and is Director of Music at Norfield Congregational Church in Weston, Connecticut. In 2006, Dickinson co-founded the Jubilate Ringers, a community hand bell ensemble.
As an undergraduate, Dickinson was co-chair and Summer Carillonneur of the Yale University Guild of Carillonneurs. She has attended the Summer Academy at the Netherlands Carillon School in Amersfoort, and is a Carillonneur member of the Guild of Carillonneurs in North America (GCNA). John Elias—Trinity Zen
John Elias, co-coordinator of the Trinity Zen group, helped found the group in 1997. He is a longtime member of the New Haven Zen Center and became a Dharma teacher in 2004. John, a Vietnam War veteran, is a computer engineer. John Hayes—Director, Trinity College Gospel Choir
The Trinity College Gospel Choir (TCGC), which began in 1988, is dedicated to gospel music and the spiritual expressions of the African-American church traditions. As one of its two part-time directors, John Hayes teaches gospel music to the Choir members, leads weekly rehearsals and accompanies the Choir on piano. Since taking on this role in 2004, Hayes has seen TCGC expand its presence on campus.
“Each year, we’re seeing that more and more people are embracing what this choir brings to the campus,” says Hayes. “It is gratifying to see how moved people are once they come and experience the music and the emotion beneath it.”
Hayes grew up surrounded by gospel music. He learned it on Sundays at Ebenezer Gospel Assembly in Bridgeport, Connecticut, where his father serves as pastor. Today, the younger Hayes is the church’s assistant minister of music, and has been playing piano for the past 12 years.
John Hayes holds a B.S. in Management Information Systems from Central Connecticut State University.Lisa Kassow—Director, Trinity Hillel
Lisa Pleskow Kassow became the first full-time Hillel director in 2001. Kassow sees her role as helping students create a warm and welcoming community based on Jewish values, ethics, and culture.
“Hillel is open to all students and serves as an educational resource for those who want to share Jewish experiences with our vibrant and accepting community,” says Kassow. “Part of my mission at Hillel is to promote opportunities for students to participate in leadership development as well as educational and community service programs connected to Jewish life – locally, nationally and internationally.”
Kassow oversees events and activities at the Zachs Hillel House, a dramatic 8,000 square foot building on Vernon Street. Under Kassow’s care, the Zachs Hillel House serves as a home-away-from home where students can spend time with others in a comfortable and warm environment. Kassow’s office is also located at Hillel House.
Kassow, who lived and worked in Jerusalem, Israel as a photojournalist, received the Simon Rockower Award for Excellence in Photojournalism. She holds a B.F.A. in Art from Carnegie Mellon University. Kassow is the founder of the Hartford Jewish Film Festival and a 2008 recipient of the Jewish Vision Award from the Charter Oak Cultural Center in Hartford, CT. Megan O’Brien, Program Coordinator for the Office of Spiritual and Religious Life
Megan O’Brien graduated from Trinity College in 2014 as a double major in Economics and Anthropology. As an undergraduate, she was involved with the chapel community and served as the Vice President of the Chapel Council. Megan received the Alexander A. Goldfarb Award for Community Service in May 2014, an annual award to a student whose activities have done the most during the year to benefit the City of Hartford and its citizens. She is excited to have the opportunity to work at the Trinity College Office of Spiritual and Religious Life and hopes that she can provide students with the same level of community and support within the Chapel that she experienced during her four years.John Rose, College Organist and Director of Chapel Music
“The Trinity College Chapel offers a splendid opportunity for a variety of music making,” says John Rose, College Organist and Director of Chapel Music.
Rose’s role in the musical life of the Chapel is extensive. He directs The Chapel Singers, who sing at Vespers on Sundays and at special services, college convocations and concerts on campus and beyond.
Rose, who came to Trinity in 1977, also serves as an Adjunct Professor of Music, ex officio, in the Department of Music where he directs the Trinity College Choir. In addition, he is faculty coordinator of the private music lessons program.
“We are fortunate that the Chapel houses two magnificent pipe organs: the main Chapel organ, which contains nearly 5,000 pipes and a mechanical (tracker) organ, which provides students the opportunity to play two distinct types of organs,” he adds. Rose, along with his organ students, plays at Chapel services and at other events.
A celebrated concert organist, Rose began his professional career at the age of twenty, when he was appointed organist of the Sacred Heart Cathedral/Basilica in New Jersey. He has since performed across the United States, Canada, Mexico, Europe and Australia as a recitalist and orchestral soloist.
Rose earned a bachelor’s degree from Rutgers University, where he was also an instructor in organ. He was a student of the late Virgil Fox for seven years. Rose is an elected member of the Connecticut Academy of Arts and Sciences and an elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts in London and a member of the Association of Anglican Musicians and The American Guild of Organists. Father Anthony Smith, Roman Catholic Chaplain
Fr. Anthony Smith began his chaplaincy at Trinity College in the summer of 2013. Previous to his arrival on campus, Fr. Anthony was a parochial vicar at St George Church in Guilford, Connecticut, for two years. Ordained to the priesthood on May 14, 2011, Fr. Anthony entered the priesthood later in his life. He graduated the University of Connecticut, Storrs, Connecticut, with a degree in communication and attended the Pontifical University of St. Thomas in Rome where he studied theology. Before his ordination, Fr. Anthony worked for several companies in sales and ran a small landscape business in the Litchfield County area. Robert Edward Smith, College Composer in Residence
“For a composer, knowing that your work means something to another person is the greatest satisfaction imaginable,” says Robert Edward Smith, Trinity College composer in residence.
Smith, who has written music for vocal and instrumental ensembles of all sizes, ranging from unaccompanied viola to symphony orchestra, has been composing music for Trinity since 1979. Students perform his work at special events and services taking place in the Chapel.
Smith says he is deeply gratified that students enjoy performing his music.
“I remember a reunion of the Chapel Singers when, after dinner, they all sang a piece I composed on a Latin text about the importance of learning,” recalls Smith. “Many of the singers had not seen each other, or sung my work, for years, yet they sang the piece from memory and with great enthusiasm.”
An acclaimed composer and a distinguished harpsichordist, recent works include Sonata III for Viola and Harpsichord; Diana, Queen and Huntress, a concert overture for orchestra; and A Place of Beauty, a one act chamber opera. Smith is also the first person since the eighteenth century to have performed the complete harpsichord literature of François Couperin. His recording, J.S. Bach: Harpsichord Music in the Grand Manner was named one of the best recordings of the year by the American Record Guide in 1996.
Smith has been Director of the renowned Trinity College Summer Chamber Music Series since 1998. He holds a bachelor of science, with a major in Harpsichord from Mannes College of Music in New York. Anthony Williams—Director, Trinity College Gospel Choir
Anthony Williams was “born and raised in gospel music.” He has been singing and performing with gospel choirs since childhood, and were it not for his mother’s insistence that he go to college, Williams says he might have pursued a professional career as an R&B singer.
Williams serves as one of Trinity’s two part-time Gospel Choir directors. Since 2004, he has been teaching gospel vocals to Trinity’s Gospel Choir, leading rehearsals and accompanying the choir on drums. He views the Choir as more than “just entertainment.”
“Our role is not just to entertain people, but to speak to their hearts and show them there is a God who can help heal whatever broken parts they have,” says Williams. “We understand what students are going through and the Choir is a place for them to come and get spiritual nourishment, build friendships and become better people.”
Williams, who holds a B.S. in Accounting from Central Connecticut State University, is a senior accountant for a global information content provider. Joyce Wong, InterVarsity staff member
Joyce Wong is the InterVarsity staff worker at Trinity College. InterVarsity Christian Fellowship is an evangelical campus ministry that serves students and faculty on college and university campuses nationwide. At Trinity, Joyce serves and partners with students through small group bible studies, larger gatherings on campus, leadership training and various conferences and service trips. She graduated Wesleyan University in 2012 with a bachelor’s degree in sociology.Imam Adeel J. Zeb, Muslim Chaplain
As Muslim chaplain, Imam Adeel oversees religious observances and formation for the Muslim community on campus while also engaging in student life, advocacy, and awareness across campus. Imam Adeel advises Trinity’s Muslim Students Association as well as the House of Peace, a student-led cultural house on campus. An active member of the Spiritual and Religious Life team at Trinity, he makes contributions to a vibrant multifaith program. He believes that we are all created as brothers and sisters, and his doors are open to all and not just the Muslim community. Imam Adeel hopes to bridge the gap between faith communities of all backgrounds by focusing on common ground. Imam Adeel obtained a master's degree in Islamic chaplaincy at Hartford Seminary. He earned bachelor's degrees in business and in Islamic studies from Baylor University and Arees University, respectively. He has earned multiple certifications in interfaith conflict management, conflict analysis, and negotiation from the United States Institute of Peace (USIP). He was the first Muslim intern in the department of pastoral care at Children’s Medical Center in Dallas, Texas.
The Muslim Prayer Room at Trinity is located in South Summit 100, and is used for the Friday congregational prayers (Jumu’ah) and other spiritual observances as well as study circles, breaking fasts, meetings, and informal gatherings. Amy Zylberman, Hillel Program Manager
Amy Zylberman received her B.A. in English from Endicott College. She founded Endicott's Hillel, a branch that now falls under the organizations Small and Mighty division. Amy helped Endicott's Hillel visit area synagogues, host a group Pesach Seder, and build a Sukkah on campus. Amy's love of Judaism and Judaic culture stems from rich family history. She's honored to be the granddaughter of liberated holocaust survivors.
She received Endicott's President's Award upon graduating for her leadership in student organizations, including collegiate a cappella and Spokenbird, the poetry slam team which she also founded. As an undergraduate, Amy completed internships with a creative writing classroom, children's book author, and a Boston-area improvisation studio. After graduation, she lived and worked in Maine's Acadia National Park and came back to work for several Connecticut museums and theaters.
Amy's passions include artistic collaboration, reading, golden retrievers, writing, theater, museum trips, good conversation, cooking, and travel. She is more than thrilled to join the Trinity Hillel family.