Staff + Contact

Welcome to the Chaplaincy at Trinity College. In addition to leading regularly scheduled religious observances and advising various student organizations on campus, our chaplains, campus ministers, and advisers provide confidential pastoral care and counseling and help you find spiritual strength and community life on campus.
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.
Contact: (860) 297-2013,
 Chaplain’s Office is located in the Chapel, up the main aisle and through the gate on your right.

John P. Campbell, Associate Chaplain for Roman Catholic Life
​John P. Campbell is a lay Catholic chaplain in the Office of Campus Ministry for the Archdiocese of Hartford and, since 2007, serves at both Trinity College in Hartford and Central Connecticut State University in New Britain. As a member of the spiritual and religious life team at Trinity, John works primarily to build Catholic understanding and discipleship on campus. He forms community among students, faculty, staff, and administration; teaches the faith; schedules Catholic Mass and other sacraments; and provides service trips and opportunities to experience the breadth of Catholic life. John also works with the entire spiritual and religious life team to further interfaith dialogue and interreligious cooperation. The ability to work together and to cross serve each group is what makes the Trinity spiritual and religious experience so unique. As a group, we strive to walk with members of our community and to 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, Connecticut, for 12 years. Prior to that, he spent three years at the Capuchin Youth and Family Ministries in Garrison, New York, as the center’s assistant director and director of development and was a volunteer youth minister at St. Pius X Parish in Middletown, Connecticut, for seven years. John has served the National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry (NFCYM) as a member and second vice chair of its Board of Directors, as the chairperson and a member of several committees and task groups, and as an instructor in the NFCYM’s New Diocesan Director Institute. He also co-emceed the 1998 National Conference on Catholic Youth Ministry in Cincinnati, Ohio. John is an experienced keynote speaker, workshop presenter, and retreat director. He earned a B.A. in communications from Central Connecticut State University and an M.A. in religious studies from Sacred Heart University. John lives in Madison, Connecticut, with his wife, Heidi, and has two stepdaughters who are working and enjoying their young adult lives.

Contact: (860) 297-5242,

Garret Condon, Associate Chaplain for Buddhist Life
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.​​​

Contact: (860) 402-4813,

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).
Contact:(860) 297-2126,

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.
Contact: (860) 793-0119,

John Hayes, Director of the 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 of 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.

Contact: (860) 297-4195,

 The Reverend Ryan Lerner, Roman Catholic Priest Associate 
 ​Fr. Ryan is a native of Manchester, Connecticut and a Trinity College Alum. During his time at Trinity, he ran cross country, indoor & outdoor track, and dappled in theater here & there. He graduated in 2003 with a double-major in History and Religion, and in 2008 with an MA in Public Policy. From 2004 to 2006, Lerner worked as a Graduate Assistant Coach of Trinity’s cross country, track & field teams. Upon completion of his graduate fellowship, he received a license in long-term healthcare administration from the UConn School of Business, and then worked for two years as a nursing home administrator. It was during this time, while working among the elderly, the poor & the sick, the rehabilitating and the terminally ill, and while interacting with their families and devoted caregivers, that he began to seriously consider God’s calling for him to enter the priesthood, a calling that began (on again/off again) when he was about twelve years old. He entered the seminary in the fall of 2008, which began a six year journey of prayer, study, discernment and ministry through the seminaries of St. Joseph in Yonkers, New York and The Catholic University of America in Washington, DC. In May 2014, after completing a Master’s in Divinity and a Bachelor’s in Sacred Theology at Catholic U, Fr. Ryan was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Hartford.
In addition to his ministry as priest associate here at Trinity, Fr. Ryan serves full-time as Secretary to the Archbishop of Hartford.

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.

Contact: (860) 297-2012,

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 the Service of Holy Communion 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.

Contact:  (860) 297-2014,

The Reverend Doctor John Selders, Associate Chaplain
The Right Reverend Doctor John L. Selders, Jr. is the Associate Chaplain at Trinity College as well as an ordained minister serving in the United Church of Christ, the Organizing Pastor of Amistad United Church of Christ, Hartford, CT.  Bishop Selders has done his academic and theological reflection attending Life Christian Bible College, Webster University, Eden Theological Seminary and Anglican Divinity School. In addition to being a talented award winning songwriter, musician and performer with local, national, and international credits, he is also the Bishop Presider of The Inter-Denominational Conference of Liberation Congregations and Ministries (ICLCM) and is the Co-Convening Bishop of The Sacred College of Progressive Episcopates (SCPE).

Bishop Selders has exhibited extraordinary commitment and dedication to a number of efforts affording him the opportunity to travel across the country speaking, lecturing and conducting workshops in the areas of race, anti-racism and internalized oppression. He is a teacher, lecturer, workshop leader, an HIV/AIDS educator and activist with numerous citations for his work. John worked for 12 years as a Lecturer at Yale Divinity School in New Haven, CT., Adjunct Faculty Member in the Field Education Department of Andover Newton Theological School, Dean of Urban Ministry Track for The Anglican Divinity School and has been an adjunct faculty member for The Seminary Consortium for Urban Pastoral Education. He serves on a number of boards and works with several organizations both locally and nationally whose work is ultimately concerned with the healing of humanity.​

​Contact: (860) 402-7884, 

Omar Tawil, Associate Chaplain for Muslim Life
Omar Tawil serves as an associate chaplain for Muslim life at Trinity College. He spent much of his childhood and early education in Chicago and Jerusalem. While attending college, he took time off to study classical Arabic in Amman, Jordan, where he began to develop a profound connection to the Islamic scholarly tradition. This compelled him to begin a lifelong study of the Islamic sciences with scholars and teachers in the Middle East and in the United States. It was when he returned to Chicago that he became deeply involved in community service and youth mentorship. He obtained his B.A. in Islamic world studies from DePaul University.
While continuing his study of the Islamic sciences with local scholars, he served as a youth minister at the Mecca Center in Willowbrook, Illinois, and as an Islamic sciences high school teacher at Universal School in Bridgeview, Illinois. He also led several initiatives in developing educational and spiritual development programs for Muslim youth throughout Chicago. He is currently pursuing an M.A. in Islamic studies and chaplaincy at the Hartford Seminary while serving as an imam and youth minister at the Farmington Valley American Muslim Center.


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 of the 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.
Contact: (860) 297-2126,

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.


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.

Contact: (860) 297- 2280,