In the news

“Two recently released national surveys show Connecticut colleges and universities grew their endowments to more than $17 billion last year, thanks to increased charitable giving and higher return rates on investments. Yet spending levels remain low, between 4 percent and 5 percent, sparking debate about whether universities should continue to stash away large amounts of money for a rainy day. Endowments are used for a variety of purposes, including covering university operating costs, special maintenance projects, professorship chairs and student scholarships, but some believe more endowment money, should benefit today’s students … Trinity College in Hartford outspends its peers by drawing down 6 percent of its endowment, but its vice president for finance, Early Reese, says Trinity considers that level to be too high, and will be reducing it to 5 percent for the coming year. Traditionally, the school spends 4.7 percent of its endowment, but allowed a temporary increase to subsidize some of its debt service, he explains.”

“Terms of Endowment: How much should universities spend and save?”
Hartford Business Journal, March 13, 2006

“New York City-based indie-queer performance artist Michael Burke will bring his highly charged, critically acclaimed solo stage show to the Trinity College Queer Resource Center in a free presentation chronicling the last six years of his theatrical career. A conglomeration of spoken word, dance, visual imagery, video, music and sound score, Burke’s powerful delivery and undiluted message is an awe-inspiring dedication to raise awareness about LGBT issues in today’s society. Burke is a faculty member at Trinity College, and this performance will help welcome the Greater Hartford community to the new Queer Resource Center on campus, a project designed to create a welcoming climate on campus for LGBT students, faculty and staff.”

“Queer Theater - Pick of the Week”
Hartford Advocate, March 9, 2006

“Are Hispanics becoming more secular? Scholars will debate today whether Hispanics are following the growing American trend away from religious affiliation, or whether their religiosity is simply changing. ‘Are U.S. Latino Society and Culture Undergoing Secularization?’ is the topic of a free colloquium to be presented by the Institute for the Study of Secularism in Society and Culture at Trinity College … according to a 2001 American Religious Identification Survey, 13 percent of U.S. Hispanics now say they have ‘no religion,’ compared with 6 percent more than a decade earlier. Anthony M. Stevens-Arroyo, a professor of Puerto Rican and Latino Studies at Brooklyn College, said that while attending church services and other concrete signs of religious identification may be declining, there are signs that many people are adhering to more individualized, personal forms of worship. ‘If asked, a person might say they are not religious, even if they have an altar in their home,’ Stevens-Arroyo said. ‘What they mean is that they don't go to church, that their faith does not follow the rigors of orthodoxy. But in reality, they may be very devout.’ Stevens-Arroyo will debate the topic with Efrain Agosto, director of Hispanic Ministries at Hartford Seminary; Carleen Basler, an assistant professor of sociology and American Studies at Amherst College; and Jose E. Cruz, director of the New York Latino Research and Resources Network.”

“Scholars To Debate Hispanic Secularism”
Hartford Courant, March 7, 2006

“All those who have spent the last six months fine-tuning their firefighting robots, take heed: registration for the 13th annual Trinity College Fire-Fighting Home Robot Contest ends March 13. To register go to - and make it snappy. The contest itself will take place on Sunday, April 9, with qualifying rounds and a robotics symposium to be held the day before. … The annual competition involves true, computerized robotics - no remote-control devices here - with divisions ranging from junior (eighth grade and below) through expert. Local, regional, national and international robotics enthusiasts of all ages and levels of expertise come to Hartford to strut their robots' stuff, competing and networking with like-minded counterparts from around the globe. … The goal of the contest is for computer-controlled robots to move through a model floor plan structure of a house, find a lit candle, and then extinguish it in the shortest time possible. While the competition is meant to simulate the real-world operation of a robot performing a fire-protection function in an actual home, one of the ultimate goals of the contest is to advance robotics technology and knowledge in general. Last year more than 80 finalist teams from the U.S., Canada and Israel competed in the firefighting robot contest for more than $2,300 in cash and prizes. This year organizers anticipate registrations for 120 robots from South Korea, China, Israel, Canada and across the U.S.”

“I, (Firefighting) Robot”
Connecticut Business News Journal, March 6, 2006

“‘I'm bringing a sleeping bag and two outfits, my Carhartt overalls, shorts and a hoodie, and my toothbrush,’' said Diana Silvestri, 19, a University of Hartford sophomore from New Fairfield, as she prepared for spring break. Packing light is essential for Ms. Silvestri and hundreds of her Connecticut peers, who will head south in the next few weeks to help rebuild communities ravaged by Hurricane Katrina. The cause is drawing students from several colleges, including the University of Connecticut, Connecticut College, Trinity College, the University of Bridgeport, Quinnipiac University, Sacred Heart University, Wesleyan University and Yale University. Fairfield University is planning a trip in May.

Most volunteers will rough it to some degree, sleeping on cots in school gyms and churches. And while many of them will fly, others will endure daylong bus rides, including 47 volunteers from UConn and about 30 from Trinity … At Trinity's Habitat for Humanity chapter, students are paying $200 each for their trek to New Orleans. They also are seeking donations from supermarkets and food chains to help with food expenses. ‘It's been a struggle this year’ because the group's trips usually cost less, said Margot Koch, a senior who is the Habitat chapter president at Trinity. ‘It's cool that I'm spending spring break helping people instead of sitting on a beach, which I've done,’ she said. ‘It's exciting to be part of history. Rebuilding New Orleans with other college students is a once in a lifetime opportunity.’”

“Spring Break Destination: The Land of Hurricane Katrina”
New York Times, March 5, 2006

“Many students — even A students — used to consider one great thing about being accepted to college that they would never have to study math again. That possibility is disappearing at a growing number of institutions. Some colleges are refusing to let a student cross the stage without some math on the brain, even if the student is a literature major who came in with a 5 on the Advanced Placement calculus exam. Plenty of colleges have a math general education requirement, but even some students who take math courses have trouble with ‘quantitative literacy,’ or applying their knowledge of numbers to things they encounter outside of class. The movement for quantitative literacy, a theme identified by the Association of American Colleges and Universities in its 10-year campaign to redefine and promote liberal education, is afoot … Judith Moran, director of the Math Center at Trinity College in Connecticut … wants all students to be able to assess numbers in The New York Times. Trinity students also get their quantitative feet held to the fire on day one, with quantitative literacy assessment. Students who fail any part of the exam, ‘logical relationships,’ for example, have to take a course that will help them ‘wake up and smell the quantitative roses around them,’ Moran said. If a student aces the quantitative literacy test, they’re done with the requirement. But Moran is pushing to make sure quantitative roses spring up beneath their feet no matter what department they enter … For example, she worked with Dario Del Puppo, director of Italian programs at Trinity, so he can talk math with students studying Dante. When Dante, at the end of Paradise, is confronted with the vision of God, he tells readers that he cannot possibly explain the image, no more than a geometer can square a circle. ‘Squaring the circle is one problem from ancient Greece that has been proven undoable,’ Moran said. ‘It’s a perfect analogy to impossibility. If someone doesn’t know math that Dante thought his readers would know, they miss out.’ … In another case, Moran, working with Latin American history students, examined figures in scholarly works given as the number of Hispaniola natives wiped out after first contact with Europeans. The numbers, she said, ‘are remarkably varied. One of the estimates would give much of Mexico higher population density at that time than England. There’s hundreds of papers written, and yet the math underpinnings, if not spurious, are at least questionable.’”

“Numbers to Live By”
Inside Higher Ed, February 28, 2006

“ … this afternoon John Rose, college organist and director of chapel music at Trinity College in Hartford, will reveal the beauty and versatility of the instrument with a concert of music … Mr. Rose will be more than an accomplished guest organist in Sunday’s concert. ‘I helped design the organ,’ he said. ‘It represents a whole new approach to using digital technology to reproduce pipe organ sounds. The source of its sounds are from pipe organs around the world.’ Mr. Rose has a simple answer when asked to name some of the more renowned organs the St. Mary’s organ draws sounds from. ‘Not allowed to,’ he said. ‘They’re mostly in churches.’ They are from many places — ‘Wherever there’s a pipe organ we’ve deemed we’d like to include in our library of sounds, and where we have permission to make recordings,’ Mr. Rose said … Because the organ’s sounds are based on digital recordings of actual pipe organs, the listener hears the ‘pipe’ sound complete with its undertones, the breathy gasp and flutish draw … And, the digital has versatility. ‘The instrument has not only pipe organ sounds,’ Rose said, ‘but other sounds — like harpsichord.’ And with this, Mr. Rose, who was in St. Mary’s practicing Tuesday for Sunday’s concert, pulled a knob, upped the tempo of his playing, and sent the polite plinkety-planging of a harpsichord out into the church as if it were an 18th Century drawing room. ‘It’s got the fun stops, like timpani,’ he said, and upon his fingers’ command the still air of the empty church shook with a sound like the tread of a giant’s feet … ‘When I designed the organ I tried to find combinations of additional orchestral sounds which would complement the pipe organ sounds,’ Mr. Rose said.”

“Bishop will dedicate organ today; concert at 4 p.m.”
Ridgefield Press, February 26, 2006

“Two members of the greater Hartford Jewish community will be honored with Charter Oak 2006 "Vision" awards as part of the Charter Oak Cultural Center's Fifth Annual Gala celebration. Audrey Lichter, executive director of Yachad Jewish Community High School of Greater Hartford, will receive the Jewish Heritage Award, and Judy Dworin, founder of the Judy Dworin Performance Project, will receive the Arts and Education Award from the center. Lichter and Dworin -- along with Marela Zacarias, an internationally known muralist who will receive the Social Justice Award, will be honored at the gala event on Thursday, May 11 at The Hartford's Tower Suite. This year's gala celebration marks the 130th anniversary of Charter Oak, the state's first synagogue, which was built in 1876 … Judy Dworin, winner of the Arts and Education Award, has taught in the theater and dance department of Trinity College since 1971, and she is chair of the department. In 1981, she founded the Judy Dworin Dance Performance Ensemble, which has toured locally, nationally and internationally. She is also co-director of Moving Matters! which has brought long-term collaborative residencies to diverse educational communities including Parkville Community School and York Correctional Institution for Women.”

“Charter Oak 'Vision Awards' to honor Jewish educator, dance artist”
Jewish Ledger, February 16, 2006


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