In the News


“A prominent English scholar and college dean from California has been named dean of faculty and vice president for academic affairs at Trinity College, officials announced Tuesday. Rena Fraden, associate dean of Pomona College in Claremont, Calif., will become Trinity's chief academic officer, the second-ranking officer at the private college in Hartford. Fraden, who holds bachelor's and doctoral degrees from Yale University, begins the new job July 1. She will replace Frank G. Kirkpatrick, a religion professor who is in his second year as interim dean of faculty. Fraden received a Fulbright Fellowship in India in 1998 and was a fellow at the Center for the Humanities at Wesleyan University in 1990. She has received several grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities. The author of various books, papers and articles, she focuses her scholarly work on the connection between art and social justice, Trinity said in a press release. ‘Trinity is fortunate to gain such an accomplished teacher and nationally renowned scholar as Rena Fraden,’ Trinity President James F. ‘Jimmy’ Jones Jr. said in the release.”

“English Scholar Picked For Key Post At Trinity”
May 24, 2006, Hartford Courant


“Members of the Class of 2006 will have opportunities for jobs not only in the United States but also in London, Paris or even Mumbai, business leader John H. Biggs told about 560 graduates at Trinity College in Hartford. Globalization of the world economy is a shift as momentous as the Industrial Revolution and will present both challenges and opportunities, Biggs said. ‘If you get a chance to work a few years in another country, I would urge you to take it. Be a global competitor,’ he said. Biggs, known for his advocacy of corporate responsibility, was one of three recipients of honorary degrees from Trinity. He is a trustee for various businesses and nonprofit groups and former chairman of TIAA-CREF, a retirement system for the nation's education, research and health care workers. Also receiving honorary degrees were Shirin Ebadi, a human rights advocate from Iran and winner of the 2003 Nobel Peace Prize, and entrepreneur Thomas Matthew Chappell, a Trinity graduate and co-founder of Tom's of Maine, a company that produces personal care products. Trinity trustees presented awards for excellence to modern languages Professor Kenneth Lloyd-Jones and graduating seniors Elizabeth Guernsey of Essex and Christopher Moore of Holderness, N.H.”

“Whirl Of Diplomas, Caps And Gowns”
May 22, 2006, Hartford Courant


“A Connecticut biologist [Kent Dunlap, associate professor of biology] has discovered that the brain cells in a South American fish species grow faster when the fish socially interact.”

"Social Interaction & Brains"
The Loh Down on Science
May 17, 2006, Southern California Public Radio

[ Listen ]


Betraying Spinoza, the fourth book in Nextbook's Jewish Encounters series, presents the 17th-century rationalist as both the first modern thinker and the original yeshiva dropout. Baruch Spinoza's rejection of traditional tenets—and his questioning of what it means to be a Jew—scandalized his Amsterdam community but has inspired disciples from Moses Mendelssohn to Albert Einstein to Rebecca Goldstein. A novelist and professor of philosophy at Trinity College, Goldstein dares to inhabit the mind of a man who preached objectivity, offering a lucid and often surprising exploration of how Spinoza's Sephardic roots informed his greatest work, The Ethics. ‘Who was Spinoza?’ ‘He is the greatest philosopher the Jews produced. And he was excommunicated in the most vehement and irreconcilable terms possible, before writing the works for which he is now famous. The 17th-century Amsterdam community of Sephardic Jews—people returning to Judaism after being separated from it by the Spanish-Portuguese Inquisition—used excommunication, as many communities did at that time, as a means of control. People were often put in kherem for days, sometimes years. There were conditions for returning to the fold, and then they did. Spinoza's excommunication was final, there's nothing he can do. Every curse is called down on the head of this 23-year-old philosophically inclined young merchant. It really is part of the mystery: what had that boy done that made people so angry?’ ‘Did he leave any clues? What do we know about Spinoza's life?’ ‘We have a lot of his letters, but unfortunately they were edited posthumously by his friends, who deleted almost everything personal. But once he was excommunicated, he said, ‘Well, good, now I can do what I want to do, which is to figure out the nature of reality for myself.’ ‘He attracted a small group of disciples, and he moved three times, and always tried to be quite isolated. He was offered a professorship in Heidelberg, but turned it down because he wasn't sure they would give him the freedom to think, unconstrained by any requirements aside from logical necessity. That's all he lived for.’”

“Baruch Spinoza inspired Rebecca Goldstein. So why is she out to betray him?”
May 15, 2006, Nextbook


“On May Day, immigrants in the Hartford area came to rally at Bushnell Park - a perfect site, if you think about it. In the mid-1800s, the land that is now the park was a miasma of tanneries, pigsties, railroad cars and the foul Park River. Hartford was teeming with newcomers, and the Rev. Horace Bushnell, a Congregational minister and a well-known theologian, pleaded for what we now call open space to relieve the grime of the capital city. In 1853, after his impassioned speech before the town council calling for ‘a place of life and motion that will make us more conscious of being one people,’ locals voted to spend $105,000, according to the park's foundation … The line ‘being one people’ was a bit of a stretch for Bushnell, who was very much a product of his time when it came to immigrants. Connecticut had been oddly homogenous for nearly 200 years, said Andrew Walsh, associate director of the Leonard E. Greenberg Center for the Study of Religion in Public Life at Trinity College. If you weren't a Puritan, you weren't welcome. And if you weren't a Puritan, you probably didn't want to try to live in such a closed society. But in the mid-1800s, longtime residents who could recite one another's lineage began struggling with the influx of newcomers. At the time, in Connecticut that meant Irish Catholics ... Bushnell saw that its closed society would strangle if new people weren't brought in. Soon, there'd be no one to tend the cemeteries or sweep the streets. So while Bushnell didn't want those people in his North End neighborhood, he knew the city needed them, Walsh said. Soon, it would be impossible to imagine New England without its immigrant population.”

“Somos Todos Americanos’”
May 10, 2006, Hartford Courant


“Does that ringing sound send you running for your cell phone? Well, you're not alone. Some people just can not turn it off. They have to know that they can be reached anytime, anywhere. The devices have become so ubiquitous that some experts are looking into whether it is possible to be addicted to your cell phone. Susan Masino is a neuroscientist at Trinity College. ‘I do think that people are somewhat dependent on electronic portable devices,’ Masino says. Masino says there are similarities between cell phones and addictive drugs. They bring a similar sense of pleasure and some similar pains. ‘When it does add stress to family life and blurs the line between work and home -- and you can't get away from that -- I do think that is a negative,’ she says … While cell phones can meet two criteria for addiction -- compulsive use and interfering with life -- they don't tend to meet the two other criteria -- a need for more & more to get the same pleasure and severe withdrawal symptoms. ‘You might lose your house and your family over methamphetamine but probably not over your cell phone,’ Masino says.”

“Are You ‘Addicted’ to Your Cell Phone?”
May 9, 2006, WFSB


“With its mostly suburban student body, and a campus surrounded by a black wrought-iron perimeter gate, Trinity College has sometimes been accused of being too isolated from the gritty urban neighborhoods of its Hartford home. But this semester, Dan Lloyd, chairman of the college's philosophy department, came up with a way to get Trinity students out into the city. In January, Dr. Lloyd began teaching freshmen a new interdisciplinary course, ‘Invisible Cities.’ Using Google mashups, an increasingly popular Internet feature that allows data of various kinds to be combined with Google Maps, the class is learning how to research, collect and share information that is not typically used to define an area. Dr. Lloyd split the students into groups to create five different mashups: for youth hangouts; abandoned and vandalized buildings, some of which have become a haven for drug dealers; food resources, like grocery stores, farmers markets and soup kitchens; educational resources, like museums and libraries; and historic sites. The information will be given to Hartford's civic and municipal organizations for practical use. Dr. Lloyd also thought the course would make Trinity's students more a part of Hartford's life … David Tatem, the college's academic computing specialist, helps with the class. He described it as ‘a little about information and power, a little about philosophy, a little about how the brain works, and a little about who controls information.’”

“Mapping the Invisible City Outside Their Walls”
May 3, 2006, New York Times


“Temporary calm has settled upon the highland kingdom of Nepal, … Michael Lestz – associate professor of history at Trinity College, Connecticut, and Director of the O’Neill Asia Cum Laude Endowment, sounded a cautionary note about Nepal while offering a succinct description of the culture and polity of a country many Westerners have thought of a sort of Shangri-La. Describing Nepal as a society of subsistence farmers with a complex mix of ethnicities separated by language and a rough alpine topography, Lestz opined that democracy has proven to be a mixed blessing for a country that some see as going backwards rather forwards in time. ‘Democracy in Nepal, as has recently been the case elsewhere in the world, has aggravated ethnic divides. Democratic politicians represent, in this order, their own interests and those of the clans to which they belong; the hopes of their ethnicities, and (last on the totem pole) the interests of the country.’ Lestz says the current situation is ‘fluid’ – much like the fall of the Russian Czar in 1917 – and leading to a ‘a political situation whose ramifications have yet to be understood or become manifest.’ Lestz said the homegrown Maoists are immensely popular in some parts of Nepal, mostly the west.”

“Peace for Katmandu: Expert offers observations”
May 1, 2006, SperoNews.com

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