In the news

“English comes more easily now to Jacob Quijada, a 20-year-old landscaper from El Salvador.  ‘I understand a lot of English,’ Quijada said, as he sat with other students at the Aetna Center for Families this week. He credits his three years of twice-weekly English as a Second Language classes at the center for his progress. Now, though, the center is to close. The center has run out of money, and will probably shut its doors at the end of the year, though a community effort is in the works to salvage the program's services. ‘We're going to try to figure out how to keep the services - maybe not the Center for Families, but there will be some kind of services,’ said Mayor Eddie A. Perez.  … The center, established in the late 1990s, was a program of the Southside Institutions Neighborhood Alliance, and was operated by alliance member Connecticut Children's Medical Center. Its other two major partners are Trinity College and Hartford Hospital. ‘It's sad for all of us," said Luis Caban, director of the alliance. ‘You couldn't find a better fit in terms of programs for this community ... It's going to leave a huge, huge vacuum in this community.’ The alliance recently announced that it could not find the grant funding to keep the center open, officials said. ‘These things aren't done arbitrarily or capriciously,’ said Kevin Kinsella, president of the board of Southside Institutions Neighborhood Alliance and vice president of government affairs at Hartford Hospital. ‘We've tried every which way we can to get it funded adequately.’”

“Valued Neighborhood Resource Threatened”
Hartford Courant, December 15 2005

“At the end of his presentation last week in a panel titled ‘Christian America?’ Rev. Richard Cizik, an Evangelical lobbyist in Washington, was confronted with an unexpected question: Does he believe Jews go to heaven? Caught off guard, Cizik, who is vice president for governmental affairs at the National Association of Evangelicals, said his practice was to ‘do my best to avoid answering that question because it leads us to a place where we don’t necessarily need to go.’ The question — prompted by the 2002 declaration of James Sibley, head of the Southern Baptists’ Mission to the Jews, implying that Jews can only reach heaven through Jesus — may have seemed awkward and the answer evasive, but both were in the spirit of the two-day conference on Jews and Evangelicals that took place last week at the Jewish Theological Seminary. Participants said it was important to outline issues on which they could not agree in an effort to define the boundaries of their relationship. Barry Kosmin of Trinity College in Hartford, Conn., found in his survey that 97 percent of Evangelicals agreed with the statement ‘God helps me,’ as opposed to just 34 percent of Jews and 71 percent of adults in general. Economically, the two groups were not found to be dissimilar; 73 percent of Jews and 75 percent of Evangelicals said they owned their own homes and 58 percent of Jews and 49 percent of Evangelicals were college graduates. A majority of Jews, 56 percent, said they were Democrats while a majority of Evangelicals, 58 percent, identified as Republicans. ‘Clearly, Jews are literally and figuratively blue-state Americans while Evangelicals are red-state,’ said Kosmin. ‘The source of the gap lies in political and social reasons more than economics.’

“Finding Uncommon Ground: Jews and Evangelicals explore
the boundaries of their relationship at JTS conference”

The Jewish Week, December 9, 2005

“Acclaimed American soprano Christine Brewer will add some visibility and splendor to Trinity College's Lessons and Carols this Sunday. Brewer is guest soloist in the college's annual holiday service, which includes Christmas favorites and original musical settings, sung with the combined forces of the Trinity College Concert Choir and the Trinity College Chapel Singers. Her professional career began with the Opera Theatre of St. Louis, and Brewer has sung regularly at the Metropolitan Opera and with many of the world's leading orchestras. Her extensive repertoire ranges from Mozart to Britten. This year she released a new, highly praised CD of great operatic arias, sung in English.”

Trinity hosts guest soloist
Hartford Courant, December 8, 2005

“A group of Connecticut academics is urging the state's top election official to scrap the bidding for new electronic voting machines, saying she favors models that could be prone to glitches. The group wants Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz to consider a different device because mistake-prone machines could discourage people from voting. ‘You don't have to assume chicanery,’ said Ralph Morelli, who teaches at Trinity College in Hartford. ‘If the machine can't be booted up in the morning, nobody gets to vote. If they miscalculate how many voters can be handled on a machine, you're going to have huge lines and people are going to be turned away. Why go through this?’ Morelli and his group, TrueVoteConnecticut, have launched a Web site and a letter-writing campaign that they hope will generate support to restart the bidding process. But Bysiewicz questions their impartiality and said the device they favor doesn't meet state law. … Under the new state law, machines must have paper trails so voters can check somewhere on the machines that their votes were cast properly. … Bysiewicz, who disagrees with TrueVoteConnecticut's conclusions, said her office is also looking at adding more optical scan devices to polling places, which Morelli's organization favors because they create a paper trail.”

“Group of professors in battle with state over voting machine”
Newsday, December 7, 2005

“In honor of Human Rights Week and Human Rights Day, Hartford Magnet Middle School and Trinity College students will adopt the roles of United Nations delegates and legal advisers today to thrash out a protocol on protecting children during wartime. Styled after a United Nations General Assembly meeting, the session will focus on how to prohibit the detention, mistreatment and torture of children in wartime. The middle school students will represent various countries and Trinity students from the "Human Rights and the War on Terror" First-Year Seminar will counsel the seventh-graders on the implications of their decisions. Trinity senior Bao Ngoc Lien Pham of West Hartford, the student mentor for the seminar, will serve as United Nations inspector general for the assembly.” 

“Students To Play U.N. Roles To Mark Human Rights Week”
Hartford Courant, December 6, 2005

“They're finally out of Hell, but expect to spend another five years in Purgatory. A small price to pay to make it to the concluding canto of Paradise, most likely in the year 2016, say members of Lectura Dantis at Boston College. Several dozen enthusiasts of the 14th-century Italian poet Dante Alighieri's masterwork, ‘The Divine Comedy,’ have been meeting monthly since February 2000 to read and discuss the epic narrative poem about a journey through the nine circles of Hell (Inferno), the seven deadly sins of Purgatory (Purgatorio), and nine spheres of Heaven (Paradiso) to reach God. … Between 50-75 students and community members, including several priest and nuns, typically attend the monthly meetings at BC, which usually feature a guest speaker who reads a canto in Italian and leads a discussion in English. A guest lecture in 2002 by 1997 US Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky of Newton filled a 400-person lecture hall, said Lectura Dantis cofounder Laurie Shepard, a Boston College professor of Italian. She invited Newton North High School teacher Emilio Mazzola to help organize the group after seeing the popularity of a smaller-scale reading at Trinity College in Hartford.”

“Dante devotees are five years from Heaven”
Boston Globe, December 4, 2005

“[Pfeil] didn't just teach the craft of writing - he was a prolific writer himself, turning out novellas, novels, short stories, poems, reviews, a libretto, scholarly articles and literary, cultural and political criticism, according to a biography prepared by Trinity College. His work was respected and, among numerous other awards, in 1994 he won the prestigious Pushcart Prize for a novella and short story collection. When something caught Pfeil's attention, he explored it with zeal. He was one of the organizers of the Trinity Anti-War Coalition, and his friend and colleague, Professor Paul Lauter, said that he once came upon Pfeil and students performing street theater outside Mather Hall that illustrated the abuse of prisoners at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. Part of Pfeil's charm was the way he connected with his students on a personal level and the way he helped them connect with each other. Lauter remembers sitting in on one of Pfeil's classes years ago. At the beginning of class, Pfeil asked each of his students to say their names and something about themselves that was distinctive. At the end of class, he repeated each of the students' names and the unique fact about them, showing each student that their stories had made an impression on him”

“Fred Pfeil, Trinity English Professor, Dies At 56
Hartford Courant, December 2 2005

“Trinity College and the Trinity Club of Hartford recently honored Timothy Curtis, Class of 1986, and Gerald J. Hansen, Jr., Class of 1951, at the club's annual banquet. Curtis, a resident of Farmington, received the 2005 Person of the Year Award. A 15-year teacher and coach in the Avon school system, he received media attention last year when he suspended two players from his basketball team for drinking during a school event. When the school administration did not support his decision, he resigned his coaching position. Many parents and students rallied to support him. Eventually, the boys served a three-game suspension, he returned to coaching and the team won a state championship. Hansen, of Simsbury, received a Lifetime Achievement Award for five decades of service to Trinity. He has served on the board of fellows at the college in Hartford, as its director of alumni and college relations for 20 years and as secretary of the college. A squash court and Hansen Hall are named for Hansen, who holds the title secretary of the college emeritus. “

“Education Briefs”
Hartford Courant, November 29, 2005


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