Suzanne Aber P ’13
Vice President for Information Services and Chief Information Officer
Suzanne “Sue” Aber joined Trinity’s senior administration in August 2010 as director of information technology services and chief information officer. In February 2015 she was named vice president for information services and chief information officer.
The Information Services Division is responsible for the support of access to information and technology services at Trinity. As the leader of this team of dedicated professionals she guides the overall direction of the libraries and technology through strategic planning, collaboration, evaluation, budgeting, and management. She is responsible for leading a customer-focused Library and IT organization that delivers innovative, efficient, and effective systems and services to advance the College’s academic goals and business operations.
At Trinity, Aber founded and serves as co-chair of Venture, a pre-orientation women’s leadership conference for incoming first-year students founded in 2013. Designed for highly motivated women beginning their college careers at Trinity, Venture is a three-day conference held in August during which incoming first-year women can explore their leadership skills and meet fellow female classmates, upper-year mentors, faculty and staff members, trustees, and alumnae.
Prior to coming to Trinity, Aber was the director of administrative information services at Vassar College. She received her B.S. from Rider University and holds an M.B.A. from Binghamton University with a concentration in management information systems.
David Andres ’04
Director of Analytics and Strategic Initiatives
David Andres serves as Trinity’s first Director of Analytics and Strategic Initiatives. In this role, he leads the Analytics and Strategic Initiatives Center (ASIC), which provides analysis, research, and curated data to support a strengthened culture of planning and evaluation across the college. The ASIC team is responsible for the college’s institutional research functions and the development of its next-generation data warehouse and analytics platform. Through this work, the team shares insights and analyses that inform decision making at all levels of the college’s leadership and support the implementation of its strategic initiatives.
Andres served as Trinity’s Accreditation Liaison Officer to the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE), the college’s regional accreditation agency, in 2016. In that capacity, he shared a leadership role in facilitating the college’s self-study report and the decennial comprehensive evaluation by the Commission.
Prior to his current position, Andres was Special Assistant to the President and Deputy Chief of Staff, and before that, he served as Director of Strategic Projects for the student life division. He earned a B.S. in biology from Trinity.
Vice President for Strategic Initiatives and Innovation and Dean of Academic Affairs
Sonia Cardenas is Vice President for Strategic Initiatives and Innovation and Dean of Academic Affairs. She chairs the President’s Coordinating Group for Implementation of the Strategic Plan and leads key strategic initiatives at the college. As Dean of Academic Affairs, Cardenas is also responsible for Graduate Studies, intersession programs, and lifelong learning.
Cardenas began her work as an academic dean in 2013 and was appointed to President Berger-Sweeney’s cabinet in 2014. As Associate Academic Dean for curricular matters, Cardenas led the restructuring of the first-year seminars program, the launch of the new January Term, and a year-long analysis of retention. She also played a key role in creating the Bantam Network, a first-year student-designed program, and convened a working group on faculty diversity. In fall 2015, Cardenas began serving as Dean of Academic Affairs, responsible for supporting half of all academic departments and programs. From 2015-16, she further served as Interim Dean of the Faculty, a position she shared with Melanie Stein. Together, they introduced a new phased retirement plan for faculty, co-chaired the President’s Planning and Budget Council, supported the creation of a Center for Caribbean Studies, and oversaw design planning for the Crescent Center for Arts and Neuroscience. Cardenas also co-chaired Trinity’s successful accreditation process in 2016-17 and was the principal author of the College’s self-study.
A professor of political science, Cardenas joined the Trinity College faculty in 2001. In addition to serving on numerous governance committees, Cardenas was the director of Trinity College’s signature Human Rights Program from 2007 to 2013 and was awarded a Charles A. Dana Research chair from 2011 to 2013. She has authored dozens of publications, including three books from the University of Pennsylvania Press: Conflict and Compliance; Human Rights in Latin America; and Chains of Justice: The Global Rise of State Institutions for Human Rights. As a leading human rights scholar, she serves on various international boards and is a frequent reviewer. Her more recent short reflections on higher education and the liberal arts can be found in the Chronicle of Higher Education, The New York Times, and Huffington Post.
She earned a B.A. in international relations and French from Tulane University, an M.A. and Ph.D. in political science from the University of Virginia, and a certificate in international human rights law from Oxford University. Before joining Trinity, Cardenas held visiting appointments at the University of Cambridge, Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, and the University of Notre Dame.
Michael T. Casey
Vice President for Advancement
A member of the Trinity community since June 2017, Michael T. Casey came to Trinity as vice president for advancement from Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, New York, where he had served as the Collyer Vice President for Advancement. In an announcement to the Trinity campus community about Casey’s appointment, President Berger-Sweeney wrote, “Michael has spent nearly three decades in advancement, the majority of that at three liberal arts colleges: Franklin & Marshall, Wesleyan University, and Skidmore. He has played leadership roles in three major institutional planning efforts and planned four successful capital/comprehensive fundraising campaigns, all of which set new highs for their respective institutions.”
Berger-Sweeney noted that members of the search committee reported that Casey conveyed eloquently how his own liberal arts experience as a first-generation college student transformed his life and continues to motivate his work raising resources so that others may have a transformative liberal arts experience.
Casey is a 1981 graduate of Harvard University, where he earned a B.A. cum laude in Irish history and literature. At Skidmore, he was active in community and civic efforts, including serving as a member of the boards of the Waldorf School of Saratoga Springs, the Saratoga Regional YMCA, and the Saratoga Convention and Tourism Bureau.
Dean of the Faculty and Vice President for Academic Affairs and Professor of American Studies
Tim Cresswell has served as Dean of the Faculty and Vice President for Academic Affairs and Professor of American Studies since July 2016.
Cresswell joined Trinity from Northeastern University in Boston, where he served as Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs in the College of Social Sciences and Humanities, Professor of History and International Affairs, and Associate Director for Public Humanities at the Northeastern Humanities Center.
Before assuming his academic and administrative responsibilities at Northeastern, Cresswell served in administration and on the faculties of Royal Holloway, University of London; the University of Wales, Aberystwyth and Lampeter; and the University of Connecticut. He has held honorary faculty positions at the University of Neuchatel in Switzerland and at Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts.
Cresswell holds a B.A. in geography from University College London in the United Kingdom; an M.S. in geography from the University of Wisconsin-Madison; a Ph.D. in geography from the University of Wisconsin-Madison; and a second Ph.D. in English – creative writing from Royal Holloway, University of London. The author of 11 books, Cresswell is an internationally recognized geographer who is intrigued by issues of place and mobility. His most recent work focuses on Maxwell Street Market in Chicago and on its evolution over 130 years. In addition, he is a poet who explores similar themes about space and place in his two collections: Soil, published in 2013, and Fence, published in 2015.
Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Anita Davis joins Trinity in September 2018, coming from the Associated Colleges of the South (ACS), where she has served as director of diversity and inclusion for the ACS consortium of 16 colleges and universities. She also was a tenured associate professor of psychology at Rhodes College in Memphis, which, like Trinity, is one of a small number of liberal arts colleges located in a city.
In her role with the Associated Colleges of the South, Davis’s primary responsibilities were to support member institutions in their collective and individual efforts to advance diversity and inclusion goals on their campuses and in their communities. At Rhodes College, she was the inaugural faculty director of the African American Studies Program for five years, and associate dean of academic affairs for seven years, with responsibilities including accreditation, curriculum and program assessment, faculty evaluation and mentoring, and supporting diversity and inclusion initiatives.
A member of the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education, Davis holds Ph.D. and M.A. degrees in clinical/community psychology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and a B.A. from Rhodes College.
Dean of Campus Life and Vice President for Student Affairs
A member of the Trinity community since July 2015, Joseph DiChristina serves as the college’s chief student affairs officer and is responsible for all areas of student life and involvement. These areas include Athletics and Recreation, Campus Safety, the Counseling Center, the Health Center, Spiritual and Religious Life, the Student Activities Involvement and Leadership (SAIL) Office, Title IX, Greek life, the Residential Life Office, accommodation resources, the International Students and Scholars Office, the Dean of Students Office, and The Bantam Network mentoring initiative.
DiChristina came to Trinity from Allegheny College in Pennsylvania, where he had served as dean of students since 2001. There he managed operations and guided planning for 16 student life departments and was the founding director of that college’s award-winning Center for Experiential Learning. Previously, he served at Oberlin College in Ohio in several areas, including residential life, campus safety and security, and student activities, before being appointed associate dean of students.
DiChristina earned a B.S. in biochemistry from Beloit College and a master’s degree in higher education from the University of Akron.
Vice President of Finance and Chief Financial Officer
Dan Hitchell was appointed as Trinity’s vice president of finance and chief financial officer, beginning in July 2016. Reporting to the president, Hitchell is responsible for the strategic oversight and management of the College’s financial resources and operations. He came to Trinity from Ohio Wesleyan University in Delaware, Ohio, where he served as vice president for finance and administration and treasurer. In an announcement to the campus community about Hitchell’s appointment, President Berger-Sweeney wrote, “Dan brings to Trinity the ability to frame complex financial issues in straightforward terms, to create feasible solutions, to plan and implement capital projects, to manage the college’s debt portfolio, and to steward the college’s resources.”
Prior to time at Ohio Wesleyan, where he began in 2012, Hitchell served for six years at Webster University in St. Louis, where he was associate vice president for resource planning and budget, and, before that, for 15 years at Saint Louis University as director of financial planning and budgeting. Dan holds a B.S. in quantitative business analysis from Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green, Kentucky, and an M.B.A. from the University of Evansville in Evansville, Indiana.
Anne Lambright P ’09, ’10, ’14
Dean of Academic Affairs and Professor of Language and Culture Studies
Anne Lambright is Dean of Academic Affairs and Professor of Language and Culture Studies, in the Hispanic Studies section. In her role in the Dean of Faculty’s Office, Lambright, a member of the Trinity College faculty since 2000, works with half of the academic departments and serves as a member of the Curriculum Committee, the Faculty Diversity Working Group, and the Emergency Management Team. As part of the implementation of the college’s strategic plan, she is helping to lead holistic efforts to strengthen academic advising and enhance Trinity’s global educational opportunities.
Lambright’s latest book, Andean Truths: Transitional Justice, Ethnicity, and Cultural Production in Post-Shining Path Peru(Liverpool UP, 2015), was the recipient of the Modern Language Association’s 2016 Katherine Singer Kovacs Prize for Outstanding Book on Latin America or Spain.
She also is the author of Creating the Hybrid Intellectual: Subject, Space, and the Feminine in the Narrative of José María Arguedas (Bucknell UP, 2007) and co-editor of Unfolding the City: Women Write the City in Latin America (U of Minnesota P, 2007) with Elisabeth Guerrero. A recipient of grants from the Woodrow Wilson Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the University of Connecticut Humanities Institute, Lambright has taught numerous courses and published various articles on gender, ethnicity, human rights, and national identity in Andean literature and culture. Her current project is a critical anthology and translations of selected human rights plays by Peruvian theater collective Grupo Cultural Yuyachkani. A citizen of the Chickasaw Nation, she earned her B.A. with a triple major in Spanish, history, and Latin American studies from Southern Methodist University and then spent two years in Ecuador on a Fulbright grant. She holds an M.A. and Ph.D. in Latin American literature from the University of Texas.
General Counsel and Secretary of the College
Dickens “Deke” Mathieu is the general counsel and secretary of the college for Trinity College. As general counsel, Mathieu provides legal advice and counsel to Trinity College’s Board of Trustees and to the college leadership, covering the full breadth of legal and compliance issues that abound in higher education today, including personnel matters, faculty affairs, student affairs, litigation, and Title IX, to name a few. As secretary of the college, Mathieu provides advice and support to the Trinity College Board of Trustees, and facilitates the work of board members in discharging their fiduciary duties to the College.
Mathieu has more than two decades of legal experience in higher education, private law firm practice, and public service. He previously served as general counsel for Syracuse University and senior legal counsel for Tufts University. He worked as an assistant U.S. attorney in Boston, MA, in the Criminal Division, prosecuting narcotics trafficking and money laundering. He began his legal career in 1993 at the law firm Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, LLP, in Washington, D.C.
Mathieu earned a B.A. in political science from Amherst College and a J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law. He is active in the National Association of College and University Attorneys; is a founding director of Discovering Justice, The James D. St. Clair Court Education Project; and is a life member and former director of the Massachusetts Black Lawyers Association.
Angela Paik Schaeffer
Vice President for Communications and Marketing
Angela Paik Schaeffer joined Trinity as vice president for communications and marketing in January 2017. In her role, she leads the college’s communications, messaging, marketing, and branding efforts, partnering with colleagues across campus and with the Trinity community broadly in promoting and advancing the institution.
Schaeffer came to Trinity from Williams College, where she served first as director of communications and then as chief communications officer. In an announcement to the Trinity campus community about Schaeffer’s appointment, President Joanne Berger-Sweeney wrote, “She has more than 15 years of progressive responsibility in higher education and broad and deep expertise in all aspects of communications, including those for alumni relations, development, and recruitment, as well as institutional branding, media relations, and crisis communications.”
Prior to her work at Williams, Schaeffer spent a decade at the Johns Hopkins University Zanvyl Krieger School of Arts & Sciences, the last several as director of communications and marketing. She has taught journalism courses at University of Maryland University College, and she spent the first several years of her career as a newspaper reporter, first at The Philadelphia Inquirer and then at The (Raleigh) News & Observer and The Washington Post.
Schaeffer holds a B.A. from Dickinson College and an M.S. from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. She has served as a member of the Public Issues Committee of the Consortium on Financing Higher Education and the Communications Committee of the Annapolis Group.
Angel B. Pérez
Vice President for Enrollment and Student Success
Angel B. Pérez leads efforts in admissions, financial aid, Posse Scholars, career development, student success, retention, and the Individualized Degree Program. During his tenure, he also has led institutional research. Pérez, who was appointed in November 2014, is credited with transforming enrollment by adopting a values-based, student-centered approach. These efforts resulted in the most diverse classes in the college’s history and surges in academic quality, yield, retention, and campus culture. A staunch advocate for test-optional policies, liberal arts, first-generation students, and internationalization, he is frequently called upon as a speaker on these issues across the globe.
Pérez founded the Office of Student Success and leads strategic retention efforts. His career development strategic planning efforts resulted in new initiatives to best prepare liberal arts graduates for a changing workforce. Among them are design thinking, meaningful work programs, first-generation student support, career coaching, leadership training, and fellowships.
Pérez is a Fulbright alumnus and serves on Fulbright peer review. He was a fellow at the Bowen Institute for Policy Studies in Higher Education and was appointed by Connecticut’s governor to the New England Board of Higher Education. Pérez recently was named to Forward50, a Gates-funded initiative to address higher education’s challenges and to present solutions to Congress. He serves as a trustee at United World College (Costa Rica), Berkshire School, and Hartford Youth Scholars. He is former chair of diversity for Skidmore College’s Alumni Association and chair of deans for the New England Small College Athletic Conference.
Pérez teaches in the Educational Studies Department and offers courses in design thinking. He works with Trinity students on research and publishes regularly. In the summer, he serves as an international visiting faculty member at Rikkyo University, Trinity’s partner in Japan. Pérez has received several prestigious awards, including the National Association for College Admission Counseling’s John B. Muir Editor Award for most significant contribution to the association’s Journal of College Admission, two awards from Claremont Graduate University for excellence in the study of higher education, and several counseling and student affairs association awards for his leadership on behalf of low-income, first-generation college students.
Pérez holds a B.S. from Skidmore College, an M.A. from Columbia University, a Ph.D. from Claremont Graduate University, and a certification in higher education pedagogy from the Derek Bok Center for Teaching and Learning at Harvard University.
Jason Rojas M ’12
Jason Rojas serves as the president’s chief of staff and assistant vice president for external affairs, with primary responsibilities of administering the Office of the President at Trinity College. Rojas’s responsibilities include coordination of the president’s senior management team and meetings of the President’s Cabinet. Additional key duties include arranging/managing the president’s schedule and travel arrangements; supporting the president’s speaking engagements; assisting the president’s fundraising efforts; maintaining effective relationships with both internal and external constituencies; interacting on a regular basis with trustees of the College, alumni, faculty and staff, students, and others; and serving as a liaison between the College and the Hartford community while encouraging collaboration between Trinity College and many of its community partners.
In addition to his duties at Trinity, Rojas is a member of the Connecticut General Assembly representing the Ninth Assembly District (East Hartford and Manchester) in the Connecticut House of Representatives. He is currently co-chair of the Finance, Revenue, and Bonding Committee and has served as a past chairman of the Planning and Development Committee, as a deputy majority leader, and co-chairman of the House Screening Committee. He has also served on the Higher Education and Workforce Development Committee; the Education Committee; the Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee; and the Planning and Development Committee. A lifelong resident of East Hartford, Rojas attended East Hartford Public Schools and was the first in his family to graduate from college, earning a B.A. in history from the University of Connecticut and an M.A. in public policy from Trinity College.
Rojas serves on the Board of Directors of Billings Forge Community Works and Southside Institutions Neighborhood Alliance and is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Boys & Girls Club of Hartford. He is a former member of the East Hartford Town Council and Board of Education as well as the New England Association of Schools & Colleges Commission on Public Secondary Schools.
Dean of Academic Affairs and Professor of Mathematics
Melanie Stein is Dean of Academic Affairs and Professor of Mathematics. Her research is principally in geometric group theory, a field straddling the border of algebra and topology. The main goal of her research is to investigate the algebraic properties of infinite groups by studying the geometric properties of the groups themselves and other toplogical spaces on which they act.
In her role in the Dean of Faculty’s Office, Stein works with half of the academic departments and serves as a member of the Academic Affairs Committee, Assessment Advisory Board, Faculty Diversity Working Group, Faculty Research Committee, Institutional Review Board, Learning Spaces Committee, Summit Facilities Committee, ITEC, and IACUC. She also has led efforts to plan and launch the J-Start and Global Start programs.
Before assuming her current role, Stein served in 2015-16 as interim dean of faculty and had spent the three years prior as an associate academic dean. She has been a member of the faculty since 1995 and is a former chair of the Mathematics Department. She also has taught at Ohio State University, Cornell University, and as a visiting scholar at Johann-Wolfgang-Goethe Universität in Frankfurt, Germany. She is a member of the American Mathematical Society and has published in and served as a reviewer for numerous mathematics journals.
Stein graduated with an A.B. in mathematics from Harvard College and earned an M.S. and Ph.D. from Cornell University. Stein received an Alfred P. Sloan Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship and a NATO-NSF postdoctoral fellowship, and she was awarded a one-year faculty research grant from Trinity in 1998.