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.
Acting Dean of the Faculty and Vice President for Academic Affairs and Professor of Political Science
Sonia Cardenas was named Acting Dean of the Faculty and Vice President for Academic Affairs on April 4, 2020, through June 30, 2022. She had been serving as Interim Dean of the Faculty and Vice President for Academic Affairs since June 1, 2019. She is Professor of Political Science and joined the Trinity College faculty in 2001. In her current role, Cardenas continues her responsibilities as Vice President for Strategic Initiatives and Innovation. This involves chairing the President’s Coordinating Group for Implementation of the Strategic Plan and leading key strategic initiatives at the college, including the partnership with Infosys and the development of Trinity’s innovation space at One Constitution Plaza. Most recently, as Dean of Academic Affairs, Cardenas has also been 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.
In addition to serving on numerous governance committees as a faculty member, Cardenas was the director of Trinity College’s signature Human Rights Program from 2007 to 2013 and held 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.
Cardenas 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.
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.
Vice President for Student Success and Enrollment
A member of the Trinity community since July 2015, Joseph DiChristina oversees Trinity’s newly formed Student Success and Enrollment Management Division, which represents a strategically holistic approach to the student experience and spans the entire student life cycle, from the prospective student to the graduate launching into life beyond Trinity.
The division comprises undergraduate and graduate admissions; financial aid; Posse scholars; career development; student success and retention; the Individualized Degree Program; dean of student life, community life, and standards; campus life and social houses; campus safety; athletics and recreation; the Bantam Network residential learning community; counseling and wellness; health center; housing; spiritual and religious life; accessibility; student involvement and leadership; international students and scholars; and Title IX.
DiChristina was named to this position after serving for five years as Trinity’s dean of campus life and vice president for student affairs, responsible for all areas of student life and involvement. He came to Trinity from Allegheny College in Pennsylvania, where he had served as dean of students since 2001 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.
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.
Associate Dean for Faculty Development and Associate Professor of Computer Science
Takunari Miyazaki joined the Trinity faculty in 2001 after beginning his academic career at Bucknell University. His main research interest is in computational complexity theory, an area of theoretical computer science concerning the study of the resources needed for and the impediments to efficient computation.
At Trinity, Miyazaki has most recently served as department chair. He also has served on the Curriculum Committee and the Educational Policy Committee, as well as the President’s Coordinating Group for Implementation of the Strategic Plan. In his role as associate dean for faculty development, he supports engineering, mathematics, and the natural and social sciences.
Miyazaki earned a B.S. in mathematics from the University of Kansas. He went on to earn an M.S. and Ph.D. in computer and information science from the University of Oregon.
Mitchell Polin ’96
Associate Dean for Curriculum and Associate Professor of Theater and Dance
Mitchell Polin, a member of the Trinity faculty since 2001, is a professional dramaturge, director, media artist, and playwright. For the past several years, he has collaborated with the Double Edge Theatre in Massachusetts as a writer and dramaturge. His fields of interest include American experimental performance, radio and sound theory, art brut and nonmimetic performance styles, new media studies, and linguistic experiments in the European avant-garde.
At Trinity, Polin has served as department chair, co-director of the Trinity Institute for Interdisciplinary Studies (TIIS), director of the InterArts Program and Film Studies Program, and on numerous elected faculty committees. He has chaired the Curriculum Committee, playing a crucial role in the development of Trinity’s new curriculum and the college’s response to COVID-19. In his role as associate dean for curriculum, he works closely with the arts and humanities.
Polin earned a B.A. in theater and dance from Trinity and an M.A. in performance studies from New York University.
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.
Jason Rojas M ’12
Jason Rojas serves as the president’s chief of staff and associate 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.