Trinity College recently announced the appointment of five faculty members to named professorships.
“These particular appointments recognize exceptional scholarly contributions in the social sciences and STEM,” said Sonia Cardenas, dean of the faculty and vice president for academic affairs and Scott M. Johnson ’97 Distinguished Professor of Political Science. “They speak to the strength of our faculty and the generosity of others inspired to create these professorships.”
Cardenas added that Trinity faculty members are recognized scholars, deeply engaged in looking for solutions to the world’s problems, and are exemplary teacher-mentors who inspire and collaborate with their students.
The appointments took effect before the start of the spring 2024 semester:
Stefanie Chambers, John R. Reitemeyer Term Professor of Political Science
Chambers has been at Trinity since 2000, conducting research in the fields of urban education and public policy, minority politics, and environmental justice. She was awarded Trinity’s Charles A. Dana Research Professorship from 2017 to 2019. Her publications include numerous articles and book chapters, as well as two monographs from Temple University Press, Somalis in the Twin Cities and Columbus: Immigrant Incorporation in New Destinations and Mayors and Schools: Minority Voices and Democratic Tensions in Urban Education. In 2021, she received the Thomas Church Brownell Prize for Teaching Excellence.
Hasan Cömert, Maloney Family Distinguished Associate Professor of Economics
Cömert joined Trinity in 2018, after serving as an assistant professor for six years at Middle East Technical University in Turkey. Cömert has published widely in the areas of macroeconomics, financial markets, and monetary policy. His monograph, Central Banks and Financial Markets: The Declining Power of US Monetary Policy, was published in 2013; he has co-edited three other volumes and authored almost two dozen peer-reviewed articles and book chapters. As an international collaborator, Cömert has contributed to various European funded research projects. The Maloney Professorship was endowed by Kevin Maloney ’79 and his family; Maloney holds a Ph.D. in economics and was a member of Trinity’s Board of Trustees from 2012 to 2023.
Michelle Kovarik, Gregory G. Mario ’87 Associate Professor of Chemistry
Kovarik has been at Trinity since 2013. She conducts laboratory-based research on developing methods to analyze the chemical contents of single cells and she has published numerous articles based on her research, often with student co-authors. Additionally, she has published many articles relating to her work developing and disseminating best practices for teaching chemistry, specifically analytical chemistry. Kovarik’s work in the area of single cell chemical analyses has been supported by grants from the National Science Foundation. She was awarded the Dean Arthur H. Hughes Award for Achievement in Teaching in 2019 and the Centennial Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching from the National Honor Society for Women in Chemistry in 2023. The Mario Professorship was created to honor Henry A. DePhillips, Jr., Vernon K. Krieble Professor of Chemistry, Emeritus.
Mary Sandoval, Seabury Professor of Mathematics and Natural Philosophy
At Trinity since 1999, Sandoval is an expert in the area of spectral geometry and has a consistent record of publishing her work in highly regarded journals. Her research focuses on partial differential equations in abstract spaces, an area that has applications to many fundamental questions in mathematical physics. Before joining Trinity, Sandoval worked as a government mathematician for the Department of Energy, helping to develop mathematical models that were used to analyze proposed revisions to the Clean Air Act of 1990. She has served for many years as a senior mentor and researcher for the Women in Geometry II Team in Spectral Geometry and she is a leader in the broader community of scholars of spectral geometry research. The Seabury Professorship was the first chair created by the College in 1830.
Per Sebastian Skardal, Marjorie V. and Robert W. Butcher Distinguished Associate Professor of Applied Mathematics
At Trinity since 2015, Skardal has published nearly 50 articles in peer-reviewed journals on applied mathematics, including in the areas of complexity, chaos theory, synchronization, network science, and machine learning. Skardal is particularly interested in how collective behaviors emerge in large ensembles of interacting individuals with complex interaction patterns. His work has found applications in power systems, cardiac dynamics, neuroscience, information processing, cell signaling, and social network analysis. He spent two years as a postdoctoral research fellow in Barcelona before coming to Trinity. A frequent invited speaker, Skardal is widely recognized as a leader in his field. Marjorie Butcher was Trinity College’s first female faculty member.