March 25, 2015 (updated August 27, 2015)

Dear Faculty, Staff, and Students,

It is my great pleasure to announce that Joseph J. DiChristina will join the College leadership team as Dean of Campus Life and Vice President of Student Affairs.  Joe succeeds Fred Alford, Dean of Students, who announced his retirement last summer.  Joe’s title reflects the high importance I place on this position and the broad, encompassing role our chief student affairs officer will play.

Joe brings to Trinity in-depth experience at two liberal arts colleges.  He comes to Trinity from Allegheny College in Pennsylvania, where he has served as Dean of Students since 2001.  A member of the president’s cabinet, Joe managed operations and guided planning for 16 student life departments at Allegheny and was the founding director of that college’s award-winning Center for Experiential Learning.  He brings expertise in creating and leading co-curricular programs that strengthen the student experience, developing Allegheny’s student life vision and creating a talented team to support it, developing programs that support student retention, supervising the campus emergency team, implementing practices in accordance with Title IX regulations, and cultivating a vibrant and inclusive campus community.  Prior to Allegheny, Joe 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.

Joe was selected from an extremely strong pool of candidates.  Tom Mitzel, Dean of the Faculty and Vice President for Academic Affairs, who led the search team, stated that the team was impressed by Joe’s overall experience at every level.  I want to offer my thanks to Dean Mitzel for leading this months-long search, as well as to the other members of the search team:  students Adolfo Abreu ’15, Ambar Paulino ’15, and Gregory Ochiagha ’18; staff members Allison Read, Violet Gannon, and Mandi Haines; and faculty members Ciaran Berry, Jeffrey Bayliss, and Mary Sandoval.

Also, I want to thank Interim Dean of Students Christopher Card, who very ably assumed leadership of the Dean of Students Office during this academic year.  Indeed, I have been very impressed with Chris’s insights, skills, and rapport with the students, and I have asked him to assume the permanent role of Dean of Students, reporting to Joe.  Chris has brought his considerable experience and a sure hand to leading the office, and I am grateful for his contributions and continued service on my presidential cabinet.

Joe DiChristina will assume his new responsibilities at Trinity on July 20, 2015.  Joe will be on campus tomorrow, Thursday, March 26, and I invite you to meet him at a reception between 4:00 and 5:00 p.m. in Vernon Social. Also, Joe will join me for lunch in Mather Hall on Friday, March 27, from 12:30 – 1:30 p.m.  Please stop by and introduce yourself and extend to Joe the same warm welcome that I received from the Trinity community.


Joanne Berger-Sweeney
President and Trinity College
Professor of Neuroscience