Tenure for Five

The Trinity College Board of Trustees voted in April to promote five faculty members to the position of associate professor with tenure, effective July 1, 2019.

“Trinity’s long-standing commitment to academic excellence is on full display when we award tenure to our faculty,” said Sonia Cardenas, Trinity College interim dean of the faculty and vice president for academic affairs. “As a selective liberal arts institution, we value outstanding scholarship, teaching, and service. Indeed, our most recently tenured faculty members are deeply engaged in the life of the college and beyond, inspiring their students and advancing research in their respective fields.”

The faculty members are:

Katherine L. Bergren
B.A. in English, Wellesley College
M.A., Ph.D. in English, University of California, Los Angeles

Bergren’s fields of interest include British Romantic poetry, 19th-century British literature, postcolonial literature and theory, the transatlantic, and ecocriticism. Since arriving at Trinity, she has completed a monograph, The Global Wordsworth: Romanticism Out of Place (Bucknell University Press, May 2019), and has published three articles in peer-reviewed journals or edited books, as well as two book reviews. In addition to receiving Trinity’s Arthur H. Hughes Award for Achievement in Teaching in 2017, Bergren completed a Center for Teaching and Learning Fellowship in 2018 and is currently a collaborator on Trinity’s Mellon Foundation Inclusive Teaching Grant. She has served her department as a graduate studies adviser and as a member of the Senior Thesis Committee and two search committees and has served the college as a member of the Academic Affairs Committee and the Faculty Research Committee. Before coming to Trinity, she won the UCLA English Department Teaching Excellence Award.

Elizabeth D. Casserly
Associate Professor of Psychology
B.A. in linguistics, Yale University
M.A. in linguistics, Ph.D. in cognitive psychology and linguistics, Indiana University Bloomington

Casserly’s research is in the psychology of speech perception and production, particularly the mechanisms of real-time speech motor control and how they interact with atypical sensory experience, such as hearing loss. Casserly has published seven papers in peer-reviewed journals while at Trinity and has published two articles in published proceedings. Four of her publications have been co-authored by Trinity students. The topics of her courses at Trinity include cognitive psychology, language, research design and analysis, and the psychology of deafness. As an active supervisor of research students, Casserly has mentored 13 thesis students. She has been involved in programming with the Center for Teaching and Learning, the Trinity Institute for Interdisciplinary Studies, and the Trinity Summer Science Program and has served on the Faculty Research Committee (as chair since spring 2017) and on search committees. Before coming to Trinity, she served as a predoctoral National Institutes of Health (NIH) trainee and National Science Foundation (NSF) graduate research fellow in the Speech Research Laboratory at Indiana University.

Tamsin Jones
Associate Professor of Religious Studies
B.A. in religious studies, McGill University
M.T.S., Th.D., Harvard Divinity School

Jones specializes in the history of Christian thought, continental philosophy of religion, and negative theology. Her monograph, A Genealogy of Marion’s Philosophy of Religion: Apparent Darkness (Indiana University Press), was published in 2011. Some material for her second book has appeared in leading journals in her field. Since coming to Trinity, Jones has published five peer-reviewed journal articles and one chapter in an edited book. The recipient of the Arthur H. Hughes Award for Achievement in Teaching in 2018, Jones has been a participant in the Trinity Institute for Interdisciplinary Studies and has served on the Admissions and Financial Aid Committee and the Diversity Working Group. Outside of Trinity, she served as co-chair of the Theology and Religious Reflection Unit of the American Academy of Religion and as a member of the steering committee of the International Network in Philosophy of Religion. Prior to coming to Trinity, Jones was the director of undergraduate studies for the Committee on the Study of Religion at Harvard University and a fellow at the University of Victoria’s Centre for Studies in Religion and Society.

Isaac A. Kamola
Associate Professor of Political Science
B.A. in politics, Whitman College
M.S., Ph.D. in political science, University of Minnesota

Kamola’s teaching and research examines the intersection of international political economy, African politics, and the politics of higher education. His monograph, Making the World Global: American Universities and the Production of the Global Imaginary, was published by Duke University Press in 2019. While at Trinity, he also co-edited two books and a journal symposium and published four peer-reviewed journal articles and five book chapters. Kamola has served on Faculty Conference, the Committee on Institutional Advancement, and the Jury Pool and as a member of the Global College subcommittee of the Bicentennial Strategic Planning Commission. He also co-founded the college’s chapter of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) and serves on its executive committee. He has taken an active role in the reconfiguring the Trinidad study-away program as a faculty adviser. Prior to coming to Trinity, Kamola was an American Council for Learned Societies (ACLS) new faculty fellow, an Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Political Science at Johns Hopkins University, and a visiting scholar at Wesleyan University and at Dartmouth College. 

Michelle Kovarik
Associate Professor of Chemistry
B.S. in chemistry, Saint Louis University
Ph.D. in analytical chemistry, Indiana University, Bloomington

Kovarik is a bioanalytical chemist with special interests in microfluidics and chemistry education. She has consistently mentored students in her lab and has co-published papers with 11 of them in leading peer-reviewed journals. Additionally, she is the recipient of a $100,000 Cottrell Scholar Award for “Biological Noisiness of Reactive Oxygen Species in Dictyostelium discoideum” and a $212,253 NSF award for “RUI: Substrate Reporters and Microelectrophoretic Tools for Lysate and Single-Cell Studies of PKB Activity in Dictyostelium discoideum.” In addition to teaching and conducting research, Kovarik has provided service to her department and the college. She has been a committee member on the Mellon Inclusive Teaching Program Advisory Committee, the Faculty Research Committee, the Organizing Committee for Venture Pre-Orientation Women’s Leadership Conference, the New Faculty Orientation Organizing Committee, the Faculty Diversity Working Group, and the Individualized Degree Program (IDP) Council. Prior to coming to Trinity, Kovarik served as a postdoctoral scholar at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.