Faculty Members Retiring

The 2019–20 academic year marks the retirement of 11 Trinity College faculty members, listed below.

Senior Lecturer in Language and Culture Studies
Faculty member since 2009

Michal Ayalon earned a B.A. in sociology and an M.S. in instructional technology from SUNY Potsdam. She taught courses in all levels of Hebrew language and in Israeli literature and film, as well as a first-year seminar. Ayalon’s involvement at Trinity included serving as a Bantam Network faculty mentor and as the faculty liaison for the volleyball team and hosting the Hebrew Table, a weekly gathering for Trinity community Hebrew speakers to support students learning the language. She also directed the Jewish Studies Program in spring 2020. Before coming to Trinity, Ayalon directed the Bridges Program, a first-year program for underserved students, at SUNY Potsdam. In the summer of 2016, she volunteered in Lesvos, Greece, working with unaccompanied refugee children, and she plans to continue this volunteer work during her retirement.

Professor of International Politics
Faculty member since 1996

Raymond Baker, an international authority on the Arab and Islamic world, earned a B.A. from Ripon College and an M.A. and Ph.D. from Harvard University. He is the author of critically acclaimed studies of Islam and Arab societies, and his most recent book, One Islam, Many Muslim Worlds (Oxford University Press, 2015), is a comparative study of the roots of the contemporary Islamic Awakening. A president emeritus of the International Association of Middle East Studies, he also is a board member of the International Council for Middle East Studies and founding member and director of the International Association of Contemporary Iraqi Studies. He has consulted for the State Department, the Department of Defense, USAID, and other government agencies and private foundations. In teaching and research, Baker employed a pragmatic, inquiry-based approach, focusing on questions and the use of logic and persuasiveness of evidence to answer them, while at the same time stressing the relationships between the theoretical and the practical.

Associate Professor of Chemistry and Neuroscience
Faculty member since 1988

William “Bill” Church first came to Trinity in 1988 as a visiting professor of chemistry. In 1995, after a five-year stint at East Carolina University, he returned to the college in a tenure-track joint appointment in the Chemistry Department and the Neuroscience Program. Awarded tenure in 1999, Church taught introductory and advanced courses in both disciplines as well as first-year seminars “The Aging of American” and “Science and Religion: Friend or Foe.” He worked with more than 100 undergraduates researching the chemical causes of neurodegeneration. Church served for 15 years as chair of the Health Professions Advising Committee and for 20 as a member of the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee. He also served as the faculty liaison for the women’s soccer and softball teams since the inception of the program. Church received a B.S. in chemistry from James Madison University, a Ph.D. from Emory University, and a National Research Service Award postdoctoral fellowship at the Salk Institute.

Professor of Political Science
Faculty member since 1979

Diana Evans earned a B.A. and M.S. from the University of New Mexico and a Ph.D. from the University of Rochester. Her research interests are in the U.S. Congress, with a focus on pork barrel politics. Her book, Greasing the Wheels: Using Pork Barrel Projects to Build Majority Coalitions in Congress, won the American Political Science Association’s 2005 Richard F. Fenno Prize for best book in legislative politics. She served as director of the Trinity College Legislative Internship Program, which sends students to the Connecticut General Assembly each spring to intern with legislators. In her courses, Evans focused on both real-world American politics and the theoretical tools to help students see patterns in complex political processes. Her professional service includes terms as chair of the Legislative Studies Section of the American Political Science Association, 2003–05 and as president of the New England Political Science Association, 1999–2000.

Associate Professor of Theater and Dance
Faculty member since 1999

Lesley Farlow has had an extensive professional career as a dancer, choreographer, actress, and writer, off- and off-off Broadway, as well as touring the United States and Europe. Farlow earned a B.A. from Smith College and an M.A. in performance studies from New York University. As an artist and educator, she is driven by a passion for dance and the transformational possibilities of live performance. She sought to foster in her students both the creative spirit and the power of critical thought. Over the years, she brought guest artists to work with Trinity dancers, creating opportunities funded by several large grants. In the community, she has worked with the youth theater ensemble First Generation Project in Springfield, Massachusetts, as well as with the Judy Dworin Performance Project, doing residencies with incarcerated women at York Correctional Institution. She also continues to make and perform her own work.

Shelby Cullom Davis Professor of American Business and Economic Enterprise
Faculty member since 1978

Gerald Gunderson, director of Trinity’s Shelby Cullom Davis Endowment, earned a B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. in economics from the University of Washington. Prior to arriving at Trinity in 1978, he held faculty appointments at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, Mount Holyoke College, and North Carolina State University. The author of The New Economic History of America (McGraw-Hill, 1974) and The Wealth Creators: An Entrepreneurial History of the United States (E.P. Dutton, 1989; Beard Books, 2004), Gunderson has worked with national professional associations concerning entrepreneurship, economic and business history, private enterprise systems, economic education, and public policies. He served as president of the Association of Private Enterprise Education and until recently was editor of The Journal of Private Enterprise. He also is a founding member of the Executive Board and director of the Academic Advisory Board for the Yankee Institute for Public Policy Studies. Gunderson says he plans to continue working in his perennial garden.

MICHAEL E. LESTZ ’68, P’13, ’19
Associate Professor of History
Faculty member since 1980

Michael Lestz, who earned a B.A. in history from Trinity and went on to earn an M.A., M.Phil., and Ph.D. from Yale University, served as chair of the History Department for seven years, co-founded the International Studies Program and directed it for five years, and was responsible for launching the study of Chinese and Japanese. He also served as faculty secretary and on the Executive Committee of the Trinity College Alumni Association. Lestz was involved in Trinity student travel to Asia for more than 35 years, leading study-away trips, serving as director of the O’Neill Asia Cum Laude Endowment, and chairing the Charlotte Riggs Scholarship Committee. He is the co-author of The Search for Modern China: A Document Collection (Norton, 1999) and principal author of a Chinese-to-English translation of Zhou Daguan’s 13th-century portrait of Angkorean Cambodia Zhenla fengtuji. As an alumnus, he was awarded the Alumni Medal for Excellence and The Eigenbrodt Cup, one of Trinity’s greatest honors.

Associate Professor of Theater and Dance
Faculty member since 1979

Katharine Power taught a broad array of courses designed to engage students in lively, critical debate about the arts. She was particularly interested in taking a cross-disciplinary approach to examining both the performing and the visual arts in various social and political contexts. Power’s courses included “Art and the Public Good,” “Postwar American Theater,” “Critical Views/Critical Values,” and “Free Speech, Art, and Censorship.” In addition to teaching for the Theater and Dance Department, Power directed the InterArts Program for several years and taught courses for the Public Policy and Law Program. She also served as an associate academic dean. Power earned a B.F.A. in theater education from Emerson College and an M.F.A. in dance from Smith College. Her most recent interests include a focus on the intersection between artistic expression and First Amendment case law.

Hobart Professor of Classical Languages
Faculty member since 1987

Gary Reger, who earned a B.A. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and two M.A.s and a Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, taught a wide range of courses in his specialty, Greek and Roman history, and in Greek and Latin. His research focused on economic history and epigraphy, but a new interest in deserts led to an American studies course. Tenured in 1993 and promoted to full professor in 2000, Reger chaired the History and Classical Studies Departments. His publications include a monograph, two edited volumes, and more than 50 articles, and he received numerous grants, including NEHs. He has said he was happiest interacting with his students, “from whom he learned more than they did from him.” He also served as faculty adviser for WRTC, the student radio station, for three decades. After a Fulbright sojourn in Australia in fall 2020, Reger will spend his time in New Mexico, reading, writing, hiking, and making new friends.

Jarvis Professor of Physics
Faculty member since 1982

Mark Silverman earned a B.S. and M.S. from Michigan State University and a Ph.D. from Harvard University. A principal part of his scientific interests involves the investigation of uniquely quantum processes (interference, entanglement) and the examination of various nuclear decay processes (alpha, beta, electron capture) for evidence of violations of currently known physical laws. Another facet of his experimental research concerns the scattering of light from media with unusual optical properties. Among his theoretical interests is the investigation of the final equilibrium states of stars that have exhausted their nuclear fuel and have collapsed to compact objects of enormous density. He taught all courses of a traditional physics curriculum and created and taught several special-interest classes. Silverman was the first occidental professor invited to be visiting chief researcher at the Hitachi Advanced Research Laboratory (Tokyo) and held the Joliot Chair of Physics at the Ecole Superieure de Physique et Chimie Industrielles (Paris).

Professor of Philosophy
Faculty member since 1983

Maurice L. Wade earned a B.A. in philosophy from Yale University and a Ph.D. in philosophy from Stanford University. His teaching interests included environmental philosophy, philosophy of the body, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, African philosophy, ethics and public policy, race theory, and Latin American and Caribbean philosophy. He has published on John Rawls’s theory of justice, philosophy of sport, ethics and medical technology, ethics and public policy, and Frantz Fanon. He most recently studied Thomas Reid as a critic of the philosophy of David Hume, worked on the social and political ideas of the Trinbagonian intellectual Lloyd Best, and supervised students in the construction of an online archive of Caribbean anti-colonial thought for Trinity’s Center for Caribbean Studies. He also is a contributing faculty member in public policy and law and international studies. Prior to joining the Trinity faculty, he was member of the Philosophy Department at North Carolina State University.