Elise Castillo Named Ann Plato Diversity Fellow At Trinity College

By Jack Dougherty

Professor of Educational Studies and Director, CHER

2019-2020 Ann Plato Diversity Fellow Dr. Elise Castillo. Photo courtesy of Jack Dougherty.

The Educational Studies Program and the Public Policy & Law Program proudly announce that the Ann Plato Diversity Fellowship has been awarded to Dr. Elise Castillo, who will join the Trinity College faculty for the 2019-20 academic year. She will design a new Public Policy & Law course on privatization during the fall semester, teach the Educ 300: Education Reform Past & Present course in the spring semester, and launch a new research project on Asian-American family experiences with school choice.

Dr. Castillo’s scholarly identity is shaped by her personal experience as a second-generation Filipino-American, and her professional experiences as a public school teacher in a high-poverty New York City neighborhood. She earned her Ph.D in Education Policy from the Graduate School of Education at the University of California, Berkeley in December 2018. Her dissertation research, “Progressive Education Meets the Market: Organizational Survival Among Independent Charter Schools,” featured a 10-month qualitative study of three independent charter schools in New York City, and illustrated the difficulties inherent in instituting progressive schooling in an educational environment deeply informed by market principles. In addition, she has co-authored articles in the Peabody Journal of Education and the International Journal of Child Care and Education Policy, as well as UC-Berkeley policy reports on expanding preschool in New York City, and school funding and achievement gaps in the Los Angeles Unified School District.

Currently, Dr. Castillo works as a researcher at the Metro Center at New York University. Prior to pursuing doctoral studies, she taught middle and high school English in New York City and worked as a policy research assistant at Teachers College, Columbia University. She received her BA in English and Creative Writing from Barnard College, an MS in Teaching (Adolescent English) from Pace University, and an MA in Education Policy from UC Berkeley. Read more about her work at https://elisecastillo.com/.

Trinity College’s diversity fellowship is named for Ann Plato, a 19th-century author and teacher of African American and Native American descent, who lived and wrote in Hartford. She was the second woman of color in the United States to publish a book, and the first to publish a book of essays and poems, titled Essays: Including Biographies and Miscellaneous Pieces, in Prose and Poetry (1841).

For questions or comments regarding Ms. Castillo or the Ann Plato Fellowship, please contact Jack Dougherty at Jack.Dougherty@trincoll.edu.

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Trinity College Gives Moses Berkman Journalism Award to CNN’s Joan Biskupic

By Brendan W. Clark ’21                                                                                            


Joan Biskupic receives the 2018 Moses Berkman Memorial Journalism award (Left to Right: Trinity College President and Professor of Neuroscience Joanne Berger-Sweeney, Moses Berkman Recipient Joan Biskupic, and Professor of Religion in Public Life and Director of the Greenberg Center Mark Silk). Photo courtesy of the Greenberg Center.

The Trinity College Program On Public Values and the Leonard Greenberg Center for the Study of Religion in Public Life awarded the Moses Berkman Memorial Journalism Award to Joan Biskupic, a CNN commentator, legal analyst, and author on the United States Supreme Court, on Thursday, November 15th, 2018.

The Public Policy and Law Program proffers its earnest congratulations to Joan for the Award and our gratitude for visiting and sharing her work with Trinity.

The Moses Berkman Memorial Journalism Award is “supported by The Moses and Florence Berkman Endowed Fund at Trinity College, in honor of the late Moses Berkman, Class of 1920. Moses Berkman was an outstanding journalist who served the Hartford Times as a political correspondent, columnist, and editorial writer from the early 1920s until his death in 1956,” according to the Greenberg Center’s website. You can read more about the award and past recipients here.

The Trinity College Program on Public Values is the umbrella organization that oversees the Leonard Greenberg Center for the Study of Religion in Public Life and the Institute for the Study of Secularism in Society and Culture (ISSSC). The Program is chaired by Public Policy and Law Program Director Renny Fulco.

Biskupic has written many biographies about the justices of the Supreme Court, including Sandra Day O’Connor: How the First Woman on the Supreme Court Became Its Most Influential Justice (2005), American Original: The Life and Constitution of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia (2009), and Breaking In: The Rise of Sonia Sotomayor and the Politics of Justice (2014). Her newest book, The Chief: The Life and Turbulent Times of Chief Justice John Roberts, will be released in March 2019. You can purchase the book once it is available here.

Biskupic delved into her research for her newest book in a talk titled “Covering and Uncovering the Roberts’ Supreme Court” Thursday afternoon. During the talk, Biskupic examined the climate of the Court under Roberts. Biskupic drew from her previous biographies to inform her discussion of Roberts, citing key differences between Roberts’ character and that of other justices.

Biskupic described Roberts’ perceptive qualities, noting that in her many interviews, she had to remind herself that “she was the one interviewing him” and not the other way around. Biskupic contrasted Roberts with Scalia, whom she had previously interviewed on many occasions, noting that many of her conversations were animated and that he would later provide considerable personal material for her to work with. Roberts, conversely, was more personal and did not reveal as much during interviews.

Beginning with Roberts’ earliest years, Biskupic chronicled his studious nature and elite education, examining his rise from an associate counselor in the White House to his appointment as one of the youngest Chief Justices ever to serve on the Supreme Court. Further, Biskupic noted that Roberts was not the original selection of Bush for the seat of Chief Justice, but that former Chief Justice Rehnquist’s death resulted in his sudden elevation.

Biskupic also examined the history of Roberts’ political positions, noting his brand of conservatism that has been tempered in the past. Roberts, Biskupic explained, is known for his deciding vote with liberal justices upholding the constitutionality of Obamacare in National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius, 567 U.S. 519 (2012), but is equally well-known for delivering strong conservative opinions, such as those declaring unconstitutional certain provisions of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 in Shelby County v. Holder, 133 S. Ct. 2612 (2013). The divergent views in these cases reflect, suggests Biskupic, the ambiguity surrounding Robert’s image.

Considering the special role of the Chief Justice of the Court in setting the tenor of the Court over a lengthy period, Biskupic remarked: “We have had 45 presidents and only 17 chief justices–I think that is pretty telling.” The role of the Chief Justice, argued Biskupic, transcends the political milieu, stretching often across several administrations of differing political persuasions. This creates a role that is as much about balancing the different perspectives of the justices in private interactions as it is about directing the Court’s conduct during oral arguments.

For Roberts, notes Biskupic, the Court is consistently delivering more 5-4 decisions, making it more difficult to propagate the message of unity and camaraderie. The increasing divisiveness of the Court, added Biskupic, was reflected in interviews that she has conducted with many justices. Biskupic concluded by reflecting on Roberts unique position as Chief Justice during a contentious period of political and litigatory history, adding that she hopes her book will illumine the world of Roberts and the Court further for readers.

Biskupic was thereafter honored by a dinner in Hamlin Hall with Trinity College President Joanne-Berger Sweeney and other distinguished faculty, students, and guests in attendance.

Biskupic was joined by her editor, Dan Berman ’01, an Assistant Managing Editor for CNN Politics, Trinity College alumnus, and former advisee of Public Policy and Law Program Director Renny Fulco. Berman, also a former Editor-in-Chief of The Trinity Tripod, met with current Tripod editors Thursday morning to discuss careers in journalism and thereafter spoke with Renny Fulco’s Introduction to American Public Policy class about his experiences at Trinity and CNN. Berman later joined Biskupic to speak with Mark Silk’s Journalism and the Public Good class, where topics included CNN, the Supreme Court, and the current relationship between journalism and the media.

Biskupic was interviewed by the author and Ben Gambuzza ’20 for The Trinity Tripod’s November 13 issue. The interview as it appeared in print is republished here and gives further insight into Biskupic’s life and work:

Joan Biskupic, CNN Legal Analyst and prominent Supreme Court biographer, is coming to Trinity this Thursday to talk about her forthcoming book on the Roberts court: The Chief: The Life and Turbulent Times of Chief Justice John Roberts. The talk will be at 4:30 in Terrace Rooms B and C above Mather dining hall. Before her arrival, The Tripod talked to her about her life in journalism, the state of the Supreme Court, and the state of the media.

Biskupic has covered the Supreme Court for 25 years. Before coming to CNN, she was the Editor in Charge of Legal Affairs for Reuters from 2012 to 2016. She also covered the Supreme Court for The Washington Post from 1992-2000. Her work got her on the finalist list for the Pulitzer Prize in Explanatory Reporting in 2015. She has since moved into the book-writing scene. She has written biographies of Sandra Day O’Connor (2005), Antonin Scalia (2009), and Sonia Sotomayor (2014). Her new book explores the exact motives of Chief Justice Roberts, whom people know as conservative, but who has, from his appointment in 2015, claimed that he would act as a neutral umpire in court decisions.

She earned her B.A. in Journalism from Marquette University, an M.A. in English from the University of Oklahoma, and her J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center. Calling from her home in Washington D.C., she related how she got her start in journalism. She said, “I always had the bug for journalism.” She started as a high school journalist and had her first newspaper job at the Milwaukee Journal of Wisconsin. She told us, “I was always intrigued by the rules and laws,” to explain how she became interested in the Supreme Court specifically. In the 80s and 90s, she covered the David Souter and Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings.

Biskupic was asked about the similarities or differences between the Thomas hearings in 1991 and the recent controversial Kavanaugh hearings this year. In describing the parallels between Anita Hill’s testimony and Christine Blasey Ford’s, Biskupic stressed both men’s similar reactions. Clarence Thomas criticized the hearings as a “high tech lynching,” according to Biskupic, while Kavanaugh saw it as a “partisan attack.” While both women had “very credible” testimonies, they were treated “very unfairly.” 

With the Kavanaugh hearings, the Supreme Court was thrust into the public eye as an institution of contention. So, we were curious about her thoughts on the institution in general. As to its sustainability in the present model of nine justices, Biskupic said the model is sustainable. And although some commentators argue for an elected Supreme Court by the people, she thinks it would be nearly impossible, for it would take a Constitutional amendment. 

Biskupic also addressed her relationships in the media, noting that journalists who cover the court are “really serious” about the material that they cover and tend to not have strong ideological bents. Biskupic also joked that “the justices are appointed for life, and the reporters must think they are too,” noting that so many of her colleagues stay on the same beat for much of their career.

Biskupic cited the competitive but collegial atmosphere as well, especially amongst the relationships she forged while working at The Washington Post, among others.  

There is one problem with the Court, though: partisanship in America. Biskupic believes, with many, that America is becoming more and more polarized, and that the Supreme Court reflects that. She emphasized that “five [Republican] Justices have been appointed by Republican Presidents, and the four Democratic justices have been appointed by Democratic Presidents.” The importance of the Court is also reflected in the sheer minuscule number of Justices who have actually served since the Country’s inception: “We have had 45 presidents, but we have had only 17 chief justices. Just that statistic alone tells you how important the role of Chief Justice John Roberts is today.”

Biskupic thinks that Roberts is an “enigma.” His enigmatic reputation and the ability to square his conservatism with his seeming desire to be neutral is what Biskupic is trying to flesh out. “What I am hoping to do is illuminate this man who sits at the top of the third branch and makes you understand him as a person as well as someone who is so in control of the law of the land.”

In offering closing advise to college students over how to know what’s really going on in this world, she says “just get news.” We asked if she thinks the physical newspaper will die out soon. She hopes not, because she still gets the paper at her house. But she says, “I’m not dismayed by people not picking up a newspaper anymore, I am more dismayed when people do not look for many sources of news—objectives sources of news.”

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Public Policy and Law Program Celebrates the Life of Ned Cabot

By Brendan W. Clark ’21                                                                                            


Photo courtesy of the Trinity College Office of Communications

The late Professor Ned Cabot with Antonia Lluberes ’16, Isabel Monteleone ’16, Claire Hogan ’16, Julia Mardeusz ’16, Christina Claxton ’16, and Ethan Cantor ’16 at the Public Policy and Law Senior Dinner in 2016. Photo courtesy of Ethan Cantor ’16.

The Trinity College Public Policy and Law Program is thankful this year for the time spent with alumni/alumnae, students, faculty, and family of the late Professor of Public Policy and Law Ned Cabot on Saturday, November 3rd. The event, co-sponsored by the Public Policy and Law Program and the Office of Alumni Relations, featured many speakers and opportunities for all to reflect on Cabot’s tremendous and indescribable impact on Trinity College during his many years of devoted service.

Opened by Public Policy and Law Program Director Renny Fulco, the event included remarks from Jane Cabot on behalf of the Cabot family, Professor of the Practice in Public Policy and Law Glenn Falk, who succeeded Cabot upon his retirement, Professor of Religion in Public Life Mark Silk, and Associate Professor of Political Science and Public Policy and Law Abby Williamson.

Fulco, the Program Director, reflected on the success of the event, remarking that “The gathering in Ned’s honor exceeded my expectations. We were fortunate that so many members of the Cabot family joined the Trinity community in celebrating Ned’s memory and his enduring contributions, as a teacher and colleague, to the Public Policy and Law Program and more broadly to campus life.”

Ethan Cantor ’16, a Public Policy and Law alumnus who was instrumental in planning the memorial event, added that “It was so heartwarming to see many of Professor Cabot’s former students, colleagues, and family members (including grandchildren) all gathered on campus to celebrate the remarkable impact he made at Trinity.”

Sarah Ballinger ’14, also an alumnus, offered her reflection on the event, stating that it “was a beautiful celebration of Professor Cabot’s many accomplishments and an acknowledgement of the lives he forever changed through his friendship, mentorship, and personal investment, including mine. It truly was the perfect forum to bring together those who cared deeply for Ned and to remember his contributions to Trinity community.”

Dean Emeritus J. Ronald Spencer continued the program by discussing Cabot’s unfinished research on the history and evolution of the Republican party. After a brief lunch, Public Policy and Law alumni delivered their own reflections on Professor Cabot and recalled their fondest memories in class.

Cantor and Julia Mardeusz ’16 also provided exciting updates about the Fulco-Cabot Public Policy and Law Fund. The fund was founded in 2013 by a group of Public Policy and Law seniors who sought to provide financial assistance for students pursuing thesis research, independent studies, and internships. In 2016, Public Policy and Law seniors raised over $7,000.00 for the fund in honor of Cabot’s retirement. The Class of 2016 renewed their fundraising drive following Cabot’s passing this spring and raised, from alumni/alumnae, colleagues, and friends, more than $50,000.00. The fund is now endowed and will be used by the Public Policy and Law program to assist current students in the near future.

You can keep up-to-date with the Fund’s progress by liking its Facebook page and you can donate to the Fund to help support the work of Public Policy and Law students by clicking here.

Fulco, speaking to Cabot’s legacy, stated that “The deeply moving tributes delivered by PBPL alumni and alumnae who attended the event—from as far away as California—testified to Ned’s profound impact on them as students and as young adults. As their eloquent words made clear, he continues to be both an inspiration and their North Star.”

Shaun Stuer ’13, another Public Policy and Law alumnus present, reflected that he “was moved by how many people–across class years and walks of life–were positively impacted by Professor Cabot. His empathy for others and passion for teaching provided so many of my classmates with a clear guidance into their respective careers. As someone who doesn’t get back to campus nearly enough, it reminded me how much I loved my time spent in the Public Policy and Law department while attending Trinity.”

Cantor added that what he “found to be most touching was throughout the event’s speakers, common threads emerged of the Ned that everyone knew and loved: the eloquent writer, the eternal optimist, and the professor and mentor who always pushed his students to reach their full potential, just to name a few highlights. The combination of sharing favorite memories and hearing about the direction of the Public Policy and Law program filled the room with a sense of appreciation and hope that Ned’s most important lessons will live on in all of the lives that he touched and the program that he helped build.”

Following the event, current Public Policy and Law students had an opportunity to engage in networking with alumni/alumnae who were in attendance. Photographs of the memorial event can be viewed below and additional photographs of the networking event can be accessed here.

Shaun Stuer ’13, Sarah Ballinger ’14, and Ethan Cantor ’16 contributed to this article. This article will be updated as The Policy Voice receives additional contributions from alumni/alumnae and faculty. 

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The Connecticut Supreme Court On Circuit At Trinity College

By Brendan W. Clark ’21                                                                                            


The Justices sit en banc for oral arguments at Trinity College as part of their On Circuit program. Nick Caito photo courtesy of Trinity College Communications Office.

On Wednesday, October 17, the Supreme Court of the State of Connecticut visited Trinity College and heard two cases as part of their On Circuit program. The event was sponsored by the Public Policy and Law Department, the Political Science Department, the Pre-Law Society, and the Trinity Mock Trial Team. This was the first time that the Court has visited Trinity and was especially significant as two Trinity alumni serve on the Court: Associate Justice Richard “Dick” Palmer ”72 and Senior Associate Justice Christine S. Vertefeuille ’72. The hearings offered students, faculty, and staff an opportunity to witness the appellate process in action and Public Policy and Law students, among others, had an opportunity to question the litigators after the arguments.

The first case, State of Connecticut v. Jean Jacques, SC 19783, was argued by S. Max Simmons on behalf of Jacques and David Smith on behalf of the State of Connecticut. This case concerned the admissibility of evidence, viz. a bag containing drugs and the victim’s cellular telephone, that Simmons argued had allegedly been obtained without a search warrant of Jacques’ apartment. Jacques was found guilty of this 2015 murder in Norwich, Connecticut by the district court.

Smith, on behalf of the State, contended that because Jacques’ lease had expired several days before and his landlord had consented to the search, a warrant was not necessary. Further, Smith argued that Jacques had forfeited his right to a reasonable expectation of privacy under the Fourth Amendment as he had “abandoned” the property in question. Simmons, on behalf of Jacques, argued that the State had failed to demonstrate an intent to abandon the property. Thus, the search was warrantless and in violation of Fourth Amendment protections.

The justices were particularly concerned in this case with Connecticut housing law and in defining what constitutes “abandonment” under the law. Both attorneys conceded that they had limited knowledge of housing regulations in the state, but nevertheless attempted to navigate the law’s complexities. Justices noted that parolees, as Jacques was at the time, generally have a lesser expectation of privacy. Conversely, other justices noted that Connecticut housing law allows for a “grace period” in payments and that, with that period considered, the search was several days early and, thus, potentially contrary to Fourth Amendment protections. The State opted not to argue the typical response that, even if the evidence were obtained illegally, the conviction should still stand under the doctrine of harmless error.

The audience waits in anticipation of the first oral argument, State of Connecticut v. Jean JacquesNick Caito photo courtesy of Trinity College Communications Office.

The second case, Austin Haughwout v. Laura Tordenti et al., SC 20076, was argued by Mario Cerame on behalf of Haughwout and Ralph Urban on behalf of the Office of the Connecticut Attorney General. This case dealt with the following series of remarks made by Haughwout, a former student at Central Connecticut State University (CCSU): “(1) made hand gestures as if he was aiming a gun and shooting at other students, (2) wondered aloud how many rounds he would need to shoot people at the school, (3) mentioned that he had bullets at his home and in his vehicle, (4) showed pictures of guns he owned and bragged about bringing a gun to school, (5) named a particular student as his ‘number one target,’ (6) made reference to a shooting at an Oregon community college where several students had been killed and stated that the Oregon shooting had ‘beat us,’ and (7) stated during a testing of the school’s alarm system that ‘someone should really shoot up the school for real so it’s not a drill.'” Haughwout was subsequently suspended, after appearing before a review panel, from CCSU for the aforesaid statements.

Cerame began his arguments by disputing that Haughwout ever made the remarks, a contention that was promptly dismissed by the justices, who noted that they had before them the findings of fact discerned by the previous judge. Cerame argued that the statements do not rise to the level of a “true threat” and contended that Haughwout was within his rights to make the statement. Cerame also dismissed that the school had any right to take punitive actions against Haughwout for his statements. Several justices found disagreed with Cerame’s contention that the school could take no action against Haughwout for his remarks.

Urban argued, based upon the totality of the statements, that they amounted to a “true threat” and thus constituted an exception to the First Amendment freedom of speech protections. The justices challenged both Cerame and Urban, questioning how the Court should best evaluate each statement. Urban argued that the statements must be taken in their “totality” and when this is considered, that they constitute a “true threat,” whereas Justice Andrew McDonald expressed dissent with this line of argument.

The justices also challenged Cerame on the notion that Haughwout had every right to make these statements, even in the context of a college. Justice Steven Ecker raised concern with how Haughwout targeted individual students and also highlighted the importance of the fact that students both live and work on a college campus, which makes the environment in which the speech occurs markedly different. The Court seemed to struggle most with the fact that there has not been considerable litigation around the nexus of “true threats” and college campuses at both the state and the federal level.

The decisions in both of these cases will be available for review at the Court’s website at the end of the term.

The current justices of the Supreme Court of the State of Connecticut. Seated, Left to Right: Justice Richard N. Palmer, Chief Justice Richard A. Robinson, Justice Andrew J. McDonald. Standing, Left to Right: Senior Justice Christine S. Vertefeuille, Justice Maria Araujo Kahn, Justice Gregory T. D’Auria Justice Raheem L. Mullins and Justice Steven D. Ecker. Photo courtesy of the Connecticut Supreme Court.


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Fundamentals Visits the American Museum of Tort Law

Caila French, Emma Buckley, Jessica Jones, and Marshal Cohen pose for a selfie in front of the American Museum of Tort Law. Photo courtesy of Marshal Cohen.

By Brendan W. Clark ’21                                                                                            


Professor of the Practice Glenn Falk and his Fundamentals of American Law class visited the American Museum of Tort Law in Winsted, Connecticut on Wednesday, October 10, 2018.

The museum, founded by Ralph Nader in his hometown, “educates and inspires people about the benefits of trial by jury and tort law,” according to their pamphlet. Tort law, says Nader in “Suing for Justice,” evolved from medieval English law and later grew because of “millions of actors and judicial decisions that proceeded in small but steady advances” (57). Nader then traced some decisions of note and the efforts by many, from insurance companies to the pharmaceutical industry. Ultimately, Nader highlights the imperative nature of the “marvelous right to trial by jury,” which, as he posits, “requires a most robust defense.” You can read more about tort law and its varied history by reading Nader’s article here.

Black’s Law Dictionary defines a tort as “a civil wrong, other than a breach of contract, for which a remedy may be obtained, usually in the form of damages; a breach of a duty that the law imposes on persons who stand in a particular relation to one another.”

The museum has been praised by many, with The Washington Post remarking that the museum “reminds visitors how unhealthy American lives were not so long ago” and Politico calling it “fun, creative, visually stunning and provocative.”

But more important than the opinions of national news, attorneys, or even Black’s, were the reactions and thoughts of the students themselves. The Policy Voice spoke with some of them and this is what they had to say about the museum and the lessons it imparts:

“Going to the American Museum of Tort Law I think was a great experience for everyone who got to go. Before going, I had no idea what tort law was, so I was very excited to get to learn about something new. The staff was very passionate about torts and they were very excited to see a group of Trinity College students who were learning about torts in class visit the museum. Also, I had no idea how you could make a museum about torts interesting, but there were many props and cartoons that made the learning fun and interactive.”–Emma Buckley ’21

“The American Museum of Tort Law was a great way to experience tort law in a more engaging way. The museum was effective in that it really helped to bring to reality what is largely a theoretical concept, particularly for students just starting to explore law-related topics. I especially enjoyed how the museum used real cases from history to explain tort law. I found it really interesting how the museum was able to use these historical tort law cases to demonstrate the effects they still have today. I found the experience both educational and interesting. I would definitely recommend it to anyone interested in law!”–Carla Concha ’19

“As someone who has been oddly obsessed with crime my entire life, I saw myself going into criminal law. I’ve always wanted to represent the underrepresented, and protect people from our country’s habit of throwing people, most often poorer people, in jail and throwing out the key. After visiting the Tort Museum, for Professor Falk’s class, I realized there may be other ways to represent the underrepresented. I had the preconceived idea that tort law was just lawsuits filed for money. After learning about some of the greatest examples of how tort law has made a difference for huge groups of people, my mind was opened. I learned that these lawsuits are not only about seeking financial reparations for a specific incident, but they are about holding huge corporations accountable for often putting money ahead of real people and their well-being. Our legal system gives us a chance to set examples of companies and people who are participating in practices that are ending up harmful to others. I think it is about showing these companies that they WILL be held accountable by our legal system.”–Ally Lansbury ’20

“When Professor Falk told us we were going to visit the American Museum of Tort Law, I had quite a few questions, the first being “What is tort law?” As our course continued and we actually had the opportunity to learn more about tort law and understand its significance within the legal system, I became more and more intrigued as to what could be in store. Although I missed the original field trip with the entire class, 3 of my fellow classmates and myself piled into a car and ventured to Winsted, CT to visit the museum for ourselves. I found this to be a particularly interesting trip because it actually put what we were learning in class, into context. The museum explained the importance of trial by jury and the benefits of tort law. Its presentation of things such as important precedent-setting cases and dangerous toys allowed us to develop a deeper appreciation of tort law. By making the museum interactive, it helped shape my understanding of tort law cases within the context of the people’s lived experiences. Sitting in class learning about these cases is a far different experience from being in a setting that encourages you to delve into the details of the cases, which I found to be a very advantageous experience.”–Jessica Jones ’21

Students tour the displays inside the American Museum of Tort Law in Winsted, Connecticut. Photo courtesy of Glenn Falk.

If you would like to visit the museum for yourself, the drive is only about an hour away from Trinity at 654 Main Street, Winsted, CT 06068. The museum is open from 10:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m. from April 1-December 31 and is closed on Tuesday. You can learn more by visiting their website at http://www.tortmuseum.com or by calling 860.379.0505. 

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Professor Cabot: A Tribute from Julia Mardeusz ’16

Professor Edward “Ned” Cabot, a founding member of the Trinity College Public Policy and Law Department and long-time professor, passed away on May 15, 2018. His impact was enormous and his loss has been and will continue to be deeply felt within the Public Policy and Law Community. The Policy Voice will be posting a series of tributes and reflections from faculty and alumni/alumnae throughout the coming year, of which this from Ms. Mardeusz is the third.

By Julia Mardeusz ’16                                                                                                    

Public Policy and Law Alumnae

If you’re reading Policy Voice, then you probably already know that Public Policy & Law is special, primarily due to Adrienne Fulco and Ned Cabot, two forces of nature on our faculty who did absolutely everything in their power to make this program into the innovative, academically rigorous and socially supportive community that it is today. They built one of the fastest-growing and most popular majors at Trinity from the ground up and made it so that we left class every day feeling compelled to participate meaningfully in public life and informed about policy, politics, and law in a time when these things are more opaque than ever. Their knowledge and encouragement have shaped so many students in a relatively short time.

Professor Cabot was not only an excellent teacher but an excellent role model as well, and he came into our lives at an age where we thought intensely and often about the type of people we’d become—not just the jobs we’d have and the cities we’d move to and the graduate schools we’d attend, but our character, both the qualities that others see in us and those that are evident only to ourselves. As young adults, we look not only to our parents and our peers for inspiration in this area, but to our teachers, and the best ones, like Professor Cabot, show us the best of these possibilities and guide us in how to emulate them. The people we meet at this age often have the most influence on us because we are the most receptive to the lessons of others and are looking for ways to be ourselves, whoever that may be.

As one of the few professors I know of who had students vying desperately to gain seats in his classes (all of whom received one), Professor Cabot impacted the lives of a great number of students. His words and actions imparted valuable lessons that changed all of us for the better. I’m sorry that future Trinity students won’t be able to hear these lessons directly from him, but I want to share the ones that made the most significant impression on me.

These are some of the lessons we learned from him. There won’t be a test but you may have to brief them later:

Think carefully but speak confidently. Collegiality and teamwork, in law and in life, lead to great things. Give people second chances, even though they may not deserve them. Assess others on how far they have come, not from where they began. Listen instead of interrupting. Keep a sense of humor at all times. Take delight in other people, and let them know when they challenge you or make you rethink your position. Engage with your community and help in any way that you can. Above all, be compassionate and kind.

Although we are a young group, I am proud to say I can see already that Professor Cabot’s former students have brought these lessons into their lives and will be better lawyers, businessmen and women, academics, politicians, and people for this reason.

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