Seven faculty members retiring

The 2017–18 academic year marks the retirement of seven Trinity College faculty members, listed below.

William N. Butos
George M. Ferris Professor of Corporation Finance and Investments
William Butos earned his B.A. and M.A. in economics from Brooklyn College, CUNY, and his Ph.D. in economics from Penn State. He came to Trinity in 1981, where, in addition to teaching undergraduate and graduate courses, he served as chair of the Economics Department (1996–99) and director of the M.A. Economics Program (1991–2012). Butos has been a visiting research fellow in NYU’s Economics Program on the Foundations of the Market Order since 1993 and is an associated scholar at the Mises Institute. He has lectured widely in the United States and Europe, including at the Foundation for Economic Education and the Mises Institute; has edited two books; and has published more than 40 articles in the economics of science, monetary economics, business cycles, and institutional economics. Butos served as president of the Society for the Development of Austrian Economics and is deputy editor of Cosmos + Taxis and on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Private Enterprise.

Leslie G. Desmangles
Professor of Religious Studies and International Studies
Leslie Desmangles earned a B.A. in music from Eastern University, an M.Div. in theology from Palmer Theological Seminary, and a Ph.D. in anthropology of religion, specializing in Caribbean and African studies, from Temple University. Before joining Trinity’s faculty in 1978, he taught at Ohio Wesleyan University and DePaul University. Desmangles, the inaugural director of Trinity’s Center for Caribbean Studies, has published widely. He wrote The Faces of the Gods: Vodou and Roman Catholicism in Haiti, a 1994 Choice Outstanding Academic Book, and was associate editor of the Encyclopedia of African and African-American Religions, a 2003 Choice Outstanding Reference Book. The U.S. Embassy in Haiti recognized Desmangles in 1998 for his contributions in promoting understanding between the two countries, and in 2002, the Connecticut General Assembly honored him for his commitment and service to the state. Five years later, the American Anthropological Association recognized him for his contributions to Caribbean studies. In 2013, Desmangles received Temple’s Distinguished Alumnus Award.

John P. Georges
Professor of Mathematics
John P. Georges, professor of mathematics, began his Trinity career in 1983. He earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Tufts (1971 and 1973) and his doctoral degree from Northeastern (1982). Believing that the study of mathematics is an essential part of the undergraduate liberal arts experience, he endeavored to convey his appreciation and respect for the subject through his teaching. Georges taught a variety of mathematics courses, including calculus, decision making, games and gambling, abstract algebra, combinatorics, and graph theory. His principal research interest is in the area of graph labelings. Over the years, he has collaborated with many colleagues and students in this pursuit. Most notably, he has worked with departmental colleague David Mauro for more than 25 years on the topic of distance-constrained graph labelings. Mindful of the college’s commitment to the community, Georges also provided lectures to area students and teachers on both probability and the history of mathematics.    

Joan Hedrick
Charles A. Dana Professor of History
Joan Hedrick earned an A.B. from Vassar College in 1966 and went on to earn a Ph.D. from Brown University in 1974. Trained in American studies, Hedrick’s teaching and research were deeply interdisciplinary. She founded the Trinity Women’s Studies Program in the 1980s and worked with faculty to reconfigure it as the Women, Gender, and Sexuality Program. Challenging assumptions about cultural power, her teaching was concerned with questions such as: How do we know what we know? By whose authority? What hidden assumptions are embedded in received truths? Her scholarship attempted to redraw the map of literary history to include more works by noncanonical writers. She is the author of three books, including the biography Harriet Beecher Stowe: A Life, for which she won a Pulitzer Prize in 1995. In 2018, she and Susan Belasco became the general editors of the Oxford edition of The Collected Works of Harriet Beecher Stowe.

Gerald Moshell
Professor of Music
Gerald Moshell, who came to Trinity in 1977, earned a B.A. from Pomona College and an M.A. and Ph.D. from Harvard University. In addition to his many outside professional engagements, he has conducted, stage directed, and/or piano accompanied hundreds of on-campus offerings through the Concert Choir, solo and senior recitals, special presentations, and the musical theater program. In 2014, he received the Thomas Church Brownell Prize for Teaching Excellence. To provide ongoing support for the Music Department’s musical theater productions and activities, alumni, parents, and friends have, in his honor, established The Moshell Musical Theater Fund (for information on donations, contact John Summerford ’89 at and/or the Trinity College Development Office). As a means of better getting to know his former students in their current lives, Moshell plans to devote a sizable portion of his retirement to visiting with them and their families, not only regionally and nationally but internationally as well (contact him at

Ralph O. Moyer Jr.
Scovill Professor of Chemistry, Emeritus
Ralph Moyer, who officially retired on December 31, 2017, had taught in the Chemistry Department at Trinity since 1969. His areas of specialty included solid state inorganic chemistry and materials chemistry. He earned a B.S. from the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth in 1957, an M.S. from the University of Toledo in 1963, and a Ph.D. from the University of Connecticut in 1969. Moyer taught introductory chemistry courses, inorganic chemistry courses, special topic introductory and advanced seminar courses, and his unique signature course in an introduction to textile science. He also directed undergraduate and graduate student research. His vast research interests included solid state synthesis, metal hydrogen chemistry, structural studies by X-ray and neutron powder diffraction, physical property measurements by magnetic susceptibility, electrical conductivity, and hydrogen storage and applications to energy problems.

Patricia Tillman
Associate Professor of Fine Arts
Sculptor Patricia Tillman received a B.F.A. from The University of Texas at Austin and an M.F.A. from the University of Oklahoma in 1978. After widely exhibiting her sculpture in the Southwest and teaching at various universities and colleges in Texas and at Auburn University in Alabama, she came to Trinity in 1995. Five years later, she became the first woman to receive tenure in Trinity’s Studio Arts Program. She has been the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship grant and an Artist Fellowship from the Connecticut Commission on the Arts. She also served as director of the Studio Arts Program from 2009 to 2012. Tillman has exhibited her work nationally in museums and galleries in both solo and group exhibitions.