Faculty members retiring

The end of the spring 2021 semester also marks the completion of the final year of teaching for six Trinity College faculty members, listed below.



Lucy Ferriss joined the Trinity faculty in 2000. Her teaching stemmed from her experience as a writer, a vocation that is itself a continuous experience of learning from and for literature. Put simply, her goal was to prompt the question: “What is happening here?” Literature and creative writing are not ciphers by which we figure out a message or a bit of history; they are dynamic events shaped by writers and readers in a shared imaginative world. Ferriss earned a B.A. from Pomona College, M.A.s from San Francisco State University and Tufts University, and a Ph.D. from Tufts. Her work has been described as “striking the perfect balance between the global and the personal.” She has published 11 books, seven of them during her tenure at Trinity and most recently the novel A Sister to Honor (Penguin, 2015) and the forthcoming collection Foreign Climes (Brighthorse, 2021).


Professor of Religious Studies

Ronald Kiener served as director of Trinity’s Jewish Studies Program, founded in 1998. He also was the founding coordinator of the college’s major in Middle Eastern studies. Kiener earned B.A. in Hebrew literature from the University of Minnesota and a Ph.D. in religious studies from the University of Pennsylvania. He came to Trinity in 1983 after serving as a visiting instructor at Dartmouth College. He also served as a visiting lecturer at Smith College and as a visiting professor at Tel Aviv University and held a Lady Davis Visiting Professorship at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Kiener is the co-author of The Early Kabbalah (1986) and author of numerous articles in the field of medieval and modern Jewish and Islamic thought.


Principal Lecturer and Laboratory Coordinator in Biology

Michael O’Donnell was a member of the Health Professions Advisory Committee. His teaching philosophy was to get students to be active participants in the creative process of science, and his teaching interests included inquiry-based learning, laboratory curriculum and development, introductory biology, and urban wildlife ecology. O’Donnell, a past president of the Association for Biology Laboratory Education, earned a B.S. in zoology from the University of Rhode Island and an M.S. in wildlife and forest biology from the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry. Prior to his time at Trinity, where in 1996 he received the college’s Dean Arthur H. Hughes Award for Teaching Achievement, O’Donnell taught at State University of New York at Cortland and served as an environmental consultant for several agencies in upstate New York.


Professor of English 

Sheila Fisher, a medievalist who specializes in Chaucer, late 14th-century English literature, and medieval women writers, earned a B.A. in English and Latin from Smith College and an M.A., M.Phil., and Ph.D. from Yale University. She joined Trinity’s English Department in 1984 and served as department chair, associate dean of the faculty, and co-coordinator of the Humanities Gateway Program. Her Selected Canterbury Tales: A New Verse Translation (W.W. Norton, 2011) was featured in the inaugural series of 11 translations of major world texts published in 2020 as the launch of the new Norton Library Series. Fisher, who received Trinity’s Brownell Prize for Teaching Excellence in 2004, was co-founder and co-director of the Trinity Prison Seminar Series, which offers credit-bearing college-level courses at York Correctional Institution, the only women’s prison in Connecticut, and of the Free to Succeed Program, which provides mentoring to those seeking to complete their college education after prison.  


Associate Professor of Psychology 

David Reuman earned a B.A. from Hampshire College and a Ph.D. from the University of Michigan. He came to Trinity in 1987. His research focused on effects of the social organization of schools on achievement motivation, academic performance, and peer relations; an additional focus was school interventions designed to improve students’ academic metacognition. Altogether, Reuman served as an adviser for approximately 100 senior thesis projects. During his time at Trinity, he served as director of the First-Year Program and as chair of the Assessment Advisory Board and the Institutional Review Board for research involving human participants. Reuman also served on numerous committees, including those focusing on curriculum and retention.  


Scott M. Johnson ’97 Distinguished Professor of Anthropology

Jim Trostle came to Trinity in 1998 after managing an international health program at the Harvard Institute for International Development and founding the Five College Program in Culture, Health, and Science in Massachusetts. While at Trinity, he also held professorships at the National Institute of Public Health in Cuernavaca, Mexico, and the School of Public Health at the University of Chile in Santiago. He served for 12 years on various advisory groups for the World Health Organization. Trostle’s research interests are in epidemiology and global health; he has been a co-principal investigator on NIH- and NSF-funded projects in coastal Ecuador. Trostle earned a B.A. and M.A. from Columbia University, an M.P.H. from the University of California, Berkeley, and a Ph.D. from the University of California, San Francisco and Berkeley. He said he will treasure his Trinity memories of Community Learning, Posse (NY-13), Global Start seminar in Costa Rica, thesis students and advisees, and the many examples of his colleagues’ dedication to creative teaching.