MASON OSGOOD ’17
On Apr. 29, via email Trinity College President Joanne Berger-Sweeney named, Timothy Cresswell as the new Dean of the Faculty and Vice President for Academic Affairs. Cresswell will fill the offices of Sonia Cardenas and Melanie Stein who have been serving as the interim Deans of Faculty for the past year. Cresswell will begin his new role on campus July 2016.
In her email, Berger-Sweeney highlights Cresswell’s achievements throughout his years as a professor, academic, and writer. Cresswell holds a B.A in Geography from the University College of London, an M.S. in Geography from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, a Ph.D in Geography from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a Ph.D in Creative Writing from Royal Holloway, University of London. Cresswell previously worked as a professor at the University of Connecticut; University of Wales, Lampeter; University of Wales, Aberystwyth; and Royal Holloway, University of London. He currently serves as Professor of History in International Affairs; Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs, College of Social Sciences and Humanities; and Associate Director for Public Humanities, the Humanities Center at Northeastern University.
In addition to his extensive academic record, Cresswell has authored 11 books, most of which focus on the issues of place and mobility. With his expertise in geography, Cresswell focuses on “the role of geographical ways of thinking in the constitution of social and cultural life both historically and in the present day western world,” according to his Northeastern faculty profile. In his book On the Move: Mobility in the Modern Western World a series of case studies, highlight his work on the topic mobility and how it transforms society today. In another book titled Place: a Short Introduction, Cresswell lays out the fundamental concept in human geography. He shows how human geography is intimately tied with the sense of place.
The selection committee for the new Dean of Faculty consisted of Sheila Fisher, Jack Fracasso, Hebe Guardiola-Diaz, Shafqat Hussain, Lida Maxwell, Angel Pérez, and Maurice
Wade. These faculty members and administrators spent six months selecting what they thought would “work to sustain and strengthen the College’s tradition of academic excellence and innovation, collaborate with and inspire our intellectually-engaged and creative
faculty, and play a major role within the senior College leadership in defining strategic goals for Trinity’s future.” In addition to the committee’s recommendation of Cresswell, Berger-Sweeney held him in high regard for his past accolades and his outlook
on the liberal arts education. She said, “I was impressed by Tim’s intellect as well as his practical vision for Trinity’s unique place in Hartford and in higher education.” She also reiterated the things she heard from the search committee and references
saying that, “‘He is deeply committed to sustaining and growing the liberal arts in a changing academic environment, and he has an abiding interest in forging and revealing the connections between worldly experience and intellectual life.’”
Cresswell will be on campus May 3, 2016 to attend a reception after the A.K Smith Reading series with author Darryl Pinckney from 5:45 – 7:30 p.m. Berger-Sweeney asked the Trinity community to come and join her, administrators, and faculty members to meet the new dean and welcome him to the school.