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Joanne Berger-Sweeney, PhD, has been appointed the first African-American and first female president of Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut.

Berger-Sweeney will be the school’s 22nd president. She currently serves as Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences at Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts. Berger-Sweeney holds a doctorate in neurotoxicology from the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health.

She completed her postdoctoral training at the National Institute of Health in Paris, France. At Tufts University she helped found the Center for Race and Democracy, an academic center with a mission to promote research, scholarship and discussion of the ways race impacts the lives of global citizens.

The former Dean also designed the Bridge to Liberal Arts Success at Tufts (BLAST) program, designed to support and retain students who are first in their family to attend a four-year college. Trinity College was founded in 1823 as Washington College, changing its current name in 1845 and was the second college in Connecticut.

Berger-Sweeney will assume her new role on July 1st.

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