Plenary Speaker

Joanne Berger-Sweeney

Joanne Berger-Sweeney

President, Trinity College

Since that time, she has overseen several major accomplishments, including the completion of the college’s strategic plan, Summit, which is guiding Trinity toward its bicentennial in 2023 and beyond; the creation of the Bantam Network mentoring program for first-year students; the launch of the Campaign for Community, a campus initiative promoting inclusiveness and respect; and the expansion of Trinity’s footprint into downtown Hartford’s Constitution Plaza with the Liberal Arts Action Lab.

Additional achievements under Berger-Sweeney’s leadership include the establishment of Trinity’s Task Force on the Prevention of Sexual Misconduct, the founding of the Center for Caribbean Studies at Trinity College, and the college’s thriving partnership with edX, one of the world’s premier online course platforms. Under Berger-Sweeney’s leadership, Trinity College is a key partner in the Hartford/East Hartford Innovation Places Planning Team selected in June 2017 to receive a share of $30 million in state funding to spark economic development and investment in innovation.

Before coming to Trinity, Berger-Sweeney served as dean of the School of Arts and Sciences at Tufts University, creating the vision and setting the strategic direction for the university’s largest school. Prior to Tufts, Berger-Sweeney was a member of the Wellesley College faculty. Her teaching and research career at Wellesley spanned 13 years prior to being named associate dean in 2004.

Berger-Sweeney received her undergraduate degree in psychobiology from Wellesley College and her M.P.H. in environmental health sciences from the University of California, Berkeley. While working on her Ph.D. in neurotoxicology from the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, Berger-Sweeney did the proof of concept work on Razadyne, which went on to be the second-most-used Alzheimer’s drug in the world. She completed her postdoctoral training at the National Institute of Health (INSERM) in Paris, France.

Berger-Sweeney serves on many boards in the Hartford region, including MetroHartford Alliance; Hartford HealthCare; the Connecticut Conference of Independent Colleges; the Hartford Consortium for Higher Education; and the Capital Region Development Authority. She also is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the International Behavioral Neuroscience Society (IBNS), and she is a member of the Committee on Committees of the Society for Neuroscience. Berger-Sweeney has been a member of the Behavioral Neuroscience Review Panel of the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Study Section panel, and the editorial board of Behavioral Neuroscience.

Berger-Sweeney is the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including her 2018 induction to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a Lifetime Mentoring Award from the Society for Neuroscience in 2006, and the National Science Foundation Young Investigator Award.

She and her husband, Urs V. Berger, Ph.D., a neuroscientist and a computer scientist, are the proud parents of two children.


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