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Joanne Berger-SweeneyJoanne Berger-Sweeney, PhD '89, MPH

Distinguished Alumna Award

President, Trinity College, Hartford Connecticut

Dr. Berger-Sweeney was appointed President of Trinity College in 2014. She is the first neuroscientist to hold the office, as well as the first woman, African-American, and mother. After completing her doctoral work in neurotoxicology at the Bloomberg School and a postdoctoral fellowship at the French Institute of Health and Medical Research in Paris, Dr. Berger-Sweeney joined the faculty of Wellesley College, serving 19 years and rising to become an associate dean.

In 2010, she was recruited as Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences at Tufts University, where she launched several undergraduate and graduate academic programs and a Center for the Study of Race and Democracy; initiated an interdisciplinary cluster hiring program for faculty; collaboratively developed guiding principles and advanced fundraising initiatives for the school; and initiated a summer bridge program for liberal arts students from underserved high schools.

Dr. Berger-Sweeney’s many career achievements include selection as a National Science Foundation Young Investigator and a Fellow of the American Academy for the Advancement of Science. Her deep commitment to teaching and guiding young scientists earned her recognition with a Society of Neuroscience Lifetime Mentoring Award.