Trinity welcomes new faculty members

New school years mean new books, new clothes and, naturally, new professors. Below is a mere sampling of Trinity’s most recent additions.

Sara Kaufman is the latest addition to Trinity’s sociology and anthropology department. A graduate of Wesleyan College, Kaufman went on to receive her master’s degree from Tulane University and her Ph.D. from New York University. A deep love of William Faulkner drew Kaufman to the South, where she worked in a nonprofit law firm called the Louisiana Capital Assistance Center. There, Kaufman garnered a special interest in the death penalty, specifically, why legal proceedings happen the way they do. “The death penalty was something I always felt pretty clear about,” Kaufman said. “It seems antithetical to me that our government put our own citizens to death. We should help people live, regardless of what they’ve done. At the very least, maybe their energy in the world will help them create some good.”

Rachel Johnson will attempt to tackle with her students the question of what motivates an action as she becomes the newest face of the philosophy department. Originally from a small town in Minnesota, Johnson completed her undergraduate degree at Harvard University before receiving her Ph.D. from the University of California at Los Angeles.

Johnson, who is teaching both Professional Ethics and Philosophy of Law this semester, is excited to teach at a small, liberal arts school.

Obviously I’ve gone to larger schools, so I was curious what it would be like to be at a smaller school with a focus on teaching where I get to know my students a little more,” Johnson said.

She is also excited about working in a small department.

“I knew that being here in a smaller department I would get to teach classes outside my area of research, which will be a lot of fun,” Johnson said.


Jason Johnson,  a new member of Trinity University’s history department, received his undergraduate degree from the University of Tennessee and award-winning Ph.D. in modern German history from Northwestern University in Illinois.

Johnson’s fascination with history began at an early age.

“I love maps, especially borders on maps,” Johnson said. “When I was a kid, my parents bought me tons of road atlases for my birthday and holidays, so I’m interested in why borders are where they are and why borders change. That helped lead me into German history, where borders have dramatically changed over past years.”

This semester, Johnson will be teaching two sections of Modern Europe and a special topics course on the Holocaust.

In one of his classes, Johnson mentioned that the most famous person he has met was Anderson Cooper at a book signing in Chicago.

Rosa Aloisi, a native of Sicily, also began her career as a lawyer before becoming a professor in Trinity University’s political science department. After receiving her J.D. from the University of Messina, Aloisi’s study of how leaders behave and comply with rules drew her into the field of political science, which prompted her to complete her Ph.D. in political science at the University of North Texas.

Aloisi welcomes the switch from the courtrooms to the classrooms after working as a lawyer.

“It is my first year teaching in an environment with roughly twenty-five students in my class, and I have a great opportunity to work with them and become a part of the larger community at Trinity University. I am excited to begin this new school year,” Aloisi said.

Aloisi will be teaching two sections of International Politics and International Law this semester.