Dina L Anselmi
Associate Professor of Psychology
Phone: (860) 297-2236 Office Location: Life Sciences Center 207
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Trinity College faculty member since 1980
General ProfileTeachingResearchPublications/PresentationsHonors/Awards
Ph.D., Univ. of New Hampshire
M.A., Univ. of New Hampshire
B.A., Ithaca College

Are men really from Mars and women from Venus? Do infants come into the world ready to think and act or do they develop those skills during childhood and adolescence? Does culture or biology have the most influence on development? Do children have legal or political rights and if so, what type? Why do some children thrive despite great adversity and others fail? These are examples of the kinds of questions that students must grapple with in Professor Anselmi's courses. One of her goals as a teacher is to help students develop the skills to see themselves as engaged thinkers, who are not afraid to challenge her, their peers, social institutions and authorities, as well as their own beliefs and assumptions. Civic engagement and critical self reflection are important dimensions of becoming a broadly educated individual. To encourage those qualities, Anselmi's classes involve students in a variety of community leaning projects. In her senior seminar, students work at community organizations focused on ameliorating risk and promoting resilience. In her child development course, students propose solutions to problems faced by families in the Hartford community. In her Freshman Seminar, students worked with 8th graders from a neighboring school to develop expertise on an issue in children’s rights and then to use this expertise to educate the community about that issue.

Can we teach middle school children meta cognitive skills and do those skills improve their academic achievement?  Do children stereotype emotions?  How does the family influence the process of development?  How do parents and children view children’s rights and negotiate family decisions? These are among the questions Professor Anselmi has tried to answer in her scholarly work, often in collaboration with Trinity students and colleagues both at Trinity and at other institutions.  By working closely with a faculty member, students can begin to see themselves as independent and critical thinkers who are able to make meaningful contributions to the world of psychological research.  Anselmi encourages her students to present their work to others, especially at professional conferences, where they are able to experience the challenges of peer-review, and engage in discussion with researchers about the outcomes of their work.  In community-based collaborations, students often present the outcomes of their research to community organizations.  Professor Anselmi believes that developing apprentice scholars and committed community citizens are critical roles she plays as a member of the Trinity faculty.