James Downs, associate professor of history and American studies, will spend the 2015-16 academic year studying medical anthropology at Harvard University.
NEW LONDON, Conn.--Chris O´Brien has been named the head coach of the men´s and women´s tennis program at Connecticut College. O´Brien will also serve as the assistant coach for men´s and women´s squash. O´Brien was hired as the interim head men´s and women´s tennis coach in February. Under his direction, the men´s squad ended the season well, winning three of their final four matches.
The women´s team recorded a four-match winning streak in the month of March. Fran Shields, the Katherine Wenk Christoffers ´45 Director of Athletics and Chair of the Physical Education Department, is pleased to have O´Brien on board in a permanent capacity. "We are very fortunate to add a versatile professional like Chris O´Brien," Shields said. "He did a great job with our programs last year in an interim role. His 13 years of head coaching experience, his work in student advocacy, and his ability to help our squash program give us another talented and valuable department member." O´Brien arrived in New London after six years as the men´s and women´s tennis coach at Roger Williams University. There, he helped direct the Hawks´ women´s program to back-to-back appearances in the 2007 and 2008 NCAA Tournament.
The men´s team was also successful reaching the second round of Nationals in 2009. O´Brien also served as the Director of Student Advocacy at Roger Williams. In this position, he directed the peer mentoring program for incoming freshmen. He was also responsible for managing the Student Advocacy Office, an advising support office. He taught a first-year seminar and an academic probation class to freshman as well as directing a leadership program for underrepresented students at Roger Williams. In 2004, he was named Unsung Hero for Enrollment Management. Prior to Roger Williams, O´Brien spent six years as the head men´s tennis coach at the University of Rochester, his alma mater.
At Rochester, O´Brien´s teams qualified for the NCAA Championship from 2001-2003. He also served as the men´s squash coach for three years and as the coach of the women´s squash club program from 2002-2003. Trevor Prophet, a senior and co-captain of the men´s tennis team, is looking forward to having O´Brien take the helm of the program. "We´re excited to have Coach O´Brien on board," Prophet said. "We have a very young team so having a coach in place will be beneficial for their game over the next couple of years. Looking at what´s he´s done in his past coaching positions, there´s plenty of reason to believe that Connecticut College´s program will improve in the years to come."
Situated on the coast of southern New England, Connecticut College is a highly selective private liberal arts college with 1900 students from all across the country and throughout the world. On the college´s 750-acre arboretum campus overlooking Long Island Sound, students and faculty create a vibrant social, cultural and intellectual community enriched by diverse perspectives. The college, founded in 1911, is known for its unique combination of interdisciplinary studies, international programs, funded internships, student-faculty research and service learning. For more information, visit www.connecticutcollege.edu. --CC--
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