Dr Roja Fazaeli, from Trinity’s Department of Islamic Civilisation, Near and Middle Eastern Studies and current assistant warden in Trinity Hall, will, pending approval from the College Board, be appointed the new Warden of Trinity Hall, replacing Brendan Tangney after his 12 years in the role.
Fazaeli, an assistant professor in Trinity for the last nine years, has been an assistant warden in Halls for the last year and will replace Tangney, a professor in Trinity’s School of Computer Science.
A new warden in Trinity Hall is a rare event. Tangney has been in the role for more than a decade and is a figure many Trinity students closely associate with Halls. Speaking to The University Times by email, Tangney said: “I think Roja will make a great Warden, in the tradition of strong and somewhat radical female wardens.” One of the most famous Trinity Hall wardens was Elizabeth Cunningham who, after taking over in 1908, remained in the role for 40 years.
Speaking to The University Times, Fazaeli expressed her enthusiasm for undertaking the role, and the year ahead: “I’m really excited. I have so much respect for Brendan and for all of the assistant wardens as well, and it’s an exciting time to be able to lead them, and the students as well, it’s been an amazing year for me, so to be able to continue that for me it’s great.”
“It’s really an honour to continue in the tradition that Professor Tangney and other wardens have established, and this part of guiding and supporting a vibrant community of residential learning”, she added.
Fazaeli also highlighted the community aspect of Trinity Hall, and said that she was looking forward to working with the team in Halls to ensure that students have the best experience possible. “I think the success of the whole community is not just the warden, and I look forward to working with the team there. Ultimately the focus will be on the students, and how we can support them, so they can access and engage with the education they are here to get in Trinity.”
The warden of Trinity Hall oversees 1,000 Trinity students, the majority of whom are in their first year. The warden works closely with 12 assistant wardens, each of whom are responsible for a house in Trinity Hall, and the Junior Common Room (JCR) committee, a committee of students in their second year of living in Trinity Hall who organise events for first-year students.
Fazaeli will be taking over as Warden in early July, as Tangney leaves the role in late June.