Last week, classes began at Trinity College for the Fall 2018 semester. As part of a unique partnership with Trinity College, students from Hartford Magnet Trinity College Academy (HMTCA) also arrived on campus.
This semester, 17 HMTCA students will take Trinity College introductory-level courses. The range of courses includes the humanities, math and sciences, arts and music, and social sciences. As part of an orientation to Trinity College, HMTCA students visited the library to obtain their student ID cards, learned how to find books for their courses at the bookstore, and visited various campus buildings so they could find their classrooms.
In addition to enrolling in college courses, HMTCA students will take other high school classes and participate in various activities on campus during the year. Learn more about the partnership here.
On Saturday September 8th, hundreds of Trinity students spent their afternoons volunteering with Hartford community partners on a ton of projects. Some of the highlights included park cleanups, gardening with Knox, creating props for Night Fall, and home demolition with Northside Institutions Neighborhood Alliance.
“I really love working with Trinity students Do It Day really organizes students to get down to business, and particularly the women’s athletic teams are serious workers. We’ve had the lacrosse team, the crew team, and today we’ve got the hockey team. They really tear it up.” – Jack Hale ’70 and Board Member at the Church of the Good Shepherd
The women’s basketball team helped local artists and community leaders prepare for Night Fall, an annual production in Hartford featuring music, dance, theater, spoken word, costume, and Anne Cubberly’s signature giant puppets. This year’s Night Fall is Saturday October 6th, 2018 in Pope Park.
“Now I want to go see Night Fall so I can see my jewelry all put together during the show. I’ve never seen puppets or a show like this.”
I think we can call Do-It Day a major success! Keep up with us for more community service opportunities throughout the semester.
Photo: Professors Megan Brown (L) and Carol Clark (R) work with Trinity students (Michelle Treglia ’18, Grace Metry ’18, and Jillian Ramsay ’18) on posters based on their community learning projects.
Please join the Community Learning program in celebrating the Trinity College faculty who will be part of the inaugural 2018-19 Community Learning Faculty Fellows program! This new program was created to support first- and second-year faculty in developing teaching connections with Hartford community partners. These faculty will meet four times throughout the year to to discuss and design a Community Learning component to be taught in one of their upcoming courses, considering issues such as ethics in community engagement, partnership development, and mutually beneficial projects as they prepare their courses. Each fellow also receives a $1,000 stipend.
This year’s faculty and courses include:
Arianne Bazilio, Assistant Professor of Environmental Science and Chemistry CHEM/ENVS 230: Environmental Chemistry, Spring 2019 Arianne Bazilio’s “Environmental Chemistry” course will include an experiential lab component where students will have the opportunity to work with local leaders on water treatment and water quality monitoring projects.
El Hachemi Bouali, Postdoctoral Fellow in Environmental Science ENVS: Environmental Geophysics and lab, Spring 2019 Students in El Hachemi Bouali’s course on “Environmental Geophysics” will gain hands-on, laboratory experience operating geophysical equipment, acquiring real data while conducting geophysical surveys, processing data, and interpreting their results.
Lauren Caldwell, Visiting Assistant Professor of History and Classics LATN 203: Adv. Latin Grammar/Reading , Fall 2018 Students in Lauren Caldwell’s “Adv. Latin Grammar/Reading” course will use what they have learned in their Latin classroom to volunteer in the Hartford Magnet Trinity College Academy Middle School to teach a Latin and literacy program.
Kyle Evans, Visiting Assistant Professor of Mathematics MATH 114: Judgment and Decision Making, Fall 2018 Kyle Evans’ “Judgment and Decision Making” course will engage students in the application of elementary mathematical analysis to various procedures by which societies and individuals make decisions, including through a community partnership project focused on gerrymandering.
Erin Frymire, Lecturer in the Allan K. Smith Center for Writing and Rhetoric RHET: Rhetorics of the Body and Activism, Fall 2019 Erin Frymire is developing a new “Rhetorics of the Body and Activism” course, which will combine classroom and community learning focusing on how people use their bodies in protest and activism.
Julie Gamble, Assistant Professor of Urban Studies URST: Geographies of Transportation, Spring 2019 Julie Gamble’s “Geographies of Transportation” course will introduce students to the spatial and social aspects of transportation in part through a community partnership project with local bus rapid transit and/or bicycling infrastructure programs in Hartford.
Nick Marino, Lecturer in the Allan K. Smith Center for Writing and Rhetoric RHET 320: Queer Rhetorics, Spring 2019 Students in Nick Marino’s “Queer Rhetorics” class will learn to rhetorically navigate key dialogues about gender and sexuality including how these debates influence research and knowledge creation in their majors, while collaboratively writing with a local non-profit organization serving the LGBTQ+ community in Hartford.
Rebecca Pappas, Visiting Assistant Professor of Theater and Dance THDN 270: Arts in Action, Fall 2018 In Rebecca Pappas’ “Arts in Action” course, students learn from both academic and local community contexts as they study how arts organizations engage public audiences, partnering with Hartford-area museums, theaters, music groups, and more to gain a broad understanding of how the arts are a part of their city.
Alyson Spurgas, Assistant Professor of Sociology and Women & Gender Studies SOCL 272: Social Movements, Fall 2018 Students in Alyson Spurgas’ “Social Movements” course will spend the semester considering how social and political movements, historically and today, are organized from the ground up, while also collaborating with community partners to see how movement-building happens in the real world.
Emily Yen, Postdoctoral Fellow in Urban Studies URST: Politics of Real Estate, Fall 2019 Students in Emily Yen’s “Politics of Real Estate” course will analyze the commodification of housing in Hartford and New York City, partnering with housing stakeholders in Hartford to learn more about how public policies shape gentrification and ghettoization.
To learn more about the Community Learning Faculty Fellows program, please visit our website or contact Community Learning Associate Director Megan Faver Hartline.
The Liberal Arts Action Lab is excited to announce that we are now accepting proposals for the Spring 2019 semester. The deadline to submit is September 28th, 2018.
Got an idea about how to strengthen Hartford? We can help research the problem and offer possible solutions. The Liberal Arts Action Lab invites Hartford community partners to submit a 3-paragraph proposal on a problem or question that you’d like help answering with a team of student and faculty researchers from Capital Community College and Trinity College. We broadly define community partners as neighborhood groups, non-profit organizations, government agencies, social entrepreneurs, etc.
Photo: Students from the Community Action Gateway and Professor Serena Laws after the Stowe Prize Action Fair and Discussion Events.
The 2018-19 Community Action first-year gateway cohort at Trinity College started off their school year by attending the Harriet Beecher Stowe Center’s events for its annual Stowe Prize and Student Stowe Prizes, awarded to a U.S. author, a college student, and a high school student whose work has made a “tangible impact on a social justice issue critical to contemporary society.” Professor Serena Laws brought her entire seminar to the Stowe Center’s Action Fair, which featured tables from local social action organizations, and a discussion event with this year’s prize winners: Matthew Desmond, Professor of Sociology at Princeton University for Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City; Wes Gobar, University of Virginia for “What It’s Like to Be a Black Student When White Supremacists March in Your College Town”; and Zyahna Bryant, Charlottesville High School for “Change the Name of Lee Park and Remove the Statue.”
Desmond, Gobar, and Bryant all participated in an hour and a half long discussion moderated by WNPR‘s Lucy Nalpathanchil. Gobar and Bryant started the event with discussions of their actions in Charlottesville: Bryant’s petition to remove a confederate statue and rename a local park and Gobar’s activism in the face of August 2017’s white supremacist rally. They also called on audience members to combine national concerns with local action (Gobar) and remember the importance of intersectionality in activist movements (Bryant). Desmond spoke next, offering perspectives on both the writing of Evicted and what happened to some of the central figures following his research period. He also encouraged audience members to use data from the Eviction Lab as a way to consider how poverty and homelessness occur in their cities. His focus was less on new possible solutions, but instead on thinking about how we can expand current governmental housing programs (both subsidies for renters and mortgage interest deduction for homeowners) to address the vast amount of poverty in our nation today.
All three speakers offered exciting ways for Trinity students to think about their own community work during their time in Hartford. Aidan Arnold ‘21, focusing on how he connected with activists around his age, said he was ”totally blown away by the intellect and thoughtfulness of the student Stowe Prize winners.” Eleanor Faraguna ‘21 pointed out how important it is for Trinity students “to educate ourselves about the city and climate we live in for these next four years, both the good and the inequitable. The Stowe Prize event was a unique and privileged opportunity to learn more about the battle over the availability of affordable housing here in Hartford and on a national scale.”
At the Action Fair, Trinity students spoke with community leaders from organizations like Connecticut Fair Housing, Christian Activities Council, Hartford History Center, and True Colors (among many others). Students were able to meet local activists, learn more about community change happening in Hartford, and get a better sense of what is happening in their new city–an exciting opportunity for the first week of classes!
Overall, the Stowe Center’s event enabled students to hear more about local and national social change work–from students their age, from a much-lauded sociologist, and from local activists in Hartford. Learning from activist leaders in Hartford and beyond was the perfect way to start the semester for our Community Action students.
Bringing Together Five Community Engagement Programs
Nominations for CHER Hartford-Resident Advisory Board Members Sought by September 15
Image above: L-R: Jack Dougherty, Megan Faver Hartline, Morgan Finn, Megan Brown, Carlos Espinosa, Erica Crowley, Joe Barber, and Robert Cotto. (Photo by Nick Caito)
Hartford, Connecticut, September 5, 2018 – Trinity College has announced the creation of its Center for Hartford Engagement and Research (CHER), bringing together five community engagement programs at the college to work as one group. The purpose of integrating the programs—some that have been operating at Trinity for decades and others launched in recent years—is to enable them to collaborate more closely and efficiently, strengthening connections among and between civically engaged members of the Trinity community and the Hartford community.
The inaugural director of CHER is Trinity Professor of Educational Studies Jack Dougherty, serving in a two-year faculty appointment that began in July 2018. The five CHER programs and their leaders are:
Community Learning—Associate Director Megan Faver Hartline (70 Vernon Street) Community Learning fosters academic connections with Hartford partners to deepen experiential learning through collaboration and perspective-building relationships. The program includes the Community Action Gateway Program for first-years and Public Humanities Collaborative summer research.
Community Service and Civic Engagement—Director Joe Barber (Mather Student Center, 300 Summit Street) Community Service and Civic Engagement creates future civic leaders by engaging students in building and maintaining strong, sustainable community partnerships in Hartford, as well as educating and involving them in a range of broader social issues.
Liberal Arts Action Lab—Director Megan Brown (10 Constitution Plaza, downtown Hartford) The Liberal Arts Action Lab investigates problems identified by Hartford partners, with research teams of students and faculty from Capital Community College and Trinity College, proposing solutions that will strengthen the city.
Trinfo.Café—Director Carlos Espinosa (1300 Broad Street) Trinfo.Café bridges the digital divide with a neighborhood internet café that offers computer-literacy training for Hartford youth, adults, small businesses, and nonprofit organizations; provides space to community groups for meetings; and hosts a community garden that brings together residents alongside Trinity students, staff, and faculty.
Urban Educational Initiatives—Director Robert Cotto (70 Vernon Street) Urban Educational Initiatives connects the college community with nearby public schools, such as the Hartford Magnet Trinity College Academy (HMTCA), a grade 6–12 interdistrict magnet school with city and suburban students in an early college program.
CHER is under the oversight of Trinity’s chief academic officer, Dean of the Faculty and Vice President for Academic Affairs Tim Cresswell. “Trinity has an important role to play in advancing Hartford and the region,” said Cresswell. “One of the primary goals of the college’s strategic plan is to build on our strengths in connecting liberal arts learning to experiential learning here in Hartford. When students learn from an array of experiences, both inside and outside the classroom, they become more aware of the needs in the community, they discover their ability to help solve real-world problems, and they develop the capacity to learn how to learn from their experiences. This kind of educational experience provides distinct advantages, both to the students and the community at large.”
During the fall 2018–19 semester, Dougherty noted, more than 20 Trinity courses will be community learning courses, with faculty and students working closely with members of the community. Also during the fall semester, four Liberal Arts Action Lab research teams of Trinity and Capital Community College students are set to work with community partners on projects involving local food policies and sources; young adults and workforce opportunity; and homeownership.
At Trinfo.Café—where last year computer-literacy training was provided to more than 400 area residents—staff and Trinity students continue to provide a variety of computer-literacy workshops to Hartford residents and customized after-school and summer programming to youth at no cost to residents or community partners. In addition, through Urban Educational Initiatives, 17 high school seniors from Hartford Magnet Trinity College Academy will enroll in fall 2018 in an introductory-level course at Trinity as an early college experience.
Also, the Office of Community Service and Civic Engagement will sponsor its 20th annual Do It Day, a volunteer event taking place this year on Saturday, September 8. Approximately 400 students, mostly Trinity student-athletes, will be deployed throughout the city to work on a variety of projects in collaboration with community organizations. Students’ efforts will include gardening, painting, cleaning, delivering furniture to formerly homeless people, housing rehabilitation, inspecting and packing food donations, picking up litter, and maintaining trails, parks, and the riverfront.
Dougherty said, “Given Trinity College’s mission—to engage, connect, and transform—an important aspect of CHER is to assess how students’ experiences and relationships with Hartford change over time and whether change is associated with meaningful participation in community engagement programs.”
CHER is seeking nominations, including self-nominations, for a CHER Hartford-Resident Advisory Board to offer guidance on goals and programs. Civically engaged Hartford residents who are looking for more connections between the community and the college are encouraged to apply by September 15. Members will be invited to two to three meetings per year; more information is available here.
Dougherty said CHER also is conducting focus-group sessions with community partners to gather their input and ideas. A recent session included representatives from Achieve Hartford!, the Amistad Center for Art & Culture, the Harriet Beecher Stowe Center, Interval House, and True Colors. Upcoming focus-group sessions are scheduled for September 12, 3:00–4:00 p.m., and September 13, 9:00–10:00 a.m., at 70 Vernon Street. Community partner organizations interested in participating in a CHER focus-group session should contact Dougherty at email@example.com.
For more information about CHER programs or to contact any of the individual programs’ staff members, visit the website of the Center for Hartford Engagement and Research (CHER) at http://cher.trincoll.edu.
Garret Forst, a Trinity College rising senior, reflects on his collaboration between the Liberal Arts Action Lab and the Connecticut Data Collaborative for his Summer 2018 internship. Garret worked with Action Lab Director Megan Brown on the 500 Cities grant, which links neighborhood-level housing and health data.
Since I have been at Trinity, I have always had a passion for studying cities, city planning, and, most importantly, the people who define them. I had some experience investigating housing-related issues when I worked for the city council in my hometown of Cleveland, Ohio, so I was thrilled when I was offered the opportunity to work on this comprehensive project studying housing and health in Hartford. This was the type of project that would give me the chance to both analyze a topic I was passionate about and also, under Professor Brown’s guidance, learn the tools needed to analyze it effectively.
The knowledge I have gained from this project will assist me in pursuing a career in the community development field and help me to think critically about urban issues in general. This summer, for example, I really had the opportunity to dig deep and analyze what defines our quality of housing: Is housing affordable? How might homeownership affect the quality of housing? What do housing code violations say about housing? What about vacancy? Then, I was able to go one step further: How does housing quality relate to health inequity in the city? Housing is important in and of itself, but the impact it has on people’s lives is equally important.
To answer the questions that arose from this project, I was exposed to a great range of research methods and tools that are used in the field. Prior to the Spring 2018 semester, for example, I had no experience with Geographic Information Systems (GIS) mapping and very little exposure to using data. Professor Brown taught me how to use GIS as a powerful analysis and storytelling tool. When it came to learning how to use data, I not only discovered the wide range of public data sources available to research, I also was encouraged to think creatively about how to construct certain useful points of data. For example, there is no published foreclosure rate for Hartford, but we were able to create one from existing housing data. Learning how to utilize these tools and present them to other community leaders improved both my technical research skills and overall leadership abilities.
With all of this in mind, I am grateful for the time I’ve spent at the Liberal Arts Action Lab. For one, I have gained valuable insight on the city of Hartford and its housing stock. It is a very complex topic, and each part of the city is affected by housing differently. There are neighborhoods in Hartford that appear equal in terms of socioeconomic landscape, for example, yet affordability might be the issue for one neighborhood while vacancy is the primary issue for another. This type of nuance is incredibly important for researchers and policymakers to understand, and I do not think I would have understood it myself had I not worked on this project. I got to know Hartford on a more personal level and interact with it from the perspective of a person living and working in it as opposed to a student just temporarily staying in it. I discovered new neighborhoods met great people every day. This summer was an awesome experience and one that I will truly cherish.
You can access the preliminary findings and the work that the team and Garret have worked on this summer here.
Come to our Community Learning Brainstorming Lunch to start planning your course for next semester, and learn how faculty colleagues integrate Hartford into their learning goals. At our next lunch during Common Hour (12:15-1:15 pm) on October 4, Dario Del Puppo and Johannes Evelein (Language and Cultural Studies) will discuss their First-Year Seminar: Cycling and Sustainability in Hartford. Newcomers are especially welcome to share their ideas, too. Please RSVP for the lunch here.
The new Center for Hartford Engagement and Research (CHER) will publicly launch this fall to bring together several Hartford programs: Community Learning, Community Service and Civic Engagement (with Joe Barber), the Liberal Arts Action Lab (with Megan Brown), Trinfo.Cafe (with Carlos Espinosa), and Urban Education Initiatives (with Robert Cotto). We also welcome CHER’s newest colleague, our Communications and Data Assistant, Erica Crowley. She earned her MSW in Community Organizing from UConn, and previously collaborated with Trinity students as a Hartford community partner at NARAL Pro-Choice Connecticut.
Please contact either of us if you would like to discuss how to connect Hartford with your teaching goals, or help match you with community partners who share mutual interests.
Photo: On location at Heaven Skatepark with Giana Moreno ’20, Juanita Chislom aka Empress Nijuabi, and Isabel Exstein ’19.
Trinity College Professor Seth Markle and students in his INTS 344 Global Hip Hop Cultures reflect on their experience in creating videos with Hartford Hip Hop Pioneers of the 1980s and 1990s. Filmed in Feb 2018.
Tuesday, February 13th marks the premiere of seven digital stories about hip hop pioneers from Hartford. Last fall, Trinity students enrolled in my seminar course ‘INTS 344: Global Hip Hop Cultures’, and worked in teams to produce 3-4 minute multimedia narratives featuring Rick Torres, Dooney Bates, Myron Moye, Juanita Chislom, Mike Wilson, Janice Fleming and Apollo Villarini. These digital stories, along with full interviews in text and video form, will be part of the ‘Hartford Hip Hop Digital Repository’ of the Hartford Public Library.
INTS 344 is a seminar course that explores the link between hip hop, youth identity formation, and politics. Last semester I decided to take a different approach to the course. Rather than learn about hip hop through books, students were introduced to hip hop through an oral history and digital storytelling based curriculum. And, instead of examining hip hop cultures in Africa, Asia and Latin America students explored the global dimensions of the music and culture by critically interrogating the early history of hip hop in Hartford and the ways in which youth contributed to and were impacted by the culture’s emergence during the 1980s and early 1990s.
It took me about a year to completely redesign this course. I was lucky enough to receive a fellowship from Trinity’s Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL), which allowed me to utilize the resources and conversational space the fellowship provided to imagine an experimental learning course that would foment community learning and relationship building. In rethinking the course, I was immediately attracted to the ideas of oral history and digital storytelling not only because I engage with both mediums but also because I find them to be effective pedagogical approaches for promoting active learning and critical-creative thought in the classroom.
The course started to gain shape in October 2016 when I met with Jasmin Agosto, a graduate of Trinity College (Educational Studies, Class of 2010) and current staff member at the Hartford History Center (HHC) at the Hartford Public Library. I learned that she was in the preliminary stages of creating a Hartford hip hop archive. To begin that process, she was organizing an exhibition and panel discussion that she wanted me to moderate. I readily agreed and pitched her the idea of working together on digital stories about the history of hip hop in Hartford that would be made available to the public via what we are now calling the ‘Hartford Hip Hop Digital Repository’.
About a month later, the Hartford History Center sponsored “Hartford Hip Hop History: Then and Now”, a conversation about Hartford hip hop of the 1980s and 1990s and how the culture has evolved to the present. In addition to the panel, there was an archival exhibition containing posters, photographs, newspaper clippings, and video footage. Due to the positive feedback received, the HHC was fully committed to building a digital collection about hip hop in Hartford. The event was an overwhelming success and ultimately set the groundwork for the identification of Hartford hip hoppers for the digital stories for the INTS 344 course.
During the spring semester of 2017, Jasmin and I participated in CLI’s “Digital Storytelling for Community Learning” Workshop at Trinity College. Held on March 24, this all-day workshop was also extremely helpful in clarifying learning objectives, process, and assessment. I learned that, for college-based educators, incorporating digital storytelling into the college classroom allows for a transformative learning experience; builds and enhances communication skills; deepens content understanding; helps develop technical and media literacy skills; and strengthens critical thinking through peer reviewing.
Fifteen students enrolled in the course. Their majors ranged from International Studies to History to Studio Arts to Educational Studies to English. They participated in workshops that sought to equip them with the technical skills needed to construct a quality digital story while being exposed to Hartford’s rich history of cultural diversity as seen through the lens of people who used hip hop as a source of creative cultural expression and empowerment. The workshops were critical to the course’s effectiveness. Tim Wolf, a Hartford cultural activist, kicked off the semester off with a lecture about the early history of hip hop in Hartford. Christina Boyles, Trinity’s Digital Scholarship Coordinator, and Khaiim Kelly, a Hartford rap artist and educator, facilitated workshops on audio narration and beat-making, respectively. Kyle Young, a Hartford rap artist and multi-modal technician, delivered three useful workshops on the pre-production, production, and post-production phases of learning process. Overall, students learned about the unique art of narration by developing interview questions; conducting and transcribing interviews; script writing; camera operating; and editing audio and visual material by using multimedia applications such as Audacity, Photoshop and iMovie.
The students exceeded my expectations. They understood that this course was about more than a grade. I appreciated their patience, creativity, and commitment. They trusted the process in the face of many challenges. I really couldn’t have asked for a better crop of digital storytellers. This truly was a collaborative educational project. Thanks so much to the Center for Teaching and Learning, the Center for Caribbean Studies, the Community Learning Initiative, and the Educational Technology Committee for providing the necessary course development funds. I look forward to teaching this course again in the future.
Seth Markle is an Associate Professor of History and International Studies at Trinity College whose work focuses on the histories of cultural and political exchange between Africa and the African Diaspora. He is the author of A Motorcycle on Hell Run: Tanzania, Black Power and the Uncertain Future of Pan-Africanism, 1964-1974 (Michigan State University Press, 2017) and is currently working on two separate multimodal projects about hip hop culture in Tanzania and Hartford.Students from his Global Hip Hop Cultures course will present their digital stories of Hartford hip-hop pioneers at the 2018 Trinity International Hip-Hop Festival, April 6-8.
We invite newer faculty to join our first cohort of Community Learning Faculty Fellows (CLiFF). Between 4-6 fellows will receive a $1,000 stipend to participate in four one-hour meetings during the academic year to discuss and design a Community Learning component to be taught in one of their upcoming courses. Eligibility is open to first-year and second-year faculty on tenure-track or multi-year visiting appointments.
At Trinity, we define Community Learning as an experiential component that builds connections between your students, your course, and people in the Hartford area. It involves collaborative partnerships that benefit all parties, and perspective-building relationships to deepen and extend liberal arts learning. We typically support 25 courses per semester, with offerings from nearly all departments and programs over the last several years. Read more about community learning and view a wide range of course descriptions.