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Welcome to the CHER December Newsletter!  Over the past few months we’ve presented community-based research, created print and digital materials for Hartford organizations, helped residents stay warm during the winter months, and engaged students of all ages in theater & dance Community Learning collaboration. At the Center for Hartford Engagement & Research at Trinity College our mission is to strengthen educational partnerships with students, faculty, staff, and the Hartford community. If you are interested in getting involved or partnering with CHER programs, be sure to contact us.

Community Learning Research Fellows Present Hartford Projects

Last week, Hallden Hall was buzzing with Trinity students, faculty, staff and Hartford community partners as ten of our Community Learning Research Fellows presented the results of their semester long projects. Throughout the semester they have worked closely with Professor Laura Holt, TA Samantha McCarthy ’21, Community Consultant James Jeter, and Trinity faculty advisors to design and execute community-based research projects in partnership with Hartford organizations. The projects were wide-ranging: Community College Student-Parents with the CT Early Childhood Alliance, Maternal Mortality with YWCA Hartford, Bilingual Education Councilwoman Wildaliz Bermudez ‘04, Cultural Variation in Parent Engagement and ESL Resources at Jubilee House,Firearm Recovery with CT Against Gun Violence and Hartford Communities That Care, Sexual Health Education with NARAL Pro-Choice CT, Child Care Center Research with Trinity Community Child Center, and Coltsville Park Usage with the National Park Service. See more on our blog here. 

Theater & Dance’s Peter Kyle Hosts Community Learning Collaboration Honoring Hartford Native & World-Renowned Multi-Media Pioneer Alwin Nikolais

This semester Assistant Professor of Theater & Dance Peter Kyle established a Community Learning collaboration that brought together college students from Trinity College and Saint Joseph’s, high school students from the Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts and ACES Educational Center for the Arts, and Nikolais Foundation for Dance’s Alberto del Saz to restage iconic pieces from Nikolais (1910-1993) at the Trinity Fall Dance Concert. In the lead up to the Fall concert, Kyle also hosted a panel discussion at the Connecticut Historical Society with Hartford area Historian Steve Thornton and two veteran Nikolais collaborators, Ruth Grauert and Phyllis Lamhut and an improvisation master class for 80+ HMTCA high school students. Kyle said, “It’s thrilling to be reminded how we can use the arts, in this case Nikolais’ creative genius, as a touchstone for inspiring Trinity students and so many others to expand on their own artistic aspirations within a larger educational context here in Hartford.” Photos courtesy of Peter Kyle, Alex Fishbein, Larkin De Laria ’21 and John Atashian. See more on our blog here.

Liberal Arts Action Lab Teams from Capital and Trinity Present Hartford Research Projects

Last week, four Liberal Arts Action Lab teams presented results of their projects at the Digital Poster Fair downtown. Teams of Capital Community College and Trinity College students and faculty collaborated to answer questions posed by Hartford partners. This semester, the teams conducted research on Absentee Landlords with Southside Institutions Neighborhood Alliance (SINA), Youth Sports participation with Active City, relocation of families displaced by Hurricane Maria, and Youth Homelessnessoutreach with CT Coalition to End Homelessness. If you missed it, take a look at our photo gallery, video recaps, and the websites each team created on our blog here.

Trinity Homelessness Project Helps Serve 600 People at Footwear With Care Annual Boot Party in Downtown Hartford

This semester, the Trinity Homelessness Project Community Service student group has been out volunteering in Hartford almost every weekend: moving furniture with Journey Home, serving breakfast and donating to the Backpack Nutrition Program at Hands on Hartford, and more. Over the past few weeks, they prepared hundreds of sandwiches and boot donations for Footwear With Care’s Annual Winter Boot Party in Downtown Hartford. Thank you Erin Evangelista ’20, Joe Barber and Beatrice Alicea, Chartwells Dining Associates, community partners and many more who made these partnerships possible. See more on our blog here.

“Writing for a Digital World” Community Learning Students Design Print and Digital Products for Hartford Partners

This semester in Leah Cassorla’s RHET 125: “Writing for a Digital World” Community Learning course, students learned about multimodal composition and digital rhetorics, and then put that knowledge to use when designing print and digital materials such as brochures, invitations, social media content, and websites for Hartford community partners. Read more about their class and view their products on our blog.