Welcome Back! January 2020 Newsletter

Welcome to the CHER January 2020 Newsletter! Each month, we send out an e-newsletter to keep the campus and community updated about what we’re doing here in the Center for Hartford Engagement & Research at Trinity College (affectionately known as CHER😎). Over the winter break we’ve been out volunteering around the city, preparing for the Spring 2020 semester’s Community Learning courses, getting ready to re-open the VITA Tax Clinic at Trinfo Café, prepping for five Liberal Arts Action Lab Hartford research projects, and much more! Take a look at the highlights below, give us a follow on social media👇, and be sure to contact us if you’re interested in working together. Happy New Year!


Our first #CHERShoutout of 2020 Goes to the January Week of Service!

Here’s our first official #CHERShoutout because the January Week of Service was a success! This past week, a group of Trinity students in the JELLO Community Service Club came back to campus early to complete a week of community service projects with partner organizations around Hartford, including the Church of the Good Shepherd, Night Fall, Cinestudio, Place of Grace Food Pantry, Habitat ReStore, and Knox. Congratulations to Brooke Agro, Alison Cofrancesco, Hanifa Darwish, Amelia Huba, Amodini Katoch, Sarah Kennedy, Eve Pollack, Jonah Silverglade, and Emily Wertheimer! Stay tuned for twice monthly shoutouts about students, staff, faculty, teams, and community partners who are doing great work in Hartford. See more photos from the JELLO Week of Service here.


Faculty and Community Partners: Apply for the Summer 2020 Public Humanities Collaborative by Friday January 31st

Are you interested in working on an oral history collection, interactive website, community discussion, exhibit, educational curriculum, or public performance? Do you need a team to help you? The Public Humanities Collaborative (PHC) is currently accepting research proposals from Trinity faculty as well as Hartford area individuals and organizations pursuing humanities-based projects who are interested in employing 2-4 student researchers during Summer 2020. Students work approximately 15 hours a week on projects such as an oral history collection, interactive website, community discussion, exhibit, public performance, etc. and another 15 hours a week with faculty on their humanities-oriented scholarship (such as journal articles, book chapters, or digital remediations of projects). To learn more and submit a proposal visit or contact More information about student applications is coming soon.


Free Tax Help Available! The Trinity VITA Tax Clinic at Trinfo Café Opens January 30th

Tax season is here, and the Trinity VITA Tax Clinic at Trinfo Café will open on January 30th! This weekend, students in Senior Lecturer in Political Science Serena Laws’ “Tax Policy and Inequality in Hartford” course will be trained as IRS-certified tax preparers to get ready for the re-opening of the clinic at Trinfo Café, located at 1300 Broad Street, Hartford. The tax clinic is one of several Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) locations in Hartford sponsored by the United Way. VITA generally serves households with incomes of $55,000 or below, persons with disabilities, and taxpayers who speak languages other than English. Appointments can be made starting in January by calling 2-1-1 or by going online to [Photo by Nick Caito]. VITA at Trinfo is open the following days and times starting 1/30:

  • Tuesdays 10:00am-2:00pm
  • Thursdays 10:00am-2:00pm
  • Fridays 10:00am-5:00pm
  • Saturdays 10:00am-2:00pm


HMTCA Students Visit Cinestudio at Trinity College

On December 20, 2019, HMTCA students visited Trinity College’s on-campus movie theater, Cinestudio. Along with their science teacher and Trinity alumna, Zuleyka Shaw, students viewed the film, “It’s A Wonderful Life.” Thanks to Mrs. Shaw for the great photo!


Student Leadership Initiative Continues at Trinfo Café: Stay Tuned for Spring 2020 Community Events

These days, there’s always something happening at Trinfo.Café. Last year Trinfo.Café began its student leadership initiative as part of a commitment to establishing Trinfo as a broader use community space. In addition to greeting community guests, teaching computer literacy, and offering drop-in tech help, Trinfo.Café student workers are taking on the task of independently organizing free public events for the Trinity and Hartford community. Last year’s events included TrinfoBingo, yoga, LGBTQ+ movie night, community discussions, open mic night, community garden meetings, and more. Stay tuned for the lineup of Spring 2020 events!


Trinity & Capital’s Liberal Arts Action Lab Hosts Five Hartford Research Teams for Spring 2020

From the fifteen proposals submitted by Hartford community partners, the Liberal Arts Action Lab has formed five research teams for Spring 2020. These project teams will focus on a diverse set of issues facing Hartford: telling the story of Hartford’s first black church, understanding neighborhood communications, researching treatment approaches for opioid addiction, and identifying workforce development barriers for community health workers providing care to folks living with HIV. Read more about the proposed projects here.



CHER Director: Jack Dougherty

CHER Communications & Data Assistant: Erica Crowley

Community Learning Associate Director: Megan Faver Hartline

Community Service and Civic Engagement Director: Joe Barber

JZ-Academic Mentoring Program Coordinator: Beatrice Alicea

Liberal Arts Action Lab Director: Megan Brown

Communications and Program Assistant: Morgan Finn

Trinfo.Cafe and Office of Community Relations Director: Carlos Espinosa

Program Manager: Arianna Basche

Hartford Magnet Trinity College Academy (HMTCA) Partnership Director: Robert Cotto Jr.