This site aims to host and display the content and findings of urban research and engagement projects, broadly defined, undertaken by Trinity students through the programs at and affiliated with the Center for Urban and Global Studies (CUGS). The site is intended to draw more Trinity students to participate in research in and engagement with the city of Hartford and other cities from a local-global perspective.

Urban Academic Opportunities

The Center for Urban and Global Studies (CUGS) has invited and included more than 20 Trinity students to participate in a variety of research and writing projects since 2008. These students have helped gather information, conduct literature review, and edit manuscripts. They have also contributed their ideas and suggestions that help move the research projects forward. A growing number of these students have demonstrated such interests, commitments, and skills that they ended up as co-authors of published works. Thus far 10 students, some of whom have recently graduated, have been co-authors of 14 published articles and book chapters since 2010. These research opportunities and experiences have contributed greatly to the students’ intellectual development, analytical and writing skills, problem-solving interest and capacities, willingness to engage the real world issues, and collaborative spirit and work habits. CUGS is planning to strengthen student research in urban and global studies into a more formalized program and arrangement, both during the semester and the summer.

Thus far, the students who have been co-authors of the published works are alphabetically by last name: Nick Bacon ’10, Tomas de’Medici ’11, Henry Fitts ’12, Chang Liu ’12, Michael Magdelinskas ’11, Julia Mardeusz ’16, Taylor Ogan ’18, Curtis Stone ’10, Ivan Su ’16, and Gaurav Toor ’14.

In the summer of 2017, The Center for Urban and Globals Studies (CUGS), in collaboration with four departments and programs and with creative inspiration and support from The Henry Luce Foundation, The Thomas Urban China Studies Endowment, The O’Neill Asia Cum Laude Endowment, and The Charlotte Riggs Scholarship Fund, will launch a new Trinity summer program taking a group of students to Shanghai, Bangkok, Siem Reap and Phnom Penh.  There they will investigate critical historical, socioeconomic and environmental questions confronting these cities.  Studying these dynamic cities sequentially and in close connection offers a fascinating way to glimpse and access the various facets of sustainable development in Asia, where the world’s largest urban populations are putting heavy pressure on entire watersheds and the ecosystems of river cities large and small.

For more information about the China Summer Program click here:

In the Liberal Arts Action Lab, Hartford community partners define problems facing the city, and collaborate with teams of students and faculty to research and publicly share possible solutions. The Action Lab is an educational partnership between Capital Community College and Trinity College in Hartford, the capital city of Connecticut. Our goals are to strengthen the city and its role in the region, spark social innovation, and support civic engagement and sustainability. See examples of similar projects.

Our application matching process brings together teams that include a community partner (broadly defined as neighborhood groups, non-profit organizations, government agencies, social entrepreneurs, etc.), a faculty fellow (academic or staff experts from any Hartford Consortium for Higher Education campus), and 4-5 students from Capital Community College or Trinity College. Each semester, a total of 20 Action Lab students will learn research skills and digital tools in two afternoon courses taught by Director Megan Brown. The Action Lab is currently accepting applications and our inaugural project teams will begin work in January 2018 at our downtown campus, 10 Constitution Plaza, Hartford, CT. Please contact us to learn how to participate.

For more information, please visit the Action Lab’s webpage.

What is community learning? At Trinity, we define it as a type of experiential learning—an academic course in which the faculty member works in partnership with a person or group from the local community to involve students in an experience they could not get in the classroom alone. The learning goes both ways, as the students and community residents share knowledge.


Trinity has a long-standing commitment to community learning and serves as a model for other colleges and universities. Our community learning program involves almost all of our academic departments, more than 200 community organizations over the past several years, and about half of the entire student body. These students overwhelmingly report that participation in community learning increases both their understanding of course material and their awareness of needs in the community. It’s a natural way to connect with people you might not meet otherwise, develop a sense of civic responsibility, and gain the satisfaction of having a hand in creating solutions.

For more information about the Community Learning Initiative, please visit their new webpage.