by Garth Myers, Director of CUGS and Paul E. Raether Distinguished Professor of Urban International Studies
As Summer comes to a close and a new school year begins at Trinity, there is a lot of new energy around CUGS – despite all of the uncertainties that come with the COVID-19 pandemic and traumas of the crisis in racial injustice. We welcome (virtually) our new Kelter Post-Doctoral Fellow, Dr. Laura Delgado, and we welcome (or welcome back) several other colleagues – Sean Fitzpatrick, Dr. Don Poland, and Dr. Jonathan Elukin – into the CUGS orbit. We are also excited by the number of new and newly revised courses that will be on offer in 2020-21, including Laura’s Community Development Strategies, Jonathan’s History of the City (in the Cities Program first-year gateway), and Don’s Introduction to Urban Planning. Dr. David Lukens will be offering a new course in the experimental 5-week J-term (Digital Urban Investigations). In Spring 2021, Dr. Xiangming Chen will offer a new course on Reshaping Global Urbanization, Dr. Yipeng Shen will teach Global Crime Fiction and Dr. Julie Gamble will offer the new course, Learning from Hartford. All of these come on board alongside several new cross-listed and cross-referenced classes from affiliated faculty, including Dr. Luis Figueroa, Dr. Davarian Baldwin, Dr. Susan Masino, and Dr. Hernan Flom. I’m offering a new, all-online version of my course, Architecture & Urban Planning on the Swahili Coast, in J-term as well. CUGS and URST continue to grow and develop new connections. The URST major is, at the time of writing, the 10th-largest major at the college with 43 majors. As we look to the future, we are in conversations about how best to restructure the major to strengthen both its intellectual base and career development potential. We clearly need to grow our faculty, and to find the means for convincing those who have eyes to see that this is necessary. Our graduate certificate in Urban Planning, launched in Fall 2020, will almost certainly grow and, ideally, with the growth of our faculty, blossom into a full Master’s program in Urban Planning. We look forward to an era of new and continuing collaborations with the Center for Hartford Engagement and Research, the Center for Caribbean Studies, the new Climate Emergency Committee, the new Urban Arts Initiative, the Connecticut Housing Finance Authority, the Hartford Consortium for Higher Education, the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, the Connecticut World Affairs Council, the New University in Exile Consortium, the Institute for International Education Scholar Rescue Fund, Fudan University and other partners in the region and around the world.