Senior Spotlight: Lillia Schmidt ’21

Over the next few weeks, CUGS will be celebrating members of the class of 2021 who have left a mark on Trinity College and those around them. We’ll be posting interviews with selected seniors as our Senior Spotlight series.

Meet Lillia Schmidt ’21, an Urban Studies and Art History double major from Wilmington, Delaware!

How would you describe your time as an Urban Studies major at Trinity?

“My time as an Urban Studies Major has been an adventure- literally! All of the professors encouraged me to go out of my comfort zone and experience Hartford on a personal level, through projects, assignments, and extracurriculars. The deep history and rich, diverse culture of Hartford is always present in every class and discussion I have had in my major, so my experience is truly that of the city itself!”

What type of research projects were you involved in with CUGS?

“I took a couple of courses that involved projects in Hartford. One was a partnership with SINA (Southside Institution Neighborhood Alliance), which is a neighborhood revitalization non-profit that aids in community organizing in Frog Hollow. Another was a project that involved monitoring the effectiveness and social implications of crosswalks in downtown Hartford.”

Which classes, instructors, or experiences particularly stand out for you and why?

“Garth Meyers make me question everything I thought I knew about research- in a good way! His approach is getting your hands dirty and diving in, experiencing things first hand and then analyzing and taking the an academic, scholarly view later. An assignment for my first Urban Studies class with Professor Meyers was to go and walk ten blocks in Hartford, and the best part is that this is normal for an Urban Studies class here! You are constantly experiencing the city from new view points.”

What are your hopes and aspirations, post-graduation?

“As a double major in Art History, I hope to work in an urban museum setting where I can encourage community engagement and inclusivity through programming and exhibitions. Going back to school is the next step!”

What advice would you give future Urban Studies majors, based on your experiences in the department?

“Firstly, lean on your professors. They want the best for you, and are all extremely intelligent and understanding. Pick their brains a little- and maybe they will pick yours! Secondly, as an Urban Studies student, your opportunity to learn is never confined to the classroom. Take every opportunity you have to notice, experience, and realize new things in your environment, even if you are not in class. Question past and current literature in the field, question the status quo, and question your own preconceived notions.”