Trinity College Receives Grant to Expand Its Community Learning Initiative

Grant to Further Develop a Robust Experiential Learning Program

​Hartford, Connecticut, May 19, 2017 – Trinity College has received a $131,410 grant from the Davis Educational Foundation to support the expansion of its Community Learning Initiative (CLI). The Davis Educational Foundation was established by Stanton and Elisabeth Davis after Mr. Davis’s retirement as chairman of Shaw’s Supermarkets, Inc.

Megan Faver Hartline
Photo by Rachel Gramer​

“This generous and prestigious grant from the Davis Educational Foundation affirms the importance of community engagement in the life of Trinity,” said Trinity College President Joanne Berger-Sweeney. “It creates more opportunities for students to engage with the Hartford community, to use their education to effect social change, and to enrich their own lives.”

The CLI will build on its 23-year record of developing academic partnerships between students and community organizations that benefit both partners and deepen students’ commitment to civic engagement. This gift will help to build longer-term relationships with community partners in order to broaden and deepen mutually sustainable outcomes and to create more opportunities for community-driven projects in teaching and research.

As part of this effort, the three-year grant will help support the new Community Action Gateway Program and the position of the associate director of CLI. The gateway program introduces first-year students to the theory and practice of social change at the community level. Students will explore how community organizations envision social change and how they can effectively collaborate with community groups to develop goals and outcomes for social action projects.

Megan Faver Hartline has been named as the new associate director of CLI and will begin work at Trinity in mid-June. Hartline, who recently completed her doctorate in rhetoric and composition at the University of Louisville, will focus on building course-based relationships between faculty and Hartford community partners and broadening pathways to enrich student involvement, such as the Community Action Gateway and the Community Learning Research Fellows program for advanced undergraduates. In her role, Hartline will help to develop student leaders in civic engagement and thus increase the impact that CLI can make on student learning and campus culture.

“Megan stood out among a strong pool of candidates because of her dedication to the personal and educational development of students,” said Carol Clark, faculty director of CLI and associate professor of economics at Trinity. “Through her own experiences, Megan has a deep understanding of how to mentor first-year students and to build community. She also will be instrumental in helping to bring attention to the great work that faculty and students have engaged in and the impact of their extraordinary work.”

Written by Julia S. Chianelli